During the recent term break, I wrote an initial blog reflecting on the launch of 1:1 Computing with our Yr9 Cohort this year. Whilst that blog focused mainly on the parent perspective, this one will share some feedback from students and staff.
The Staff Voice – by the numbers:
- For 98% of our Yr9 teachers, this was the first time teaching in a fully 1:1 environment (hence staff PD was so important)
- 78% of staff had previously permitted students to use devices in their classes
- 40% of staff said they didn’t need to provide any tech support to students whilst 44% responded they needed “to some extent” help students with their laptop
- 93% agreed to strongly agreed that ICT tech support was available to help them or their students when they needed it during class time.
- Teacher expectations around laptop usage in class was:
- 37% every lesson
- 32% 3-4 times per week
- 31% 1-2 times per week
These numbers paint a largely positive picture and reflect what our planning and investigation had revealed: the majority of our teachers would be “new” to managing a classroom where every student had a laptop and that we would need to continue to provide tech support in a timely fashion for teachers and students to feel confident this was going be a success.
Our surveys of staff in 2013 also revealed two main concerns held by teachers: the pace of learning would slow and behaviour management would become problematic. Here’s the survey results from a teacher perspective:
- Pace of Learning: 54% it was about the same as before, 32% it has increased with the technology in the classroom
- Classroom Management: 54% disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement that behaviour management challenges had increased with the introduction of laptops, whilst 20% agreed or strongly agreed there were new challenges.
- 70% of staff agreed or strongly agreed that the 1:1 Computing initiative added value to the learning for students.
It’s pleasing to see that the majority of teachers are finding that the technology is not increasing the challenges of learning, nor significantly slowing the pace of learning in the classroom either. As one teacher commented in the survey:
Year 9 students are not distracted by laptops – happy to open and close as needed. It is just another piece of equipment.
The Student Voice – by the numbers:
- 46% of students were allowed to bring a device to class in Yr8 (approximately half Yr9 students come from the Preparatory School, and half from feeder schools)
- 75% of students responded this was the first device they had personally owned or been responsible for the majority of the time.
- 60% of students made a joint decision on the type of laptop with their parents (only 17.5% had sole discretion on choosing an Apple or Windows based computer)
- 82% agreed or strongly agreed that they are a confident user of a computer (our experience would suggest this is too high, and some have an over-inflated sense of their competency!)
Again, this matched our expectations – that for many students this would be the first time they had been solely responsible for a laptop and therefore a learning curve was likely as they became comfortable with regularly charging their laptop and managing files, school email addresses and electronic submission of work via Moodle.
Concerns were expressed by staff and parents in 2013 around the practical elements of bringing a laptop to school each day, yet these don’t appear to be evident from the survey results:
- 81% of students agreed or strongly agreed it was easy to bring their laptop to school each day (a further 17% somewhat agreed)
- 67% found their laptop lasting a whole day on a single battery charge, and a further 27% “sometimes”.
- Only 14% disagreed or strongly disagreed there was suitable places to charge their laptop around the College.
- 100% of students somewhat agreed, agreed or strongly agreed (52.4%) they were enjoying using their laptop in class
Feedback from a parent evening hosted in mid-2013 indicated concerns that their students would not be using their laptops regularly in class, and whilst teachers showed they had high expectations around usage above, students echoed this in their responses as 68% of students said they use their laptop every lesson, with another 10% at least two classes per day.
This is particularly satisfying from a College perspective as it shows that the internal messages around staff planning to use these in their classes is getting through, with teachers responding and integrating the technology into their lessons. We asked students to choose their top three subjects where the laptops were being used, and here is the top four results:
- Social Studies
Unsurprisingly, the main curriculum areas are featuring here.
Finally, we asked the students for their perceptions on different areas of learning with laptops and the results are below:
- 79% agreed or strongly agreed that bringing a laptop to school was having a positive impact on their learning (a further 19% somewhat agreed)
- 70% agreed or strongly agreed they preferred to use a laptop over traditional pens/paper/books for their learning
- 57% of students agreed that the pace of learning was faster than without laptops which pretty closely matches the teachers’ perspective interestingly (33% said about the same pace)
- 51% of students said they felt students were “off task or distracted” about the same as classrooms when laptops were not being used although 40.5% said there was more off task behaviour than before.
Overall, we are very pleased with the launch of St Andrew’s 1:1 Computing in 2014. There are definitely some areas to work on and improve, but as the above indicates there is a lot of positives to reflect on from what has been a massive project to implement.