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Monday, June 25, 2012

iPads in the classroom survey results--what I take away

I think I'll probably be spending a lot of time going over the data from this survey all summer long.  But first impressions are important, right?  So here they are:

1) iPads help with organization.  However, for students to maximize the benefits of the iPads, they need to use one platform for organization.  Evernote, Noterize, Sundry Note are all free apps that help with this, Notability is a paid, but cheap, app that was far and away the student's favorite, as it combined both writing and typing. When they use these apps, they are better able to access the information that they wrote down during their classes--notes are neater, legible, all in one place and can't be destroyed by rain, snow, siblings or pets.

I think about it this way: I spent years convincing students that when it came to taking notes, it was vital for them to use a new page for a new day, date their notes, and then dedicate notebooks to subjects. (one for math, one for Spanish, one for history, etc.)  Now they need the same sort of structure, only digital and cloud-based.

Students have to learn to use their workflow app effectively.  Use labels/tags to identify their subjects and topics. Keep all their notes in one cloud.  They can use a different app for different subjects (so Sundry Notes for English, Notability for math, Evernote for history) or they should just stick with one for all academics.  (This could be problematic, as some, like Evernote, limit the amount of data on a monthly basis...)

The problem is that there are other apps that get used (like ShowMe or educreations) that deposit other activities/class materials into a different cloud, so students need to be able to bundle all the different clouds together so they remember what they made and can then make use of the materials.  I'm thinking the way to do that is to use their class blogs, but I'll need to think about that some more...

2) iPads are distracting.  Students are very open about the fact that they like games, they are heavily invested in social media, and they are addicted to the internet.  I need to adopt new classroom management to help them work through those distractions.  There is a vital need for this, as they are all the things that the students will have to deal with in the workplace too.

The reality is that turning the iPad over renders it no longer a distraction.  I've tended to let them have the iPad out on their desk even if we aren't directly making use of it, and I'll be re-thinking that next year somewhat.

BUT, the commentary also clearly indicated that when students felt engaged by the material they were not distracted by the iPad's siren song of temptation.  Soooooo, I think I need to work harder to keep them engaged, while also working to limit their temptations...how? I'm not sure yet. Check back with me!

3) iPads are a tool.  They are not a solution, they are not a problem.  They are value neutral.  They help students to access information, present what they know, and in some cases, demonstrate their understanding in new ways.  But lots of other tools enable this as well, so the world does not stop turning if I have them in my class or don't have them in my class!

But I'm glad to have them, and I'm looking forward to thinking about how to use them better next year!

iPad student survey--their responses

What follows are the transcribed comments from questions on the survey.  I'll edit them insofar as the formatting, but the words will be theirs, typos and all... "winner, winner, chicken dinner."

If yes, what type of tasks did it help you to accomplish with greater efficiency?

contacting people or looking up information right away

Homework, test studying

it helped me keep all my notes in one place and i would always have my ipad with me so i would always have my notes with me too. it was easier to organize my notes when it was on one app like evernote. it was also easier to type and i could make bullet points and outline things faster than writing it all out.

Doing homework was so easy. Before doing homework was the hardest thing to accomplish. Now I do homework so much faster.

Writing papers, doing research

Just writing notes or watching videos to understand stuff and also just to use the web in order to find out ore info.

Keeping all my homework and notes in one place so I can remember where they are and to do them.

Note Taking, sending certain emails right in class

Notes, recording,

In a way maybe. I was able to take notes much faster on my iPads, and taking pictures were easier with the iPad. I could use these pictures to study.

Group projects and foreign language assignments

Voice recording or videos

Writing essays, homework, the whole kitten-kaboodle.

Worksheets, review, presentations, research

The iPad helped me to be able to prepare for tests.  I could go over my notes, which were all in one place, and then go on the internet and take mini quizzes.

Research, and taking notes by typing

Yes, looking up more modern articles, showmen

Notetaking

Research, note taking

Taking notes.

Blogging. Note taking.

Note taking, oral assignments

Getting to websites, communication with teachers.

Typing up reports instead of having to do it at home, looking at things on the Internet that pertain to class

Sme note taking and projects

If you answered yes it did help you to recall facts better, how did you use it to do this?

Vocab, cuz I can use the flash cards app anywhere

Flash cards and notes taken on the iPad.

I would look up facts online with ease

Wikipanion, safari, google

I could use the Internet for research

I would just save stuff using the main idea and added tags so I could find it later on easier.

Instead of flipping back and searching through a notebook, I was able to click one thing in the iPad and have it all come up

Notes were easier to access due to easier format

Flashcardlet app, noterize

Not sure about this. I definitely used more media to study this year -- Khan Academy, Youtube videos, self-made Educreations. I think I'm a visual learner, so this likely helped,  but I can't be 100% sure.

I could either use wikipanion or evernote to find anything I needed to refresh my memory

I was able to search for topics in my notes

It didn't make it any worse, or any better.  I feel recalling facts is more about me no any tools.
Yes because I took notes

If you answered "yes" to any of the above 5 questions, please provide examples of how this happened for you below. (Analysis, visualization, understanding, concepts)

#3 - we used so many different apps that were capable of different things that we were able to do something other than just read a text book. For example, using showme we were able to create presentations to share with each other to simplify concepts for better understanding.

Easy to find videos, visuals, and info to understand complicated concepts and analyze them

A lot of educational apps would show me visuals and animations and I think that helped me the most because I am a visual learner.

It was easier to directly compare things instead of in notebooks

You could always look things up

Just being able to use the web and everything else allowed me to find out a lot more and helped a lot.
I was able to google information and see other viewpoints that made analysis easier.

I often found myself exploring google as soon as we talked about different lessons and concepts in class

The iPad provides a lot of different viewpoints for learning, and learning styles. But it can also be easiest to assume you know something just because it's on your iPad.

It helped me get a new perspective because I was able to do showmes and quick voices. It helped me with visualization becuas of pictures.

With many apps and information at my fingertips on one iPad, it was easy to make connections between people and ideas

I could research thins and get different perspectives if I didn't understand and it gave visuals on websites, google, etc.

Able to use more apps that's helped a lot with seeing different things such as the google search, the ap world app

Sometimes when things were difficult, it helped to search online to find a helpful resource.

Being able to look things up on the Internet and watching videos that other people made helped me see other perspectives.  Being able to look up difficult topics and have them explained to me on children's websites ws very helpful.  And, being able to look up pictures helped me visualize what I was learning and then be able to solve problems.

The iPad, I think, was most useful for math. Using my stylus and Notability or Penultimate, I could sketch out problems, almost as if I had my own whiteboard. For a person who hates clutter, this approach allowed for an entire page dedicated to one difficult problem. Cleaner notes probably helped me grasp topics better and visualize solutions. If I were a better note-taker, I probably could have fashioned my notes in a way that "connected concepts/facts/events" better.

The iPad helped give digital perspective using Showme

It was easy to look up questions online and to access the the Chapter outlines

I could use the internet and evernote in class search my notes and research online to find hazy subjects, and in the process, make connections between subjects.

Wikipanion have more detailed, modern information. Sowme helped with interactive projects.nFast access to interwebs

iPad was good to write essays

You have easier assess to media and graphs, primary sources

Was able to research things online and gain a greater understanding.

If I wanted to look anything up I had the iPad in front of me to look them up.

I feel like if there was an issue I had to clarify I could always rely on the iPad for help

Did the iPad help you to articulate answers in a different way than you had before?

Indirectly, less embarrassment

different apps were more hands-on and visual rather than just notes

Posterous/videos
We could post answers to things online
Because instead of just using notes you could use the web or anything else.

ShowMe, Quickvoice

Using showme helped me show and explain what I was talking about at the same time

Well, it was all online so thats different.

Through blogs, videos, extranormals, and other such things.

Doing stuff like the voice thread because normally I didn't like hearing myself talk but the project turned out good.

Show me (unfortunately for Spanish)

I was able to use show me other apps that have good visuals

I could view all the different viewpoints by looking at my neat notes and internet

Interactive presentations

Using different apps such as Showme and scanning different documents offered a different way to do things.

Because its an iPad and it is a different way to answer as before.

Blogposts

Through a class blog and personal blog

Did the iPad help you to participate in class more than you did before?

I could take notes on it more efficiently so I had all the information I needed to engage in class discussions

I could get information quicker and easier.

If we did iPad activities in class, I participated because they were more interesting,

More participating on the iPad to make up for my lack of speaking.

Teachers have activities online

If I didn't know what was going on I could look it up and then participate in the discussion.

Research class discussion topics

ShowMe app

no, I was distracted by the iPad in class.

If you answered yes to any of the above questions (making the content more real/tangible/show that you understand it), please give an example below.

#2 - it just provided me with mediums for the facilitation of learning other than simply paper and textbooks. We created maps, we created presentations, etc. it allowed for me to expand my horizons and use different tools which created a totally different experience in school.

Ipad did help me show my teachers that I understood the material because there are such apps known as Showme or Educreation, in which we have to make presentations and email it to teacher. This shows my ability to understand the material. Also, not only in this class, but in my spanish class, we did some random recordings at random days on showme or educreation or quickvoice, in which either we had to teach the teacher about a specific topic or just give a presentation. Yes, this presentation was graded so we had to make it better. Doing presentations within a class period puts us under pressure, thus, by doing this, I did learn things.

Videos and visuals

we emailed assignments to teachers so they could check if we knew it or not. and it wasmore tangible because we could do different things rather than just ttakenote

I could email my teacher the work I've done and show thm how I understood the material and then she could email me back with feedback.

It was easier to do work in school without the need of going home on the computer

I was able to have material more readily

I was able to do projects and work in different ways, showing my understanding in ways I could not without the iPad.

The ability to access the internet allowed for more in depth studying of facts, I was more organized due to Inclass, and the internet allowed me to talk about history and then google it

There are lots more ways to learn and present info.

With google earth, history felt more tangible and real life

Winner winner chicken dinner

Easier to organize

The material became more tangible as we wrote blog posts and did projects with the ipads.

With Dropbox and such apps, it makes working with material much easier

With ShowMe I could show teachers how well I understood the material and use the material in a more tangible way.

In general, there was more immediacy to classes. Something in class might remind us of an example, that we would promptly Google and gain information about. In AP Bio, we would Google any taxonomic group that the book mentioned.

Understood the material = show mes

It was more interactive

I could type and revise responses to show my teachers how my opinion

Being able to interact with other classmates and such, and fast access to the Internet.

Online work

More hands on with media

I was able to write notes on worksheets that were emailed

You could view actual images of the places or people you were talking about, it varied the way you could do assignments

In what way did it impact your attention, positively or negatively?
It was quite distracting with constant msgs being exchanged through my friends and the notifications that I kept recieving.

"Positive- better organization
Negative- less focus"

technology is always distracting just because of all the games and opportunities to lose focus.
It depended on the class. In a class where I understood the material and was not engaged enough by the teacher, it lurked in the corner of my desk, tempting me to explore its vast social networks.however, in a class where the teacher was engaging and conducting an interesting or important activity I wouldn't think of touching it.there were some classes this year that I couldn't tear myself away from the iPad during. There were also some classes in which I never thought of touching it.

At the beginning, I used to get distracted but I learned my lesson very quickly. In fact, most of the times the class work is so busy that I do not have time to do some other things such as facebook or twitter on ipad. The only time I had time would be between the periods or during lunch. By taking AP classes, I made use of ipad in more of positive way rather than getting distracted all the times. I did pay attention in class with my ipad in front of me and I took notes on my ipad. It just has helped me more with being organized with notes and everything. Really, to be honest, it is in a person's hand about how to use ipad in class. It is their choice and it does pay off if they choose not to pay attention in class.

iBooks distracted me

Because there are games, and messaging apps, and yeah, I get distr- ohhh shinyyy thingie!!!

i was always on reddit or facebook or imessage and teachers just don't know / care

The iPad is and iPad. It is educational piece of technology, sure, but it is also a music player,a video game, a time passer. So no matter what u use it for, it will always distract you in some ways.

I was sometimes distracted by Reddit, Facebook, and games. But I realized that these affected how well I paid attention so I learned to do it on my own time.

Negatively,  would get distracted by games or facebook very easily

I was on social networking sites, games and espn occasionally.

Games were disttactions

It impacted my attention mostly positively, there were times when it was negative but otherwise it was ok

The negative way in that I would zone off so days and just play games which was not good

iPad activities helped me pay attention more, but games did distract me.

Negatively, because even if I was surfing for something educational, my attention is still taken away from the teachers and the lesson

Twitter, Facebook, tumblr, reddit...

It allowed all of the students to access the teachers documents though google docs, etc. This in particular was useful to the class.

Twitter, facebook, reddit, email, google,

It was a distraction because some apps are hilarious

In some ways, it did keep me organized, however I often got distracted by it.

Negatively because when you have games on your ipad and the oppurtunity to waste time on the ipad....you get distracted from learning and participating in class

It made me appreciate winner winner chicken dinner

It was positive when I could research different things, but social networks distracted me

It didnt affect my attention in this class because I love this class and was never bored!

It was both positive and negative because we could use the iPad for work in class but at the same time it was a huge distraction at some points

Well, if you did not want to pay attention is class the iPad made it easier.

Negatively, because it provided a constant distraction.

The games at the beginning of the year hurt me because I was distracted. Some teachers did send class materials through email which helped.

In some cases I would take notes on it and focus more, but in other cases I would play games and not pay attention.

I cannot deny that I was more distracted. Though, personally, my grades didn't suffer. My distraction was never from playing games (except for that nightmarish week of Scramble with Friends) but usually from reading articles. At the same time, I think it really affects the morale of a class when a teacher desperately tries to keep students off their iPads.

It was hard to listen to topics I found boring when there was a plethora of interesting things right in front of me

Negatively because it would make me want to check things like twitter or my email.

It didn't really impact my focus unless I was in a class that I just couldn't pay attention in (chem) ; I think a part of this was that i took notes in a notebook

Somewhat positively

Games, facebook, twitter

Rather neutral, since I never got reddit. It was really useful for notes and being able to interact with what we were learning.

I got more essays done on time and better hw grades than last year

It was the most distracting thing I have ever had. Games were the worst thing ever

Slightly negatively because when I got bored I would just check my iPad which would take my attention away from the class.

Negatively, I was always distracted but i don't feel like it negatively impacted my grades

Negatively.

It took my attention away.

It took me away from paying attention because I was distracted by games and social media.

Negatively

"It helped because there was different material that could be shared, but it hurt because of ga,es and other apps that we're distractions"

I wasn't forced to pay attention anymore as I as able to distract myself with the iPad

Positively cause Im not distracted by games

Negatively


Friday, June 15, 2012

iPads in the Classroom--The student perspective; data!

The student responses to the iPad survey are as follows.  I'll just give the raw numbers in this post, then talk about what I think it all means in a subsequent one, and pull together some of the non-number responses (i.e.: app suggestions and commentary).

A total of 50 students, all juniors at BHS enrolled in AP World History, responded to the survey.

1) Did the iPad help you to accomplish tasks more efficiently?
     Yes          25
     No           11
     Neutral    14

2) Has the iPad helped you to be more organized?
     Yes          32
     No           10
     Neutral      8

3)Did you use the iPad to help you keep track of assignments?
    Yes           26
    No            19
    Neutral       5

4) Did you find that the iPad helped you to recall facts better?
    Yes          16
    No           20
    Neutral    14

5) Did the iPad help you to make connections between concepts/facts/events better?
    Yes          14
    No           15
    Neutral    21

6) Did the iPad help you to analyze concepts better/easier than before you had an iPad?
    Yes         14
    No          20
    Neutral   16

7) Did the iPad help you to explore different perspectives in new/better ways?
    Yes         25
    No           9
    Neutral  16

8) Did the iPad help you to understand difficult topics?
    Yes        17
    No         17
    Neutral  16

9) Did the iPad help you to visualize solutions/answers when confronted with academic problems?
   Yes         18
   No          16
   Neutral   16

10) Did the iPad help you to express yourself clearly?
    Yes        11
    No         17
   Neutral   22

11)  Did the iPad help you to articulate answers in a different way than you had before?
   Yes         19
   No          14
   Neutral   17

12)  Did the iPad help you to participate in class more than you did before?
   Yes           8
   No          36
   Neutral     6

13)  Did the iPad help you to show your teachers that you understand the material?
    Yes         16
    No          20
    Neutral   14

14) Did the iPad help you work with class material in a more tangible way?
     Yes         26
     No          11
     Neutral   13

15) Did the iPad help you feel the course content was more "real" or authentic or applicable to your life?
     Yes           9
     No          25
     Neutral   16

16) Did the iPad impact your attention in class: 1 it hurt my ability to pay attention, 10 it made it more possible for me to pay attention
     1     2     3     4     5      6     7     8     9     10
     7     1     7     5    16     7     3     2     1     1


Thursday, June 14, 2012

iPads in the classroom--The student perspective part one

There's lots of buzz out there about iPads, going 1:1 and technology in the classroom.  I've just completed a school year of having my students using iPads in my classroom on a damn near daily basis, and I wanted to know what they think this tool was good for. Did it help them? hurt them? make them better students?

Below is the survey I gave to my classes to try and find out.  You should know that the students who completed it are all juniors in high school who completed my AP World History course.  They represent, by and large, the top 20% of students in my school, and include the likely valedictorian and salutatorian.  They are "good" students, in the parlance of my school.  The reliable, the steady, the strong students. I have found them to be thoughtful, clear thinkers, and I value their opinions.  I do not always agree with them, and there are things that they do not know about how they should learn; their training as capital S-students is admittedly poor, and they still have a ways to go. Still, they are the reason why we embarked on this experiment, and their perspective must be heard too.

They are filling out the survey now, so the next entry will be results.