Now that we are about half-way through the trial, we wanted to see how things were going and get ideas for how we can continue to improve in the second semester. So, we spent the last few weeks gathering feedback about the iPad Trial so far.
We sent a survey home to all grade 7 parents on December 3rd, conducted a similar survey with all grade seven students the following week, collected video reflections from the students, and interviewed teachers. We received about a 40% response-rate on the survey from parents, and 100% from students (since we asked them to complete the survey at school).
We will combine all of these elements into a mini-documentary highlighting teacher and student impressions of the 2:1 trial, but in the meantime, here are some of the highlights from the surveys (please note these are copied and pasted directly):
From the Parent Survey
“They seem to be good tools for learning. However, between the laptop and the iPad, it seems that our daughter just has too many technology distractions and more opportunities to waste time. She is really struggling with time management. The computer and iPad are too distracting for this level of maturity. It’s worse this year with the addition of the iPad.”
I am positive about the iPad as a tool for learning, however I think that the specific apps are not used that much and therefore do not add a lot of learning possibility; the efficiency of 2 screens is the biggest advantage.
I think the iPad allows for creativity and flexibility during school. I have not seen him use it much at all for homework, so I am not sure that it is necessary for each child to have both devices and bring them both back and forth each day. He does have his own, non-school iPad which he uses for fun on train journeys and when out and about.
I believe it has been a very good experience so far. The apps have been very useful to help my son complete his projects. In the beginning he sometimes didn’t know which technology to use but I noticed that he has been a lot more confident recently and knows exactly when to use the ipad or the computer.
From the Student Survey
I think the best part of having a Laptop is that it makes it easier to send work to teachers and you can make interesting projects. I think the best thing about the iPad is how you record on the iPad because it’s really easy. Maybe we should try to use the iPads only when necessary.
It gives us more opportunity to do projects in different styles. In PE we are using coaches eye, and its much easier to explain my ideas, because you can annotate and make the video slow-motion. I want teachers to learn about the I pads more, and experiment with it to see if its really effective. At the moment I can’t judge how useful they are because were not using them enough.
I think having the IPad is a good idea because its easier to do more things like taking notes, making short videos, photos, and many more. having an IPad and a computer helps me get things done quicker and be more creative with my work.
There are different functions on the iPad that you can’t do on your Laptop and there is easier accessibility to certain things. The Laptop is helpful when doing summative assignments and homework that involves more work like typing a essay.
Its really easy to film, so What I like to do is film on the Ipad, then edit videos on the computer, so I could use a good combination with the Ipad and computer.
The best part is that we can choose the best tool for classes and homework that can do the job we want to do better than the other. Maybe we could use the iPads for different classes and activities that we have not used them for when in reality would be useful.
We will use the data we collected to inform our next Community Focus Group meeting in December. We will also conduct another round of surveys and interviews later on this year.