Saturday, November 05, 2011

Branka's Site Visit with Mato at Fresno Adult School

Friday, November 4, 2011

 I visited Mato Kuwapi-Parker at Manchester Center. When he had tried explaining to me where this Fresno Adult School location was, I cut him short saying I’d look it up on a map. I thought I’d save him time. What a life lesson that was! It turns out this location is at a shopping mall, with a ‘back entrance’ and on the second floor. So for a good 45-munutes I experienced mixed feeling of being flustered about wasting so much time finding him and being impressed by this clever idea to have a school location where our clients/learners are. I finally settled in at the table surrounded by half-a-dozen members of Mato’s advisory committee for Emergency Medical Technician and other medical courses. Present were administrators, teachers and other staff from Fresno Adult Education, but also local partners from the county and medical institutions. Mato presented Outline and competencies for the course and took comments and recommendations by advisors, particularly about specific skills/knowledge, equipment, labor market and facility information.

 Throughout the conversation interspersed were his examples of how he and his colleagues use technology to enhance teaching and learning – from Facebook to keep in touch with students, to student response systems for formative and summative assessment, to videos created by learners acting out situations that they will be experiencing when doing this job. Here’s the latest video Mato created with his EMT learners, in collaboration with ESL learners, too. 

 After the meeting, I helped Mato put away all the props [which takes time and he has to do after every class] and we headed to the Cesar Chavez center to meet more of his colleagues.

 In conversation with Susan Guzzetta, a TIMAC Cohort 3 participant herself, we went over what Mato’s TIMAC goals will be for the rest of the year. He will support a number of ESL teachers while they embark on using Moodle-based courses in blended environment.

 We had just enough time to get a personal tour of the the GrapeVine Café at the school where the Foodservice Program offers students intensive practical experience in food preparation and production. I am looking forward to going back to Fresno for this year’s CCAE conference, May 1-2, 2012, organized by this dedicated group of professionals.


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