Holy cow. I had no idea so much time had passed since my last post. Part of the delay was vacation time, part of it was just being astonishingly busy. I promise we won’t have another gap like that. There’s a lot to catch up on, too much for one post, so I’ll just lay out current status and use subsequent posts to add more detail about each of the segments.
Remember that general information about the 1:1 Readiness Assessment process and its different project threads can be found here.
Administrative Thread: Surveys
The results of the HS student survey about tech ownership and their experience in using school computers are in. Just about 50% of our students responded, which I thought was pretty good. Thanks to the many teachers and administrators who encouraged students to participate. It made a big difference. More on the results in the next post.
The MS version of this survey will go out next week for grades 6-8 . Allison Jones is helping me coordinate this with the Humanities teachers. I did meet with the 5th grade chair about being included, and we agreed their imminent transition to the Lower School and their homeroom structure doesn’t fit well with the survey’s goals — I just wanted to make sure they did not feel excluded from the survey when it came out.
The focus groups are meant to identify concerns, opportunities, and the perceived impact of 1:1 from each stakeholder group’s perspective. The information gathered in the focus groups will drive development of online surveys so each stakeholder group will have the chance to make their voices heard.
The HS parent focus group took place last Friday, March 30. Thanks to those parents who participated. It was a lively discussion and some clear themes emerged. Again, more later.
I’m still recruiting for the MS Parent focus group. My initial overtures got a couple of responses, but most invitees have not responded.
Teacher focus groups are coming together. I have enough MS teachers to schedule the group right now, and may have to add the “personal touch” to fill out the HS group.
I’m working with the Academic Dean in the HS to recruit HS students with a grand total of one response so far. I met today with the MS administration and we will do the MS student focus group in an Activity Period a week from tomorrow.
All but one department has submitted a full or “full enough” response to my questions about how teachers are using technology with students in their classes. I’ve started assimilating all that information into a spreadsheet format so we can get an all-at-once look at what everyone is doing.
The IS team worked through a number of configuration questions with Google Apps for Education with help from a colleague here in the Chicago area. We’ve registered a “throwaway” or sandbox domain so we can examine the setup and management process with as little pressure as possible.
After consulting with UC Legal and some peers at other institutions, I’ve come up with a process and format for obtaining parental permission for online sites that collect students’ personal information so we will be fully COPPA compliant. After consulting the Principals group, it was determined that these permissions should be collected in August as part of the Back to Lab process which now takes place completely online. This will delay the planned launch of Google Apps for Education to the fall.
I am behind schedule on some of the other technical tasks, but am confident my team and I can catch up on them. I also decided to defer a couple of them after realizing that they would easier to do after surveys are complete.
More soon – promise.