Join us with special guests Nathaniel Lindley and Brian S. Friedlander in a Roundtable style podcast as we look at some of the ways COVID-19 has and is changing the landscape of Education today.
I think you will enjoy the show.
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Podcast, Home Gadget Geeks, COVID-19, Edtech, Students, Teachers, Higher Ed, K-12, Brian S Friedlander, Nathaniel Lindley, Teaching, Technology, Districts, Education
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Jim Collison 0:00
This is The Average Guy Network and you have found Home Gadget Geeks show number 443 recorded on April 30 2020.
Jim Collison 0:22
Here on Home Gadget Geeks we cover all your favorite tech gadgets that find their way into your home news reviews, product updates and conversation all for the average tech guy. I’m your host Jim Collison broadcasting live from the average guy TV Studios beautiful Bellevue Nebraska, Mike since we are home many of us are home. I don’t know what it is, but I’m kind of enjoying. Like when it’s nice. We get outside. Like
Mike Wieger 0:43
it’s so easy, right? Like there’s no excuse to not be outside just like right now. There’s really no excuse for a not well, tamed yard. Same for being outside and I let me tell you with kids, especially young boys, there’s no better saving grace than to have great weather on a day where I can go outside. Let them run around and I can get some work done. While they’re doing that we have been soaking up this weather as much as we can. And it has, I want to say Jim, for Nebraska, this might be the longest streak of just gorgeous weather. Not too hot, not cold. It’s been a breath of fresh air after some some weird spring, early spring cold weather that we’re having.
Jim Collison 1:19
Well, I’m finding I’m just more sensitive to the weather than it was before because I can get out in it. Like when you you know, when I was in the office, I’m in the office. It’s not like I could just pop outside. You know, I guess I could, but I don’t really thought of it that way now. I’m like, and it’s gonna be nice this afternoon. I’m going to rearrange my schedule, so I can get some outside time. Nathaniel, have you have you noticed? Like you’re you’re just kind of more aware of like nice days than you were before. This?
Nathaniel Lindley 1:46
Yea definitely. I mean, we have a have a window that I can look out and I you know, in the neighborhood and it’s closer, it just feels like the outside is closer. So getting up to go out, you know, a couple blocks walk around the dog. It seems less disruption at work where you have to get up from your desk and go, you know, so yeah, I try to get out more. I always do a walk in the morning before I get settled and sit down at the computer, you know? Because I know I’m not going to get up for a while.
Jim Collison 2:15
Brian Have you been Have you noticed that he getting outside anymore?
Brian Friedlander 2:18
Really unfortunately the weather has been pretty crappy here in New Jersey but a nice days I get out and like try to walk 45 minutes at least to an hour to get that get that walk in. Yep.
Jim Collison 2:32
I think it’s been one of the benefits it’s been a huge benefit for me just to have this being kind of this a lot in this lockdown or work from home or shelter, whatever you want to call it, is, you know, I do these just trips around the block. And in we take a longer walk in a secluded area every day, my daughter and I, and it’s just been great. It’s like I kind of feel more in tune to every day as opposed to all of a sudden it’s Friday.
Brian Friedlander 2:56
Yeah, you know. And the other thing too is I mean, you know now preparing You know all my meals so I have much more control over caloric intake as well which is been been good for me as well I’m in the process of dropping some weight which over the last couple of months
Jim Collison 3:12
well good for you that hasn’t been the case for everybody or people are saying it’s the COVID-19
Brian Friedlander 3:20
but that’s gonna do social distancing from the refrigerator.
Nathaniel Lindley 3:25
Brian, I’ve been the same way I’ve lost 10 pounds since March. I’ve just eating less snacks there’s not doughnuts, there’s not you know, muffins and cupcakes and treats and
Brian Friedlander 3:35
yeah, you get the teachers lounge is the worst. Yeah.
Mike Wieger 3:40
It’s a bad habit. Yeah, I have a bad habit of getting out for lunch and not going home or not doing leftovers and not doing that. First of all saves a bunch of money. I was shocked how much money I was spending on lunches even if I do eat at work or grab some in there. And then number two, the weight has been not that bad. Now I can drink more beer because I’m not taking in those calories with with the food, that’s been awesome,
Jim Collison 4:02
Yeah, I’m saving by eating, we have a cafeteria and it’s pretty reasonable. But you know, even it may be $10 a day, by the time I buy breakfast and I buy lunch, you know, that adds up at $50 a week and you know, it’s $200 a month and all of a sudden you kind of go, Wow, ya know, right on when you start adding up that way. So there has been some positive benefits to that as the work style has changed. And I’ve tried to take advantage of some of those. I’ve mentioned this before, these little micro workouts, so when I get up, I have a pull up bar down here and I just grabbed that and do a couple pull ups. Why walk away, do something else come back do some push ups go out for a walk around the block. So instead of one big workout trying to spread that out throughout the course of the day, just seems to make it a little more reasonable my fit my trainer has said hey at 50 my age doesn’t matter if you get a 60 minute workout in or 610 minute workouts in the same thing. So trying to just Bligh chunk those down into smaller blocks. And so for me it’s actually been Really good.
Brian Friedlander 5:00
It seems that the research is saying just it’s just important to keep moving, you know, and right. It does make a difference. Sometimes the intensity, but just that you keep moving.
Jim Collison 5:09
Yeah, no, it’s interesting. It’s changed a lot of things. We’re going to talk a little bit about that here just a little bit, but it’s just changed so many things. I’m excited to hear what you guys have to say. we’ll remind individuals if you want to listen to the show and download it off our mobile app, maybe when we get to travel again, it’s the best way to listen to the show on the road. Because it streams in in a super easy and convenient Home Gadget Geeks calm, maybe download that to your phone just as an emergency on that time we do get to travel. And you can have it available as well. We have a brand new show schedule site as well out an event right so if you go to The Average Guy TV, I’m sorry, the average guy.eventbrite.com you can see what’s coming up next week. Mike, you mentioned the lawn. I applied fertilizer we had two days of rain perfect like perfect rain, you know it came and watered it in and out my lawn in like three days like and so I got some money. Do Dave McKay was coming on next week to talk a little bit about what he’s doing on his lawn but have it I’m to the spot I think I’m gonna have to start mowing every three days which being homes not a bad thing right?
Mike Wieger 6:10
No exactly get out of the lawn more I felt so bad we had the chemical guy come today and I didn’t realize he was here we have a doggie door. And so all of a sudden I hear p fire off I’m on a call Actually, my whole once I ran upstairs and my dog had cornered the the guy in the corner of our backyard and the guy was just standing there. And you know, he’s a pretty nice small dog but oh man, he was just letting them have and I felt terrible. I’m so sorry. I took them inside. And man that’s it was an awkward moment, but PD was not happy to have a stranger Olson in his backyard without me telling him he’s gonna be there.
Jim Collison 6:41
Brian, Brian, you mentioned you’ve been having some bad weather has that that slowed down? Do you have to? Are you a lawn mower? Do you have to go out and get your or do you have it done for you?
Brian Friedlander 6:50
I haven’t done for me. That’s the Mario Andretti of one.
Jim Collison 6:57
Nice nothing. What about you? Got a couple weeks behind us yeah
Jim Collison 7:02
we’re behind you we’ve got we’ve had cold weather it’s just starting to get nice occasionally and then we got some rain so I expect in the next week or so the grass really kind of green up with some rain and warm weather but I haven’t mowed yet barely raped.
Jim Collison 7:16
Yeah, well we’re I that we were that way just last week and then of course we got some we got some really good weather and it seems like when that grass pops in the spring, it pops big time. And we hit that window, McCabe’s out there measuring the temperature of his dirt to know when to apply. We’re going to talk about that all next week. You’re going to want to join us here for 444 but I’m not that sophisticated. I just put down some some Scott’s fertilizer. Some stuff I bought pre lockdown. bought the whole summers worth of chemicals, thank goodness and then they just sit in the shed waiting to go so we got that coming on next week. Last week Big thanks to Aaron Lawrence who joined us and she always does a great job and Aaron’s great to have on here and we have a lot of great gadget talk in So if you missed 442, you can go back and get that big thanks to Aaron who joined us. Tonight, we’ve kind of been planning the show for a month that might be the longest I’ve ever planned to Home Gadget Geeks, we started talking about what are the effects that actually came out of a conversation in another show we were having. Nathaniel said, Oh man, I am in the middle of this and I thought what have you learned? And so we started talking about some things and the show was was kind of born out of that. We so we’re gonna spend some time kind of tonight talking about the effects how has it affected your area? So the the guests we have on tonight all come in at education a little bit differently. And we’re going to hear from them on how the COVID-19 how the Coronavirus has kind of changed things for them and the impact it has. And then, gentlemen, I kind of want to ask you, what do you think as we get towards the end of the show? I don’t think it’s going to change things in the future. So that’s kind of the agenda on the show. Tonight with us. Dr. Bryan Freelander is with us. He’s a friend of the show been on a couple times talking about assistive tech and all the things that we have Brian, welcome back to Home Gadget Geeks great, great, great to be back. Can you give us a one minute elevator pitch on you? What do you do? Where are you at? Who are you kind of kind of a little bit of a background?
Brian Friedlander 9:12
A background, I have a PhD in psychology. I’m a psychologist but I specialize in assistive technology do a lot of consulting to K 12 and K 20. And as well on my professor of education at the college, St. Elizabeth, where I teach both undergrad and graduate courses in teacher education, special education and assistive technology.
Jim Collison 9:35
Perfect. Do you practice that a few times here. Nicely done nicely said. Nathaniel, Emily’s with us. He comes at us from the other side of this equation on the hardware infrastructure, kind of making those things work and the Daniel one welcome back and then to give us a little rundown on you as well.
Jim Collison 9:51
Thanks for having me. Yeah, I’m, I’m a technology supervisor and medium sized districts here in Minnesota have About 8400 students and my role is operations technical side and coordinator of effort. So I work with district level technicians and building technicians and teachers and integrationists and media specialists trying to kind of help keep things on the right track. So I get to dabble in a lot of different areas and try to learn quickly and solve problems. But I’m not a big specialist in any one area other than maybe the Google Admin Console. So a lot of problem solving and I work with our assistive technology specialist and what I’m seeing is this is changing a lot of stuff in technology now
Jim Collison 10:41
Yeah, good good. We got a lot to talk about. Nathaniel both you and Mike come at this too from from a parenting yeah now homeschooling taking care of the kids Mike yours a little younger. I think then than yours, Nathaniel, Mike yours are young enough. They’re not in school yet but right you’re taking you’re having to take care of them at home. I handle this with work, right? This has changed your life a little bit, right?
Mike Wieger 11:03
It has, and we’ll talk about it maybe a little bit later. But I have learned a lot I was very gung ho to get them in front of tech to help them. They started out with tech using zoom actually, they so they go to a Montessori school. And that school uses zoom to do some, they do their morning, you know, what their morning routine, I guess on zoom. And I was very excited to get them in front of tech for other reasons. And I’ve really had to back off and a little ways because a two and a three year old it had a different effect on them a little bit with outside of the whole learning aspect with just the addictive nature to that sort of stuff. So we’ll get to that. It’s been very interesting because I want to obviously assist them as best as I can as a working parent who’s trying to get work done, and make sure they’re still getting some education at home. But it’s been a little bit different than two and three year old than I think it would be with older students but I’m extremely interested to hear what Brian Nathaniel have to say about that because it’s it’s been a big changes apparent because I obviously am not the education background. I’m simply a guy working from Home trying to keep his kids educated and entertained and happy, while also trying to get work done myself. So it’s been an interesting challenge for me,
Jim Collison 12:07
Nathaniel, your kids are a little bit older, right?
Jim Collison 12:10
Yeah. So I have a Elementary, fourth grader. And then I have two high schoolers.
Jim Collison 12:14
How’s that going? so far?
Jim Collison 12:17
It’s a it’s they’re doing very well, all things considered. So you’re going to have to as a parent, you have to sort of adjust your expectations and what you see as effort and what you see is outcomes. And fortunately, their teachers are great and are really reasonable about setting expectations, making accommodations, you know, being really clear, that’s the biggest thing the teachers that set the week and say, Here’s very clearly what’s going to happen and what’s required and what’s optional. And but it’s hard because the fourth grader, she needs support. She needs guidance and just saying, okay, go go do it in the corner, isn’t really effective.
Jim Collison 12:57
Yeah, it’s a big difference between education At home and working from home, and I think we kind of approached it in some regards. We didn’t know nobody knew and it was like, okay, maybe we can get some lessons plans and you can kind of do some school from home and that was, you know, using zoom or having having lesson plans that kind of work like it didn’t school, I think, was that equivalent to Well, I’m just going to go home and do work. The Enterprise did it pretty well. We’ve been doing it for a while. This was the real first experiment for it to happen in education. Brian in your in for you talk to let’s go back seven or eight weeks. How do things let’s get how did things change for you? What was it? What was the immediate impact in your role in what you’re doing when everybody went home?
Brian Friedlander 13:40
Well, so I was I was actually teaching two classes online already. So not much changed there. I did have one class, which was hybrid, and so I had to move it over. But I think just generally, you know, school districts didn’t really have enough time to really plan for For this event, how could they and so teachers were thrown into this, you know, kind of baptism by fire. And they, you know, they had to do the best they could. And I think that’s what’s happening. I mean, if there’s any silver lining, it’s that teachers were thrown into this and they’re kind of figuring it out. But it’s, you know, it’s been a challenge for, you know, I would say for some of the teachers who are not as technological, I mean, there’s a lot there’s a lot of stuff that you have to figure out, you know, whether you’re in Moodle or you know, Google Classroom or, you know, Microsoft Teams, just a lot of a lot of stuff. And, you know, it’s the technology it’s also the the pedagogy because that’s going to change dramatically when you’re in an online space as compared to when you’re physically next to a student and in my arena, I just, uh, you know, some things I’ve been thinking about. I really feel that the special ed students are you know, many of them are not getting what they really need. I mean, the teachers are trying to do their best but, you know, a lot of things going by the wayside. And I suspect when this is all over, there will be, I want to say class action suits or districts will be, I think parents will come back to the districts and say, you know, my child lost so many hours of occupational therapy, one on one instruction for reading how this up in person. So there has been a lot of a lot of channel, you know, a lot of challenges, and I see it, because I’m teaching some graduate courses where, you know, my students or teachers themselves and like, you know, they’re trying to figure out how do I do this, you know, how do I, you know, you know, how do I create like a whiteboard experience? How do I, you know, break off kids in groups. So there’s the technical but there’s also the pedagogy. So it’s, it’s a challenge. I’m sure that Daniel, you’ll see it. You’re getting a lot of that.
Jim Collison 15:55
Yeah, I just like I hear everything you’re saying. And I see See a tremendous effort to try to do their best and a part of the teachers and the specialists and the support staff. They make, you know, if you’re looking at the occupational therapy area, they’re making videos of the teacher in their kitchen, this is how we are making this and this and they’re doing the best they can to make the content to get it to the kid. And then it’s, it’s a real team, putting it together in a way that the parent at home can try to support the kid the way a parent did in the classroom. But it’s not going to be the same is not going to be as effective. But we’re all in this together. So it’s not, it’s not a part. It’s not negligence on the part of the district. And the teachers have, they’re working with the best they have. And I’ve been really impressed with the creativity and the flexibility of trying to get these services delivered remotely. And then the problem I’ve seen is some of the Teachers who think that they can cover the same content and the same structure at the same pace that they’re used to in person, right? And that that frustrates the teacher and the students and the parents. And so that teaching methodology shift and mindset change is a big part of what they’re getting used to. And I think three or four weeks into it, I think they’re starting to get the routines and
Brian Friedlander 17:25
and i know some of the undergrad feedback that we’re getting at the college is that the faculty are giving the students more assignments and more writing assignments that sort of make up for that lack of time and the students are having a very challenging time keeping up with the pace so you’re adding weight it’s like how do you balance out you know how much time and students should be spending on certain things so that you know so it’s been disproportion amount of things to do they seem too busy too many tasks. Light
Jim Collison 17:59
up Anybody has the recipe for what’s right? No, you know, some teacher might luckily hit on the right amount of stuff too much too little others. And one of the challenges is, is getting the kids connected. You know, now in a special ed realm, you’ve got a smaller caseload that you’re working with, and you’re connecting with families that you’ve already had relationships with through layers. But if you’re looking at a high school teacher that has 120 students over different sections, trying to make sure each kid is getting to the meeting, getting into the Schoology course or whatever, that’s a lot of effort on the teachers part to track to so nobody has the recipe of what’s the right way to do it.
Mike Wieger 18:41
And it’s got to be difficult to you know, special education students are very much into routine and structure and the same thing, right, like they have their routine and, and that’s the routine the structure and I know that for a lot of them being out of that routine when things change, like especially big changes in the time. I know what to transition to summer and transition to a lot of things can can really throw them off that’s going to be extremely difficult and this time because you’re also throwing a whole new routine they’re having to do school but not in a normal setting that they’re used to with routine. But the one cool thing I have seen and I don’t know if you guys have experienced this I’ve kind of seen almost especially as you talk about the older kids, right middle middle school, high school age students almost have a different type of connection with their teacher because they’re seeing them not in that normal. This is the teacher they’re at school they almost see them as human beings because now you’re seeing them on a webcam just like you would your normal friends and their their home. Yes, they’re at their home their dog is barking just like you know, their kids are running up and they’re having to deal with that too. I’ve heard from a lot of them that on a parent’s I will say that their kids almost talk about their teachers in a different regard. Now. Now it’s more of them as a human being instead of just them as a teacher. And I remember as a kid that was the weirdest thing is anytime I saw my teacher outside of school like at the grocery store, like oh, this is this is weird, like is out of the out of the element. You’re my teacher I shouldn’t, you know, it’s kind of weird. But now I think that whole dynamic has changed. Is that for the better for the worse, I see it as a good thing. But maybe it’s maybe it’s not maybe there’s a respect level there that needs to be maintained where they are the teacher, you’re the student, is that hard to maintain when you’re doing digital classes? I think there’s both.
Jim Collison 20:19
So I’ve seen examples where for my daughter, for example, her teacher is so authentic. She’s trying to give a video instruction, you know, a screencast, or just a video direction, and her cats are climbing on her and you know, she’s doing this and it makes it feel like this is a real person who’s doing the best they can in their situation. So I’m, I’m in a situation like that. So it helps the kids relate. I think the other point is, sometimes it’s a little too casual. So I heard a story of a high school teacher, one of the students wasn’t connecting regularly and they’re missing out so they reached out directly and got a Google meet video. one on one with student, the students showed up without a shirt, you know, Hey, how’s it going, Daniel, what’s up and the teachers like, Oh, I’m sorry. I’m Mr. Lindley, go put a shirt on come back when you’re ready to be a student. Like we don’t have this kind of relationship. So if you get that, but what I’m also afraid of is the kids who don’t have a quiet space in their room or house, they don’t have the right technology to connect or their internet is less than or none. And that’s where it’s much much harder for them to keep up. And so that that inequity that we already see in schools in the classroom is only going to get wider and harder to bridge. Yeah,
Brian Friedlander 21:45
the other the other issue that we’re seeing is especially working with young you know, young adults or adults is, you know, increase in you know, depression and suicide and also, you know, faculty that may be picking up on any kind of domestic or physical abuse. And so there are real issues as we all are working. And some of these young adults are working in very small, you know, environment, you know that their apartments are very small, they’re, you know, could be with three kids and a mother and a father and a grandmother. And so it’s a challenge. It’s a, it’s a challenge for them to get their work done. In some cases, some of the students don’t even have the technology in their house, which is the issue not only here, but across the United States, you may not have really good Wi Fi. So that’s been an issue and they may not have it, maybe a lot of college students don’t have a computer or even a Chromebook, they may be relying on their, you know, smartphone, and sometimes that doesn’t work for when you’re doing online learning. And so we’ve had to provide, you know, computers and laptops for students. So, you know, we, we have, you know, as faculty, we need to be vigilant because we’re coming into people’s homes now. And there’s a lot of other factors that are playing up In whether students are successful or not, or picking up on mental health issues as well.
Jim Collison 23:06
Yeah, we took for granted that our teachers all had good internet at their house. And so then quickly, we discovered who didn’t and who, you know, ran, like I’m trying to connect to my husband’s phone through a hotspot and trying to do a zoom meeting with my kids. And it’s like, oh,
Jim Collison 23:23
yeah, oh, they may have had internet, it just may not have been enough.
Jim Collison 23:27
Right, right. So I’ve done a lot of consulting in the last couple weeks for neighbors and friends are like, Ah, it’s not working. What What should I do? Should I switch providers? Should I get a new router? Fortunately, in our area, the ISP we have CenturyLink and xfinity have been very fast, very quick to respond and put in new installs or fix or upgrade. So within a week or so most of the people I’ve worked with have gotten their home internet because I’ve got five people in the house all trained to teach and take class, which is not normal.
Jim Collison 23:58
Right. Brian, you teach graduate level is that, yeah, and undergrad and undergrad. And so do you feel like when you do it online to start with, did you write? Yeah, mostly online? Mostly? Did it anything change? I mean, like it would you would think on the surface, you go like, Oh, yeah, it’s the same thing. But
Brian Friedlander 24:18
is it hasn’t been old. It’s not and I’ve actually, I mean, I’m a pretty flexible trucker, I actually changed my curriculum a bit to give to give the my students who were teachers what they needed, because some of them didn’t know what what to do or didn’t have the tools. So I try to incorporate more practical things that they can do with their student, you know, as they were providing instruction, you know, because this happened really fast. They made some of the some of the teachers may have had a day or two to kind of plan and, you know, get into it, but they didn’t, didn’t have enough training, you know, to really do it as effectively As they want it, so I kind of shifted my instruction to you know, talk about different apps and strategies and to give them some new tools that they can use with their students.
Jim Collison 25:08
Yeah, I go ahead, go ahead.
Mike Wieger 25:10
Well, I was gonna say that’s what so my wife is a is a professor to at the local university here and she teaches graduate occupational therapy students. And she she really said, you know, because so she came into this though she just got into this with probably within the last year or two as an adjunct professor, and so she’s really fresh, right? So she doesn’t come in with any pathway of doing it. But she said even her having a shift. She found that more engaging, almost Socratic method of teaching, right having them like question answer, having them present. I was so shocked like she would be teaching and I know she would be teaching, she’s on top. And she’s not talking very much like no, I had each student come and present on a certain topic and just finding different ways to keep them just even that much more engaged. She goes because they’re going from having just my class online to all their classes online. She goes so before it wasn’t that hard to keep their attention? Right? You know, they they’re used to this here. Here’s my one class this week, I got to focus online. Now it’s gosh, I’ve been sitting in front of his computer all day, I got to do something different. And I’ve just I’ve, I’ve been in a kind of all watching that and like, oh, man, it’s just so different. And then seeing how the kids respond. I asked her I’m like, okay, so I see all the pranks. Everyone’s playing. Like, did your kids play any pranks on you? And she goes, No, she even told him at the end. So her class just ended she was, you know, I’m kind of disappointed you guys didn’t pull any funny pranks, you know, I expected better of you. And they all got a good laugh out of that. But um, it’s been a very interesting time. I because I was curious to me is that she’s just so new to this and she even had to change her ways. And she’s only been doing it for two years. She’s done one in she has one in class in person and then one online. And the difference between the two was was pretty drastic. Yeah. I told her that’s what the oldest student shouldn’t get right. graduate students are I mean, that’s that’s their, their adults. You’re teaching adults. So obviously Different than teaching any, any other kids. Right? That you know, because some of these kids had kids, right? These guys we think of as kids, they they’re dealing with stuff at home too.
Brian Friedlander 27:09
I mean, I could have stuck, you know, directly to the syllabus, but I don’t think I would have given them what they really needed now and I think that that’s
Mike Wieger 27:18
Yes, that’s a good way to put it sticking to the syllabus wasn’t gonna work. I know anyone
Nathaniel Lindley 27:22
who tried to do that is just met with disappointment.
Unknown Speaker 27:25
Jim Collison 27:26
yeah. Just just I guess that was my point to you, Brian was was you know, even though you are already online, and it would seem that, okay, we can just kind of continue because we’re only doing online learning for in the world that was connected in a different way all of a sudden changes when it’s online learning, and everything behind them is changed. Yeah, I think the teachers Nathaniel is what you’ve witnessed his teaching was one thing but when the teaching changed to being home and then we added in the there’s also a spouse there and there’s also an Doc’s I can’t believe how many dogs get get in the, you know, get get in the camera. But that whole the whole pressure changed right and and so it kind of threw everything off. Let me ask the two of you have have best practices been starting to filter their way to the top? And is anybody? Is anybody capturing these things like? Yeah, we’re almost done with the school year for the most part, at least here in the United States. We’re finishing up most people finish up in May in sometime in May. We’re going to go into summer, right? Is anybody capturing? do you guys feel like there’s a system to capture these best practices? If we have to do this again in the fall? Are we going to be in the same boat? Brian, are you seeing anything along those lines?
Brian Friedlander 28:43
I’m sure I’m sure it is being done or teachers are reflecting on it. Um, I mean, I know I reflect on what I do and hopefully can bring that into the next course has been I mean, it’s been a lot. I mean, I mean, it’s been all kinds of community Unity’s that have, you know, come up, you know, helping teachers with this, you know, dilemma of how to teach online. So I think they’re being they’re being captured on Twitter. And Facebook groups, you know, being captured. I just thought, you know, it would depend, I guess, on the local school business.
Mike Wieger 29:16
Yeah. And that was kind of my follow up. My question was more of, Okay, how much of this stuff the teachers are doing? Talking about best practices, right? How much of this is directed by the district? Hey, here’s what you should be doing. Here’s the tech you should be using. Here’s how you should present it and how much of it is really just left up to figure it out and do the best thing possible? Like, is there a mix there? How many of them are providing it gives the tech just use zoom, use this, here’s your credentials, or are they kind of left to decide how they want to do it?
Nathaniel Lindley 29:45
Well, there’s different two things you’re asking about. One is the teaching strategy and the pedagogy of how to your structure, your delivery and your content and your pacing and your scope. And one is what tools do you use to do it? So my area is much more And the tools part of it. Whereas Brian works more in the pedagogy and the styles and the tech also because that’s his area. But some things are organically growing in terms of what works and doesn’t work. So we found in our high school, especially there’s a mix of, they have to have a mix of what we’re calling synchronous and asynchronous learning. So it is not going to be successful. If you say, okay, from nine to 945, I have my English class and 955 to 1045. I have science and I just sit and watch a zoom lecture. You know, hour after hour, that’s not going to work at all. So the teachers are really finding ways to deliver some content, asynchronous. Watch this, do this worksheet reader thing, get some feedback in the you know, LMS, the Schoology or the Moodle forum. Then this day, we’re going to have an hour session together to discuss it. And I’ve seen breakout groups. We’re not going to get the whole 30 kids together. 20 kids, we’re going to do groups of five And here’s your schedule. So like my daughter may have a morning meeting at eight. But then on Tuesday, she has a small group work at 930, which is for kids. So the teacher can really listen to the four children at a time. So it’s, it’s really a mix that way. But in terms of best practices and things, the teachers are working together to figure out what’s working. And so one thing that’s actually happened tomorrow is a bunch of teachers in the Minnesota area higher ed and K 12 are doing an online summit, the Minnesota distance learning summit, and it’s all free sessions, no registration, no sponsors, just pick a topic, join the meet or the zoom and talk with each other. And so I I’ll put that link in the chat. Okay. It’s an opportunity for districts that are smaller or not as connected to, you know, a metro area or a PLN to take hear from each other. Oh, I use this app. Oh, I can I could learn some few things that makes using this particular tool better, or a strategy that works. So, for I know, there’s other teachers and educators in the chat, but they’re everyone’s welcome to join those. And it’s it’s of community. The one thing I like about working in education is there’s not the competitive territorial nature of it. So if I’m doing something, well, I’m going to tell everyone about it. And then hopefully down the road, I’ll have a question and they’ll help me, you know, it’s much more of a share, or help me out I have a problem. And you can’t know my secrets because I’m really good at this.
Brian Friedlander 32:38
So it sounds like tomorrow’s almost like an ED camp kind of activity online.
Nathaniel Lindley 32:42
Yeah. Well, the governor of Minnesota when he said last week that schools would not reopen before the end of the year. So we’re all waiting for him to say it, he said it and he’s done a great job of being measured and clear. And this is why this is how you know So when he said it’s done, he declared that tomorrow, may 1 and Monday the fourth are no students school days across the state, which gave the teachers two days to breathe, to regroup, and to plan out the rest of the four weeks, five weeks of the school year. So a lot of them are taking that time of of not having to be in front of a class or do things to kind of take a rest and regroup because they’ve got all of made. Keep going.
Brian Friedlander 33:30
We our governor Murphy here in New Jersey hasn’t yet said that, but I suspect he you know, he just you know, it’s a little early because we go through the middle of June so I think he’s just turning it out just a little bit longer. But I don’t think we’ll go back I think that
Mike Wieger 33:49
it seems like some states are definitely handling it better than others. And you know, it’s so funny that you’re also from Minnesota. My sister is up there studying. She’s um, in the Minneapolis area. And she’s you know, learned about Be a Montessori teacher. So she’s she was actually just getting ready to start doing her rotations around the schools and she was just telling me everything that the governor and everyone has done up there are state wide. I mean, they have just been on top of the game, it seems like from day one, at least in terms of having a directive having a direction getting everyone in solidarity, right? Like we’re all doing this. This is the direction we’re going. Is that true? I mean, has that been it’s from an outsider’s perspective from someone from a different state? It feels like you guys have been on top of day one.
Nathaniel Lindley 34:30
I think so. I think
Nathaniel Lindley 34:34
it I think it’s the best it can be. It’s not great that you know, when we were told originally in mid March when they said okay, schools are closing it was like, whoa, wait in like someone said earlier is like a fire drill. What do we need to get out of the building so that we can get it into the home. So six through 12th grade they had take home devices, you know, so that was less of a challenge is k five all the time. They use are in the building. So how do we, in an organized manner get these devices out of the building to the families? Who needs them? Who doesn’t need them? what type it is? Is it going to work? Do we check it out? You know, so that was chaotic those first few days. And then we’ve been my tech departments been playing catch up ever since checking out devices. For those who don’t know, I thought my kid could get by using a Kindle, but it’s not working with the app, right? And now I think I need an iPad. Okay, we’ll get an iPad because you’re in this group, you know, so we’ve been doing five to 10 day of checkouts. So families will do a curbside drive up, check out a device, you know, a Chromebook or an iPad. And then on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we actually do deliveries for families that can’t get to the building to pick one up. But that’s that’s a huge challenge. Like you can’t expect the kids to do online learning and work without a device and mom’s phone isn’t gonna cut it. Right. Yeah.
Jim Collison 35:59
Um, gadget show, you know, normally we’re talking about gadgets. Right? That’s what we’re doing. One of the questions I wanted to ask both of you and Nathaniel, you’ve kind of alluded to this, but now that we know what we know, yeah, right. We’ve been doing this for eight weeks, let’s say in we know a few things. We think about the technology that’s out there. What could we be doing differently? or what have you seen work differently, or well, or better or changed with a gadget or with just a piece of hardware or the technology? Let me give you an example. Just so you kind of know I’m talking about twice. Tony brought up in the chat room. And I’ve heard this I think on Saturday mornings ask the podcast coach, when I do that show when somebody hits said the school district has put Wi Fi hotspots on their buses, and they’re driving their buses out during the day, running the areas where the internet is not good and in helping assisting students by turning on those hotspots so students can then at least have some Wi Fi where in neighborhoods where they are in poor neighborhoods where they may not have it at all right, and that’s been a way of kind of adapting getting on a mobile. You know, that’s kind of the Elan musk model. In some ways. It’s super low tech, but it’s what it’s, it’s what the district had, like, we have buses, we have bus drivers, we have Wi Fi hotspots, how do we how do we how do we make that kind of work? Like it was different? Have you guys had seen any examples or thought through this at all to say, hey, in this new world a little bit, we’re going to talk about the fall here in a second as we think about thinking ahead to the future. But you seen any of those kinds of things change.
Nathaniel Lindley 37:37
I think outstate has done more of the bus central location. The more rural cities where there’s not a public library, there’s not other resources. Were in a suburb and there’s resources around that have Wi Fi accessible xfinity has made there you know, if you go around, you see xfinity Wi Fi, they’ve made that free. You don’t have to have a couple Comcast XFINITY account to use that so your neighbor may have it and you can use theirs. But we’ve done a lot of hotspot checkouts.
Nathaniel Lindley 38:09
It was so surprising is just the families that we thought we had taken care of during the year, we had a huge increase in requests once distance learning started. But yeah, some some out state. places have done that. I know St. Paul, which is a big district in our state, I think they checked out something like 17,000 hotspots, like wow, just tons and that’s a dense, you know, more urban area. But if, you know if you’ve got several people in the family all trying to connect. It’s hard to do that. So that’s the the biggest challenge really is the internet access from my point of view. And we’re really lucky I’m in a metro that has two choices. You know, that if you can pay for it, but you don’t even have those choices if you go farther out state. So that’s the biggest challenge. From my point of view,
Jim Collison 39:01
Brian anything Have you seen,
Brian Friedlander 39:03
I mean, Comcast XFINITY has stepped up to the plate and turn those hotspots on for students to take advantage of if it’s in that building or but haven’t really seen really seen anything else or heard of anything else into but I mean, I know this talk amongst the it at the college, you know, for purchasing hotspots to be able to give to students who may not have Yeah, you know, the connectivity at home. That’s that’s it is an issue.
Nathaniel Lindley 39:32
Somebody likes it resorted to buying iPhone sevens with hotspot capability because they came up hotspots you can watch you know, three week refurbs right.
Jim Collison 39:41
refurbs on those Yeah, there’s plenty of marches, put a data plan. Now it’s a good See, I love that ingenuity like thinking be thinking outside of the box. Nathaniel, you’re on the hardware side. What’s held up so far and what hasn’t? You guys are thinking your Chromebooks. Yeah, you’re talking about Kindles, iPads are out there. What are you seeing any trends of things that are doing better than others are some things that aren’t doing well at all? What have you learned
Nathaniel Lindley 40:06
from? We’re a big Chromebook district, you know. And so one of the things I’ve always liked about it and talked about is the security and the control of the experience. So all the students that have district Chromebooks checked out, I can go ahead and say, make sure the camera and the microphone are always allowed on Meet google.com. So then we don’t have to take all the support calls saying I can’t get my camera to work because they didn’t go up to the little window and click Allow and so so I have the ability to kind of keep the experience consistent and reliable. They’re always logged into the right account, they’re always getting the updates. You know, the iPads have been good, but it’s sort of hit and miss. Because if you have an older one, it doesn’t support iOS 13. And then it can’t run this app. And then you have privacy settings. They’re generally used in our younger students where they’re attempting through seesaw and some other controlled experience. But that, you know, I’ve always said the Chromebooks have been a great tool for us. As for the teachers, they they use a variety of things, mostly windows laptops, especially in secondary because they’re jumping between different things. But then a lot of our staff, we sent them home with Chromebooks so that they can keep up with the tools and connections
Brian Friedlander 41:22
at the at the college level, it’s all you know, pretty much. I mean, some of the faculty issued window windows laptops, but you know, most the faculty have Mac’s mix a Windows you know, so they’re using whatever they they own individually. Yeah, but the it’s Yeah, again, some of the students come from, you know, urban areas and they can afford high end computer some upcoming Chromebooks, but like I said, a lot of them rely on their smartphone. Yeah,
Mike Wieger 41:50
yeah. This is one of the times where, you know, you think about the school buses and that are parked around as a tech guy. Am I okay? Do I order a unify an extra unify access Point and post to my next door that my front yard is free Wi Fi zone, right good Wi Fi put out some lawn chairs and tables. And anyone who for some reason in our neighborhood doesn’t have internet, you know, come hang out in our front yard and you can at least have access to internet and I got you know, I got more than enough speed here that I don’t use. They could definitely utilize some of it and and of course, then the tech fun side is okay playing with like bandwidth calves and do all the fun stuff inside.
Brian Friedlander 42:28
It was kind of interesting. I, I was I was approached to try this platform to actually use a smartphone. The CEO approached me and he actually developed a platform, using, you know, not even smartphones just because he was doing a lot of work in Africa. And they needed to move information and concepts and ideas. So he developed the platform to basically you know, do online learning through texting and so gave me access to it. It was kind of it was kind of interesting because what would happen you know me as a professor instructor, I set up all the information and then every morning at 10 o’clock, you’d get a chunk of information that I developed my students would get, and then they’d be able to respond in the text message and you could put a link and a graphic. So it was kind of interesting. My some of my students enjoy that. The fact that it was different and that was presented every day at that time, they could expect, you know, a chunk of information.
Nathaniel Lindley 43:27
And it’s a more of a lightweight delivery, right text message. Exam work on very limited cellular connection.
Brian Friedlander 43:35
Yeah, so the company is was a company name.
Brian Friedlander 43:42
Let me see I can get that.
Brian Friedlander 43:46
It’s called Eris, ar i s t. That’s the company name and I, I believe they are giving schools the opportunities to you know, kick the tires, to use it. So it’s kind It’s kind of interesting another perspective on doing some online learning but using texting.
Jim Collison 44:05
Let me ask you guys this question as we think about the fall because I think there’s a lot of questions and I’m not going to ask you are we going back or not? Because nobody knows at this point right? We we don’t know. But as we think about say we go in I mean, if we go into a fall in schools back to normal What do you think changes or does anything change? So let’s let’s cover that scenario. First. We get back to fall we’re back in school kids are coming it’s it’s just like it was before the Daniel it is your world. Is your world different for some reason you guys go back to Ghana just go back to normal.
Nathaniel Lindley 44:44
So it’s hard to predict. Yeah. I’m,
Jim Collison 44:47
you said I show you guys have gone through all the iterations is kind of why I’m asking this question. Yeah,
Nathaniel Lindley 44:52
no, we’re really trying to dream up. Okay. If this happens, this is how we need to approach it and if you know situation eight B and C. And right now my, my gut is telling me it’s going to be different. Even if it can be everyone, if we can have all the students and teachers back in the classroom as normal in September, which I don’t expect, it’s gonna feel different. One of the things I’m looking forward to is a recognition. on everyone’s part, the parents, the students, and the teachers have the value and the benefit of being in a classroom with a teacher. So prior to this, we were getting a lot of feedback like, well, if I can do flipped education, and I can deliver a video to my kids, and they can watch these YouTubes and send me comments, why do we need to be in the class? So there was a lot of that discussion the last several years well, now we’re finding out and I’m hoping that that really makes the benefit of school and relationships and being together positive, a university recognized and then valued. My guess is that we’re going to have a hybrid, we’re going to have some days where we don’t have students or we’re going to have some students on one day and some students on another day, it’s going to be really hard on the teachers because they’re going to have to keep growing and changing. And so if a teacher has been set on Well, I always do it in this way and I do it in this order and I do this unit, they’re gonna have to adjust I just can’t imagine it’s gonna be business as usual in September, maybe in two years it might be
Brian Friedlander 46:32
but yeah, so I mean, right now we’re like getting ready to do like boot camps to make sure faculty to be up and running in a heartbeat. Right now all the summer classes are online definitely we don’t know what’s happening with the fall and so you know, our IT people are doing tremendous amount of training on using Moodle and how to organize it and and also the pedagogy that goes along. with it So, and I imagine that, you know, there might be some reflection to where we can begin to take some of the programs that we, you know, typically do on campus and move it all online, which then makes it gives other students even across the different states the opportunity to register for courses, as you know, as well, but it’s kind of interesting, because a lot of students come to our campus, because they want that classroom experience and interaction with the faculty. So if you gave them the option, even easier for many of them, you know, to go online, they would say I’d rather come to class every week and interact with you and the other students in
Nathaniel Lindley 47:44
the class. Yeah, I’m curious, Brian, a little more of your your familiarity with higher ed. Everyone took the end of the year is like, Okay, this is we just got to get through it. Right, you know, and what I’ve been hearing is that the finals and the way they’re delivered you Just in, in the circles I’m in has been haphazard. So some professors are like, you got 24 hours, here’s the information. It’s an unbelievable test, like using Google doesn’t help you show me your knowledge and have been flexible. Others have said, here’s the two hour window that it has to be done. You can only do it in this time in this way. And that’s it. And the impact of that is that if all the kids from a university or college are spread out, if I’m in a timezone that’s closest, probably convenient, if I’m in Hawaii, or Singapore, and I’m trying to attend my international class, and I’m in a 12 hour difference. So higher ed is going through the same struggle, I would presume of Yeah, and how do we deliver in what’s quality and what’s not quality? And what’s
Brian Friedlander 48:49
so I mean, there are you know, like quality mat, like remember of Quality Matters, like eating and things of that sort. But I mean, we haven’t done this yet. But I’m sure we’re going to look at you know, there are third parties that are basically basically companies that will basically Proctor examinations online and certify that you were the one who took the test whether they have a webcam watching you supervising you on. So there are a couple of companies that will, you know, do that proctoring you know, for high stakes, either exams or testing. So, we are beginning to look at that, you know, for final exams, we have some nationally accredited programs like physician assistants, and so when you do finals and things like that, you want to make sure that, you know, Jim Jones taking the test and they they’re not calling in their brother who’s a physician and everything else, you know, so that I’m sure that’s in the future. high stakes. high stakes testing. Yeah, I mean, years ago, I did some certification on Adobe products and how to basically, you know, take my watch, leave my smartphone, put in a locker, you know, and you know, Walk in, you know, they took a picture of you, you know, so I think it’s gonna it’s definitely gonna happen online too with these companies are gonna crop up that Do you know, you know distance proctoring and serve and certifying? Yeah,
Nathaniel Lindley 50:12
it’s interesting. I’m very curious to see what the enrollment looks like at colleges and universities in the fall. I find my graduating senior, and I was gonna go to a school and residential, but I don’t know if they’re really gonna have residents. So do I take a gap year do I try to do online? Do I risk it
Jim Collison 50:34
go to an online school that’s known for its online like?
Jim Collison 50:37
I yeah, so
Brian Friedlander 50:40
well, or there’s a governor, Governor University as governor of Hampshire
Jim Collison 50:45
answer. Yeah. I mean, like if I can go to a school that has a reputation as a really good online school. Yeah. And I and I’ll transfer my credits, there could be a rush this fall of my daughter who’s going to be a senior next year, right. So we’re in This boat, and she’s she’s definitely committed to the school because of the program that’s there. So she doesn’t really want to go anywhere else he can finish online, she has to She’s got some questions about it as well. She has a photography class that she gets to figure like, you just got to figure out like that. Like, I would have checked out a camera from the sun, like we’ll get that camera. It’s not like it’s not that big of a deal. But she did mention to me one of her friends said to her, Hey, if we go 100% online in the fall, I’m going to fill in the blank, whatever the school was, because they have a better online program, they’ll accept our credits. And why would I not finish out in a school that’s better at it, then pretty cool. And
Brian Friedlander 51:37
we have a we have a college called Edison college and everything is online. And you can also put together your own bachelor’s degree, they give you credits for life experience, and they’re doing tremendous amount of marketing now and advertising. I suspect that enrollment will be down anywhere from 10 to 20% in the fall, and just Like you said, I would say that, you know, a lot of students will take a gap year or they’ll do you know that they’ll take some online courses at a community or junior college and see what happens to follow.
Jim Collison 52:10
Now, why wouldn’t they? Why wouldn’t they look and see, okay, I’m paying $400 a credit hour at Oklahoma State. I can go to Shawnee, you know, Shawnee Community College at $75. And take my basic, you know, writing classes,
Jim Collison 52:28
you know, right. And before that didn’t make any sense because I was on campus already. Right? You just wouldn’t do that. But But today, all of a sudden, that’s a real, that’s kind of a real environment. Nathaniel, I’m gonna sparked off with something you said in the pre show to me just about this idea of all these different scenarios. I’m going to make the statement I just want you guys to kind of respond to it. One of the things I think it’s a shame is we go into the fall and it’s uncertain. And maybe it’s going to be a hybrid, you said, you know, maybe some students won’t even want to come back. So we opened Went up the school and there’s parents who are like, Yeah, I don’t really want to send my kids to be honest. And we have some parents are like, Whoa, yeah, some parents are like, stay right. I think we miss a real opportunity this fall, we’ve made some we made some progress in this idea of kind of emergency based learning. Like this is what we’re in, right. We’re, we’re in a flat out emergency. It’s not a snow day. It’s not even an extended snow day. Like we’re in a full pandemic emergency. I think it’d be a shame if we didn’t use the fall as another opportunity to try again, like, regroup. What did we learn? what worked, what didn’t get this, get the teacher some education, allow the districts to retool a little bit and then say, Okay, do over. Let’s go into the fall knowing we’ve got these kinds of that this is going to be a possibility. How would we do it again, because I don’t think this is going to be the last time something like this is gonna happen. And I think we’d be crazy not to learn from this and Try it again. Nathaniel, you’re in the trenches. How do you respond to that statement?
Nathaniel Lindley 54:07
Well, I’m curious, you know, other people’s opinion. But if I if I step way back, and if I ran the zoo, which is a great Dr. Seuss book. But if I ran the zoo, one of the complaints over the years has always been, oh, the schedule, oh, the calendar. I wish it could be more flexible. I wish we could have more time for the kids that need this support and, you know, accelerate over here. And I wish it wasn’t always based on what your age was in which grade or which class you were. So I wish it was more flexible so that the kids were accelerated, but younger can take classes with older students. And, you know, so that’s always been a frustration of the structure of a typical k 12 institution. So that’s been our frustration. And we’ve just, the train went off the tracks four weeks ago. Maybe This is an opportunity to redesign what our typical k 12 institution looks like. So maybe the calendar is not so important. We’re maybe not stuck to an egg or garion, September to June calendar for school. Maybe we’re not stuck to a six, seven hour day. Maybe not all teachers have to be in the building every day. Maybe not all students have to be in the building every day. So that’s kind of my just musing of what could it look like if you started over in some ways? And so some kids actually have benefited from this distance learning, because going to class was the challenge for them. Being in a class with 20 some kids was the anxiety producing stress and so being able to step back and participate at their own speed and pace during the day has been a benefit for some kids. So what are we learning from that? I don’t think things will change that dramatically. But you know, In my dream world, that’s where we would look. And you’re working more towards, what are your skills? What are your interests? What is the time that you can allocate? You know, to do this? And how do we help the teachers be flexible enough to do that? If I was going to run the world and start over, I would say, okay, all summer students are not in class, but the teachers are, give the teachers a paid summer and give them time to develop flexible curriculum, delivery, pacing, in the anticipation that in the fall, it will be some mix of instruction. You know, yeah, obviously, that’s going to be with a lot of resistance. But that’s kind of like, if I could dream up what it would look like, that’s one of my ideas. Right?
Brian Friedlander 56:46
Yeah, I’ve always thought too, that it should be a 12 month position with like, maybe three weeks off or something like that. So you could do that professional development that needs to be done. I mean, you know, things are changing. So I mean, so quickly, especially in Technology it is just like, when you when I think about? Well, I’ve been I’ve been you know in education 30 years when you think about the technology I had 30 years ago and what I can do now it’s it’s unbelievable. It’s absolutely unbelievable. Yeah,
Nathaniel Lindley 57:15
we couldn’t have done this. We couldn’t have done what we’ve done this year or this month as well, even 510 years ago would have been impossible. Possible. Yeah.
Jim Collison 57:25
Yeah, I think we actually kind of dodged a little bit of a bullet there. I was, I was kind of thinking that same thing five or 10 years ago. What a disaster this this could have pretend and I mean, it’s it’s been difficult. I don’t want to make any light of it. It has been really difficult for a lot of people. Yeah. But but but it has been manageable in the fact that it’s funny. We’ve been you know, we’ve been podcasting. Now, coming up in December Home Gadget Geeks is 10 years old. And so we’ve been doing a this kind of learning this podcasting this type community. You learning it. It could be a class, we could teach a class this way many, many do, right? And then we’ve been doing it for 10 years. We’re in an environment now where teachers are beginning to think, Oh, you know, if I ran my class, like a podcast, if I had groups, if I had discussion groups, if I allowed them if I taught it once, and allowed them to watch it in or listen to it, whatever works for them in a time that fits and then we have times where we meet together meetups, and you know, all of a sudden, like our podcast infrastructure starts looking a little like a little interesting. You start kind of go in, it’s not the perfect school work, and it maybe doesn’t work for high school kids all the way but there’s some clues to it, I think. And I think some teachers have kind of caught on like, Oh, hey, wait a minute, not just recording to YouTube and leaving it right. That’s not really not what I’m talking about. Here. I’m talking about a consistent, education based interesting conversations, get the dialogue going. Take To take that to Facebook group or take that to a Discord. I mean, I manage 8000 certified coaches around the world every day through social structures that are really education structures, structures, right. I mean, it’s, it’s a really a great way for them to learn. So we think, fall any other thoughts, gentlemen on things. Nathaniel, you had a, that was a great little like if I could, if I could the president speech there and change things. Well, maybe presidents too much, maybe the disk, maybe the superintendent, but no, a great speech, Brian, anything you’d add, as we think about fall, anything you would add to that, that?
Brian Friedlander 59:42
I mean, I would imagine that there will be there should be a tremendous amount of, you know, summer development work in preparation for the fall because, you know, some, you know, some doctors are predicting that the fall could be just as bad if not worse, and so back that A lot of effort will be put into reflect on what worked and also to have some boot camps where teachers are refining what they’re doing and figuring out what the best thing is getting ready for the fall to be online. Yeah, or well, hybrid, you know, it might be in school for a little while and then be out of school for a while.
Jim Collison 1:00:18
We scheduled at Chris Nesi and this is kind of his area of expertise as we think about the edtech space in the kind of the work that he is doing wanted to hear from that what we’ll have to reschedule him and have him back on but, but I think I heard both of you say, I mean, I think it’s a summer of opportunity. I don’t think the Fall is a return to normal. Now, from what from what you guys are saying and then I think for a lot of educators, it’s a step back in and hopefully this is happening at all levels, not just the the advance of the teachers but at the administration levels to say okay, let’s take a step back and we’ve got to do some serious retooling. That may not necessarily mean sending everybody back to school, but making some tweaks right kind of base On what we learned
Brian Friedlander 1:01:01
the the other I mean, the other issue we’re having is that we place teachers in schools to be student teachers. And so how do we structure? How do we structure their activities because they have to put a certain number of hours in so a lot of them were thrown into doing online instruction as student teachers. So it’s something we really have to reflect on in our curriculum is, you know, we provide, we get teachers set up to teach in classrooms we now really need to think about not think about we need to teach them how to teach online and which is another another thing we really need to look
Nathaniel Lindley 1:01:40
at. That’s a great point. That’s a great point that your teacher education program has got to have a new lens to it. Yes. Of in and outside of class instruction. You know, one of the challenges, okay, all these teachers are teaching from home but what happens when they have a sick day? How do you get a sub for this Distance teachers. So what we’ve, what we’ve seen is a lot more collaboration. So a third grade team will kind of float each other through days that are easier and harder, rather than this is my set of 30 kids and who don’t don’t ever cross lines between classrooms. Yeah,
Jim Collison 1:02:17
see, okay, what you just said there. And the thing I think is key is completely rethinking the structure. So instead, if you have three teachers who are teaching third grade, that becomes that third grade becomes a unit now like it can it’s not divided by walls, right? It’s it and you can have now you can divide the load and have teachers sharing that and no one needs to be out. You can do that kind of smoothly because your team teaching right in that, where maybe that went to work before
Nathaniel Lindley 1:02:46
when we’ve had that structure in schools before. So especially in middle schools, you’ll see a house concept, right. I’m the University of Minnesota team and this 44 sections of seventh grade, you know, we’re a team and we cross The social studies teacher and I’m the science teacher. So you have that subgroup of structure already. It’s just even more important now, right to to share the load among the teachers in the Share, share their expertise.
Jim Collison 1:03:12
Well, and what I’d love to see, and especially in Chris’s area where he’s doing a podcast that really teaches it highlights some of the best things that’s been that’s going on some of the best tech that’s happening. I really actually think that’s a good model for teachers over the course of the summer, I would love to see a bunch of best practice web podcasts pop up, where teachers could subscribe, you know, take your model take your one day model that’s going on for the teachers to come and do this this What are you calling that a word? It’s not a word virtual Minnesota distance learning summit. Yeah, the summit There we go. Yeah. Great name for it. To to have the summer programs for teachers who could subscribe, you know, I just I’d love to see a bunch of podcasters pop up from teachers who will start sharing now right, is that happening?
Nathaniel Lindley 1:03:58
Yeah, I would. I was gonna say But I’ve learned a lot from you all in this podcast journey of how you get good sound and audio when you set up your space and all those little tips and tricks, because now the teachers are trying to figure it out on their own, and we’re trying to help them. And one of the things I talked about earlier, I think pre show is that I’m trying to impress on people that are on on line all day in meetings. So I’m on meetings, like almost all day, and we use Microsoft Teams a lot internally. And then our students and teachers use Google meet a lot. So we’re not a zoom district. But when you’re online all day, having your sound and your presentation to be as good as it can be or reasonably makes a difference for your audience more than for you. So knowing that the sound is high quality and good, it’s less strain on the listener is less fatigue. Now we all get tired of doing online meetings now because it’s not a novelty anymore. That’s not the best way to communicate with people. So we’re getting adjusted to that. But you know, helping the teachers set up with the tools they need to be better delivery and better communication, as best as it can be, would be would be a good technical challenge.
Brian Friedlander 1:05:19
The day do you see the school district footing the bill for some of that equipment to make
Nathaniel Lindley 1:05:24
her home we’ve already we’ve already bought a lot of headsets. So we’ll get we’ll get the headsets with a boom mic. Okay. Which is certainly not the same as what we’re using here with the microphone and that and I’ve tried a lot of things, and they’re not great, but they’re way better in terms of isolating the sound and clarity. And they have I’ve noticed a lot of the headsets have this sort of restricted range is not as deep, but it’s clear and it’s easy to understand. And so we bought a lot of those Got him out to teachers? That’s great. So they have that, but not everyone. And then we’ve had a lot of laptops that have had to come back and get checked out again. And, and, and so that that’s a challenge. And some teachers have their own tech they’re trying to use and some of its good and some of us not. The interesting thing this is if we go into the technical side, we use Google meet a lot, which Google made freely available to schools for the summer with the enterprise tools with recording and analytics and large groups. They have a quality admin tool where you can look at individual meets or sessions and look at the analytics of what network congestion, what was the audio who came in and left whose screen shared, which computer is running high CPU and low CPU. And so when I get feedback, you know, I’m trying to do Google mean, it’s just not working and the audio is breaking up. I can go into those analytics and say, Okay, well, here’s what I’m seeing. You you didn’t have your computers running at 90% What you’ve got to shut everything down and then just do the meat, you know, I don’t know what kind of computer have but that’s the analytics work, you know. So I’m able to help troubleshoot a bit even through that tool to say no, it doesn’t look like your network or flipside, your network congestion is really high while I was outside on my patio, I guess the Wi Fi is good out there. Okay. But they’ve never had to do that before right? Because we’re taking care of it in the building. That’s our job. So that don’t have to worry about it. Now they’re learning along with us.
Jim Collison 1:07:29
Well, in that sitting on the porch out on the patio is a it’s kind of a cool sexy thing that you know, it’s like oh, I’m home now I can do this and then you’re like, Yeah, but it’s having a like your house isn’t built for that. You don’t have a hotspot on your if you had a hotspot on the patio.
Nathaniel Lindley 1:07:48
Yeah, I have one of my garage, don’t you?
Mike Wieger 1:07:50
Yeah, we’ll have unify access points just littered across the house.
Jim Collison 1:07:53
Kyle was asking, Can you share the model the headset you’re using Do you know and then while you’re looking that up, we We use job the job or brand so though these are really popular right now they’re hard to find. There’s a 40 Yeah, so there’s a 40 and a 60 series The 40s are I think there’s a 20 series two and you can do mono and dual on those but I don’t want I get Mike. I’m gonna I’m gonna ask you this too. When I’m working with my, my, you know, my partners at work and they get on and they have a terrible connection. I’m like, the very first question is you have a headset and they know like some of them now No, I’m going to ask so they come on. They don’t come on without it. They they in fact, if I call them I see them scrambling like just a second I’m trying to get my headset on because because I know like like you said there’s a fatigue factor and if we’re doing this all it’s okay every once in a while, right? Oh, yeah. But if we’re doing it all the time that way, after a full day you get pretty tired. Mike, have you have you right? Are you first of all, Mike, are you using this at work are you using
Mike Wieger 1:09:00
I did. I did. And it freaked people out every single time like well I feel like I’m being like interviewed like a radio guy like did not like it. So I actually have my blue Yeti and I have it off camera because that Blue Yeti picks up a great you know, it can do well without being read up in your face. It sounds better than the mic on the board. And it has a physical mute button which is my favorite with specially with kiddos running around. So I use that and it can be below the camera so they don’t even know I’m using a nice mic, but it sounds good to them. But the other thing it’s hard to fix is I think the manual fix too. So audio number one yeah, I mean that my biggest thing is we have a lot of people who have really bad echoes, and they don’t realize if all it takes is just putting in headphones doesn’t even have to be a microphone. It’s just your mic on your on your computer. The way it’s set up is picking up what the speakers are putting out and so that’s been one, but my boss the guy I talk with the most every single day I probably talk to him three or four times a day via video chat has the worst Internet. And he just I mean, he lives in San Diego great house for some reason, though his Wi Fi or wherever he’s doing. And I have like, sent him multiples like, Hey, here’s like a powerline adapter. Maybe if you can’t do anything, maybe this will just help or maybe this will just help anything because it is so hard. And I’ve started calling him on the phone more often. Because it I mean, by the time we have to get through an hour conversation I have like, probably said 10 times Sorry, I didn’t catch that you were cutting out What do you say? Yeah, I didn’t catch that. What would you say? And it just drives you nuts through these little things we’ve picked up on. And if you’re not if you’re not a tech guy, or you don’t know a lot of them just don’t care, either. They just think hey, everyone’s deal with these issues. But man, as the guys who know how to solve this, you just want to fix everyone’s issue,
Jim Collison 1:10:42
right? It’s hard to bite your tongue. It is it’s so hard to
Mike Wieger 1:10:47
kind of step in for a second guys quick pause. If that person writes in headphones, and if that person turns off Wi Fi and plugs into Korea, we will have a much more productive meeting. My
Jim Collison 1:10:55
tongue hurts from well I’m not going to buy it anymore. I just tell people get your put your heads down. Yeah, you know, and and if we’re gonna have this conversation, turn the camera on, because I want to see you. And you know, there’s some that I there’s some that are like, Oh, you know, I’m like, Hey, is your camera working today? Like, you know, that’s kind of how I start, right? And they’re like, Oh, I didn’t really like I don’t actually I don’t really care what you look like I want to see your eyes. So like, let’s so can you turn your camera on for me? It hurts me when I can’t when I’m talking to you and I can’t see you. And very rarely does that not get them usually they’re like, okay, and I’ll turn it on. They’ll be in a sweatshirt or something you know, like it? Look, I don’t care about any of those things. I want to see your face because I’m reading your facial expressions. That’s how I know when to talk and when not to interrupt. And when I when the point is coming across and you’re agreeing with me because I see it in your eyes. And if I can’t see it in your eyes, I can’t. I’m not as effective. And so a lot of people now are coming. It’s taking time I think that’s the point too, with with the kids, the students, the teachers, I think if we go back in the fall in a similar environment, there’s gonna be a lot of lessons learned. And it’s, we’re not going to go all the way back. It’s not like we’re gonna go all the way back to march and kind of have to start over. There’ll be some lessons learned, and some teachers will be like, okay, here’s, uh, you know, Fool me once Shame on you fool me twice. Shame on me, then. And we’re going to get this thing right this time, the Daniel D sense that from some of the teachers that you work with, like there’s a I know they’re in. They’re just in crisis mode at the moment, but do you think they’ll this summer off and some retooling will be helpful?
Nathaniel Lindley 1:12:38
I think so. I think a lot of them they’ve been kind of jump started on a lot of the tools that they’ve been able to say, I don’t I don’t need to learn that yet. Because I’m still got my kids in the class. So I think a lot of them are like, Okay, I’m gonna get on board and this is gonna, you know, Oh, I didn’t know you could do that or that’s kind of cool. And you know, a lot of our teachers When I’m meeting with them, or media specialists, they really, really miss their kids. They miss their kids, and they’re afraid. If if we come back and we’ll still have to social distance, they’re, you know, they’re like, how am I going to not be in contact with my students, especially in the younger Elementary, so it’s hard for them, but I think they’re learning ways to get feedback. They’re being authentic with their students, which encourages the students to be authentic. You know, when my daughter did her first lunch bunch meeting with her class, and they all had their picnic lunch kind of thing. And they are all checked in online and they could see each other and the teacher led them through Simon says, so that helped learn how to you move, mute, and when to listen. So the younger kids you got to the back and forth, the dialogue is not as natural, right? So we step on each other’s toes here and we’re adults, but you know that first time they were so excited to see their friends so
Mike Wieger 1:14:00
by two and three year old went through that exact same thing, the first time they got on a zoom meeting. It was just pure chaos. Imagine Russia two and three year old. Yeah.
Mike Wieger 1:14:07
All yelling. And then there’s one of the three year old saying everyone’s yelling, it’s too loud. It’s too loud. And he’s freaking out because everyone’s just talking over themselves. But they actually after about the so we did every day do it every day, right 10 o’clock, login, we’ll do circle time we’ll do our thing. And they got it down to a pretty good cadence. Either that or the parents learned they needed to step in microphone, but I think the kids actually started to learn a little bit. And that’s young kids. But you know, it was shocking to me. My kids didn’t bat an eye at the fact that they were doing their class on zoom. I mean, because they FaceTime their grandparents, they FaceTime aunts and uncles, their cousins, I mean, my two and three year old that is how they see their people. And they’re so used to it, and they, they could probably run my wife and I’s phone to do a FaceTime to call. I actually got them Amazon tablets with the fruit the kids version, and they asked why can’t like I want to FaceTime Bob. And I’m like, well, this actually this device doesn’t do that with free time it’s locked down and they’re like confused like oh like devices video call that’s what these do I don’t know what good is this getting ready to find product return this give me an iPad please
Mike Wieger 1:15:13
Mike Wieger 1:15:14
but it’s very interesting how different age groups have adopted to whether this is weird whether this is normal I mean and how it works but you know I’m interested Brian in your psychology side of things real quick I was talking about my two and three year old and I did get them the Amazon you know kids tablet right fully locked down you can control the amount of time and that’s really the first piece of tech I’m a huge techie My wife is the complete opposite. And we we would much prefer our kids play outside in the dirt and get dirty all day. And that’s kind of Montessori method to right Montessori method is more play with your hands play with wood objects, that’s real style, real stuff. Exactly real stuff. Well, and so, but they’re great with technology and have an interest in it. So I actually gave it to them. And it was amazing how fast. They just, I mean, you took that thing away. And it was like you were taking away their livelihood and the hour because I was like, Oh, this is kritis the timer built in so I can set it daily Max, it hit that hour and it locked them out. And you would have thought the world was coming to an end. And I’ve never seen that with that reaction from them. Like we’ve had to bring them in from outside, right, hey, time to stop playing outside come inside time to have dinner and their transitions as we call them and have been great. With technology, though. completely different. Is there a is there a difference? I mean, is there an age where they handle that differently? I mean, obviously I think there probably is but it’s not just is it just technology in general but I’m I was so confused why I can pull them from any other activity. And they can be fine. I can pull them from the ball pit at Burger King, right? Like the ultimate kids play gym. I can pull them from that and they they they whine and now I want to stay but they don’t throw me and this was just down the road.
Brian Friedlander 1:16:56
I mean, look at some of the research. I mean, I think you know the technology really gets there like, you know, endorphins and it puts the brain it sets the brain in a certain mode that it’s very, you know, it’s very reinforcing. And that’s why you know, you’re getting almost a tantrum when you taking it away. I think it’s really I mean, you see it in middle school kids too. I mean, you know, I mean, you get in high school and high school.
Brian Friedlander 1:17:22
Now you got any sports, the only thing Good thing you get eSports now,
Mike Wieger 1:17:25
I, I watch this, I’m addicted to watching eSports. So, I can’t imagine
Brian Friedlander 1:17:31
the brain chemistry when they’re, you know, looking at a screen and you’re seeing the impact of, you know, the fruit of the chemicals flowing in the brain and giving kids Good, good feelings. And it’s, you know, you kind of, you know, they’re going through withdrawal when you take it away, literally, you know,
Nathaniel Lindley 1:17:48
think about, um, I was listening to something similar along this line, and it talked about that there’s different kinds of reward. Set like dopamine is one and there’s others. Some are more powerful than others.
Nathaniel Lindley 1:18:02
So really in time,
Nathaniel Lindley 1:18:04
and I can’t remember the details, maybe you can help me but screentime gives you I think they said dopamine hits of tiny rewards kind of like gambling, lots of variable, I might get a message, I might get a Snapchat, you know that, which is different from I’m biking outside with my best friend and it’s beautiful out that’s a different kind of reward. Is that sound, right? Yes, yes, that
Brian Friedlander 1:18:27
makes it so our kids are not in that. Right. And I think, you know, when we’re outside, we’re taking in like sensory data from a lot of different places where basically everything is very is coming through the eyes, which have a tremendously large, you know, center in the brain. And so it’s kind of maddening. It’s magnifying everything that we’re taking in. Whereas when you’re bicycling, you know, you got the wind, you got other things going on, but it’s not. It’s not that intensity and the focus that it is when you’re playing you know a game or looking at a company pewter screen.
Mike Wieger 1:19:01
Well, that makes so much sense because it was and even when I was asking my kids Hey, do you want to FaceTime Your papa Nana, and he loved doing that they’ll family activities. He didn’t look up. didn’t look. I mean it was it was it was almost like a completely different kid. These kids weren’t real.
Brian Friedlander 1:19:16
The real high I mean it is Yeah,
Mike Wieger 1:19:18
yeah. Yeah. Interesting. Well, according to them, the trash man took their their iPads as they call them. So I needed to do something drastic because I did not like what I was saying. And I’ll probably reduce it and in lower increments or something. I think their ages wasn’t ready.
Brian Friedlander 1:19:33
Something you may want to do is just have like a timer or something, you know, so you know, they hear a beep in like, they know that they have five more minutes like just to make that kind of fade into that trance. Interesting.
Mike Wieger 1:19:43
Okay, those kind of things help.
Brian Friedlander 1:19:45
Yeah, they do. Okay. Yeah. The other the other trend I want to say is that I foresee that there’s going to be a lot of teachers that are going to decide to retire at the end. I think for some of them. This has been overwhelming and they just really can’t get you know, they can’t balance this and the technology and they’re going to, if they were thinking about it, I think they’re gonna take retirement. So I would foresee that that’s gonna happen across the United States.
Jim Collison 1:20:15
That’s really good insight. Brian. I hadn’t thought about that. Yeah. Yeah. Well, it definitely we’re, you know, the education system is being disrupted. Yeah. You know, we are going through a massive disruption, the enterprise is being disrupted Gallup where I work. We’ve been writing a ton about this for the last three years. So we were a little bit ahead of this and thinking about remote workers and what the new environment Well, we just didn’t know how fast we didn’t know how fast it was gonna happen. Right? We’ve been talking about this. And I think the workplace is much better off than it then our education system and there’s still disruption in the enterprise still disruption to business, but maybe education is being disrupted in like, it’s still incredible rates. Hey, before I wrap this, Nathaniel, let me give you one more shot. Brian, would you want anything else that you’d want to say in this kind of context? Before we kind of, we could go on for like three hours. But anything else? Any other final thoughts, Nathaniel?
Nathaniel Lindley 1:21:11
No, other than you know, everyone just has to have a lot of patience and grace with each other. Your teachers are working extremely hard to help your kid. You’re working extremely hard to help your kid, you know, and the kids are working hard, you know, it’s everyone has to be patient and kind, and, you know, forgiving when there’s mistakes. So, we’re all doing our best to get through it. And it is what it is, you know.
Jim Collison 1:21:42
good thoughts. Brian. Final Thoughts?
Brian Friedlander 1:21:44
Yeah. You know, like what Nathaniel said, You know, I see my students that try to do the best they can with the resources they have. And, you know, I think, you know, teachers are doing a tremendous job considering what they you know, have laid before them. And they’ll continue to do a wonderful job with the kids. I think they’re all trying to reach kids and in different ways. I think that, you know, I think teachers themselves need a lot of support, and they could find it in Facebook groups or even Twitter groups or whatever they’re PLN I think it’s really important for them to form their own community so they can reflect on their practices and get the kind of support that they that they need amongst their peers. And I think that’s really important.
Jim Collison 1:22:29
Jim Collison 1:22:30
final thoughts on this? You know, what do you what do you think
Mike Wieger 1:22:33
my final thoughts are that I love? I hope that the education system is getting the attention it deserves right now, because of all this because I have just I don’t think anyone has had a deeper respect for what everyone is doing in education space, is doing the right now. I think we all realize, first of all, how much work you guys buy. The reaction from the educational community has been faster than most businesses on how to do this, right? How do we engage our kids? How do we get going so thank you to both of you for Whatever you do for what you do, not whatever you do for what you guys do, and just I hope everyone just appreciates what the whole educational community is doing. I think it’s been fantastic. I’ve been blown away with the reaction from my boys, teachers, from my co workers, teachers, and what the education has been doing. And I think everyone appreciates it. If you guys don’t hear that enough, you can hear from me, we appreciate the hard work you guys are putting into to keep our youth educated. Thanks.
Jim Collison 1:23:25
Yeah, no, I echo that appreciate you guys were four voices in this. And there are many more than that. And this is not the be all end all of I don’t know if we solved any problems tonight, but certainly had some great conversations around it. I think, you know, I want to end with this from a from a community standpoint. So as a community, we have the ability to help in the situation like that. Daniel, you said it yourself. You’ve learned a lot from just kind of hanging in this community, right. There’s been a lot of discussions and you’ve taught us a lot. You’ve come on and talked about Chromebooks. And we’ve we’ve looked from you, right? So, mutual learning community, we would we’d missed the boat gentlemen and ladies who are listening tonight, we would miss the boat if we didn’t take some opportunities when locked down, maybe ends and we can get out of our house and maybe do some things safely together, to get back into our communities and be a voice to help. Like, I think we have some of the answers to jump in here. Even if it’s just mentoring another teacher on technology, or helping the school. Nathaniel, I’m sure there are there are moments when you could use a helping hand from some parents to do some things. You’re going to need to bring all these Chromebooks back in, you’re gonna write, they’re gonna need to be cleaned and formatted and worked with right. Yeah, he’s good about that. And now he’s, you
Nathaniel Lindley 1:24:44
know, even thinking of an
Nathaniel Lindley 1:24:48
Jim Collison 1:24:50
Yeah, yeah. I mean, there’s, there’s there’s challenges in our communities that that needs to be met. And I’d love to see and I’d love to hear stories from from our listeners. Of how they’re going out and helping and being a part of it. And maybe it’s not, maybe it’s not a school, but maybe it’s a church, or maybe it’s a civic organization, or maybe it’s first responders, or, you know, I’ve gone on record saying if they could ever figure out like, if you’ve had this thing before, if you’ve had code, you know, the COVID, and then you’re now immune, if I knew that I go volunteer at hospitals every weekend to just say, like, Look, put me in harm’s way. Like, you know, I think we can help in this in this case. So if you’re, you’re listening to this, if you’re on the road, or you’re at home, I don’t know your listening patterns have changed. This has disrupted podcasting do podcast is listening, probably the three of you are listening to podcasts differently, and then you listen to them eight weeks ago because your maybe your listening patterns have changed. I’d really like you to think through the summer like how do what could I do to volunteer? What can I do to help? How could I take my talents and technology and apply them To my district or my local school, or my local tech guy, or whatever right and and really kind of make a difference there. We’d love to hear those stories as they come in as well. So as you start doing this, maybe you’re doing it now love to hear those stories send those to me or ping me Jim at The Average Guy TV. We’d love to either feature those or hear from those or we can read them on the show, come on the show, talk about those kinds of things. We’d love to hear those as well a couple reminders on our way out one if you want to kind of financially help what we’re doing here. I don’t talk about this very much but you can go to our Patreon page, The Average Guy TV slash Patreon. Have a plan out there if you want to get involved. Really jump into one of our discord or not one our discord group The Average Guy TV slash discord we got a whole bunch of different channels in there. Really great communication. We haven’t forgot about you on Facebook either. The Average Guy TV slash Facebook that’s still going on out there. I kind of post the show notes but a lot of the conversations moved to Discord. If you’ve been hesitant to move to discord get past it like get us to get over on the discord side. There’s a lot of stuff going on there. Well, if you want to contact me, send me an email Jim at the average guy.tv. If you’re on YouTube right now, do me a favor, just if you stayed this long. I know there’s, there’s 10 of you gonna hit the like button that actually helps on YouTube. So just go down. It’s right, it’s right down there. Just click on the like button and subscribe while you’re there. Those things actually do help us get discovered on YouTube. So I’d appreciate that as well. Don’t forget The Average Guy TV platform hosted by Maple Grove Partners get secure, reliable high speed hosting from people that you know and you trust if you need a site plans or as little as $10 Christian will set you up both web and media hosting he basically does it all to play and start at 10 bucks. So Maple Grove partners.com and we are live every Thursday at 8pm Central nine Eastern out here at The Average Guy TV live. If you’ve made it this far, chances are you’re gonna like to come back next Thursday. So come back. It does not quite as a serious next week we’re going to talk about lawn care and technology associates. Kind of a nice break. It’s been a little heavy on the last couple weeks and so Kind of a nice break as we think about summer and doing some lawn care and Dave McCabe will be back. He’s always trying to do that as well. We want to thank you for joining us tonight. Brian and Daniel. Thank you for coming on as well. We’ll do a little we’ll do a little bit of a post show that will say goodbye.
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