Grade 7 iPad Survey: Results! Part 5

Question #9: What do you think the school could do to make the use of the iPad better for students? 

This was not a mandatory question. 19 students answered and 13 skipped the question. I have separated the comments into three broad categories- comments that have to do with how we can support them in their learning, comments about discipline and distraction and the no complaints section. Here is a quick graph of how many comments we received in each category:

Make it better

SUPPORT AND LEARNING

“The school can have an app to show the new students how to get used to the school. A how to app…”

 

“More tips like how to turn off notifications during the day.”

NOTE: When the students told me that notifications were distracting them, I showed them how to turn the notifications off during the school day. They were all very grateful…

“I know we had a list of school apps, maybe we could have more apps that we need for each class. For example, a calculator app or know in advance the shakespeare app that we need. Have a more comprehensive required app list.”

 

“I personally don’t like the ipad. If they would give us individual keyboards, that would make a big difference. Send an email home to parents saying had ot get them.”

 

“Using it a bit more in French classes. ”

 

“We could use it a lot more in classes. We use a lot of paper when we could use it on the ipad.”

 

“Maybe give us more resources if we have to do a project instead of having to find a website , or maybe an app that can give info.”

DISCIPLINE

For certain classes if you don’t need the ipad to turn the internet off in the room…

NOTE: I don’t think this is possible. It is  possible however to turn the internet off the iPads…

“[The teachers] should take our ipads and put them on their desk so we don’t get distracted.”

 

“Make it so you can’t use an app during the day so you can’t access games or facebook or twitter.”

 

“Tell [the students] they can’t download too many games. Games distracts us…”

 

“Personally, I wouldn’t get ipads for next year, because I come into class and everyone is on their ipads…You ask them what they are doing and they say they are playing together…”

 

“Limit the amount of apps you can buy. Arranging the seats so the teacher sits in back of us…”

 

“Without getting distracted I think we should sit in a certain way where the teachers can see our ipads because you can miss a lot of info if you are playing games.”

 

“You know when you can see what everyone is doing on the ipad. Put all the ipads on airplane mode during class.”

 

“I was told that snapchat and instagram was banned but I still see people [using these apps] as well as games. A lot of the time in class, I will see at least three people playing a game when they are supposed to be doing their work. The teachers need to reinforce it more.”

 

“Maybe take the ipads away for awhile if you don’t need them during class. I would find that helpful…”

 

NO COMPLAINTS OR I DON’T KNOW

“I think it is already pretty good. No complaints about the ipad itself. ”

 

“Don’t know. Feel supported.”

#10: Any additional comments?

For this question, many of them had nothing to say so I ask them if they liked the iPad. here were the results of that query:

Do you like the iPad

 

Here are  the actual, unprovoked additional comments I received:

“I feel like it is my own responsibility to manage my own distractions. I have no complaints about the ipad.”

 

“I like the ipad but I would rather have a l laptop because it is easier. It stays open but sometimes apps automatically shut down and don’t open to the spot where you where you were at.”

 

“I think the ipad is a cool idea. At my old school smartboards were the coolest thing. Bt this year ipads are the coolest thing.”

 

“I like computers better because it has less distractions. The app store has so many games. But it is lighter to carry.”

 

“I don’t think we should use them next year.
Suggestion: have a tech free day or week. No tech during school hours. ”

 

“I really like the ipad but I think it is very distracting. From what I see the schools that don’t have the ipad are more successful. They have less distractions.”

 

“I don’t like the ipad because it is very addicting, they take up a lot of your time and I don’t like touchscreen and you can’t use flash.”

 

“I would rather have laptops because it is harder to hide laptops. Not a lot of games that you can play won your laptop. Laptop would be less distracting. I find I also make a lot of mistakes with the ipad. ”

 

“For music no, because there is no smart music for ipads. But otherwise I like it. You like the feeling of the typing and how light it is.”

NOTE: smart music just launched their iPad app for students. Our music teacher is testing it out to see if it is worth getting…

“One thing: for the cases with the keyboard. A lot of people bought a case with a spongy keyboard and they all got a new case for keyboard. For future years suggest a good case. I use a targus with a hard keyboard.
I find it useful. For example, an ipad can do almost as much as a laptop but is cheaper, more portable and lighter.”

 

“I like the ipad but worry about the time I spend on it.”

 

“I like the ipad but I think for the next grade I would suggest getting a keyboard it is easier to use.”

 

“I find it very useful and much more portable than a laptop but upsetting when people are not using it appropriately and the whole class gets punished for that one person’s misuse.
More managing of notifications.
Group work can be hard if group mate is distracted by notifications and is not listening to instructions.
Also would like to have some support that encourages socializing instead of ipadding…
Maybe try to find a way to shut the game notifications.
This year’s grade 7s should be a role model for next year’s grade sevens on how to use it responsibly.”

 

“It is a great yet horrible thing. Useful but distracting…”

 

“I think they should ban mindcraft because students pretend to take notes but are actually playing mindcraft.”

 

“I think we should have a limit to how many games on our ipad…”

Phew. And that folks, concludes the data part of this survey.

Next post: So what do we do with all this data?

 

Grade 7 iPad Survey: Results! Part 4

Question #6: What was your favourite class project where you had to use the iPad?

ProjectFavourite

The least favourite?    

ProjectLeastfavourite

This question was interesting in how it said nothing much about the iPads and a whole lot about the students.  The students who loved the multimedia projects tended to hate the word processing activities and vice versa. here is a sampling of their responses:

 

 

Favourite: multimedia the animation one

Least favourite: Making a brochure for english

 

favourite: horror movie for multimedia

Least favourite: using pages and keynote

And then the other side:

Favourite: the writing assignments for english using pages

least favourite: I did not like multimedia

 

Favourite: small story for multimedia where I had to learn pages.

Least favourite: animation project for multimedia.

However, it was also interesting to hear why they didn’t like certain projects. Most often it was because they did not find the app intuitive, or they simply did not know how to work it.

Here is a sampling of some of the reasons why they did  or did not like a project:

“Least favourite: English: filming for the interview. When you have to put together photo collages and slideshows. It was hard.”

This comment is referring to the background documentary project I had them do at the beginning of the year. Personally, I take this comment as a compliment- it was meant to be challenging!

“Least favourite: I find it is hard to do research on the ipad because it is a smaller screen and I feel more disorganised on my ipad than I do on my computer…”

 

“The least favourite: english elizabethan project, big and a lot of writing and hard to keep track.”

 

“least favourite: the science project now because you have to have it in 32 font and it prints wrong.”

 

“Least favourite: the blog project was hard to do on ipad. I was also having trouble saving my work.”

The above two examples are examples of where some troubleshooting help would have been handy.

Least favourite: animation creator because you have to draw every single little thing again and again. 60 frames.

 

“least favourite: the movie make thing because it was hard to edit on the ipad.”

 

“Least favourite: probably  Geo when we had to use keynote for our presentation. We just had to do it but did not get to present it.”

 

“Least favourite: when you just have to be typing up reports. I love to write but I like it to be more hands on. Like making a presentation.”

 

“Least favourite: Anytime the project consists of simply writing text on pages. It is boring. ”

 

“Least favourite: Science project. Astronomy project because I had to carry around both books and ipad.”

 

“Favourite: in science we had to make a pamphlet. I transferred the template from my computer to ipad.”

 

“I liked it in art when we had to draw on the ipad and then follow steps and do certain things in this app called sketchbook. I also liked the english project where we had to research a different religion.
In geography I didn’t like how we had a picture and had to answer questions but couldn’t have them on the same screen.”

It is interesting to learn about what the students liked doing and what they didn’t like so much. A lot of the times they don’t enjoy it because A) they don’t know how to work it, B) they are experiencing technical difficulties and need support C) it doesn’t fit their personality (they prefer writing to making animations or vice versa).

Next up: #9: What do you think the school could do to make the use of the iPad better for students? 

Grade 7 iPad Survey: Results! Part 3

Question #5: 

A) What is your favourite thing about the iPad?  

favourite thing about the iPad

NOTE: As this was an open-ended question, I grouped the answers into some broad categories. However, I thought it would be helpful to hear what the students said in their own words about a few of the points in order to get a more nuanced view of the data:

Versatility:

“[My favourite thing is] the little brain it has that it can do almost anything you ask it to.”

 

“My favourite thing is that it has a lot of things you can do on it but it is not as bulky as a computer.”

 

“I like how we use pages instead of writing by hand, I also like that there is apps for a lot of things we do, eg. Periodic table for science.. .I like how you can read books on the ipad.”

Portability:

“I like how light it is and how easy it is to put in your back pack.”

 

“It is light and portable and really easy to access stuff because of the apps and easy to use.”

 

” I like how it is small and easy to carry around.”

Organisation:

“I like it because when I get paper I lose the paper but with the ipad it is easier to stay organised. Also my handwriting is terrible so when I type I can read what I am doing. I also like the games.”

 

“[I like how] you can read off ibooks if you forget your paper schoolwork and need it.”

 

” I like how it is organised and I am not losing papers. Everything is on my ipad.”

Other interesting comments:

 “I like writing on it, it is faster than doing it on a piece of paper. i like how it is small and easy to carry around.”

 

” I like how we take notes on it for science class. I like how we do projects on it.”

 

“It is easy to bring places. I find I learn new something everyday. I find pages easier to use on ipad than computer. Also more portable.”

 

Most of the students enjoyed how versatile and portable the iPad is. However, as in most cases, the best thing about it is also the most challenging thing:

B) What is your least favourite thing?  

leastfavourite thing

The main criticism about the iPad parallels the teachers’ main problem with it (and, by the way, the rest of the world): Apple’s blood feud with Flash. They are frustrated that some of the websites they need or look at do not work on the iPad.

But the second thing is the flip side of the versatility comment: it has so many things on it it is distracting. It is important to note, that the students were not always talking about their own distraction but that of their colleagues.

Here it is in their own words:

“It does not have flash and it is distracting always having everything on it.”

 

“It can be distracting when you are trying to do work and your friend messages you.”

 

“You always have something constantly coming at you: between all the social media there is always something coming. Which is great when you want it but makes it hard to focus.”

 

“[I don’t like] the addiction it has on some people, when people can’t really get off it.”

 

“The fact that it is an ipad. More tech means less face to face talk.”

Other interesting comments:

 

“That it makes people more paranoid. They seem to trust you less- they suspect the worse. For example, I flip from pages to safari a lot when doing a project and because the teacher can see the colour changing they immediately suspect I am playing games.”

 

“It freezes a lot because of some websites and it deletes my work even though I press save. [The] camera deleted [my work] but it was in the beginning and I probably didn’t know what I was doing.”

I appreciated the thoughtfulness most of the Grade 7 displayed when answering the questions. They were able to pinpoint the exact way the iPad is meant to be useful (portability, versatility) and also identify the problems with it. The fact that they identify their own distraction as well as that of their classmates is particularly telling. But more on that in the following posts!

Next post…#6: What was your favourite class project where you had to use the iPad? The least favourite?

Grade 7 iPad Survey: Results! Part 2

Let’s continue with the results of the survey , shall we? Today will be the behemoth question, the 5 parter…

GENERAL NOTE: It is important to remember that these are the students’ perceptions only. Many of them who have the exact same schedule gave very different answers.

8. Out of 5 daily classes, how frequently:    

  • do you use the iPad for note-taking?

notetaking

 

NOTE: The results for this one could be explained in part by the fact that for many of their classes in Grade 7 they are not required to take notes. The ones who said they take notes in only one class unanimously said that it was for science.

  • do you use the iPad for research?

Research

 

NOTE: This is a good example of different perceptions- the answers to this question varied a lot given that they all have about the same classes.

  • does the teacher use it for instruction?

Teacher

  • do you use the iPad for a specific project?

specific project

  • do you get distracted from your class work?

Distraction

 

NOTE: This was an interesting question. As you will see in the following questions, many students cited the distraction of others as a hinderance, yet the majority claimed they only got distracted 1 out 5 classes. Hmmm… Curious. Very very curious…. But more on this in the following posts!

Grade 7 iPad Survey: Results! Part 1

Here are a few of the easily quantified results of the Grade 7 iPad survey:

#2: What do you use for your school agenda:
School agenda 1

Note: Calendar and reminders refer to the built-in apps that comes with the iPad. The person who said other uses Pages for their agenda. I am not sure how well that works out for them…

Here is a graphic that shows the number of students who use their built-in iPad apps as opposed to the paper agenda:

School Agenda

Which means that about 75% of students use their iPads as an agenda.

#3: Do you Use an External Keyboard?

External Keyboard

Note: This is a bit skewed as a few of the students who said no said they started with a keyboard but it broke early on in the year. Most of those who had broken keyboards were using the “squishy” or soft keyboards. They did mention that they are trying to convince their parents to purchase a harder keyboard as they felt it significantly enhanced their iPad user experience.

#4: In a typical week, how many hours do you read on the iPad or otherwise?

REAding

Note: As I mentioned last post, the students had trouble answering this. Part of this problem was that the librarian was giving them the survey and they felt that there might be a “right” answer. I tried to assure them that there was no judgment but I don’t think I was successful. Also, many of the students cited the busy-ness of the school year eating away at their reading time. Although many of the students like to read, they feel they don’t have time.

#7Outside of the school day, how many hours do you spend using your iPad?  

Hours oniPadNote: though I tried to tell the students not to include the time spent on homework, I don’t think they were able to separate the two. The ones who did cited the fact that they did everything on their iPad from leisure reading to games to social networking to homework. I was also surprised at how many students said they only spent about an hour a night on it. A lot of them said that they liked to do other things when they get home.

Grade 7 iPad Survey: Questions

photo

I know, I know- it has been survey mania here in the library. The one thing I learned about making these surveys is that I have a lot to learn about the survey process. Still, I think the Grade 7 Survey benefitted from the lessons I learned from the Teachers.

In many ways, the results were much clearer. This has a little bit to do with the questions I asked, but also the fact that kids usually either like something or despise it. It makes it a little easier to interpret the result.

I took some questions from student iPad surveys I found online, but now I can’t find the initial surveys and feel bad. Other survey people, if you see your question here, contact me and I will sing your praises! Quick note- many of the questions were my own, as many of the surveys of students were very specific to that particular high school.

I would like to re-iterate that any comments I make on the data on this blog or JUST MY OWN INTERPRETATION AND OPINION.THIS IS NOT AN OFFICIAL, METHODOLOGICALLY CORRECT SURVEY.

Because I don’t quite know how to do that yet.  But am willing to learn. I think that message might have been lost with my thoughts on the teacher survey.

I just wanted to know how to help people better. That’s all.

But I digress.

QUESTIONS:

1. Your name

2. What do you use for your School Agenda? 

The options were:

  • Calendar
  • Reminders
  • Calendar and reminders
  • Paper agenda given by school
  • Other

COMMENT: This was a pretty straightforward question for the students. No problem answering it.

3.Do you use an external keyboard? Yes or no?

COMMENT: Also pretty straightforward. The only hedging came when a student started off with a keyboard but it broke so now she did not have one.

4. In a typical week, how many hours do you read (articles, books, pdf’s etc.) on iPad or otherwise?

  • 0-2 hours
  • 2-4 hours
  • 4-6 hours
  • >6 hours

COMMENT: This was a little harder for the students as there was some confusion about whether to include reading for school. Many of them also were unsure whether or not to include the weekend or the summer. I also got the impression that they thought there was a wrong answer, like I was going to judged them if they said they didn’t read too much. A negative side effect of being the librarian I suspect…

5. What is your favourite thing about the iPad? What is your least favourite thing?

COMMENT: This was an open ended question but pretty straightforward.

6. What was your favourite class project where you had to use the iPad? The least favourite? 

COMMENT: also an open-ended question.but the students were surprising uniform in their answers. There was a very intriguing pattern emerging that I will talk about more later on…

7. Outside of the school day, how many hours do you spend using your iPad?  

The options were:

  • 0-1 hours
  • 1-3 hours
  • 3-5 hours
  • >5 hours

COMMENT: There was some confusion about whether to include schoolwork or not. I told them not to but I think some girls couldn’t separate school from other activities.

8. Out of 5 daily classes, how frequently:    

  • do you use the iPad for note-taking?
  • do you use the iPad for research?
  • does the teacher use it for instruction?
  • do you use the iPad for a specific project?
  • do you get distracted from your class work?

COMMENT: This was the hardest for the students and I think it had to do with the actual question. I should have asked for them to think of out of all their classes, which would have been about ten, not just five.

9. What do you think the school could do to make the use of the iPad better for students? 

COMMENT: Open-ended and straightforward. Also a bit intriguing…

10. Any additional comments?  

COMMENT: Here I had to prod a bit. It is important to note that I had to guide the students a little. Not in giving them the answer, but in asking if they liked the iPad? Disliked it? Stuff like that…

 

Teacher iPad Survey Part 7: Conclusion! Comments on Behaviour

tumblr_lsvfxnEDti1qdzq7ho1_5004The comments made about whether behaviour problems increases or decreases were surprisingly diverse.

Here are a few of the comments:

“Behaviour problems decrease because the students who need tactile engagement get it.”

This is a good point,as it showcases how the iPad can be a real ally in the challenges with differentiated learning.

“7th grade behaviour is very rude when it comes to turning off their devices. They are not self-regulated at all.”

Aaah. The big one. I think our major lesson learned this year (and one that was supported by my surveying the Grade 7s) was that we need to teach our incoming students how to manage their technology in a healthy, respectful way. Our IT committee has begun brainstorming some simple, uniform methods of classroom management.  I think we need to make it clear to the students what our expectations are at the beginning of the year. I am also working on a workshop for students on tips to avoid distraction during classes.

“Behaviour problems decrease because it allows them to be on task. They don’t have to wait for me or each other and can go off and do their thing…As long as they have something to work on they are good.”

A few teachers mentioned this and I think it goes with the last comment. When are students most prone to get distracted? Alas, when you are lecturing. If the students are busy and engaged with the tasks they need to complete in class they are less likely to get distracted. Now, sometimes lecturing is unavoidable ( I do it all the time. Just ask my kids). But if it is possible to keep it to a minima, then switch it up with an exercise or a  task with a set time limit on it, that seems to work the best.

“Behaviour increases a little because it is tempting. It takes a lot of discipline even as an adult. It takes a will power to resist.”

I like this comment because it acknowledges the very prescient fact that it is not only kids who need to manage their distraction with technology. As adults we are equipped with better tools and more practice at discipline than a 12 year old. It is important to remember that these are skills they have to learn and we have a major role in teaching it to them.

“Student behaviour: with the grade elevens there is a change. They get very engaged [when we use relevant movies or youtube clips.] It helps to calm them down.”

The older grades tend to have less problems with the iPad then the younger grades as the following quote illustrates:

“I tried the whiteboard app [with the grade 7s] and for the first ten minutes was fine but then they started fooling around. Or they will go change the answers of another group.”

The latter part of this quote is the most disturbing and has more to do with the bad etiquette side of behaviour and even bordering on bullying. The collaborative aspect enabled by the iPad only works if people trust each other. Google docs, real time whiteboard apps where the class can brainstorm, depends on a strict adherence to this one rule: never be a jerk. It is jerky behaviour to erase other people’s answers and we should send a clear message that it is not tolerated.

“[There is] more distraction with the iPads. [I] have yet to find an efficient classroom strategy for iPad management. Getting the students to put it away is hard. I am sick of policing their use. Are they going to get better with time in terms of respect? The change will have to come from me and the way I teach in order to make no room for distraction. I must adapt my own teaching.”

I love this last comment. The teacher acknowledges it is a problem that is not going away and that simply putting your foot down with prescriptive rules will not solve it. In fact I heard this from several teachers- that the iPad is going to force them to rethink the way they conduct their classes, they prepare their lesson plans.

All in all, the issue of student behaviour with the iPad is not as dire as we thought it was. Many teachers claim there are less problems when the students are dynamically engaged in a task.

I just want to go on record to say that I don’t think this is earth-shattering news. I think it has always been that way- students are more engaged when they are occupied. The only difference is that there are now so many ways to to do this at your fingertips.

Thank you very much to the wonderful Traf staff for taking the time to talk to me and for being so honest. I think we learned a lot about what is working and what is not working and what we can do in the future to make it better!

Next: The grade 7 iPad survey!