It’s done! Well, at least the first part is. I have surveyed all 20 teachers of our school (we are a small school) and now have a lot of data that I need to sift through. In the meantime I thought I would start the post-mortem with a discussions of the questions I asked as well as certain lessons learned in terms of the actual building of the survey.
First of all, I used polldaddy (the free version) to conduct my survey. Why? because 1: they had a free version 2: they have a free iPad app that, although it didn’t me allow to build the survey on the iPad, it let me conduct the survey on my device, allowing me to go visit people in their offices instead of making people come to me. The downside of the free poll daddy version is that the survey must be confined to 10 questions and that it does not allow you to export the results.
In general, I was happy with the tool. I could have free text answers, multiple choice matrix/likert or a ranking. I used almost all the options except ranking. You could also add name address, etc. For my purposes, I only needed to add the names.
I took some of my questions from some school who have already created their own, specifically this one from Roosevelt High School.
Here is how the questions looked like on the iPad:
Nice, clean, easy to use!
Question #1 was simply the name of the responder.
The problem with this question was how the individual defined technology. Most thought of it in general not as iPad specific- as using the laptop for showing videoclips for example. Some teachers alos defined technology as meaning any tool that you used to get your message across, for example an overhead projector. The results are consequently skewed to reflect these very different views of what technology in the classroom entails.
If I was to re-do this survey, I would make this question more specific and replace the word technology with iPad.
This question has the problem of the previous question (confusion as to what constitutes the use of technology) as well as the usual problems with a multiple choice question: it is hard to know where you fit. Still, because I was taking copious notes, the latter problem was covered.
Some teachers only work party-time, some do not work with the juniors (the grades 7 and 8s are the grades with the iPads). Teachers who teach subjects that do not do a lot of written evaluations (like phys ed or music) also coloured the results of this question. Teachers who do not use technology in the classroom were also unable to answer adequately. In the future, I would add a not applicable option to the matrix.
This question was fairly straightforward, though some teachers responded with how their students use their iPads in their classes instead of how they use their iPads to teach. I also asked how they use it on a personal basis, as I thought it would be an interesting comparison to the students.
Questions #6 and #7:
The reason why I put these two together is because it became very clear that I wasted one of my ten questions on the follow up. Most people told me how they used their apps when I asked them, and if they didn’t it was because it was fairly obvious. eg. I use the mail app to umm, check my mail?
I would definitely mash these two puppies into one nice, plump question.
This was fairly straightforward. Only a few people had some ideas as to what the student should have on their iPad on the first day of school.
Also pretty straightforward, though the conversation was very interesting. But more on that in the following posts!
Also, not a lot of problems with this question, though in many instances, future projects or wish lists would have come out in the discussions regarding the apps they are using or how they use their iPad. I might word this differently in future surveys…
All in all though, the results of the survey was fascinating, helpful and thought-provoking. Stay tuned to see why!