Teachers at Wairakei School, Shane Buckner and Kate Friedwald, explain how they gathered feedback from parents and students about the pilot and what the outcome was.
Shane Buckner: As part of the proposal we had to obviously give feedback to the Board of Trustees around the BYOD programme here. So we had to gather the data from the parents, from the children, and obviously I wanted to find out how Kate especially was feeling about using the programme in her class.
Kate Friedwald: Part way through last term we initiated some parent feedback where we put out a Google form and requested all the parents to complete that. We got a very high success return rate, and what it told us is that the parents were really impressed with the way their children has improved in enthusiasm, they really now wanted to learn. It told us that their child loved coming to school more than they did before. There’s also very interesting comments from parents regarding how happy they were to see their children still doing activities that didn’t require the iPad, sports, arts, technology, and that was a misconception in the first place that those things would stop. So it was great to have that feedback because now we know going forward that we need to make that a lot clearer that those activities still will happen.
Shane Buckner: The parent feedback survey was really important as it provided us with some information about how the children were using the device at home. Were they actually using the device at home, because we wanted to make sure the learning was kept ongoing. How they interacted with their child in that way using the device. Also, did it make the communication any easier between home and school.
Kate Friedwald: The students also filled in a Google form survey, and the responses for them were around things, do they enjoy their learning more, what learning area do they feel they’ve improved the most at. All the students felt that their enthusiasm and their desire to learn has improved. They felt that they were more in charge of their own learning, they’d become more independant. They also felt that writing was a huge area where they actually now enjoyed it more, and they felt that their writing has improved. It came from the children that it’s something that they would like to see continued in the school and they feel very like they’ve had an advantage over other students, and we want to carry that through and allow every student that advantage. Part of the feedback that came through from students was having their own iPad, being able to take their learning past 3 o’clock. They were actually using that 80% of their time that is at home as well as the 20% at school on their device. So they are getting a lot more use. They are also saving time not having to save to the server or get the same iPad the next day. It’s really interesting, a specific comment that came out of it was a student saying it’s just another tool like a dictionary or a calculator, which really said to me these students have gone past that it’s a toy, it’s now a learning tool to help them with their learning in all different curriculum areas.
Shane Buckner: Any release teachers that we’ve had in that classroom have commented on how the children really own their own learning, and are very self-directed.
Kate Friedwald: What we did after we’d got our feedback back from parents and students is I put that together in a summary, went to the Board of Trustees and presented them with the findings, all the information, and the decision was made that going forward into 2015 we will have our whole Wairere team, which is Year 5 and 6s on one-to-one BYOD, and we will have our Year 3-4 on an optional programme.