Episode Transcript
Ixchell Reyes
The DIESOL podcast,

Brent Warner
Developing innovation in English as a second or other language.

Ixchell Reyes
Episode 69: Fun with Forms

Brent Warner
Welcome to DIESOL This is episode 69. We are your hosts. I’m Brent Warner,

Ixchell Reyes
and Ixchell Reyes. Hey, Brent.

Brent Warner
It’s hot! We’re in a heatwave here in California while you are relaxing…

Ixchell Reyes
Enjoying the rain!

Brent Warner
You’re maxin’ and relaxin’ in Texas. It’s supposed to be the opposite, isn’t it?

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, but we get those floods, you know, like the end of the world floods?

Brent Warner
Oh, yeah. Well,

Ixchell Reyes
so pick your pick your death? Scorching or flood.

Brent Warner
We’ll probably get the earthquakes or the fires too. So we’ve got plenty of natural disasters to come and crush us here in California. So we’ll make it work somehow. We are back to school. Yeah. I don’t know if we said that. We’re back to school and one of the previous episodes, but now we’re really properly back to school. A lot of people listening right now or like, you know, after Labor Day, like that’s when kind of classes start whatever else it is going on. I’ve been back for. We’ve had two proper full weeks of class now. So I’m back in the swing of things,

Ixchell Reyes
and I never left. So for those of you who work all year round. I feel you. We’re all rolling our eyes here at the people who say we’re back to school.

Brent Warner
Yeah. Well, it’s also kind of fair to say like, you know, even those who get the summer vacation like,

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, not really. Yeah.

Brent Warner
I mean, how many teachers do you know, that have been like going to PDs and going to conferences and re planning out their lessons, and now they’re switching their, you know, like, oh, switching modalities? Now they’re coming back to physical schools. I mean, there’s just so many different parts. So even for those of you who got a quote, unquote, summer break, maybe Ixchell is not going to be kind to you, because you got a little time off. Ixchell is so heartless. But okay,

Ixchell Reyes
let’s just welcome fall, welcome, welcoming fall,

Brent Warner
fall, welcome new classes, so, but we did, yeah. So today, we’re gonna kind of focus in on that a little bit and share a little bit about how we might approach the new semester. So Ixchell, as you know, I like to say, let’s jump in.

Ixchell Reyes
So Brent, with the with new classes starting, I mean, even if you didn’t have a break, we’re probably still starting a new semester, a new term, a new quarter, whatever it is, or constantly receiving new students. One of the areas that I think often comes to mind with a new class, no matter when you’re starting is how you’re going to build rapport with students. Yeah. And in conversations that you and I have had pre show, we talked about, we talked about how that is so important and critical. And maybe it’s we we know about it as teachers. So maybe it’s not as important to define it. But I think it is human nature in general, that we all want to be included, we all want to be cared about. And we all want to know that we count, right. And so that’s essentially what rapport is in the classroom. I think something that I always go back to is that strong rapport is vital in the classroom, because if students find a meaningful connection in what they’re doing, then they’re more likely to have more respect for the teacher for the class for the content they’re learning, there’s likely going to be more trust. And if students trust that the teacher is giving them something of value, and the students find value in it, then they’re more likely to be motivated. Perhaps maybe where there wasn’t motivation. I know that I’ve had teachers that that I loved, and maybe the content of whatever I was doing wasn’t enjoyable. But because I trusted that my teacher cared. I did it and then later on reflected, I realized, oh, yeah, that was helpful. But if it had been a different teacher presenting that to me, I would have probably thrown that assignment away. And you see that with Yeah, you see that with with sometimes I always go back to my my Algebra Two teacher who never really cared and I’m sure he was taking on the class as a side gig. He was a basketball coach. So that I just knew he didn’t care to explain when I made a mistake, and I didn’t learn anything but then a different teacher later taught me the same thing and I was different and I learned it. Anyway. We’re talking today about report.

Brent Warner
Well, I want to follow up on that to be Because I think a lot of times we think about this in terms of students, and you know, I think this conversation is very, very common online with like the caring teacher crowd, you know, but there’s also, you know, there’s a huge group out there that are just like not really tied in with, with that world, right? And so we do want to think about it with our own experiences, even as adults, like sometimes we’re like, oh, yeah, when we were kids, whatever like that, that stuff, but it didn’t really matter, right. But like, think about it now as an adult, right? Same type of thing. It could be with your co workers, it could be with a presentation that you got to write. Yeah, and when you feel that connection with those people, you are more likely to want to do a better job, right? Or you’re more likely to, to get engaged with the materials or whatever else it is. And so it absolutely does make a difference to spend that time to build some rapport. And, you know, I think there’s no, there’s no real shortage of information out there about why this is important. And it should be, you know, fairly self explanatory, but, but I still did grab a little bit of research here. And again, I think you could just find tons and tons of different things. But I thought this was slightly interesting, just because we’re still kind of, you know, there are people who are staying online with their teaching, there are people who are going back in person, there are people who are going hybrid. And so I did find this article called building rapport to improve retention and success in online classes. And that was by Glaser in 2016. So again, pre pandemic. And so there’s kind of some of that conversation. But I think that a lot of this still rings true, because it was it was pretty well well resourced, and well thought out. And so they were talking about retention rates for students, right students, especially so for me, community college, students might drop out, there’s all sorts of different things. And they talked about reasons for retention, or reasons for losing retention. And we don’t, we’re not going to have time to get into all of them. But they talked about three key three key factors, and one was student characteristics. The second one is environmental factors. And then the third one that I kind of want to talk about is the actual course and instructor features. So we’ve talked a lot about some of these things. So like, design, like how your class is designed, and how it actually looks when you’re going through the information online. We know now, at least anecdotally, but I think there’s also like quantitative research on it, which is that students are dropping classes when, when professors don’t have well designed LMS systems, right? So if you’re using Canvas, or Blackboard, or whatever else it is, like, if it’s just kind of like a dump of information, students, and I’ve heard my own students say this or like, oh, yeah, I dropped that class, because that teacher didn’t know how to work with anything. They didn’t know how they were, how they’re organized. Right? Yeah. So that’s, that’s crazy, right. But here’s one of the quotes that I thought was interesting. From that article, it said, student faculty interaction has the greater influence on perceived learning and engagement. Thus, some scholars have suggested that the difference in retention rates between online and in person classes is due to the lack of contact between faculty and students. So we know we have wonderful online teachers who listen to the show. And so I’m gonna point out that clearly, it’s not talking about people who have been active and pay attention to how they’re interacting with their students and

Ixchell Reyes
know how to structure their courses. Correct?

Brent Warner
Correct, right. But we also know that there are a lot of people that haven’t thought about those things or haven’t spent that time. So in the California Community Colleges, actually a part of accreditation for these online courses is they have this key term. And it’s like the one of the biggest ones that we all have to prove that we’re doing in our online courses is called regular and substantive contact hours. And so it’s all about how much time are you spending actually interacting with these students, even if you’re an asynchronous course, right? It could be anything but you know, if you’re synchronous, like how much time are you spending actually reaching out to them and making sure that things are working for them? What how are you getting that personal human touch and building that rapport with your students? So I know like, you know, I always see Denise medulla Williams, who is a friend of the show, she’s always posting her videos on Instagram or whatever, that she, you know, she talked about back a couple of years ago, which was one of our first episodes, right, right, as the pandemic was hitting. She was saying, Okay, I make these clips on the iPhone, the using the clips app, and then she talks to the students and the text comes up and she’s like, Hey, guys, I’m at the beach and like, what do you want to do right and then, and then the students can really connect with that like they see Like a little bit of her personal life in a way to, to, to show that like, Hey, we are we are one we are connected we are, we are here all doing kind of the same thing. And so I think we can see, you know, some of these ideas going on with, with how we’re building that rapport, right. And Ixchell, I know you use a lot of different techniques to build rapport with your students as well.

Ixchell Reyes
Right for me rapport and connection and and for my students to know that I do care. And I do understand that some of the concepts that we’re learning are difficult, but that I care about their academic success, or whatever it is that they’re hoping to accomplish with English, I want them to know that I do care. That’s important, whether it’s by talking to them every morning, as they’re coming in, whether it’s low tech, you know, like, like I said, a face to face conversation or in an exit ticket, that you’re asking for them to gauge how they’re feeling, it’s just so important that that can really make a difference for students who maybe wouldn’t have shared anything otherwise.

Brent Warner
Yeah. So I think there’s a lot of these things that we get into today, we’re going to be kind of positioning this in a in a certain way through through some technology that you can use to make this work pretty well. Looking at using forms to help us build some rapport with our students. So I think we’re gonna jump over.

Ixchell Reyes
Alright, so recently, Brent, you wrote an article for TCL connections. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, do it’s called Get informed the power of forums to get to know your students. And of course, Brent and I are both fans of Google, the Google Suite and all of the apps. And today, we’re hoping that we can give you some ideas, if you’re strapped for what you know what to do, what to apply this time, here’s some really, really easy to apply ideas for building rapport using forms. Yeah. So Brent, what do you got for us?

Brent Warner
Yeah, so um, so when I started writing that article, you know, quite a lot of ideas came and but I also wasn’t able to get in everything or every variation. So, you know, feel free to expand or if anything, obviously, inspires you here Ixchell, of course, right away, but anybody else, please feel free to jump back into the show notes and leave us a message on different ideas and things that you can add to this. But I wanted to start with one of the ideas inside of here was a key way to get to know your students is to have them share what’s important to them, right. And so, so at the beginning of the semester, I always run a survey of the students, right, and it’s asked a bunch of different questions. And some of them are basic ones, like, you know, what’s your goal after after leaving the school? Are you going to transfer to university? Are you going to get a job, whatever, right. And some of those things are kind of like, whatever. They’re just like, the students get used to answering them all the time. And so they just kind of have their kind of start

Ixchell Reyes
routine questions. Yeah, right, right.

Brent Warner
But then what I’ve started realizing is that with forms, you can really get into depth. And because you can share links, and you can do all sorts of different, you know, like, part parts of multimedia ideas, and sharing, sharing parts is that you can really, actually get to know your students pretty well. And you can also phrase your questions in forms as ways that would encourage them to talk more about whatever it is they’re interested in. So I’m going to start off with just a very basic one, which was, you know, instead of, instead of someone telling me like, Hey, who’s your favorite athlete? Or who’s your favorite artist, or whatever else it is, right? Because they might just write the name of it. Then what I can do instead is I can say, give me a link to the Wikipedia page of your, of your favorite blank, right? Whatever, whatever I’m asking of them. So they could maybe even choose, I could say, like, artists slash athlete slash actor, whatever it is, what are they a words? I don’t know. But, but so I can I can say that. And they say, give me a Wikipedia page. And then I could say, I could follow up with that. I can say, what does it say on there that you think is important? What What information does do you think is missing about this person that you would think is worth including? And then you can also follow up with Why is this person particularly interesting to you? Right? And so, as you’re going through a couple of these more built out questions, then the students can spend the time to actually think about it and write in an answer. By the way, secret you’re also seeing the quality of their writing as as they’re giving you these answers, right. This is a super important I

Ixchell Reyes
was just going to say that oh my Gosh, that would filled the trove of stuff you can look at later. Or pick out, you know, and show as examples here, take a look at this.

Brent Warner
Right, right. And so you can see where their grammar issues are going, how clearly they communicate inside of their writing, right, et cetera. But it’s just a simple question that gets right to right to things. But like, I think what happens, and I mentioned this briefly in the article, too, is that a lot of teachers kind of ask these closed questions, and it’s like, what’s the answer? Oh, I like Lebron James. Period, right? And it’s like, okay, like, cool. But like, LeBron James fans, like they have all these things that they like about it. Like, what makes them cool? Oh, this game, this game when he did this, and this and this, right? Or I like how he kind of connects with his community or whatever, you know, whatever else it is, right? And so are you asking questions in a way that is going to encourage students to open up and talk about the thing? Or is it just like kind of running through the routine and like, okay, here we go, checklist checklist checklist, I’m done telling you these things, right. So that’s kind of the first the first thing that you can do.

Ixchell Reyes
So another, another way that students can connect to something connected to something that’s interesting to them is sharing a meme that they think is the funniest. So and this doesn’t add again, if your student just came from their country, and he hasn’t spent a lot of time in America or in you know, we’re we kind of share the same memes. And in the region, they may have something that you have no idea why it’s funny, because it’s cultural. And so an example I can give is I asked the one of a class of Japanese students to bring their favorite drinks, logo or slogan and explain it to me, because in Japanese, they tend to use a lot of English words, but they the names don’t make sense to me as an English speaker. And so of course,

Brent Warner
super dry, super dry beard. What does that mean?

Ixchell Reyes
And so there was one where the story behind the slogan was partly playing on Japanese pronunciation of that word, and the symbol in Japanese. And then also on, it was was a sports drink. So it had to do with energy and leadership and an athlete. And so they went through all this to explain to me something. And again, I would have never known I just thought, Man, this is silly English. And maybe this just shows it’s like, no, there’s actually, but that that explanation now became something of a, of an inside joke within those students. And so they would see me buy that drink all the time. And they would talk about those things. And then another one would follow up with Oh, yeah, there’s, I noticed that there’s this brand. And this is the slogan and blah, blah, blah. And so again, it just created ways for them to connect. And also be aware of how it could be perceived by someone else. And they would have never known if we hadn’t had that initial conversation. So a meme. In this case, it wasn’t a meme, but a meme could could just give birth to so many points of interest. And then it’s a it’s a conversation generator, that’s relevant to how they communicate,

Brent Warner
I love that idea. Because one they could write out, they could try and write out their thoughts on it, and really kind of spend the time figuring that out. You know, I used to listen to on the podcast or reply all and they would always have the, the boss of the company would come in, and like he would bring them like a tweet or some or a meme or something. And he’d be like, I don’t understand what this means. And then they would spend like, 45 minutes breaking down the history of all the different aspects of like, what you need to know, to understand this particular this one joke. And it’s like, so it was so fascinating, because it’d be like, they would always say, like, you know, the prompt for it would be like, do you understand? Do you understand this? Yes. Do you understand this? Yes. Do you understand this? No. Right. Like, okay, let’s get into it. And they would just like I said, they would just go on and on, because it was fascinating, interesting. But it’s so it’s so cool to think about how quickly some of us can get something because we have enough context for it, and how much other information you might need to provide for that background context. And then that leaves people the opportunity to really share about things that they know or care about, right? You and I have that too, right? The trunk club, which I didn’t know, like, that’s not in my culture, but like, but like every now. And then I started seeing like the chancla there was like a internet poster that I saw or an internet billboard. And it’s something like faster than a flying chunk. Like, so it’s like, yeah, okay, so I didn’t understand that until you provided me with the context. I mean, that one was a fast and easy one, but like, you can really get into that. I think there’s a lot

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, and I think Brent it’s important I know we’re talking simply again, for some people might say it’s just the mean but uh, Son, it’s a way of partaking in a conversation and a shared experience. And then this case, it’s a chunk law. But that pulls into the conversation or into the inclusivity students from those cultures or students who have something similar. And so now you’ve now you were talking about being included, and we talked about report and the human need to be included to count, right to be to be part of the group.

Brent Warner
Absolutely. And so just to point out here in forms, so either students could upload a picture of the meme that they’re interested in, or that they’re talking about, or they could link you out to it if they found, you know, a link on it. So there’s two different ways for you to access it. But you know, what I’m thinking now, Ixchell, is that once you have that, you can also then pull that meme and create and use that as a blank meme for some activity later on in class. Right? So you’re collecting information from the students, right? Here’s something that I like, here is a, you know, there’s a joke structure inside of this meme, right? So for example, one of the common ones, is the Drake doing the no, like, no, no. And then the Yes, yes, thing, right. So it’s like the thing that we don’t like the thing that we do like that kind of variations on those. But if the students are posting that, then you’re like, Okay, well, I know that I can use that as a, an activity in the future or an opportunity for those students to, to connect ideas that we’re going to be talking about to, you know, the next the next part of this lesson, or whatever else it is so, so I like that idea of keeping that as a, you know, a repository of resources that you can then kind of cycle back to the students. And again, that report is like, Hey, I’ve been paying attention, right? I’ve been watching what you’re doing. I’ve been watching what you’re talking about, I know what you like, and therefore let’s keep talking about those. And let’s keep moving it right. I think that all ties together.

Ixchell Reyes
And, and by the way, for those of you who were wondering what that Japanese drink was, it’s double W. Double. So go look, look, go look it up and go find out why it’s called Double W.

Brent Warner
I was gonna say like, they’re gonna, like everybody’s gonna be listening. Why don’t you say the name of

Ixchell Reyes
that you can listen to the end of the segment? Yeah,

Brent Warner
double W All right. Not Pocari Sweat, which has its own going with it. Although I have to say Pocari Sweat or Calpis? Calpis? Yeah. Well, once I got over those names, they are great drinks. So. Okay. So next one up, is kind of similar to the Wikipedia one, which is who should I follow on Instagram or Tiktok? Right. So we were talking about this pre show, and Ixchell, you know, I’m kind of, like, I’m pulling away from a lot of social media right now. Or at least on my phone, but but at the same time, you know, we are going to see students who are highly engaged. And we do see students who are very highly engaged on social media. And so I really like the idea of them, like, Hey, this is my favorite person on whatever it is right. And here is a link to their tiktoks. Or here’s a link to their Instagram feed. And so then you can even just spend 30 seconds just going in and getting a little sense of who that person is. Because again, it’s the same same kind of connection. It’s like, hey, whatever this person is doing, I can associate or I can connect to that. And therefore sharing that out to the teacher gives the teacher the same opportunity to say, Okay, I see what I see what you value, I see what matters to you, and being able to link it there.

Ixchell Reyes
You know, what’s really cool, Brent is I taught a class a while a long time ago, it’s been a while a long time ago was pre us. Yeah, it was English through humor, and memes. Or we didn’t even have meme set the time we had like, funny clips on viral buying, like viral videos. And so I said, All right, let’s talk let’s break, I want you to do the same exact thing I want you to think about, we talked about what meme what, what viral videos were we watched a TED talk on viral videos, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And one of the students from Saudi Arabia shared and never say no to Panda. Are you familiar with that video clip?

Brent Warner
Is that the one where the panda comes up and smashes a keyboard on the grocery store up? Yes, yes.

Ixchell Reyes
And so it’s never say no to Panda, and that’s old now. But it’s well known and those regions that speak Arabic, and every once in a while now in class, it’s been like, I feel like it’s probably been like eight to 10 years since that, that happened. I’ll bring up a meme to the witness in my slides to the to the students and most of my students are now Arabic speakers. So they’ll say how did you know? There’s so like, shocked that number one, it’s old and that I know what it is, but again, now it forced me into their into their in group which again, are poor, builds a connection right and you and so, I think this is great, because then you can take what’s Students have shared with you for years later, now you’re playing those and students are like, wait a minute, how did you even know about that

Brent Warner
big time? That’s for that’s a very real thing, especially when it’s like older cultural things. But yeah, like, okay, hold on a second, because you shouldn’t know about that. Like, you could do a research on what’s popular right now, maybe, but like, most people wouldn’t have any sense about something five years old. 10 years old, right. And I see that all the time. Like, when I make jokes about, you know, it’s more than 10. But like, if I make like a Seinfeld joke, like you’re talking about Yeah, so. So that’s, that’s great. I love that because you can keep that in your head. Right. Very cool.

Ixchell Reyes
All right. So another thing that you could be asking students to share is the most underrated website, maybe there is a site that you go to on a regular basis, or some tool that helps you be more productive. But what is it? What’s a little known thing that you wish others knew about that you’d want to share? And I’ve done that with my students, too. I’ve said, like, I want you to think of something that’s super cool to you that probably you don’t think people know. Let’s, let’s share that. And every once in a while, it’ll be something that they realize, Oh, such a such person in the class does know about it. And you didn’t know you thought it was a secret. But again, that creates a connection. Yeah.

Brent Warner
I always laugh. I had a friend that always was like, he’s like, I’m like, Oh, I’ll go look this up on IMDb. And he’s like, you know about I am? Like, yeah, it’s like the second biggest website on the internet.

Ixchell Reyes
It’s like, it’s like when students come up to me, as a teacher, I have this great tool. What is it? What is you’d like technology? It’s Duolingo. Thank you for sharing, I did not know about Duolingo. But for them, their reality is it’s a new tool in their, you know, in their country. It may not they may not have ever known about it. So they came here. So. But it’s cool to

Brent Warner
see that. And I’ve had that too, with students where it’s like, once I start opening their eyes to like what technology does, then they start searching for things, right? And so yeah, it’s totally popular, like well known Duolingo, or whatever else it is, but to them, it is new, right? Because they’ve never considered, you’re still going to have students especially for me, adult students, right? They’re like, Oh, I’d never considered using this as a tool to help me grow my language, right? I only like when I’ve only done this in this right. I’ve only done social media. I’ve only done text messaging or timing. Right. So Right. So yeah, absolutely. And then kind of tying to that, too, with the apps is favorite app that isn’t social media, right. And so I think that one can be a fun one. And maybe sometimes students don’t know what they’re like, what they’re actually spending time on. And so sometimes they’ll say, hey, go into the settings and see where your see where you’re, you’re actually spending your time, like, what apps are you spending your time on? Okay, let’s skip the social media ones. What’s the one that’s not a social media, one that you’re actually spending the most time on? And they can sometimes be pretty surprised by it, right? They’re like, Oh, I didn’t know that I was spending this much time on my bank app. whatever else it might be. Yeah. And so then they can give you some insight into like, what might be interesting, or what might be useful? Or sometimes they totally do? No. And they’re like, oh, yeah, I use this other one all the time. It helps me with XYZ, right. So I really liked this idea of like different things that the students can share with you that are just links, right? It’s just links, links, links, links, links. And they can just share out these things quickly to you. And so you can get access. But also, I wanted you Ixchell for us to jump over to talk a little bit more about different ways that we can use forms, because it’s not just about sharing a link or writing things. There’s other opportunities as well.

Ixchell Reyes
Right. And it’s I think it’s important to remind yourself that you’re doing with with the things you’re collecting, you’re doing something with them after and one of my favorites, which I think I think is just a favorite in general, especially with low with the low tech version of it is when you ask the student to bring a photo of someone that’s important to them, or something interesting, or a magazine picture that they took, but but now you can have students upload those pictures. And so a popular one, of course, would be uploaded a picture of a pet and in the case that the student doesn’t have a pet or the pet is might a dog or a cat is not what’s commonly kept as a pet, maybe upload a picture of a pet you wish you had. I’ve had this conversation has happened where students love cats, but they can’t have cats because they’re allergic. So but they wish they had a main Khun and then they start talking about why they wish they had that cat, which gives you an opportunity to talk to speak, a picture of their hometown a place in their hometown, I think A lot of my students in Saudi Arabia will, when I asked them to share a video usually say a lot of people think that it’s just a desert, that it never snows. But I actually live in the part of Saudi Arabia to book where it’s nose and it’s cold. And so, again, that’s also educating for the instructor because yes, we do have preconceived notions, we have biases. And we also sometimes don’t have time to, we haven’t been to that part of the world. But it’s important to have that it could be picture stuff family, recently cooked dishes, I know, Brent, that you’ve done activities, and we shared about what what you could actually have students explain the recipe, and then you try the recipe, and then you share what your version of their recipe looked like or tasted like. And again, those are just ways to collect other information, uploading photos, then you have those photos. And then now, you know, oh, this photo comes from to book an area in Saudi Arabia, and the next time you have students from Saudi Arabia or don’t, you can include that in there and use that as a bank for other activities that you that you create.

Brent Warner
And that’s the key part that I want to get to it. So not forget that like, same thing. It’s like, okay, now I’ve got 30 students, and I’ve got 30 photos of different pets, right? Well, those can be like backgrounds to slide decks that I make, right? Or those could be pictures for prompts, like writing prompts, or discussion activities are different things like that, right? And a student might not think about that at the beginning. But then they’re like, oh, wait a second, I shared this. And now like, now we’re doing class activities around my own thing, right. And so I think there’s a lot of really cool. And again, it’s like that whole linking back, like, who am I am I being valued in this class, am I being recognized? showing those pictures, bringing them back into future activities, whatever else that might be there, there can be just so much cool stuff you can do there.

Ixchell Reyes
So, Brent, before we move on to the next point, I think I want to share that when you when students feel connected, that creates a point of reference in their memory, where they’re going to refer to it and then link up everything they learned. And we had at USC, there’s this article that my students had to read, and it was on the potato, and help the potato has come to be a staple in our in our meals, and also what that means etcetera. But the article itself was so difficult. And because I used to give a survey at the beginning of the class, I would make sure that anytime we did an activity of on the potato experiment, or the potato research, which was every time we talked about it, I could see the students, I go, here we go again, but I would put, but I would put a little picture somewhere on the worksheet or on the slide that we were talking about, of something related to the students interests. So I had twins that loves basketball. And so I put a little potato playing basketball. And sure enough, the students who like basketball just giggled, but again, that creates a reference point. And every once in a while, I’ll get a student from who’s already graduated, maybe finished her PhD. And they’re back. And then they’ll say like, oh, Ms. Ixchell, I remember you the potato queen, or are all leaving. But again, the fact that they remember that, they remember that they internalize something about that. They’ll never forget that darn article.

Brent Warner
Yeah, making those connections. And even if it doesn’t feel like you can, even if it’s kind of irrelevant. Like it’s just kind of for fun. But I liked that idea. Right.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah. And so that’s visual, visual. You’re creating a visual, but there’s other ways of words that aren’t visual, and you’re gonna share something with us.

Brent Warner
Yeah, yeah. So we, you know, students can upload photos. And then there’s like all these audio options now too, which is so cool. So I’ve talked about moat a few times. And I use mode a lot for voice feedback for articles that were rewriting near like, sorry, students are writing an article or writing a document, and then I’ll go and leave a moat voice feedback for them. But what you can do also with Mote that’s pretty cool, is you can bring it right into to Google Forms. And so you can actually record a piece of audio on Mote and then you can have that be your prompt for a question. So all you have to do is once you have mo installed, you can actually just click on the mute button and just say, hey, I want this to be my audio or to be the recording. And if students have Mote installed on their Chrome browser, then when they go and look at the form, they can click on a button and they can actually listen to you and then they can hear the spoken prompt, and then they can respond to that right and so you could of course test your students to see if they’re hearing different and says between things like minimal pairs, right? That’d be a simple obvious one. Or you could kind of give them some complicated phrases that might be misunderstood and kind of say like, Okay, how would you answer this? And so then they could go and try and try and listen. One thing is a little hint for everybody is that Mote does have the transcribe option. And so like it’ll, it’ll AI the transcript of whatever you say. And so but what you can go back in is you can go edit the, the transcription, and you can just say, I just typed it in. So as a sample, Ixchell, pre-show we did this. And I said, Whatever I said, and then I could just go delete the transcription that they put in. And I could just say, listen to the audio or click, click the play button to listen to the audio. So it doesn’t sneakily give away the words of what you’re saying. So you can actually challenge the students to listen to it directly. He

Ixchell Reyes
just gave me an idea for something that’s become a problem here and there and an activity that that I do where I’m asking a question that says it’s a it’s a question where students have to rephrase and the question, one of the key questions says, pets, pets, make people live a happier life. And quite a few students hear it as bets, etc. And one student responded with gambling is not allowed. So I realized, wait a minute, because he never mentioned gambling till the end, he kept saying bets bets bets. Of course, he was from an Arabic speaking country. So I, I didn’t actually understand until the end, when he said something about gambling and using modes would actually help me to see what they’re hearing. And then also help them to see like, can you go back and listen to see where I said, pets?

Brent Warner
Yeah, for sure. So So those types of things could come up all the time. And you might not have noticed it if it was written out. But when you see when you hear when you when you’re listening to it, you’re like, oh, wait a second, now I kind of see what’s going on. The second part to that is that if students have it installed on their on their browser, then they can go in and leave voice messages as responses to your forms as well. And so the way that that works is they’re going to click on the little Mote button in there, and they’ll be able to record and I think one of the students account, they can get like 30 seconds for free or something like that. So it’d be fairly short responses. But, but again, they could click and they could record and then it’s going to put a link to that in your spreadsheet. And so you can just go right down the line. So the Google forums, I’ll turn it into, and the answers all get put into a spreadsheet. And you can just go down the line, you can hover over and click on it. And you don’t have to leave the spreadsheet to listen to each student’s answer, right. And so that can be you know, again, like, all this effort we put into, like trying to be like, Hey, let’s record, let’s get audio, let’s get this thing in this thing. And it’s like, can be really complicated, where this might be just a really simple way to collect people’s voice and hear what they have to say with things as well. So So I do want to kind of encourage people to look at Mote. I guess I should point out, I’m an ambassador, I think, but I don’t I don’t remember this closure. Full disclosure, I’m still paying for my account, so don’t worry. But it is, it’s a really powerful tool. And I really love the power of voice with that. And so, you know, traditionally we think of forms were like, Okay, it’s going to be written word all the time. But now we’re looking at all these different ways that we can use forms, we’ve got visual options, we’ve got writing options, we’ve got, you know, audio options, all sorts of cool things. So I really love how you can kind of play around with the choices here.

Ixchell Reyes
So one of the things I talked about earlier was customizing worksheets to have either items that your students provided from something you’ve collected, or simply customizing prompts to include areas of interest for the students. low tech version is you’re creating them as you’re going along. Students do notice. And of course, the low tech version is a questionnaire, simply the questionnaire, it could be a little bit higher tech, which is you’re doing it on forms, but Brant you’ve got a faster, more efficient way for the teachers that don’t have 10 students in the class like I happen to have that’s the most 1010 or 11 supermax, but many of us don’t have that luxury. Yeah. 3040 50 recently, and that workshop, I did,

Brent Warner
yeah, for sure. So if you can collect that information easily from them. That’s great. Well, Ixchell, before we jump into the kind of the tech solution to, to customizing prompts, I do want to kind of share because because one of the things that I always do I share this ideas when you’re collecting I also collect students favorite songs. Oh, yes. And we skipped that part. Right. So I want to I want to talk about that find one Yeah, because you also did this on On Yes. Right. And it worked out for you. So what happened for you when he did that?

Ixchell Reyes
So students will sometimes share it? Well, first, they’ll be hesitant if they’re sharing someone that I don’t know. Or they think I don’t know, because it’s someone from their own in their own language or their own culture. And I said, doesn’t matter doesn’t have or they don’t know anything about American singers are English singers. And so I say no, from your country, that’s fine. Just write it out. Give me the title, no problem. And what I did is I ended up sometimes they think, I don’t know, but I’ve heard of them. Because other students have mentioned though. But I just created a playlist, just a YouTube playlist. And then every once in a while, when we either we’re playing music in the background, and students will perk up and say, I love this song. That’s my favorite song, like jam. I know, I know, how did you know, I just know everything I could just have this feeling. And then the student, you know, later realizes, because it was really bothering him, like, How did she know? The song was not in English? So how did she know? Well, then he realized, Oh, I know you got it from that, that that questionnaire that survey? Like, yeah, I was paying attention. Those things are those things I give you to fill out. They all have everything has a purpose in my classroom. Everything has a purpose.

Brent Warner
Yeah, I love that. And I same thing, you can do it with a quick link in a YouTube video to the forums. And so I just have to click once, click twice and say add to playlist, and then I’m, and I’ve got my list real quickly over the course of the semester,

Ixchell Reyes
the high tech version means you don’t you’re literally not wasting any time searching for something because then you could find the wrong thing, right? If you collect that you could find that same I mean, how many songs called sakuta? Are there? Probably a lot. So So again, if the students giving you the link, all you’re doing is adding to a playlist and then you can recycle that playlist, because chances are, those songs are still popular or well known with another group of students. So then you’re just building building building.

Brent Warner
Yeah, yeah. So I love that it’s a really quick, easy way to go. And then the last one, when you’re really talking about this customization, and this, this is getting pretty nerdy, but there might be a few people out here who are like, Oh, that’s actually something kind of cool, which is that once you’ve collected or you’ve got all your students names in a spreadsheet, right? You’ve got all of their answers, Hey, what are your hobbies? Whatever your things are, you can actually use autocrat. So autoCrat is an extension in sheets. And what you can do with that is you can export that data out to a to a Google Doc as a mail merge. And so what that means is like a mail merge is kind of a techie thing that you can do when you have a spreadsheet. And so for example, like when you get an email, Ixchell that says, Hi, Ixchell, how are you doing today? Right? If they never wrote your name out there, right? They’re just pulling your name from the database. Well, sorry, your students date, of course, but But you know, like, when Converse writes to you, there’s no person out there writing to writing to you directly, right. So what they’re doing is they’re plugging in first name, right? So they go, Okay, you show us your first name, we’re gonna plug that in here after the word Hi. Okay. So as a teacher, we can actually do this, we can create an entire, you know, worksheet of different activities wherever they are. And anytime you have a student’s name or a person’s name, you can actually just say, okay, student name, right. And so you can have that be a little snippet of tiny code, it just goes right in there. And then when you run this program called autocrat, you can actually just click it and it can pull different students names, and plug them all into the worksheets or the activities that you’ve already built. And so so then it can be totally customized to your current class, right? Also, if you’re saying, hey, it’s going to be sports, right? And so if you’ve got that sports column of like, Hey, what’s your favorite sport? If that’s one of the students or the questions you ask your students? Well, now you can say, okay, it’s gonna plug in, it’s going to talk about basketball every time or Oh, it’s going to talk about soccer, right or, or it’s gonna pull from different varieties of these every time that you do it. So I know that sounds a little bit complicated. But if you’re really trying to get this customized, one autocrats a great thing to learn because you can do things like make certificates and kind of customize. It’s really efficient. Yeah, it really nice,

Ixchell Reyes
especially if you’ve got a large class of students and not just one class, but three classes a week, and you’ve now topped what, 120 students or more I think this this is a great way to still personalize and and, and not spend and or not give up personalization for the sake of saving time.

Brent Warner
Yeah. And I’ve seen both ways. I’ve seen some some teachers that are just going in there. Like I’m just changing all the names of all these things for my students this semester. And I’ve done that in the past and it’s like, do I really want to do that and then I give up right? And it’s like, okay, let’s just go with You know, John and Sarah as you know, whatever names they are in, so it’s like so I like this idea that it’s going to link back in and you know that little bit of time upfront, but then saves a bunch of time on the end and get has the benefits of all these, you know, these points of connection that we’ve been talking about here. So that’s a lot to share. Everybody, good luck. But again, you know, like it again, it’s really just playing with it right? Getting started with it, you can play with one or two things and see how it works. And then you can kind of keep adding this over the semesters as you keep going forward.

Ixchell Reyes
All right. It is time for our fun finds. And I feel like maybe I shared this before, but again, I’m refining it. It is April Daro, and that is my hair salon. I’m very picky when it comes to hair. And recently I chopped it all off. Oh, yeah. Yeah. And I went with a short bob, like a very short haircut, which is dangerous

Brent Warner
for Bob.

Ixchell Reyes
But but my hairstyle is so well. She’s just experienced and cutting hair and, and she knows my hair. But the reason why I like what I’m promoting her salon really is. She does everything organic. She wants to make sure that the products she’s using are not going to harm the environment. They’re going, they’re not going to stay there long. They’re not going to harm your skin. And so she takes great care to be a mentor to other to up and coming hairstylist. So if you’re in the San Antonio area, it will Daro she also does a lot of charity work giving back to the community. So if you’re not in the San Antonio area, and you want to support this kind of place, you can do that she’s doing fundraisers all the time for cancer for for kids, she does free haircuts for back to school, she collects lots of things to give to them in their backpacks. There are ways and if there’s a place in your community that is doing something like this, such as a hair salon, support them, but people don’t know. Why do you got Brent? What funky, quirky, strange thing do you have?

Brent Warner
Yeah, so mine is is a Netflix show. It’s called God’s favorite idiot. It’s the new Melissa McCarthy show. And, you know, I mean, it’s just a sitcom. But it’s really fun and lovely. I’m a little sad at the title because the main character, I guess it’s God’s favorite idiot, but like, the main character is so pure and and like so like, I really enjoyed the character where it’s like, he, so it’s the story is, I had no idea what I was getting into going in. And of course, Netflix posters are terrible and don’t give you any, you know, good sense. They’re the worst. But I was just like, Okay, I’ll I guess I’ll just check this out. It’s kind of showing up with random choice. And then I’m like, Oh, this is a Melissa McCarthy show. Like I like, you know, I love her jokes and all this stuff that she comes up with, but But anyways, so the main character is I think it’s actually Melissa McCarthy’s husband in real life. His name is Ben Falcone. But his character kind of gets chosen by God to spread the word of God. And at the same time, there’s, you know, Satan’s coming around and trying to destroy everything, but but the character are just so kind of pure. And it’s like really focused in on these relationships that these individual characters are trying to build with each other as they’re going through kind of potentially the end of the world. But nobody recognizes that is the end of the world except for them. And so his character, though, it has really drew me in because he is pure, because he doesn’t really take offense to things. He’s just kind of like, oh, that’s what you’re saying. All right, well, let’s just keep moving forward and like, and I think we’re in such this polarized world right now that it’s like seeing someone who’s not trying to be polarizing, even though his character, ultimately in certain ways, of course, there’s people who are opposed to him because he’s saying he’s spreading the word of God. But it’s also like his real attitude towards it is very much like oh, I guess this is just kind of what I have to do. And this is the thing going on right and so excellent character development, a lot of fun kind of silly jokes and not not too serious. I mean, it’s a it’s a really well done show. I was I was very impressed and surprised at how much I ended up liking it and especially because I just kind of stumbled across it but it is called God’s favorite idiot and it is available on Netflix.

Ixchell Reyes
Great. I needed something for my Netflix list because I’ve eerie things keep popping up. A true crime stuff and right now I kind of want to stay away from it.

Brent Warner
Take a breather from that have a little bit more fun. I think you’ll like it. All right.

Ixchell Reyes
Thank you for supporting the show by listening. And if you’d like you can become a patron on Patreon. You can also share the show with a colleague sharing is caring, you can leave us a shout out or a review on Apple

Brent Warner
podcasts

Ixchell Reyes
you can leave us a shout out with a review on Apple podcast. Or if you’re giving us a shout out any other way tag us on social media we are on all the platforms. brands will not be on all the platforms I

Brent Warner
will not be but that’s okay. All right. So For show notes, of course you can find that on detail.org/ 69 and you can listen to us at voice Ed Canada that’s vo ice d.ca I still do have Twitter and I still have all these things. I’m just not on my phone. So that’s it. So Twitter the show is at DIESOLpod and I am at @BrentGWarner.

Ixchell Reyes
I’m Ixchell at IXY underscore Pixy, that’s I X y underscore pi x y

Brent Warner
in Hindi. Thank you is dhanyavaad so dhanyavaad for tuning in to the DIESOL podcast. Thanks, everybody. Take care.

Ixchell Reyes
See you next time.

Building rapport at the beginning of a term is something we revisit with the start of each school year, semester, quarter, or class. What else can we do besides the traditional self-introduction or interest survey to get to know our students? How can we use Google Forms to efficiently gather information for large classes? In this episode, Brent and Ixchell share some ideas to try out with your next new class.

Articles

Tools

Fun Finds 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: