Monday, October 22, 2012

Results of BaseData for Communicating with School web site.

The results are in with some surprises, and explanations of the data.  We got 50 parents who answered the survey.  It was amazing how many parents did not want to complete the survey which only took 2 minutes.

Excellent news that parents are using the web site an recent as well.  Although I did get two parents who personally talked to me and told me they found out about the parent teacher interviews a day before it happened and they were unaware of the changes from a PDF newsletter to the School Newsletter Blog, there was a note of the interviews on the main page, every parent did receive a magnet with all important dates (including the interviews) on it, and the sign in front of our school did have the Interviews announced.   The school also did two callouts to parents announcing this event.

Notation:  we need to advertise the Newsletter blog on the sign in front of the school to get parents to sign up for the blog emailing system, a simpler way of informing parents of what is happening in our school.  Our admin team is aware of this and are working on having parents sign up for the newsletter.

I added this question out of curiosity as well as comparison.  Close to twice the amount of parents visit our school web site because it is more relevant to them then the district site.

Notation:  Seems the district has to do the same, campaign more for parents to be aware of the changes in the district website.  I am unaware of any means they have used to do this, but I am sure it has been done.  The same website is used for the new website, so perhaps the information on district site is not relevant to many of our parents.  23 parents have been to the district site in the last two weeks, 21 have never been there.

Notation:  The PE department has made it a priority to promote their wiki of all events, schedules, sign up and data for outside coaches to follow, making sure the communication is out there to parents.  Some of the parents who said no to this question stated that they did not have a child in a sport at that time and that's why they did not go to the site.  It's important to note out of the above numbers stating who has been there most recently, the data below state and more then 62% of the people surveyed knew about the site.  Also, it is important to note that at present the PE Wiki had more then 400 hits in one time period.  See data below.  

Data form for September's views

Data from October's views, these last two weeks.

 The end results were summed up in the information below, the usefulness of these sites to parents and giving us data if there is a need to change what we present on these means of communication with parents.

Excellent to know that our administration is on the right track for the use of our new school website design.

Notation:  This is a blog attached to our website, a feature that should be added to all school templates, and should be added to the program.

Finally, the final aspect of our survey asked for email addresses of parents, to be added to the growing list of followers.  The main reason for people saying no is because they already follow the school Newsletter.

Altogether the data looks solid, gives us a focus point to follow and improve.  At the next parent teacher interview we will conduct another survey.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Was given this video and quote at a STA training session, and it stuck.

The Definition of autonomy "Thinking for oneself in uncertain and complex situations in which judgement is more important than routine".  By Pitt & Phelan 2008.

Reflections of Grade 9 Students....

OK, I'll admit right now, he's one of my "great" students (Your a genius!!! - from Terry Small @terrysmall).  But that's not why I've chosen to share the Eportfolio blog reflection of these students.  You'll understand why after you read the blog.

When my students entered my classroom  I had a youtube video ready for them to watch.  We've been working on Social Networks in my Information Technology 9/10 classroom, hoping to teach some understanding of the negatives and positives of these tools.  We use a lot of social networking at Sullivan Heights, web classrooms, blogging portfolios, and tweeting out homework, successes and updates of our school.  The idea is to teach the students about your digital persona but also to make sure they understand that no one controls the Internet and when you put something out on the net, there's no going back.

So here's one of the videos I showed students, and below it is the blog entry I requested.  I asked students to write 100 words or more about what they learned from the video.  This entry makes me smile with pride that a student went further then just reciting was he heard or saw, he analyzed the information and came up with his own conclusions.  He extended his knowledge, and applied the learning of MySpace to Facebook.  Read below and hopefully it will make you smile as well.  He's in Grade 9.

 "   This video mainly introduced what Myspace is, and the dangers in the use of Myspace. Myspace as a social networking site is convenient and easy to use, and everyone wants an account in it (now its Facebook having the same thing happening). While friend can communicate about all sort of things on it, there are also many hidden dangers. But many teenage users are not aware of the dangers. The girl in the video, Shannon Sullivan, only thought it was her friends reading the information on her page. So she threw on everything needed to find her in person, and she "didn't thing twice about it". She put on a fake age, even though she was underaged to use Myspace. Like many other teenagers, she had no idea about the online predators stalking people like her.
Because her mother had settings that allowed her to see the internet use on the computer, she found out about Shannon using Myspace. She grounded Shannon for two weeks, then had her place private setting on her page. This is very fortunate compared with other parents who has not the slightest idea about things like this. Teens put on all sorts of revealing pictures and personal information about themselves, and the online predators takes advantage of this. That's why parents have to monitor the use of social networking of their teens, to protect them from harm. I believe this is very important, and applies to all social networking sites, not just Myspace or Facebook. Teens should be careful about what they put on the internet, and what they do put on should be protected by private settings."

Just to show that not all students are as proficient in writing in my classroom, the intent to show learning is still there in other examples and show just as much learning.

"      In infotech today I watched a vodeo on how myspace can be "the" site for predators. in the video, it explained how a girl signed up for myspace when she was underage she signed up, and I was thinking, who's to say that people that are under the age of 10 are signing up. and if that happens it clearly means that they know a lot less about pravicy settings. So what I am trying to say is people signing up under age makes it so much easyer for predators to find people. 

         In my opinion i think that there should be a perant part of the sign up form so if there underage, so that way kids wont sneek on websites like myspace to sign up without permission"
Remember, it's only been a month for these students, and we're still in the process of setting up the eportfolios,and understanding critical thinking and analysis but they do understand that when they blog, it is an opinion and they explain their opinion to show their learning (critical thinking skills).
Both entries make me proud.  We're on our way to expanding our learning and developing learning skills.  ;)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Gathering Data on Your School Website.

It's a little difficult to gather data when an entire school has the freedom to do research on anything they want, when individual goals are used to motivate teachers to grow and expand in their field of expertise.  It's even harder to gather baseline data when one of your goals is to build communication with your parents by using the new website development program your district has put out and the address of your website has now changed.

I'm not complaining (well maybe a little) but the challenge is there, where do you start?  For our Innovative Grant we've have a number of subjects that we're working on, a range of reasearch from going paperless to using both online free websites, wikis and twitter to communicate more fully with both students and parents, from assessment to project based planning.  We'll be doing base data in each and every form for all these areas, but not the general baseline data that the district wants because it's not applicable to our area of study that we need.

So how do you get a baseline of data for communicating with your parents when your parents are not in the school constantly and you have over 1000 students in the school (that's a lot of parents)?  You do it during Parent teacher interviews and use an IPad and a Google Form to get it done.

Our baseline started simple, asking parents is they use these sites, and asking them to register for our blog that we hooked up to the SurreySchools website.  The blog was implemented last year to replace our school newspaper as well as having the ability to update any important data to our parents inside the district our outside.  All administration have access to this blog and one of our office staff updates it in a moment notice.  The blog ranges from important information to accolades of our students and staff.  When parents sign up for the blog they get an email anytime something comes up, so they don't have to go to the site, they can read what's going on with their phone or at their work office.  No surprise, most schools are doing this.  But the goal is to now get parents to be aware of this change and to get them to sign up.

Our Base Data Survey (please do not submit the survey as you will corrupt the data) is below.  We used Google Forms for it which gives you an excel sheet as well as graphs your results for you.


The results of this survey will be in the next blog.

Monday, October 15, 2012


Another year starting and my students are on Eportfolios again. This time we're using Webnode, a program I've been examining and using for the past two years. We 've been exploring/studying/using Eportfolios for a year now and this year's process has become easier for the initial set up. The website has a photo gallery for screen shots of work or Photoshop examples. There is a homework/assignment section, and best of all a blog section for reflection and critical thinking evaluation.

UBC had an explanation of Eportfolios and learning ( but I believe their best quote of what is reflection is the following - "thinking that enables self-awareness, personal and professional growth, and improved teaching and learning experience." I believe that students DO teach themselves when they stop and thing of what they just heard or read, and consider what their position or opinion is on this learning.

That's why I blog, to reflect on my own learning, and what I should do next to continue my path of learning. Don't we all? But more importantly, I'll be using these portfolios for assessment. See this study on this subject

So why am I exploring eportfolios and blogging?  Because of an entry of one of my student just this year reminding me that students who enjoy learning learn deeper then those that don't.  My next post will give more details on this.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad