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Exploring Technology for Learning Social Studies iPad and E-text Pilot

Surrey School District
by

JB Mahli

on 29 January 2013

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Transcript of Exploring Technology for Learning Social Studies iPad and E-text Pilot

Social Studies iPad and E-text Pilot Exploring Technology for Learning Relevant Background Working Well, Doesn't Work, and Suggestions for Improvement Beginning in February 2012, five secondary schools (Phase One) started the Social Studies iPad & E-text Pilot where each school, in cooperation with Education Services and the Learning Resources Services Department, purchased an iPad cart with a class set of 30 iPads and subscriptions to the Pearson Counterpoints 2nd edition E-text for Social Studies 11 students. Phase Two, representing six additional secondary schools, began the pilot in September 2012. 4. Changes in Instruction 1. Improved Student Learning What has been the impact of the pilot project on the student learning in Social Studies 11?

What are the implications of iPad and E-text use for the future improvement of student learning? Exploring Technology
for Learning In consultation with the Social Studies Helping Teacher, an online survey was designed and developed to capture a snapshot involving impact in three broad areas:

(1) Improved student learning
(2) Enhanced student engagement; and
(3) Moving instruction closer to practices of personalized learning

In addition, open ended questions were asked about strengths, weaknesses of the pilot as well as suggestions for improvement

The survey was mailed to 15 participants with 11 responses. It is early in the implementation stages of this pilot but teachers responded with examples and evidence of changes in their pedagogy as well as the differences observed among students within their classrooms. What are the impacts of the pilot process (utilization and opportunity of the iPad with E-text) on important aspects of student engagement?

What are the implications for student engagement? Has the pilot process moved you closer to the practices of personalized learning?

What are the implications of the pilot process on improving your instructional practice? A key aspect of the pilot is the fact it is a grassroots initiative, driven and led by Social Studies teachers and department heads. Teachers felt the opportunity to incorporate technology with curriculum would greatly enhance collaborative inquiry, student engagement and also move instruction closer to practices of personalized learning. 2. Enhanced Student Engagement 3. Moving Instruction Closer to the Practices of Personalized Learning Can you describe some significant changes in your instruction which you feel are directly related to the impact of the Social Studies iPad & E-text pilot? Enhanced Opportunities for Student Creativity 99% of teachers expressed that to a varying extent the pilot project enhanced creative opportunities for their students To what extent does the pilot project create opportunities to become creative? Generate Higher Level Questioning 72% of teachers expressed that to a varying extent the pilot project provided more opportunities for students to generate higher level questioning. To what extent does the use of the iPad and E-text enhance student's ability to generate higher level questions during class discussions? Build Relationships for Purposes of Collective Inquiry 81% of teachers responded in varying degrees that the pilot technology acts as tools which help build relationships for posing and solving problems To what extent does the pilot project help build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively? Impact on Student Learning What is the impact on Student Learning? “Students are more focused with the iPad.” “Students have greater access to vast amount of information with a click of a button.” “iPads have allowed students to take content and explain their understanding in new ways with voice technology and multimedia. Students are now learning to go deeper to explore history using historical thinking.” "Among many things the students realize that technology can be used for more than social media and texting. I believe that students do not realize the true potential of the technology. Also, if a student is away they can go onto an app like Edmodo and see what we completed in class. This allows them to stay updated even without being in class." “Engagement, engagement, engagement. Students were far more engaged in class content with the use of the iPad. This engagement provided more energy in the room and that allowed a more positive attitude toward all areas of the class. The iPad leads to more student centered activity, more trust, higher order thinking activities and more ownership over their learning. Access to the E-text was easy, and it was available anywhere. Students have a more positive attitude toward using the text.” What is the impact on Student Learning? “It is too early for me to determine the impact. I only started using them this semester and there has been some resistance to using the iPads and being creative. However, I think this is because it is not something that students are used to. As students become more familiar and comfortable using the iPad I am beginning to see more interest in learning and being more creative.”

“In SS 11 there are multiple aspects to the student’s learning. There is, of necessity, a focus on content in the preparation for the provincial. This , in conjunction for course delivery on a semester model, negates the opportunity to use the iPad to its full extent for areas of learning where creativity, collaboration and co-operation learning aspects could be more fully explored.”

“Yes the project has improved student learning. This can be demonstrated by looking at the learning that students who have typically been listed “at risk” are doing. Because of the differentiation of the end product students can represent their learning in many ways and this helps them be more successful.” What is the impact on Student Learning? “Students had easy access to all facts, vocabulary terms, video links, and all source documents needed for success. Using the iPad to write quizzes and tests allowed for more written output at a deeper level, and allowed for better assessment for learning strategies (peer feedback, re-doing assignments, seeing examples and non-examples). My class scores on provincial exam were slightly higher than the other classes in the school and I had no students fail the course. “ “Project enhances student learning for those who are already identified as strong learners.”

“I am not sure if the level of thinking is improving… just the resources to investigate essential questions and inquiry projects is greater”

“In general, students are more engaged. They appear more focused in class and are asking deeper questions.”

“Yes, I believe it has improved [student learning]. Students have shown their understanding by creating iMovies and other videos where they are the creators and narrators of their ’story’. The evidence of improved student learning is the portfolio of student created work” “inconclusive at this time”

“To some extent….I would need more time to adequately determine this” Students Taking More Ownership of their Learning 72% of teachers answered positively to students taking more ownership of their learning To what extent does the E-text enable students to take more ownership of their learning? Opportunity for Student and Teacher to Learn Together 72% of teachers feel that the pilot has to varying extents increased the opportunity for teachers and students to learn together To what extent does the use of the iPad with the E-text increase the opportunity for the teacher and the student to learn together? Technology as a Portal 81% of teachers expressed that to a varying extent students use the E-text as a portal to access relevant information To what extent does the student use the E-text as a portal to access relevant information? Opportunities for Students to Explain Understanding of their Own Learning 81% of teachers expressed that to a varying extent the pilot project created opportunities for their students to explain their understanding of their own learning. To what extent is the use of the iPad with the E-text increasing students' opportunity to explain understanding of their own learning? Increasing Interactions Beyond the Classroom 72% of teachers expressed that the pilot project has increased students interactions beyond the classroom To what extent is the use of the iPad with the E-text increasing students' interactions beyond the classroom? Describe how the pilot impacts the quality of the student experience? “Students are more engaged in their learning. They can literally interact with the textbook and their learning. They can highlight and make notes in their textbooks. They can then use an app like ‘explain everything’ to explain their learning. This helps in students recognizing how they learn the best, an increase in their metacognition.”

“Students are more likely to share ideas, links, and other resources with each other using digital tools like the iPad and our class use of edmoto.com as a place to blog, post and reply about the subject matter on a regular basis. Also, the iPad lead to more authentic project work and project sharing making a class a more enjoyable and exciting place to learn.”

“Students are excited to extend their learning using technology and are showing enthusiasm with course content and projects. Many students believe having this technology is challenging but engaging. For example in our unit on the Great Depression, students created E-books on their learning. With the tools available in the pilot students are creating amazing digital work.”

“The quality of student output has been greatly enhanced. Students have created original work that they are very proud of. Furthermore it allows students more chances to represent their learning in more creative and enjoyable ways.” Describe how the pilot impacts the quality of the student experience? “We are using the E-text minimally so evidence is inconclusive at this time.”

“Students are initially engaged and excited to learning in a new way. After a honeymoon period the experience begins to wane.”

“Our use of the iPads in my classroom is based on sharing the iPads with another class. As such, the iPads are a classroom resource only. This model of using the iPads restricts their use and the opportunities that students have to use and experiment with the iPads on a wider basis. This restricts the ability of students to participate meaningfully in inquiry-based projects that incorporate the use of the iPads Students Opportunity to Remix Content to Create Digital Work 80% of teachers expressed that to a varying extent the pilot project increased opportunities for their students to remix content to create digital work. To what extent is the use of the iPad with the E-text increasing students' opportunity to remix content to create digital work? Student and Teachers Exchanging Feedback on Student Learning 72% of teachers expressed that to a varying extent the pilot project increased the frequency of teacher/student feedback on student learning. To what extent is the use of the iPad with the E-text increasing opportunity for the teacher and student to exchange feedback on student learning? Creating Learning Environment Conducive to Uncovering Rather Than Covering Content? 81% of teachers expressed that to a varying extent the pilot project created a learning environment conducive to uncovering rather than covering content. To what extent is the use of the iPad with the E-text creating a learning environment conducive to uncovering rather than covering content? Promoting the Importance of Purposeful, Challenging Tasks 72% of teachers expressed that to a varying extent the pilot promoted the importance of purposeful, challenging tasks To what extent is the use of the iPad with the E-text promoting the importance of purposeful, challenging tasks? Exploring Ideas Through Essential Questions 81% of teachers expressed that to a varying extent the pilot project is building a learning environment conducive to exploring ideas through essential questions. To what extent is the use of the iPad with the E-text building a learning environment conducive to exploring ideas through essential questions? Encouraging Students to Select Own Resources 81% of teachers responded to varying extents that the iPad with E-text encouraged students to select their own resources To what extent is the use of the iPad with the E-text increasing encourage students to select their resources? “I believe I have been able to increase the opportunity for inquiry based learning and project based learning in my classes because of the pilot. I have been able to meet the shift in pedagogy head on by working alongside students to provide opportunities for students to inquire, create, re-create, and assess their learning using 21st Century skills.“

“I am able to give more instant feedback on skills to students. For example, when students are learning new skills we often use Apple TV to mirror student work and give feedback on their progress. As a result, the quality of student work has greatly improved.”

"My planning and instruction is increasingly changing and incorporating essential questions and inquiry based learning. While this is still very new and sporadic with specific units rather than the entire course, I would say that it has changed the way I think about planning and teaching a content course.” “Because of access to information I am no longer the information provider and while we are still using a text book students are able to get more in-depth information. This has changed my teaching practice to more of a inquiry based/project based learning. Therefore, the iPad has allowed me to not only differentiate my instructions as well as the students end product.”

“ I have been able to try different assignments and assessment techniques. I have also used a variety of apps and the E-text to show students how to learn in the digital age.”

“Reliance on the text book has never been a significant part of my instructional practice. The use of the E-text has made it easier to link text book information to outside sources of materials. “ Impact on Student Engagement Impact on Teacher Instruction Example Cold War Museum Project:
“Students created exhibits for one aspect of the Cold War (Canadian exhibit, USSR exhibit ) and mashed up music, art, trend, social, political changes, speeches etc. with the aim of adding artifacts to the museum. Each group made an iMovie and added it to our site for sharing, learning and feedback. Instead of a video, notes, handout and quiz. The iPad and E-text let me create interactive projects for students to complete with the entire internet as their resource.” Working Well! “While I do believe that my teaching practice has changed because of the introduction of the iPad, having a helping teacher who has also been talking about using problem and inquiry-based instruction, as well as critical thinking and historical thinking is important as well. The iPad and having a helping teacher has been essential if the district socials department is going to have any change in pedagogy away from content coverage."

“Teachers are utilizing the devices and apps a great deal. There is a great deal of interest.”

“Increased accessibility, highlighting function for many students, search function for specific keywords ,note taking capability for many student ,links to the internet sources to outside materials and support."

“The accessibility of the iPads in the classroom is great as we can always just grab them” “Students enjoy using the iPads. They have ample opportunity to research and inquire.”

“Depth of thinking and activity, multimedia project work, social networking about school topics and handing in assignments on line. Online class resources, handouts, notes etc. all digital (nearly paperless). E-text has amazing links and student activities attached."

“Students ability to create original projects using apps on the iPad. Using Edmodo to submit and make assignments/projects”

“The students are more engaged” Working Well! Doesn't Work “I just hope this project continues to expand. Also conducting a project at the grade 8 or 9 level I believe would be useful. I think schools should be able to apply for a second cart. Our cart is basically used every block which means that if we want to expand this project to an additional grade level we would need another cart."

“Not enough devices for all blocks in the department to use”

“It is easy to be distracted. Eye strain for some students. Screen formatting is awkward. In-built preference for many senior students for a hard copy text book. Random slowness or freezing (schools do not have the capacity for the demands that iPads and other devices impose)”

“Not easy to save or transfer info, flash drive would be a godsend! Using technology doesn’t mean that effective practices are being used, sometimes I think this gets confused.” “Students complain that they dislike reading online and find it a problem when they log in and then forget to log out and later try to get in and are denied access. Because the SS11text is so new I have not yet adapted my lessons to it so we have not been able to use the E-text to the fullest extent.”

“Learning how to use the different apps and then teaching students how to use them—very time consuming. Resistance from students who want to go back to the traditional way of doing things because it is easier or so they think. Technical issues at the school—slow internet, limited to in-class use of iPad—one to one would probably work best—having said that we have managed quite well with students signing out the iPads over night to complete their work”

“iPads do not allow for adobe flash websites, so many simulations cannot be done. iPad apps need constant upgrading taking a great deal of staff time. E-text needs upgrading but Pearson assures us they are working on it. Some staff are intimidated by the iPad."

“Structure of our timetable and semester system to provide enough time in class for students to complete their projects/assignments” Doesn't Work Suggestions for Improvement “Continue to keep the helping teacher that acts like the glue for the project. Another idea would be to expand the grade level for the project. I know Pearson has expanded the E-text to all grade levels. Grade 9 is coming soon.”

“More time from the district to implement these learning changes”

“Functions are not user-friendly or intuitive as they could be. Some links don’t work.”

“It should not just be about the E-text. I am able to move away from using texts almost completely with the wealth of information available on the internet.”

“Help with planning with technology in mind-more time for planning collaboratively”

“Need to have release time to provide opportunity to learn and collaborate with colleagues in Social Studies” “We need more time to collaborate with other teachers involved in the project” The Social Studies iPad & E-text Pilot has begun to move toward the space of what is possible... The teacher-led innovation placed the iPad and the E-text directly into the hands of the students and teachers. Results of the online survey indicated there were positive changes in the way that both students and teachers experienced Social Studies.

All teachers described changes in their pedagogy which they felt were directly related to the impact of the Social Studies iPad and E-text pilot. Impact on Teacher Instruction
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