Wednesday, March 25, 2015

CUE the Recovery

I love CUE.  I really do.  I love the CUE Conference, and I want to go every year.  Yet, I need time to recover and sort through all the information I gathered. 

I hope to have some more information and neat tricks, etc. for you from CUE in the coming weeks as I disseminate and try out different things, but we're going through WASC right now, so things are a little crazy, and I'm a little behind in my grading.

One thing I do want to share that I've tried out with my 11th grade students is Pear Deck.  Pear Deck allows you to broadcast your presentation to and integrate interaction with the students and their devices (Chromebooks in my case).  So, instead of students following along on the screen with your PowerPoint or Google Slide, you can have them following along directly on their own screen (works with anything that has a web browser) and even have them answer questions that you can then project up onto the board.

Here are some videos about it that I found.

There is a free version and a premium version.  I'm currently doing a 30 day trial of the premium version to see if it will be worth the cost.  I'll give my opinion on it when I make the decision.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Reflections and Comparisons...yet not really

Back in October, right after that seemingly disastrous test my 11th graders took,  I created a form to get some feedback from them.  28 out of my nearly 200 students filled out the survey for me (and for extra credit).  Here are some of the results and the results of a more recent version of the survey 44 students took.

I can't really make any accurate analysis because I don't have the same number, or even the exact same students, filling out the survey, but I think the fact that I have almost twice as many kids taking the survey does say a lot.  I have at least built up enough of a relationship with my students that more want to help me out (or maybe just themselves for the extra credit).

The percentage of students who like using the Chromebooks went down, but the number of students who do like using the Chromebooks went up.  Just a little more than the number of students who even took the survey last time, like using the Chromebooks 4 months later.  I'm going to count that as a success.

The percentage of student that felt they stayed more on task with the Chromebooks has gone down my nearly 20%.  This I can believe and I've seen it first hand in my class room.  The percentage of students that feel their attention with the Chromebooks isn't any different than in other classes without them went up a little.  

The problem is that students have a hard time staying on tasks, with phones at the ready especially, period.  I don't think the Chromebooks have changed that at all.  

What I think that could help kids stay on task better with Chromebooks is to get something like Lanschool.   That costs around $1000 for a class liscense though, so I might do a or apply for another grant (maybe the OCCUE) to get it.  In the meantime though, I have started using the grid function and last modified sorting option in the Google Drive folder for the Google Classroom assignment to keep track on student progress during class.  I call out the kids that haven't been updating their work and give positive feedback for those that are.  It seems to keep them on task a little better.

I may start projecting the grid view of their assignments so they can see the progress they are all making (or not making).

This one makes me happy.  Not only did the percentage of students that feel they are learning more with the Chrombooks rise, but the number of students nearly doubled.  More kids are saying that they are learing more with the Chromebooks, and less are saying that they aren't.  While this is still a learing process for me and the students, I don't think I made the wrong choice in working so hard to bring this tech into my classroom.  But, we'll see way they say at the end of the year.