Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Seniors' Laptop Check-in

"This is the hardest part about my entire senior year."
~direct quote from a HS senior upon laptop check-in

I truly felt like the Grinch as I collected laptops from seniors the last couple of days. For the most part the giving up of their MacBook was like giving up a close personal friend that these seniors have had for the past semester. There are still a few students who haven't been convinced that this is the best tool to enhance their learning, but the majority of the students had overwhelmingly positive feedback. Seniors were asked to complete an online survey to help us better plan for next year, full 7-12 deployment. Some of the quotes from the students included:

* "Allows the kids to expand their learning in both directions."
* "I enjoyed it and it especially motivated me to take notes and study."
* "I really felt that the laptops have encourage students to get out there and really think outside the box when it came to homework."
* "I thought that it really made me more organized and on time. Thanks."
* "I have really enjoyed having the MacBooks, it has made learning fun."
* "I thought that the laptops were well used by most of the students and by having them gave us better opportunities to express what we've learned in a new way."

Suggestions for improvement included the following:
* More strict and less strict monitoring (both ends of the spectrum!)
* Concerns for underclassmen abuse
* Encouraging teachers to use them more and be better trained on the technology
* More project-based learning, more online learning activities
* Find a way to make them less distracting

On a 5-pt. scale (5 being the laptop helped improve the area a LOT) students ranked the effect of the laptop to them personally in a variety of areas. The results were incredibly slanted towards student improvement, with the highest areas improved being student creativity (4.44 average), collaboration (4.16), and overall improvement of learning (4.11). Even working on homework averaged a 4.04 rating from the senior students surveyed. (See chart at beginning of post.) All in all, our 24/7 Learning Student Pilot can be deemed a success. Thank you to all the students and teachers who have made it so. And here's to a great future of continued improvement in student learning at O'Neill Public Schools.

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