Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Reflection #5 - April 17-May 10

For this reflection, please discuss how the computers have impacted the following areas (at least anecdotal, you might not have data):

- Attendance

- Behavior/discipline

- Performance on assessments (comparison to similar assessments that you have given before)

Please read the comments of others and have a discussion.


  1. Tardies are down. Students cannot use computer if late to my class, they have a "paper/hardcopy" option.

    I have not had any major behavior issues in my class. The only problem is students on facebook.

    Performance on assessments is hard to tell. I have used an online assignment/assessment for the last unit. It was difficult to get students to complete them online. Even though they had some time in class and time on their own to do it they didn't do so. I'm not sure if they felt the problems were too difficult or if how the way the computer wanted the responses typed was the issue. I also think they didn't have the discipline to get it done, because most of my assignments were open for about 2 weeks and closed and they were not allowed to make it up. I think if I had started with this at the beginning of the year, I would have had better results with the online assignments.

    Finally, I feel that my use of the computers was very limited. I wasn't able to do many of the things I wanted because they utilize JAVA and the computers were not equipped to do this.

  2. I have had an increase in attendance, I believe. Tardies are about the same, but I like Diane's idea about tardies.

    I have not had major discipline problems. The kids are good at multi-tasking.

    Assignments for me have changed. I do a lot more projects and varied assessments. Kids get to choose and have more imput on how they show me that they know it. I have had more success with this in science than in math. Math was difficult to assess online. THe students tried to take a test online and some got frustrated and wanted a paper copy. They said this helped them work through problems. Once again, the computers have helped with changing assessments for kids.

  3. I have not seen a difference in attendance in my classes. Some kids continue to be in class almost everyday, some kids seem to be missing almost everyday, and some are in between those two extremes.

    Behavior - I have found that some behavior incidents have gone down. Kids who used to be behavior issues seem to be decreased a bit as the students have items that can distract their attention (surfing the net, Facebook, and online games) and no longer act out. However, I have seen a few instances where students get frustrated with the technology (almost always their inability to master the technology) and act out in class. When this happens, other students usually look at them as if they were in a circus.

    I have caught a few students trying to cheat on tests by opening other windows, trying to search for answers, and then cutting and pasting the material directly into their answer. This is very easy to detect and easy to catch students doing this. However, I am sure that there are students who are savvy enough to look up a piece of information, put that information in their own words, thus avoiding detection by the teacher.

  4. - Attendance: The computers haven’t really improved my attendance that I can tell. My classes are predominantly seniors and they have abysmal attendance this semester. I will say I still fear having too much of my curriculum/activities easily accessible online because there are some students who “don’t need to show up” because they can do their work from home. I think that is the exception rather than the rule. However, I certainly feel as our district moves towards more implementation of the productive group work model, if we aren’t leveraging technology that we have at our disposal to supplement face to face learning, we are making a mistake. How can we use collaboration tools to enhance productive group work?

    - Behavior/discipline: As others have noted, guiding students towards “worthwhile” ways of managing their time when they have the Internet at their disposal can be challenging sometimes. As Ryan said, using the computers as a tool for cheating has come up a few times in my class also. I am curious to see if in the next few years if the students will get better at making digital cheating less detectable, or if teachers will make cheating unnecessary given the tasks students are doing.

    - Performance on assessments: So far I can only answer anecdotally because I haven’t had time to really compare task for task, but I feel performance is improving. In my classes I attribute some of that to the organization of the cloud environment I am trying to promote. Kids who like taking notes in class (some do) don’t mind sharing notes digitally with those who are gone/or don’t like taking notes. Kids like collaborating on documents digitally on assignments and so more are doing them. Issues with losing handouts/assignments/notes are less pronounced once the students have a system, so some students are more organized than they used to be. Deeper understanding of content is possible… a simple question asked in class can now become inquiry that 30 students can immediately search out the answer for right on the spot.

  5. Sonya says--
    I agree with Ryan and Bryan that attendance has stayed about the same.

    Their behavior has become predictable. Some guys will just do part of their assignment and then play a game or try to go to Facebook. It is very predictable who will 'stray'. Usually they will do the whole assignment although some will only do part of the assignment and then go 'shop' or visit.

    Performances have been more completed mainly because they want to get it done in class and not have any homework. I also see some students who don't get done with their work use the 'cloud' from the public library to access their work and finish it. I don't have any assessment from a previous class to compare to what is being produced this semester.

  6. Attendance: The big change happened when we started Project 500. I haven't noticed any changes since then related to use of the Chromebooks.

    Behavior/discipline: Again, no big changes since we started. Students have continued to remain more on-task than before the project began.

    Performance on assessments: we just completed our major research project for the semester and students were able to do very well this year because of the availability of the Google platform. I asked them for feedback when they finished the project any many said they were able to easily communicate with their group members outside of school, continue working on and making contributions to the group project, and if they were absent were able to see what the group had worked on while they were gone. Students were able to do research every day in our classroom and communicate with me either in person during class or through email outside of class if they needed help or had questions. Because of the increased opportunities for collaboration and communication due to the Chromebooks the results of the research were very good. I also think that as a group, the AP test scores will be higher this year because of the inclusion of the computers in course content delivery, especially regarding the use of exemplars, peer editing, and online test practice.

  7. I like Mrs. Story's tardy policy...this would cut down on number of tardies. I believe that students would be more inclined to come to class if they were able to use laptops.

    Behavior issues for me would include being on facebook as well as chatting (although, sometimes students are chatting about the assignment which is a neat feature). However, I would say that this is not a huge issue other than a couple instances that have led to some altercations.

    It is tough to assess the difference in value of the chromes when it comes to performances. With the combination of students having to make-up tests, and these tests being formed by the district (social studies), there are several drawbacks. For instance, I have had students who will simply fail the first exam only to find out the question and work on it on their own (using notes, other classmates, etc). This is hard to monitor as we cannot provide alternate assessments. Although I do believe that the majority of students do not share info and take the tests during class, there has been an easy "out" for students who are unprepared, thus resulting in a non-realistic message we are sending.

  8. Attendance: There really is no difference in attendance. Unfortunately, the grading system allows the students to become "lazy" and unmotivated. I do think the students enjoy being here - however - more because of the chromes.

    Behavior: My students are very well-behaved. IT does keep them focused and has increased the ability of motivation and engagement. Their behavior has not necessarily changed as much as it has improved the students capability to increase their learning and success in the classroom.

    Performance on Assessments: I feel that the students can be assessed multiple ways because of the chromes. This is one of the benefits of success of passing and going above and beyond. We now are capable of creating web-based projects in my classroom. Which can help students to be motivated to learn- and in turn- helps them be successful in the classroom.

  9. Attendance: I haven’t kept specific data on attendance. There does not appear to be a significant change but as one student stated “If it (a laptop) does the same thing it did for me a lot more people will want to come to school!”

    Behavior is a “mixed bag”. On one hand when students are using the laptops they are focused, quiet, and appear to be on-task. On the other hand, for students who are already easily distracted quick access to social network features are irresistible. It is difficult to monitor.

    My experience has been the laptops are excellent for individual work especially performance assessments. Students who struggle with legible handwriting or spelling are able to turn in papers that better reflect their ideas rather than their disability. The downside is accessibility. There are a number of assistive technology software programs available but so far I haven’t found “an app for that”.

    Overall the student’s response is best summarized by a student: “I think that the Google labtop is a very neat idea. It makes homework and projects easier to do because you can search any information, at any given moment, from the web.”

  10. Attendance has been about the same, but the tardies have decreased significantly. Students who arrive late to class do not get to use a computer and have to work with paper pencil. They are on time or bring a pass if they have been to the nurse, office, or with another teacher.

    The only problem I have is the facebook and chat feature. I give students 2 warnings, and the next time I see them on them, I just sign them off of the computer and put it away. Can I catch them all, no, but the majority stay off so they don't lose their computer.

    I have students writing more in their papers than I have ever had in the past. They are also more willing to revise their papers. I get many asking if I have read their papers yet, what do you think, and what can I do to improve or get a better grade. That has never happened before. I also like it when they can collaborate on a paper. The computer lets both see the same document and what's being written, discussions can take place at the same time they are writing. The students who don't even like to write are writing, and their writing has improved. Is it super? No, but they are writing and that is what we want. Our subject area assessments are 8 pieces of writing. Now more students are completing the assessments and getting a score.

    I have now gotten through one semester using the computers with my curriculum. I now know how I can blend the use of the technology with the traditional methods and achieve greater results. I also hope to find ways to use social networking in class so it becomes less of a joy to go to than class!!!

  11. Attendance has not changed much for my students because I did not have a large number of students not attending first part of second quarter.

    Behavior/discipline has changed for the better. Students no longer have excuses for forgotten pencils, left my stuff at home, or lost my assignment. All materials are on line and students have easy access to all necessary documents, and online ebooks. However, cell phones, iPods, Face Book, and games can still cause problems.

    Performances and assessments are better than before Project 500. We do not have to figure out if we can, or when we can use computer labs to complete writing performances. In addition, revision, collaboration, and instant feedback has provided more opportunities to be accademically successful.

  12. Attendance has been the same for the most part. I have not seen anything that would make a statistical difference in % of students in class or on time to class.

    Behavior when we use the computers seems to be good. We have the occasional need to redirect from certain sites or chat from time to time, but there isn't any more off task behavior than in the normal class. In fact there seems to be more on task behavior than before.

    Having the computers has allowed me to assess in different ways allowing me to enlist the strengths of the students in a more efficient and effective way. The students have some very creative ways of being able to show me what they know that I just could not have been able to enlist without the computers.

  13. Attendance was about the same but tardies decreased (I used the "no computer if late" procedure).

    Overall, I feel students were a lot more engaged than before the computers so there were fewer behavior issues. The behavior issues I did have were different - students who were off task were on games and/or Facebook.

    As most have said, student work is better than before the computers. Students are more willing and able to revise their thought and the manner in which they express them. They are able to write the way people in "the real world" write.

    Please read the comments of others and have a discussion.