Here is the feedback provided by staff on our student free day in week 6 term 4.
A quick snap shot of what is in the survey (13 staff responded):
Question 1 – In relation to “the iPad is an important learning tool in my classroom” 9 staff rated the iPads 7 or higher out of 10.
Question 2 – 8 out of 13 staff use the iPads weekly or more.
Question 3 – 32 different apps have been used by staff. Uses varied from concept reinforcement, research, engagement, collaboration and creative presentation applications.
Question 4 – Two staff are keen to use iMovie R/1 and with PLP students in 2014. One staff member suggested would like to use a range of apps but felt it was too hard to get them onto the iPad just for potentially one off use. Please do not hesitate to seek me out to help you with the use of different apps if you need a sounding board. Please approach me if you have apps you would like to try. I will be updating apps etc at the end of the year and can add new apps ready for next year. I am a little hesitant to update and add new apps during a term so that student work is not affected.
Question 5 – Internet connection (not sure if this meant no connection?). If the Internet is not working this can usually be fixed fairly easily – come and see me in my office or let me know which iPad is not working/students do need Learn Link to get on to Safari. Sometimes iPads were booked out but not being used. Issues around losing student work. Thinking about alternate ways to store student work while it is being used i.e. saving a Book Creator file to school server in case it is lost or saving iMovie back to camera roll in case it is erased from iMovie may help. Removing work the instant it is finished will also help. This will always be an issue and one we must work on with students regarding the respect of other peoples work.
Question 6 – Are there enough iPads? 8 responded 6 said yes. Not enough for largest class in school (28 students). Two more will fit in the cart which would get us to 28.
Question 7 – What has been the impact from a whole school perspective? 12 responded 10 rated this 7 out of 10 or higher.
Click here to view detailed collated survey information.
Here are the Power Point and videos from our student free day session between recess and lunch. I hope that the staff who were unable to be there on Monday will have a look.
If you are really interested in finding out more about what Will Richardson has to say click here to visit his blog. His book Why School? which is available to download is also an excellent read.
Thank you to Chris Wejr (@chriswejr) who posted a link to his blog post 14 Videos for Starting Dialogue on Rethinking Rewards, Awards on Twitter which gave me the idea of posting a couple of those videos here to challenge thinking about rewards in the classroom.
I certainly have used rewards in the past but rarely if ever do I use them now. This is not so much because of a deep seated philosophy that I have about using rewards in the classroom but more about my indifference to the whole issue itself, having never had a strong opinion either way. Obviously I use grades to report student achievement which can be considered a form of reward. Students rarely see a grade as a useful piece of feedback designed to help them improve, rather it is viewed more as an end result (a reward) than a stepping stone to improvement.
Someone who does have a strong opinion about rewards, including the use of grades is Alfie Kohn. Below is a grab from Alfie Kohn’s blog which can be visited by clicking here.
Alfie Kohn writes and speaks widely on human behavior, education, and parenting. The author of twelve books and scores of articles, he lectures at education conferences and universities as well as to parent groups and corporations.
Kohn’s criticisms of competition and rewards have been widely discussed and debated, and he has been described in Time magazine as “perhaps this country’s most outspoken critic of education’s fixation on grades [and] test scores.”
The first video is a excerpt of Alfie Kohn speaking about the impact of rewards (including grades). The second video is a clip from The Office (American version) which highlights what happens when an employee is not interested in the external rewards being offered by the employer (very funny). Is this what happens in our classrooms when students disengage because they have no interest in the external rewards in our classrooms (including grades)? If students do not engage because of the traditional rewards offered to them the question is how do we engage them? What motivates these students to want to achieve?
I would be really interested in hearing about what philosophies teachers had regarding rewards and the importance (or not) of grades towards learning.
Here is a great presentation tool. The VideoScibe app is easy to use with some great YouTube tutorials available to assist you. Check out the quick video I made promoting the JP PE classes Balances unit for parents.