February 7, 2010

YES Student Surveys

Recently I asked the students in grades 2, 3, & 4 to respond to a survey about learning in the Computer Lab. The survey was designed to give me feedback on my teaching as well as what activities we do in the Computer Lab might be engaging enough for them to continue use at home or away from school.

The survey took the students 5-10 minutes and there have been 213 responses from three classes at each grade. Most of the students responded that they like to use the computer to learn (Yes ~ 69%, Sometimes ~ 30%, No ~ 3%). They listed a number of things they like to do in the lab, most of which were activities we have done in the past few weeks: Google Earth, Timez Attack, Clicker Paint, Math Sites, Arctic Activities, and of course, "playing games". Other short comments included that they like to "learn with the teacher on what we are learning on in class", "study stuff like science and all of the other stuff" and that "you are allowed to use very advanced technology".

The questions about whether I help them learn and whether I help if they need help had positive responses, but there were more "Sometimes" responses than I would have expected (Yes ~ 72%, Sometimes ~ 29%, No ~ 3%). I can tell from the response sheets that a few students selected both Yes and Sometimes. I am curious about the Sometimes responses as combined with the No responses because they are where I would like to improve. I may be able to have conversations with students about these. I also wonder if it would have been a clearer result if the students only had "Yes" or "No" as choices.

In response to the question about what they wished we would do more of in the computer lab the responses mirrored the list of activities they like: Google Earth, Math & Reading, Free Choice, Games, Clicker Paint, Writing, Science, Typing, and "more of what we want".

A few students responded to the open-ended option to tell me anything they wanted. Some of the unedited responses are below:
  • I like playing a game on math that is called seed ball.
  • Computer lab is fun.I also very much enjoy typing.It is very fun.
  • No. I think computer time is good
  • i also like multiplication  baseball.
  • computer lab is perfect for me and I don't think it could be better. 
  • Well  I  like  computers a  little  and that  is it.There  is nothing else really.
  • I want to do more fun things in comeputer!
  • You are a great teacher
  • I wish we could type more in AppleWorks 6
  • I love  to  be  in  the  lab. play  on  the  computer  in  the lab.
  • I wish we could play more games, and go on AppleWorks 6 and type more things cause i love typeing and writing!!!!!
  • i like computer lab
  • i have fun doing a lot of games it is so fun.
  • i like computer
  • I need you to help me more
  • You are a spaktakeler  computer teacher and you shall always stay. Thanks for doing all the thinks you do. Thanks again.  
  • I wish we could go play more Arctic Games and go on AppleWorks 6 and type more and more and more things because I love writing/typing thanks.
  • can we watch videos.
  • I think we should play more games because sometimes we only work and computer lab is a special so we  should be able to play games and stuff like that
  • your a wonderful teacher
  • I just Love computer Lab.
  • Your AWSOME.
  • dear mrs wolinsky you are the coolest teacher in the YES school.
  • you are a Great teacher
  • Computer class is fun!!! just maybe we should have more time to explore.
  • I like how you work the lab and what we do.
  • I think you are a awesome teacher and you teach me a lot.
  • Are their more thing that can help us with math?
  • I wish we did more storys were we draw then write a story aboutit and the computer reads the story we made.
  • Yes, can we do the website on the close ups on the bugs?
  • And, can we have some more free time on the school website and on multiplatin?
  • I like to play games.
  • Can we please do more art
  • I just want you 2 know that you are really good at your job and that I love being in your computer class.
  • that i like a lot  of stuff that is going on in computer.
  • Computer is my favorite subject.
  • Computer lab is my second favorite subject in school.
  • You are the best computer teacher in the whole world in my mind
  • Thank you for being a great computer teacher this year. I also think its very nice you teach us stuff about the computers and how you help us whenever we need your help. Im glad i have you as my computer teacher for these  three years. thank you for all your help.
    In all, the survey confirms my impression that most students like learning in the lab and find me available as needed. It's useful to see what students like about what we do and it's not surprising that they would like more free time and free choice. I enjoy their candid responses to the open-ended questions and look forward to more conversations with them during classes. 

    February 4, 2010

    Exploring Countries and the World

    Third graders have continued to explore the world using Google Earth for locating Journey North Mystery Classes, becoming Panwapa Kids and continuing to excitedly learn about continents, cultures and major geographic features.

    In the lab the classes have toured the world using the Panwapa site to see country names, oceans, and the Information Booths that are in several countries. Once they have completed some time touring they join the site by becoming Panwapa Kid "USA 104,_ _ _". Creating this login and using a shared password so we can prompt them if they forget are part of Internet Safety conversations we have about creating an online identity. As part of creating a Panwapa Card students create a character and a home, then they select their favorite food, music, sport, activity, etc. We created a list of all the Panwapa IDs and sent each child home with her/his own. Students can go to any country, zoom in and see the cards created by students around the world.

    February 3, 2010

    Arctic study in the second grades includes animal reports using the wonderful site ARKive for photos and videos. With many wonderful picture books in the classroom, using resource sites in the lab and reviewing the material found in the Clicker Animals of Cold Lands books. Student have been creating reports and illustrating their knowledge using Clicker Paint.