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Hokitika Primary Reflective summary

HPS reflective summary Milestone 6
Report – Hokitika Primary School - Netbooks

Year level: 0-6

 

Context: Netbook
Integration

 

Research model used:
Trial and Error, interviews with students and teachers

 

Intentions:
To successfully integrate a set of 16 Acer Netbooks into classes to enhance
teaching and learning.

 

Impact on students/teachers/whanau:

Before the purchase of
the 16 Netbooks most classes had an old desktop PC, but with age some of them
had become unusable and therefore our students were missing out on a very
critical part on their path to becoming digital citizens.  As a staff we saw that up grading our computers
was of great importance and an intervention needed to be put in place in order
for our students to confidently gain the skills to take them into the 21st
century.

Upon the arrival of the
netbooks we decided to split them up and allocate 2-3 per-class to allow all students
maximum access.  Each class was given
their own logon profile and students are able to save and retrieve their work
from a student drive on the network.

Teachers found appropriate
activities and games for different curriculum areas that were relevant to their
classroom level and made them accessible to their students.  Teachers have had to adapt their program to allow time for students to have access to the activities on the netbooks and ways to allow as many students as possible to have time on them without taking away from critical teaching time.

At the start we allocated
a number of netbook to each class, however later on in the year we found that
there was a need for them to be grouped together for a class set.  Having them as a class set allowed us to get
Eric Martini into our school every second Friday to work with classes on the
netbooks helping them develop their knowledge and skills in ICT. 

At the moment we are
trialing different programs on the netbooks, Mathletics for seniors and Reading
eggs for some junior classes. Our senior students have been successful at using
the netbooks to develop their research and presentation skills by creating
informative power points. Students have also been using them to stream-line
their learning goals by creating e-portfolios to show their learning journey.

Parents have noticed an
increase in students using more learning orientated activities at home since
the netbooks have become more of a pro-dominant aspect of the classroom
program.  Since the introduction of
Mathletics on the school netbooks senior students are able to access this
program at school but also at home, the engagement level is such that students
are choosing to use this program over other internet based games in their own
time.

 

Links to classroom practice

From the students

 

http://www.teachertube.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=251476&title=Milestone_6&vpkey=

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XrAYaqF848

 

From the teachers:

Please also open the files attached to see an
example of how the netbooks have been used in a junior and senior classes.

 

One senior and junior teacher using the netbooks in
class gave me this feedback.  Their responses are colour coded below.

 

1. What were the biggest issues when beginning to
implement the netbooks?

Trying to arrange it so with the limited number of netbooks each class
has allowing all students get to have a chance to use them on a regular basis.  Re-arranging the reading and maths timetables
to include groups using the netbooks. 

Infrastructure, using them on the network, as they can be slow at
times.

 

2. Now that you have had them a while, how are you
finding using them in class? What you found to be the most useful?

At reading
time using them for independent activities and students publishing their
writing on them.  Maths related
activities for rotation, it is good for students who are struggling as you can
find activities that directly relate to what they are needing to learn.

Most useful
has been ability able to instantly find info, able to set up inter class
competitions, able to teach new skills focusing on IT.

 

3. Are you having any issues with them?

Getting student’s to logon to the student drive and sometimes they just
logout by themselves, the speed that the netbook sometimes function at can mean
that internet activities can’t be used. 
There is a limited amount for each room so only a few students can use
them on daily basis at a time.  Students
sometimes find it difficult using the netbook mouse pad.

Am sometimes unable to update basic programs like Java, which leads to
frustrations within class program, eg. Mathletics.

 

4. What do
you see as the next step for you as a teacher using the Netbooks?

To continue
finding more appropriate learning programs to enhance students learning which
can be quite time consuming.

Independent
use of netbook by teachers.

 

5. Are the students keen to use them?

Yes they are very keen, but keeping them on learning related activities
can be a challenge, especially at lunchtime.

All of them are at anytime.

 

6. Any last thoughts on the netbooks as a learning
tool?

Is an
essential tool in the classroom for the decade we are living in.

 

From the Parents:

What difference have you
noticed at home since the ICT access has improved at school?

I’ve noticed a big difference in relation to powerpoint presentations I
noticed immediately that she was preparing powerpoint presentations and she had
not been doing that prior to the new ICT equipment in the classroom, she’s
probably now a much better powerpoint user than I am, which is great.   Also with Mathletics, doing that off her own
back now, really getting into that and practicing it whenever she feels like
it.  It is important for her to learn
these ICT skills because these kids are in an ICT world and it’s going to be an
important part of the curriculum as they move up to high school so if they can
get the basics now then they don’t have to start fresh then.  It’s given now that the world they are going
into and in the workplaces they are going to need more and more skills in that
area so if they can start earlier it means that those skills can be more
developed by the time they move on.

In summary, although there has been a lot of work
involved with getting the netbooks integrated into the classroom program I
truly believe that they are an excellent resource that any classroom could
have.  This reflective process has been
great as it has allowed us to see just how big the impact has been with the new
and improved ICT in the school.