School Name: Twain Sullivan
School District: SD#54 Bulkley Valley
Inquiry Team Members:Erin Williamson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Inquiry Team Contact Email: email@example.com
Type of Inquiry: NOIIE
Grade Levels: Intermediate (4-7)
Curricular Area(s): Applied Design, skills & Technology, Language Arts – Reading, Language Arts – Writing
Focus Addressed: Core competencies (for example, critical thinking, communication, problem solving), Flexible learning, Self-regulation
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? Students using technology to allow them to communicate their knowledge and learning more efficiently.
Scanning: I noticed that many of my students struggled to get their ideas and share their learning when they were required to share their learning in written form using a pencil. This included written responses for reading, social studies, reflection and journal writing. I also noticed that when typing on a computer, students were able to more efficiently communicate their learning in written format.
Focus: I selected this area because written responses encompass a large percentage of how students are expected to communicate their learning. If the specific objective of an activity is not related to hand printing words and sentences, but more focussed on content and comprehension, then students may benefit from being able to use a tool which allows them to more efficiently communicate their learning.
Hunch: I believed that if I gave students the option of using an ipad with keyboard to communicate their learning by typing rather than printing, then they would be able to more efficiently communicate their understanding for various different subject areas.
New Professional Learning: One of the best resources I found for this project was the use of Office 365 which allows students to access and save files on any device from anywhere that has internet. This also allowed students to more efficiently share their work with my for assessment rather than having to constantly print out a copy, or share with a work partner. I also learned, through one of my students that allowing them to use an ipad for their work also had a huge benefit to them in terms of organization. At the beginning of the year, this particular student struggled with keeping work and subjects organized in binders or duotangs, but once they were able to use their ipad, their digital organization system was extremely efficient.
Taking Action: At first I tried to allow students access to ipads that prefered to type their work rather than hand print it. This worked out well the first day, but proved very difficult in the following days and months due to limited resources. The ipads available were to be shared by all intermediate classes, which often left them unavailable to students in my class, and the chargers and keyboards were very limited which often left ipads/keyboards without a charge. The Office 365 program was also not introduced to students untill later in the year so before that the programs available for typing on the ipads were not very effective and printing work was problematic.
Checking: As a result of limited resources and a late introduction to Office 365, I believe there was very little benefit this year for most of my students. As an exception, one of my students who had his own ipad and keyboard demonstrated huge success. His writing went from emerging when hand printing to applying/extending when typed. His organizational system also had huge success with the ipad vs having to use paper, binders or duotangs. This student did have very good technological skills which was very helpful too as he was very independent in use of his ipad from charging and printing to use of various applications and sharing his work with me. He would use his ipad for his work whenever possible and I believe gained huge confidence from being able to do this.
Reflections/Advice: From this inquiry, I learned that allowing access to mobile technological devices that allow students to type their work rather than hand print can really benefit students in sharing their understanding and in their organizational skills. I ran into many difficulties with this during the year due to limited resources, but I believe that if I can arrange to have ipads/keyboards/chargers specifically designated to my class and use the Office 365 program for a typing and file saving program, this could be very beneficial to many of my students.