Episode Transcript
Ixchell Reyes 0:01
The DIESOL podcast

Brent Warner 0:02
Developing Innovation in English as a Second or Other Language

Ixchell Reyes 0:06
Episode 86: interview with Katie McNamara

Brent Warner 0:23
Welcome to DIESOL This is episode 86 – We are your hosts. I’m Brent Warner,

Ixchell Reyes 0:28
and I’m Ixchell Reyes.

Brent Warner 0:30
Welcome back. We’re you’re back when we did our last recording were you? No, you weren’t

Ixchell Reyes 0:36
Was that… no, I was back, but I wasn’t back back like my mind. We just recorded – How can you forget?

Brent Warner 0:43
I have no idea.

Brent Warner 0:44
The summer Slide.

Brent Warner 0:45
Oh, that’s right. That’s right. That’s right. We did.

Ixchell Reyes 0:49
Already. Wow. No,

Brent Warner 0:50
no, it’s been a cheerleading. It’s been a rough couple. I’m leaving soon. I’m leaving in like a month. So you’re back. I’m packing and prepping to go to Japan.

Ixchell Reyes 1:00
So where’s all your stuff going? Storage?

Brent Warner 1:05
It’s a great question. don’t

Ixchell Reyes 1:05
own anything here a minimalist, minimalist. I’m gonna come back to California.

Brent Warner 1:10
Here you would see by far a maximum order. But, but yeah, the we’re kind of storing in a couple of different places. And so we’ve got a little storage area up in the hills and a few other things. So it’s gonna be it’s, it’s hard, but but my

Ixchell Reyes 1:30
it’ll be worth it. Yeah,

Brent Warner 1:31
it’ll be worth it. We’re making it work. So there we go. We are getting going. It is summertime. You don’t Okay. Is it hot over there in Texas. Are you gonna do?

Ixchell Reyes 1:40
Holy moly. No, it’s been no, it has been over 104 every day. It’s humid bugs are everywhere. Yeah. So I haven’t even been outside today. I had to work from home today. So it was nice. And I hear you guys are getting like chilly June bloom type weather. My sister was wearing a light jacket. And I was like, What the heck? Yeah. Like

Brent Warner 2:03
I’ve been wearing, like light sweat shirts and things like that. So, you know, we keep complaining that the summer is not hitting us here. I mean, it’s okay.

Ixchell Reyes 2:10
It’s okay. When it hits you. It’s gonna be there till December. So.

Brent Warner 2:15
Yeah. Okay, well, so today Ixchell we’re bringing on Katie McNamara. We talked about bringing her on. I talked to you a long time ago about it. And then every time Katie speaks, it’s like, I just want to shut up and listen. And so So and then we were in a conference together the other day or a couple weeks ago and Katie’s like, well, let’s talk and let’s chat. I’m like, okay, like we can actually make it work and so. So, here we are. We’ve got Katie McNamara. She serves as a teacher librarian at a public high school in California, director of the teacher librarian program at San Francisco, San Francisco, Fresno, sorry, Fresno Pacific University and verse edu boards. She’s a Google certified innovator and AASL tech troubadour. She served as president of the California School Library Association from 2020 and 2021. And Katie has authored contributing chapters and published many journal articles won numerous awards for being innovative and sharing content and she enjoys learning empowering teachers to inspire student learning, and frequently sharing her expertise as a national and global presenter. She is also a proud boy mom. You can connect with her on Twitter at ke J. McNamara and we will have links to that all later on. But let’s get into talking Katie, how are you?

Katie McNamara 3:33
Great. A little jealous because Central California is its own weather system and there’s definitely no sweatshirts of any oh wait going on here right now. We’re not at the hundreds yet. So I like grateful for that. But yeah,

Brent Warner 3:46
yeah, this is like a you know, I have this like idyllic life in like coastal Southern California. I just almost never think about weather and then like the tiniest little bit, and we’re like, oh, what are we going to do about it here but the the truth is like you drive anywhere else. And then you have to deal with the reality. I was out in Joshua Tree a couple days ago. And it was it was warmer than it was here. But but we are glad to have you here with us today.

Katie McNamara 4:15
So glad being here.

Brent Warner 4:17
Yeah. Well, thank you so much. So Katie, we wanted to talk we have a lot of different things we could talk about here. But we kind of started off with the idea of talking. Well, I guess let’s let’s start with the actually, let’s start with the the elephant in the room, which is the term elf, because you’re like, I want to talk about that term. And so I said, Alright, let’s talk about it. Do it. We mentioned it sometimes. You know, it’s it’s a problematic term and every every term that we have for it tends to be problematic in some ways, but I am interested to hear what you what your take is on it and, and what your suggestion is for our terminology, field. Oh,

Katie McNamara 4:56
okay. So I just feel like it’s punitive. And if we look at our schools stem, it is punitive because you basically have sad there was one language that oh my goodness, you have to be amazing at their minds that like, I don’t know if you’ve experienced this, but I’ve been teaching since you know, the 1900s, just not like from the 1920s. And I’ve had white kids that are very good English as their second two English classes, they’re losing their electives like crazy. And then we have some 80s, wicked smart people that have emigrated. However, it doesn’t matter how they got here, they’re here. They can, they’re still like, we could score, they just don’t have English fine tuned. And so we’re telling them by this label, so labeling already wrong. But then the label is also a punitive. And also a hierarchy all when saying they’re not good enough. Like we always, we want them to get all happy. And these classes and things like, yes, I want to do the sport for you. You’ve already told me I’m less than that dynamic just doesn’t really work.

Brent Warner 5:49
Yeah. So this is something we we talk about, sometimes it’s very tricky when you’re in the field, because you’re also like, you’re trying to do this work to help the students out, right? And you’re saying, hey, we want to make sure that you’re, you are caught up and that you are able to do all of these things and like, and then there are these conversations to like what you’re talking about here. And so I still haven’t found a good solution. I’m not sure if you have an approach to fixing that or dealing with it that you’ve thought about.

Katie McNamara 6:18
Well, I think let’s celebrate by literacy. And that would be amazing right there. Whatever your background is, like, everyone should be bilingual. There’s countries. But that’s basics of what they do from the beginning. And it’s not this one end all be all. So if we embrace that, and even when I’m mostly at high school with my students I’m dealing with during the day, so if I find anyone that knows who the language is, oh, my gosh, Here, read this book. And sometimes it’s sad. I think I’m insulting them like that. They can’t read the English like, like, oh, no, no, no, honey, not at all. I don’t want you to lose the skill. If you are fluent in another language, the world is yours, like, seriously, and I make sure to get cool books to not like just old stuff in a different language. So going back to celebrating it, why don’t we celebrate the third, emerging dual language students? Like that’s kind of cool. The emphasis on dual language is not languages not that they’re having to replace one with another to be successful.

Brent Warner 7:18
Yeah, the emerging bilinguals is a or multiple. I don’t know if I’ve heard anyone say emerging multilinguals Have you Ixchell?

Ixchell Reyes 7:26
No. But you know, what’s interesting is, again, I just came back from Taiwan and my students, my students, there were learning English was their third language, they were learning at the same time, they’re learning English, they’re also learning Spanish. And, and it was interesting, because they would switch back and forth. And I just thought, Whoa, what a what a change. And the books they’re reading are in Spanish, and the songs are listening to her in Spanish. And so I just thought it was rather interesting that they have that concept.

Brent Warner 7:56
And Ixchell –

Ixchell Reyes 7:57
No go ahead.

Brent Warner 7:58
Oh, yeah, I don’t want to, you know, call you out on this, but you’ve talked about it enough that I think you’re comfortable with it with. So in your own experience as a, as an El emerging buyer, you’re well, you’re not emerging by any by any means. But your own experience coming into the country and, and learning to speak and all that when you were going through that system and going through that process. You know, I know we’re talking

Ixchell Reyes 8:25
about don’t walk, don’t walk around it just No, I’m

Brent Warner 8:29
not. I’m just not trying to I’m just saying like, in the 90s, or whatever it was for, you know, when you were dealing with I think those conversations didn’t exist as much, maybe. But I’m wondering if you felt that as as you know, as a language learner. Ell for yourself, too.

Ixchell Reyes 8:44
Yes. And I felt and I when when Katie says that it’s like a less than or hierarchical system? Absolutely. Because I knew right away that I was in the other group, the group that got the English poll, I was the pull out system that they had at the time. And I knew that I was going to be missing history. And I was missing one more science. So guess where my grades failed? History and Science. And so once once I had a handle on the language, and then move on to high school, and I could do things I just wasn’t interested in history or science as much because I was always just used to not knowing what other kids knew. And I just remember feeling like, oh, maybe I’m just not good at this. But I wasn’t because later I realized in college, that I could do exactly the same thing. So I actually never thought about how others might feel. But that’s the first this is the first time I’m thinking of where my students may feel that because I certainly felt it. And I just, you know, I was always secretly angry that I didn’t do well in history because of that. And it wasn’t until my later years when I realized no, I actually like history and I actually like this but I just didn’t get that piece. And it was because of my English that program

Brent Warner 10:01
kind of breaks my heart.

Ixchell Reyes 10:03
Yeah, I’m saying that right. And I’m thinking that right now I’m like, oh, it’s Yeah.

Brent Warner 10:10
Well, this ties in Katie, I think. And so you said one of the things that you’d like to talk about is this idea of this talent gap and belief gap. And so can you share a little bit about what that means? And I think I’m guessing it kind of links into this exact conversation.

Katie McNamara 10:25
Well, one does, hopefully the other one doesn’t so much. So talent gap is what we’re experiencing. I’m pretty sure it’s nationwide, just the influx of new teachers that have had no teaching experience, like not even substitute teaching in California, not not that I agree with it, or don’t, you know, they get their bachelor’s, they still had no exposure to teaching other states, you can get a degree to be a teacher as your Bachelor’s but it’s not that way in California. And yeah, in California, we have people with a bachelor’s now teaching and in some of the schools I’m looking at, half of the teachers are at that level. And that’s that’s kind of scary, because we look at even a campus if you can’t even like one to one mentor, teacher, nevermind, that’s a lot to put on someone. And not everyone that can teach well come into our well. You have this talent out there. They don’t know anything. Nevermind just trying to figure out who to go to for copies. There’s like basics of teaching that they just don’t have, and a lot of them do at least her heart is there. So at least that aspect is one but it’s tough in could you imagine a kiddo that’s in secondary school? They’ve got half of their teachers haven’t taught before? Oh,

Brent Warner 11:39
yeah, yeah, we? Well, I mean, that’s we’re seeing that problem coming up all the time. I mean, every every time I go on LinkedIn, it’s like another teacher, friend of mine, you know, or associate or someone is like, looking for jobs outside of teaching. Like,

Ixchell Reyes 11:54
I was about to say that.

Brent Warner 11:56
Yeah. So. Okay, so So how do we deal with that then.

Katie McNamara 12:04
But one way is tapping your school teacher librarian. And sadly, though, not every school has that some states have done a really good job about enforcing that, yes. Just like you have a teacher or your content areas, you have a principal and teacher librarian is not something that is optional. It’s a pillar at your community. And one of the hacks that librarian wears is that on site, mentor, they are responsible for professional development, they are responsible for co teaching for collaboration for curriculum design and development. So that’s an easy way on a campus to go ahead and tap someone that does have expertise, but it’s actually their job to share that expertise and provide in multiple ways, whether it’s modeling a lesson, just having the conversations on the back end, doing observation, knows observational lessons, whether it’s the teacher watching them or the other way around and having that debrief. And then the big bonus there is the teacher librarian is still a teacher. So they’re not responsible for like evaluations or whatnot. There’s no gotcha thing there. It truly is. That’s the court role. Yeah.

Brent Warner 13:11
Yeah, that’s, that’s really valuable. And I mean, especially I guess, as we as we have more and more under experience, or less experienced teachers coming into these into these roles, and filling up so many of the classrooms. What do you when you step up and start talking to these people? What’s the first conversation that you normally have with them?

Katie McNamara 13:34
Well, what I love to do ideally is I go to their classroom, so I’m already taking the time to go to their space. Now while they’re teaching class. After school, lunch, some time, I’m going to their space and just having a casual conversation. And wherever it goes, it goes. If the teacher wants to start with education, fine, but I never insist on that I really make a big deal about getting them comfortable with me and building that relationship. I really care about them, not just how they’re teaching our students, but them as an individual. And I want them to have that comfort with me like okay, how do I get that across? And just, it’s just doing a check in with them like we do with our students do that, check it with a teacher. So hey, how’s everything going in? Everything, they might tell me something that’s going on with their cat, my child has gone out of the classroom could be anywhere and then I can segue into so what are you looking forward to teaching? So I’m also controlling the conversation in a positive light, not just like, hey, what are you dreading doing? Because I don’t want to start that way. You know, I can get there later. But let’s focus on the positives. What are we doing like Okay, so what’s your process says, How are you going to get kids engaged? What are you thinking about doing to get them real excited? How are we going to help each student personalize this and ask these different questions that apply to any lesson in the world but still getting across? The kids need to think they need to be creative they need to produce

Brent Warner 15:01
Yeah, I love that. So I like the idea of starting with pot with this positive mindset or going into it with, if that’s the right term, but like, but what are your goals? What are you trying to get to? Yeah. And then you know, for this audience too, I’m interested to know like what the new teachers think about or what experience they have in and we’ll we’ll use for today we’ll stick with emergent bilinguals, or emergent lead multifocal angles. I do like that. But so what are the what are people coming into classes, especially in California? Because we’ve got such a high percentage of students who fall into this category, right? Or are they trained? Are they prepared to deal with students who are learning language? Or are developing? Or are they coming in with like, Oh, I didn’t I never even thought about that until I stepped into the first day of class. I’m curious about that new cohort of teachers.

Katie McNamara 16:02
So new cohort without teacher training, it would be like No, they didn’t think about it, unless it’s a lived experience for them. I’m not trying to like dismiss any group. But if someone’s the more white someone is, the less likely they have experience with this, whether it’s themselves or their circle. Sure. So they don’t even have those those conversations through proximity with someone like oh, hey, that makes you feel oh, I remember how my friend felt was It was horrible. Some do. And then the, it’s just like, even if you’ve had tons of experience that yucky or your life has been, the more compassion usually half of the students, which is a horrible paradox. But it’s true. Like

Brent Warner 16:44
yeah, absolutely. That. So So we’re so we are seeing then teachers are coming in and maybe not prepared to deal with their own student population. Right. I guess that’s that’s where we’re seeing major problems.

Katie McNamara 16:56
Right. In California, I forgot what year but like they let go of what was the clad there were requirements that you had to

Ixchell Reyes 17:03
be clad? I have a big eye. Well, I guess I had to be cloud.

Katie McNamara 17:07
Yeah, there’s something you have to do now. But then they let go the more stretch requirements and I don’t I don’t know. Wow, resting.

Brent Warner 17:18
That is interesting. Yeah. Because I mean, it seems like it’s such an important thing to like, understand who you’re, who you’re working with every single day, for the rest of your career, and then kind of recognizing that giant majority of those students are on you that you will be unaware of the needs for them can be.

Ixchell Reyes 17:37
And simply taking a district training doesn’t necessarily mean you can do it, because that’s how some of the teachers who had been grandfathered into the whole cloud and big cloud requirement. Yeah,

Katie McNamara 17:50
and that happens a big things like even that, that one day where you went to it just being anti bias, poof, you’re cured.

Ixchell Reyes 18:00
The thing is, it’s interesting, and I’m kind of shocked to hear about it. I’ve been gone from California for five years. And I’ve been gone from teaching K through 12. From cheese since 2008. Yeah, I do

Katie McNamara 18:15
have to throw a caveat though. Because like, I got my credential many, many moons ago. So maybe the requirement is gone, because it’s embedded in the credentialing process for your fingers for that, but then still these that just have their bachelor’s that you don’t haven’t had any of those courses.

Ixchell Reyes 18:31
Yeah, a lot of them what helped me what has helped me or as a brand new teacher in that day, because I work with adults. But what helped me more than my master’s Teasle program, I don’t want to throw shade at my master Cecil program. But it really was my credential because we had all the applications and all the strategies and less of the theory and less of that it was that was it. That was one of the the single factor that I could see made a difference between my some of my colleagues and teaching higher ed, I had so many strategies, because they do work across groups, their language learners. Interesting. So it’s wild.

Katie McNamara 19:09
I love that you you brought that up, because those good strategies are considered use no matter what. So I used to I training for the district, and it was for everyone. And we get low, low, low enrollment, like the county was mad had, so we just repackaged it. And so this week, it’d be like, okay, writing strategies for gate students. And we had a packed house. The next week, it was reading strategies for ELL students packed house, guess what?

Ixchell Reyes 19:40
I say some of the strategies I had for my kindergarteners, they worked so well with adults. Oh, yeah. And I tell my adults and they do not believe me, and I don’t mean to tell them like I’m belittling you or no, it’s just a good strategy. So

Katie McNamara 19:53
yeah, we’re about that picture back with your adults. I really make the points,

Brent Warner 19:57
actually. Okay, so speaking of that, Um, Katie, I know that you do a bunch of work around, like, you know, having visuals and using visuals to help your students out. And we talk about that, you know, semi regularly. But I wouldn’t be really interested in how you’re really how you’re helping teachers or, you know, for your, in your own case in your own students as well. But like how you’re, you’re helping people understand better ways to use more visuals to help out in particular, you know, language learners, but but any students in general, because I think that point is, is something that’s important, which is the things that we talked about, like this show, of course, we focus on emergent bilinguals isn’t the language stuff, but but the truth is, we do sometimes get people that are teaching other things, and they’re like, Oh, you got what you’re talking about actually, just kind of applies right, broadly. And so I’d be interested to know how your, what have you how you’re bringing those, that, that use of visuals into your classes, and to help with the learning process for all students?

Katie McNamara 21:04
That were very visual creatures in any way I can make learning easier for the student. Yay. But especially on the teacher, the ball, the boss, it’s like, Yes, that’s what I want to do forever, because here is a very, very important statement. You ready? Yeah. Okay, okay. School is not a place for young people to watch old people work. So, okay, so sending out care if you’re like, Okay, I have to teach X, instead of going to a textbook instead of going online or asking chat GPT like, hey, what lesson can I do? Think about, okay, how can I visually make that connection? You always can’t, it doesn’t matter what it is, you can teach the four basic reading strategies through visuals at first, you can teach finding evidence through visuals, you can teach propaganda, you can teach a thesis statement through visual you can teach everything through visuals as your foundation.

Brent Warner 22:04
Can you walk us through that a little bit? Like give it give us an example of one of your favorite examples is fine, but just kind of to understand, what would you do? Like what does it mean to say like, Hey, we can we can do this. And there’s a lot of ways to get the thinking started and the process started. But like, I think sometimes people listen, and they’re going, Yeah, okay, but how right?

Katie McNamara 22:25
Okay, so let’s stick with that thinking, because that seems to be what we complain about the most. They they don’t think, and then they can’t ask questions, and then they don’t summarize. Oh, my gosh. Okay. So you might have heard of this. We talked about notice, wonder a lot. Would you notice would you wonder, do that with a picture. And you can do that every day, the entire school year, and kiddos will become masters of generating questions. So that’s your inquiry. It’s a foundation of research. It’s foundation of civil discourse, all kinds of things. And then what they’re noticing, now they’re summarizing, they’re pulling out evidence are getting those key details, all those other things we want them to do. And between generating questions and being summative. Those standards are cross curricular. Oh, if I had students that came into me, and they were masters at inquiry, and summarizing, oh my gosh, like, that would be the dream.

Ixchell Reyes 23:22
You know what’s coming to my mind, Katie. So again, I just came back from a from Taiwan and my students, they’re used to memorizing. So the goal is to get them speaking and to get their self esteem about speaking just higher, and I did pictures. And I know we’ve we’ve heard this lesson in many teaching programs, where you take a picture, the student describes it, somebody else is drawing, and then you compare, right? So I did that with a twist. And what I did was, instead of common pictures, I printed out large, weird, crazy photos. So for example, I had like, I don’t know some kind of fantasy art where there was a bird with the head of a pug standing on someone’s hand. And so then I’d get my say to my students, and these were adults, do you want easy, funny or weird? Whatever they asked doesn’t matter. I gave them a weird picture. And then you’d see their face contort. Because they’re like, What, but then they’d start out with very simple things like bird and it might be just a word and then bird on hand. And then the students would start asking questions. Wait is a bird on the left hand, on the right hand is a bird and then they got even more complex? Like, does the bird take up half of the page? And if they couldn’t say half of the pages say 50% Top 50% And so eventually, we got to creating like questions and collaborating and and then reminding each other no, we asked that already. No. Is it facing us? No way. And so they that whole process I know that they, they had a hard time. But they were able to come up with a picture. And then the surprising part that once once they compared everybody’s photo to the one crazy one, you would get all these really cool images. And we would just post them up because they were actually like, like little art pictures. And they they were funny, they’re very, very funny. And then they would start to see that, for example, I had one where it was a man dancing with a woman, the man was wearing a crocodile mask, the woman was wearing a unicorn mask. So whenever the students said mask, the students immediately thought facemask, like from the pandemic. So all of the pictures were inevitably with a face mask. And when that student who was describing would go now and say like, oh, I should have said, like a costume. And so that whole language they generated themselves, I did not, which is very, it’s just interesting and cool. Yeah, but I didn’t know I was doing all of that, that you were saying civil discourse, and there’s summarizing

Katie McNamara 26:04
down there’s standards, which is amazing. And you’re the descriptions are talking about paying attention, those little details. That’s what makes the difference. So like, whatever research projects you’re doing, no one wants, you know, I’m at high school. So like, 200 of the same, like, No, we’re not retrieving. You’re not retriever. Those are cute puppies. And by the time they’re sophomores, oh my gosh, they stink. They’re not cute anymore. So like, No, I want your individual interpretation on it. So those details, yeah, are totally what, what makes the big impact? You know, what

Brent Warner 26:35
I like about that, too, is with the, the notice and wonder part to that is like, because the notice can also show the teacher without having to do any work. It’s like, okay, where’s your language? What are you hitting? What are you missing? Right? And then the Wonder part, can even give them the opportunity for my students for sure. They would start asking questions like, How do I say this? How do I? How would I know their way? How would I grammatically put this together? You know, like, they start asking questions like that, right? Because then then it becomes about their learning, right? It becomes about the things that they want to be able to express or the things that they want to communicate. And when and especially when they asked a question, how would I say this, then it’s like, you know, that’s, that’s the gold star right there. Because that’s when we start saying, Okay, this is this is something that we can give to you that you that you want, that’s going to be a value for you, not just in the one moment we’re talking about it, but because you care enough to ask, then you’re going to care enough to to pursue it later on as well. So I think there’s a lot of that’s, that’s amazing. I mean, it’s such a simple thing, but such a great way to kind of spread out. And some people think

Katie McNamara 27:39
it’s just that little thing you do in high school. No, no, you can replace the words if you want evidence and analysis. So please don’t do that. Like don’t even say that a word o’clock, but you don’t have to once you say analysis, they shut down. And then with both of those to the other benefit, you wind up finding out what they bring to the table all or their prior knowledge. It’s packed. So well. Yes. Like Ixchell mentioned, like starting with a fan or wild crazy picture. Yes, yes. Yes. Always make your content loads super light when you’re introducing a new strategy, or skill. And then as you build like, maybe it’s more focused on the content you’re trying to get across, or especially like something that’s going on current events, that background knowledge piece, it’s when real quick for the teacher to pay attention to so you know how to build on what next layer you need to bring in if you’re wanting to make a connection between this item and another task that you’re covering in class. Awesome. Yeah. Cool. Very cool.

Brent Warner 28:33
Yeah, there’s so much that I’m not going to be teaching for a year I’m on this, I’m going on sabbatical. And I like, there’s gonna be ideas. Because I always get inspired by ideas that people are bringing up. I’m like, Cool, I’m gonna bring that in class next week. And I’m like, Oh, you’re not teaching? Yeah, there is no next week. So I’ll hold on to it. The episode will still be available in a year from now. So

Katie McNamara 28:55
so I’ll be around. Yeah.

Brent Warner 28:58
I certainly hope so. So, then, Katie, also the one of your big areas too, is media literacy. So when we were talking in my presentation, the other time you jumped in and shared a lot of great points on like, how to, you know, the things that we need to be thinking about with our students for understanding media literacy, I think it’s still a very under under recognized, you know, skill set, or like how to, maybe I shouldn’t throw up. I’m trying to be careful with my languages that don’t say analyze them, like how to analyze a class. So like, you know, how to analyze what the media is what we’re presenting with our students what our what our students are, shouldn’t be expected to understand or learn through the media, through the media that they’re consuming. And so I know that this is its own whole world, right, of course, and they’re you know, there’s so many different parts, but when you start talking to people about this topic, what are the things that you find the that people are under informed on or maybe need to learn how to do better to help their students out with media literacy.

Katie McNamara 30:08
Oh, wow, it’s a lot.

Brent Warner 30:11
No big deal. Everything please.

Katie McNamara 30:14
Okay, let me take a slightly positive spin. So that is, because it’s a lot that is is wrong. And it’s with adults too. Like, I just got a text message. Oh my gosh, so on Venmo if you guys have not used Venmo, it’s how you can pay other people. Like, I’m not saying that it’s illegal for what they did. But you give someone else money, okay, and it gets to their account. All right. But the little messages that you say for like, why that money was given to them, like dinner or whatever? Like, yeah, it lets the person know what’s going on. There’s also settings. Do you know that? Yeah. Okay. So privacy settings. Use those. So I have this screenshot of a wife to her husband. So you shut the bleep up and get it from the wife from another friend that has all these messages popping up because they chose an adults chose not to put their privacy settings on. That’s a layer of media literacy. Oh, yeah.

Ixchell Reyes 31:18
No, you know what’s interesting, I still, even after I’ve been using Venmo for a long time, and I’ve been telling my relatives and my friends, hey, I can see your history, because the last message that pops up is something inappropriate? Or maybe that they would think is, maybe they were saying it to be funny. Yeah. But if you’re a stranger, and you don’t know their sense of humor,

Katie McNamara 31:43
yeah, early 2000s, I would tell my kids to because that’s when they were on Facebook, like, you gotta fix those settings. Like I can find your address and this and that. And they thought it was crazy that I could like, oh, I can get your address anyway. So I didn’t tell him that part. But it was like, no, just because someone asked for this information doesn’t mean you give it to them. Like same thing with your social and your bank account. No, we don’t need to do that. So all of those aspects are another layer to media literacy. So that’s some of the hiccup that media literacy is so raw, and people have packaged it on the shelf and put to the side in isolation, like underneath that also is digital citizenship. And people have made a package that’s just the bow is just be kind online, like No, all of that is false. But you’ve got these teachers that they’ve been hammered with that concept. And so they think they’re good, or like, You’ve even got schools that still do this, a police officer comes in one day in September does a one hour less assembly lesson. And poof, everyone is media literate. Know that doesn’t work either. So my absolute favorite thing with this influx, the language learning models that we’re getting with this extra layer of AI is the importance of media literacy. So everything that people are upset about, really come down to two things. One is a lack of media literacy is like, please, please, please, let’s teach that. And that whole bit about fact checking, like if people had already been learning that everything online isn’t true that yes, you should check your sources. Yes, lateral reading is real. All of those things. So that would be no big deal now. Yeah.

Brent Warner 33:18
But they’re not. Yeah, they’re not there.

Ixchell Reyes 33:22
Yeah. Because my students are now saying, instead of going to Wikipedia, oh, let’s just ask GPT. Instead of Google, let’s just ask Jupiter. It’s like, oh, my gosh, but do you know that everything that’s on there comes from all the written sources? And it’s also not, it’s just another funnel?

Katie McNamara 33:39
Yeah. So then you have people upset its bias. And you’re upset, like, don’t ever give up computer because the whole internet is biased? Anything that comes from human beings has a bias? Yeah,

Brent Warner 33:52
yeah. So that brings up some interesting things that I was dealing with, because I did bring chat GPT and AI stuff into my class. And it was very tricky to kind of have the conference, the different levels of students. So I’ve got students who are, you know, straight first year of college, right, like 18 years old, and maybe not as experienced. And then I’ve got two students who are, you know, in their 40s, and 50s. And they’re trying to, you know, learn for other purposes, and things like that. And so the students who were a little bit older, had a lot more critical thinking around what the, around what the AI was putting out right, and then started thinking about and all these things, and then the students were younger, had a tendency and and it’s not 100% True, and it’s not 100% true on either side. But but the the younger students had a tendency just to go okay, well, this is what’s given to me, this is what’s going to work right. And so, then we’re having this big issue with students. You know, this this is the conversation is like, how do we start sharing with students that they need to have this, this broader perspective and then, you know, in order to analyze or to figure out what’s going on inside of here, You have to be able to critically think about it and say like, Hey, this works or I have some level of expertise in order to say whether or not this thing is true or not. Or at least maybe I have the skill set to go and research it and figure out that stuff. And then, and then my students were kind of saying, Well, then why am I using Chad GPT? Because I have to, then you shouldn’t be using it at all, if you’re not really figuring out how, like, if you’re not understanding that this is still a give and take, it’s not just a take, right. And so that’s part of the conversation.

Katie McNamara 35:32
Those students are also the not fact checking the articles they got on large in the internet. Correct. So now that you’re making this connection, to check back check, check GPT that curated from the articles, but the students hadn’t been checking those articles. So then there’s that spiral conversation that needs to occur.

Brent Warner 35:50
Hmm, yeah. So then it’s about linking that back in for them, because they’ll get this whatever information? You know, sometimes it’s right and great. And sometimes it’s not. But they need to be able to tell to recognize that right for themselves. Yes. Yeah, so. So I felt like this is a, you know, one of the things that my students, and I’m also really interested to hear from you on this one, too, Katie, because one small part of the digital citizenship conversation that I do with my students, I try it, I actually, I never succeed fully. But inside of Canvas, it has the, you know, like, upload your picture type of thing, my school doesn’t automatically upload pictures for the students and so, so I have always kind of gone with the approach. And I may be wrong here. But I’ve always gone with the approach that is, in our class, when we’re working together online, we want to be able to see each other’s faces and kind of interact with each other as citizens together. And so, so please don’t put up a picture of a sunflower or a picture of you from two miles away. And it’s just a tiny little.or, something like that. So, so that when we’re reading what you’re writing, we can kind of see you and REM remember, oh, that’s the person that I talked to in class or whatever else it is. And so to me, that’s always been the approach. But I’m, I’ve also been concerned that it’s like, well, I don’t want to put my picture up online, or I don’t want to do this or that, you know, that side of things as well. So I’m interested in the interaction between people and how, when they’re doing online work, or when they’re doing, you know, this fully digital thing. How what approaches are you are you taking or talking with students about as far as them being, you know, good digital neighbors, and for, I don’t know, the terminology where if you understand what I’m getting at here, but this, you know, putting your face forward digitally in the in the online realm, I guess.

Katie McNamara 37:42
So there’s a few things that are going on there. So when we’re in Canvas, it’s already this protected atmosphere that pictures not going out at large. And then you also allow them to select their own picture. So there’s all these niceties you’ve already extended now, just put your friggin picture up. You know, you don’t have a picture of your cat. That’s what serial killers do. You know, you. Sorry, any of those that have cat pictures? For sure.

Brent Warner 38:12
Oh, no,

Katie McNamara 38:13
it’s cool. I bring them all the time. Because we’re not liars. Serial killers are liars. They don’t cite their sources we do. Okay, so yeah, we need that picture. Because you do want to know who you’re interacting with when you’re like in a Zoom meeting to I’m not going to have my camera on when there’s like 50 plus people and there’s a presentation going that light coming up my eyeballs. Oh my goodness, it’s giving me stressed and irritated me my migraine. It’s irritating my ADHD like I don’t like it I don’t need it, it’s not worth it. So I give myself and I give my students their freedom to go ahead and close it but that it’s like when you are talking or when you’re in a small breakout room if the group the group not one person if the group goes ahead and wants cameras on let’s go ahead and do that but the group could also be just voice and I’m okay with that cheap because it’s interacting like I’m not going to say getting on a telephone call you know these block computer things we carry around with we can like actually voice chat with people that’s still fine. It’s okay to connect that way maybe like I don’t want you seeing into my room right now. You know that’s also a different violation and when we were out on COVID and sorry guys, I got opinions so people that don’t know me yet can opinions speak at a time and you know, everyone has different home setups and expecting or demanding to see their living situation like how dare us Yeah, if we put that on a child’s

Brent Warner 39:42
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I think I can’t remember where I saw this from but the you know, there are I think there was actually a research or a report on this or something like that, but but specifically with language learners to a lot of them are coming in and they’re you know, socio economic Luckily, you know, at a disadvantage, and so they might be sharing a room with three or four other people inside of the room. And then people are like crossing back and forth in the background. And, you know, maybe they’re their brothers walking around with their shirt off, or, you know, whatever else. It is, like all sorts of crazy things that just happened that are fine in your normal inside life. But now the teacher and everybody else is seeing into that as well. Right. And so, so then, then you’re getting students again, you know, as they’re trying to learn language and learn how to speak and they’re unwilling to speak, because they don’t want to be seen in that setting, you know, and it’s like, this is a vicious cycle, you can really, you know, it can just create endless problems, and then Ixchell going back to what you were saying earlier, that might take you years to recognize, oh, actually, this is something that I’m interested in, or this is something that I like doing, and I’ve been stuck with it because of whatever this background setting was that I was, you know, that I was living with, during this online teaching time, or, you know, or these classes that I had to take because of whatever needs that I did online. And what a fascinating, you know, problematic but interesting thing, right?

Katie McNamara 41:09
So one of the classes I visited frequently, this girl that like love to speak in camera on, I fell in fear. And I’m on the other side of 40, which is a fabulous place to be, but like I was feeling so inept, because she was always from her kitchen. I swear her kitchen was half the size of my house like I am sick of thing your kitchen and now like I don’t even care what you’re talking about. Because you just made me feel like I nothing.

Brent Warner 41:33
Yeah, that’s interesting. You can definitely go both ways. And thought about that side of it, too. Like, it makes you think about so many different things here. I think there’s

Ixchell Reyes 41:50
your been hiding your kitchen behind that, that drape you have there? Well, I

Brent Warner 41:54
mean, I can show you like this. It’s just because my it’s right now folded laundry and my, my alarm clock right now. But yeah, but the same, same reason to is like that distraction, I just want to get rid of that. Right. So. So for those listening, which is everybody, when I’m on Zoom, I always have a black curtain behind me that I just hang from the ceiling. And so and that’s just for me to minimize everything. And so that when I’m when I’m talking or when I’m sharing, I’m just you know, I don’t want to have other distractions as well, not to mention that my wife is walking through the

Katie McNamara 42:29
paddling there, I’m in my closet, because I know that’s best sound quality, and I totally adore these people. So I want to make sure it’s good quality. But I would not be in my closet with people I don’t know. And then my background is not blurred either. Because that does stuff to my eyeballs. Like there. Yeah, there’s just a lot of stuff we think about okay, this video camera being full right out us and giving people access, right?

Brent Warner 42:54
Yeah, absolutely. Well, we could keep on going, but I think we actually kind of have to get towards wrapping up. So we’re gonna, I know Katie, we’re gonna have to, we’re gonna have to bring you back on again and get into some deep dives find some of these but, but there’s just so many little interesting things to think about here. So we’re gonna jump over to our fun finds.

Ixchell Reyes 43:19
All right, so it is time for our fun finds. And this time around, I have just a plain old squish toy. It’s those foam, slow rise squishy toys. But I chose one in the shape of a s’more. If you’ve been following me on social media, you saw that I posted on Instagram a picture of a popcorn squish toy. And the popcorn was what I used to get my very, very, very shy Chinese speakers to want to speak more English. And all we would do is I would say, All right, it’s Popcorn Time, we would get in a circle. And I tossed it and as soon as they caught it, they would squeeze it. And then the student who was holding it, yes, they would be the one that were supposed to talk but then suddenly the others would want to talk. So it had the opposite effect. But by the end of the by the end of the time that I was there that I spent there, they would always ask for the for Popcorn Time. So I’m gonna try that strategy here with us more. And it’s going to I’m going to call it s’more time for like – s’more English and I’ll explain to them so it’s just a cheap $8 toy, but it’s squishy. And of course for those students who want to, you know, they can they can get rid of their stress while they’re, you know, speaking it’s pretty good. It’ll get very grimy and I have to toss it out after a few weeks, but (laughter)

Brent Warner 44:37
I like that. Let’s talk s’more Yeah. Awesome. Mine is so I went I’m going high end today.

Ixchell Reyes 44:46
Mhmm, you’re being the Bougie one

Brent Warner 44:47
Yeah, I am the bougie one. So I bought I bought myself a new camera for for going to Japan and so I got a Canon R7 which is a pretty nice you know It’s not the it’s not the total pro, but it’s that kind of that that good mid level camera that kind of covers everything. So it does good photography it does, you can use it for vlogging and video stuff too. And I, the last time I bought a new camera body was probably 15 or 16 years ago. So I was and that was an old digital camera

Ixchell Reyes 45:20
Ooh. So you have a lot to catch up on.

Brent Warner 45:22
Yeah, it’s very, it’s like, you know, I mean, it’s kind of the same, but it’s like, oh my God, there’s so much interesting stuff going on inside of this camera. So I will be taking pictures and taking videos and someone said I should become a so part of the plan in Japan is to possibly if if we can work it out is to get a camper van and travel around Japan and so one of my wife’s friends is like, oh, you should you should start doing some vlogging some video making make a YouTube channel and get it to view and and start becoming famous for traveling around Japan. I’m like, eh…

Ixchell Reyes 45:54
Just be an Instagram blogger and blog your…

Brent Warner 45:58
Anyways, I have a nice camera nice camera to do it. So canon R7 I think it’s a nice well rounded. It’s not cheap, but it’s if you’re looking for for having a good camera that will last for hopefully another 10 years then that’s the one that I went with. So Katie, what is it? What is your? Oh, you got two Yeah, yeah,

Katie McNamara 46:20
I would love to share two. Okay, so had a rough morning, blah, blah, blah. Trying to find something for at a town trip, and I can’t buy anything. It’s okay, though. I found this bracelet though. And it’s so adorable. It’s major blanked out like Fuji ash, I guess because it’s all these fake rhinestones. Yeah. And it’s not basic, because they get out and they gather registers like oh, what’s the event? Like? Breathe. Don’t just snap her head off. It’s a educational moment. There doesn’t have to be an event. There doesn’t have to be anything special. It’s me. I like it. Me. I’m the event. I’m the occasion. Bio. Did you

Brent Warner 46:54
Did you spread your arms wide and you say “here it is!”? (laughter)

Katie McNamara 47:03
Okay, and then my second fight is? Okay. So purple. For those of you that don’t know this fat, purple is the best color in the world. It’s my agree. It’s okay. Yes, yes. I’m okay saying it’s the best because it’s the one color that complements every single skin tone like style. There are Jacaranda trees. Yes. Yes. Are low maintenance. So score plus purple blooms. Yes. Like, yeah, I just got two. So I’m super excited. They are beautiful. Gotta come over for a barbecue in my backyard. Yeah.

Brent Warner 47:39
That is actually a great one. I mean, I’m very into the bracelet. Don’t get me wrong, but the Jacaranda is one of my favorite times in Southern California is my office it they bloomed late this year, I think because normally I see it like during kind of grading and everything. And then this year they they hadn’t bloomed yet during the school semester. So maybe I didn’t have to go back and check but I feel like I always saw them.

Katie McNamara 48:06
Yeah, the weather systems has just kind of shifted this year.

Brent Warner 48:12
But they are change. It’s a great fine. Awesome. So we’ve got we’ve got stuffy s’mores under the Jacaranda trees and taking beautiful pictures of them all together.

Ixchell Reyes 48:25
There you go!

Katie McNamara 48:26
Yeah. Love it.

Brent Warner 48:28
All right, awesome. We’re gonna jump out

Ixchell Reyes 48:35
leave us a review or give us some feedback. We’re on all social medias you can tag us and yeah,

Brent Warner 48:43
and yeah we’re the we’re the best promoters of the show. We’re out there somewhere. We do have a patreon we have we have a couple things going so shownotes for the episode a DIESOL.org/86 the number eight six and of course you can listen to us at voice Ed Canada as well. And again the the Twitter conversation continues but here we are at @DIESOLpod so D-I-E-S-O-Lpod and I am at @BrentGWarner

Ixchell Reyes 49:15
You can follow me while I’m still on Twitter at @Ixy_pixie that’s I x y underscore pi x y

Brent Warner 49:23
and Katie where can people find you?

Katie McNamara 49:27
on Twitter as well and most socials I even just got on blue sky

Brent Warner 49:30
You got on!?

Ixchell Reyes 49:31
I got in!

Brent Warner 49:32
I didn’t get in!

Katie McNamara 49:32
All good – I’ll share it with you. I’m jumping on all of them so I have my handle

Ixchell Reyes 49:38
Yep, yep!

Brent Warner 49:39
Yeah, right but but I haven’t gotten my invite.

Katie McNamara 49:45
okay oh it’s coming. We’ll hook you up. Someone will, yeah, okay. I’m at @KatieJMcNamara MCNAMARA. Okay.

Brent Warner 49:56
All right, whichever social media you’re on search for it there and I Do the same thing Katie I do BrentGWarner pretty much like if I can grab it somewhere.

Ixchell Reyes 50:03

Brent Warner 50:04
I just let it sit.

Katie McNamara 50:05
So the sad thing I’m not on Insta yet because someone has my name. I know so I’ve been like waiting for her to die or something but… (laughter)

Ixchell Reyes 50:13
you could be like the real Katie

Brent Warner 50:17
Wait – you’re waiting? (laughter) I think we’ll leave that conversation to another day

Katie McNamara 50:30
In French thank you is Merci. Merci for tuning in to our DIESOL podcast.

Brent Warner 50:37
Thanks so much, everybody. Have a good one. See you later.

Ixchell Reyes 50:40
Thank you, Katie!

Join in on this open conversation with Katie McNamara about Media Literacy, changes in teacher preparedness for working with ELLs, developing a sense of inclusion, and more.

Katie McNamara serves as a teacher librarian at a public high school in California, director of the Teacher Librarian Program at Fresno Pacific University, and various EDU boards. She is a Google Certified Innovator and AASL Tech Troubadour. She served as president of the California School Library Association (2020-2021). Katie has authored contributing chapters and published many journal articles. She has won numerous awards for being innovative and sharing content. She enjoys learning, empowering teachers to inspire student learning, and frequently sharing her expertise as a national and global presenter. She is also a proud boymom.

Connect with Katie on Twitter @KatieJMcNamara

Fun Finds 

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