May 11, 2011

Parent Survey Feedback April 2011

Last year I included parents and students in a survey on media usage modified from Common Sense Media. This year I returned to some of the questions I used in a survey in 2009 as I wanted to be able to see if there were similarities or differences.

The responses to Question 1 were heartening as to parental perception of student attitudes about using technology:
Comments indicated that students look forward to the day that they have access to the Computer Lab with their class and that they carry information home from school. There was also positive feedback about classrooms that have up-to-date web pages with photos and descriptions of learning activities.

As I look at the responses to the second question from two years ago and this year, the responses are very similar with slight increases in access via. email and for teacher web pages.
As part of the Google transition we asked all Yarmouth parents for feedback on our web pages and we will be using those responses as we revise the school websites.

"Disruptive Learning" - iPad visits the Lab

I have been bringing my new iPad to school to get feedback and reactions. Today a class of 4th graders were enjoying some "choice" time with the emphasis on creativity. Primarily they selected Scratch, Lego Digital Designer, Tux Paint (symmetry & string designs), and GarageBand. In the midst of the low key buzz of exploration I brought out my iPad. The interest was huge and I got to hear who had an iPad at home, who was saving up for one, who had an iPhone, etc. I was curious about apps they use and I heard, "I like Carnivores, but you wouldn't have that," "Oh, download Sheep!", "Search for Juicy Fruit and Candy Box"! As I looked up the apps they wanted it became clear very quickly that they were heading me into "Entertainment" and "Arcade Games" and not anything "Educational". A student found the Uno app and immediately started a game. Several wanted to join in and my questions in my own mind started: Is this better in any way than using the cards? Would it be easier to take out an iPad or a deck of cards? How does the collaboration change around an iPad vs. a set of cards? and so on...

There was a lot of hubbub in the room and we certainly "disrupted" the calm of the lab by gathering around the iPad and chattering. I need to do more of this as we explore the potential for iPads. Beyond the high level of interest from students we need to focus on "a purpose with a plan" that is the expectation in our school.