Building a Personalization Project from Scratch: Week 3

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Whilst I was at the BETT show this week, the team at did an excellent job of training the four to eight students from each class that make up the 'Tech Research Teams'

Adam Ledger, head of the ICT support team organised a session for the students to be out of one lesson and in this time the whole ICT support team worked alongside the students to help train them. The leaders of each team worked with Adam. The students with the role of COACH for their team worked with Kellie Alders. The students with the role of MANAGER for their team worked with Ben Alton and the students with the responsibility for the role of REPORTER worked with Graham Harrison and Andrew Soper.

Windows TabletAll students managed to successfully set up their windows 8 tablet from out of the box to fully set up, thereby passing their technical training. They then went on to image further tablets that their class mates will use when the project is launched to the whole group later this month.

Today's Trial

Today, given that students had made such progress with their technical training last week, we decided to run with a first trial in which just the 'Tech Research Team' members took their devices to use in all lessons for the day to help us investigate any logistical issues that are likely to occur during the project.

Our main aims for this trail were as follows

  1. Can students collect their devices safely and timely in the morning?
  2. Can students return their devices safely and without delay to buses at the end of the day?
  3. Are students able to look after the devices all day including through the lunch break?
  4. Do teachers allow students to use them because they are used responsibly?
  5. Can the devices connect to the wireless?
  6. Are the students able to seemlessly use the devices with low start up and shut down times between lessons?
  7. Are teams actually entirely self reliant, placing no technical or ICT related questions at the door of their teachers?

How the trial worked out today The trial was a success on all fronts. Teachers were excellent in allowing the students with the devices to try using them in their lessons and consequently they were used in 15 of the 20 lessons involved. As only between four and eight students from each group had the devices, as expected, there were no lessons significantly changed to accommodate the devices. This is also excellent news.

Logistically we experienced some issues with collecting back in the devices and checking them off against a list. This will ultimately be the job of the whole tech teams but was fulfilled by ICT support this week. We will introduce some protocols for students to show the number on their device in same order as on the list and speed this up next time.

During the day over 20 positive messages were written up by the Tech Research Teams on their Edmodo site indicating that it was perceived to be a success by the students. There were no issues of power management, breakage or inappropriate delay reported by students or staff.

Next steps

Trial two will place some pedagical demands on the teams and will allow them to demonstrate their ability as team workers and researchers. Students will each have to post experiences on the group blog to pass their role as researcher.

The Coaches will be entering evidence of skills that were extended by the project. The Reporters will be noting the best use of the tablets to help them learn. The Leader will be noting examples of when the team worked well and set a professional tone and the Manager will note down excellent sites, apps and techniques that students worked out how to use effectively during the lessons. All of these will be difficult to achieve given that the lessons will not mainly be using ICT but as a training event there should be sufficient opportunity.

Trial three will deal with e-safety and appropriate use. We will then award certificates to each member of a Tech Research Team who has passed all of the required technical and research tasks. Once a group has at least four qualified Teach Researchers, then that whole group will be able to officially begin the project with all 60 devices.

Please click 'like' on this post if the level of detail is helpful. I have seen we have a lot of readers but very few comments so far on the last three posts. Any comments or 'likes' welcome to help guide the blog.

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