Blog Post: by Alex, SSV Senior Digital Learning Leader
Hello, I am Alex and I am a Digital Learning Leader at the British School in the Netherlands.
The first device I will be reviewing is the Chromebook. Just yesterday I received this device to test for this ‘experiment.’ As I was at the school when the iPad 1:1 programme was introduced 5 years ago, I am fairly excited to be reviewing several different learning devices at the BSN.
Whilst, the actual reviewing does not start until the start of the next half-term, I do look forward to exploring the features and possible uses of the Chromebook over the holidays, and I will be reviewing its impact on my revision for my mock exams and on my homework during this time. (Not to worry, I do not miss any lessons for ‘study leave’ for these mock exams, just some of my frees, therefore I will still have actual lessons to test the functionality of the device.)
What will my review entail?
I will be using the same performance criteria for each device I will be reviewing in order to ensure that I assess each device fairly, and objectively. From the start I want to make it clear that I have absolutely no preference for any of the devices that we will be looking at, and thus can look at each one with an open mind and limited bias.
As I am a Year 13 student and so I will be leaving this school, there is absolutely no chance that I would ever receive this product in a 1:1 programme in the future, even though this experiment may have no impact on it at all, and so my personal tastes will not come into consideration here.
My reason for participating in this experimental program is to evaluate whether or not the devices benefit learning in education, and if they do, which devices are better than the others.
For my criteria I will be ranking the devices from 1 to 10 in each category, and provide a comparison of the raw marks between all the devices I review. Furthermore, at the end of this experiment, I will introduce weightings, based on what I perceive as important in a device intended for education at the BSN, and apply a multiplier to each individual criteria score depending on how important I view each criteria, and use this as a method to properly evaluate which device I believe benefits learning and education the most, if at all.
In addition, I would like to clarify that I am focusing on the type, general usability, and the interface of the device, as opposed to the individual specs on the device. This is because technology is rapidly changing and becoming more advanced, and within a year my findings could be outdated if they focused purely on items like the processing power, battery, and cost of the device. Therefore, I would like to reiterate that my focus will be on the basic structure and usage of the device. However, I will still consider the specs of the device in my review, but these will be considered as secondary and this will be represented by my weighting system, as described earlier.
Also, despite my usage of a weighting system, the raw scores I used will still be available, so that if you view certain criteria as more important or less important as to what I have decided, then you will have that opportunity to make that judgement.
In addition, due to the subjective nature of scoring from 1 to 10 in terms of how you perceive each number’s meaning, here is my explanation of the numbers on my criteria: a score of 1 is “hinders learning greatly”, a score of 10 is “benefits learning greatly”, and finally to round it off, a score of 5 is: “no noticeable impact or influence.” The other numbers will be scales in between those areas.
(I may choose to add more later if the situation demands it):
- Endurance (Essentially how fast it heats up)
These are just some basic criteria, I may choose to add more later, however, after my first official rating of the device I will stop adding criteria as to make it fair to the first devices, if I discover another possible criteria later when reviewing the last few devices.
I look forward to keeping all of you updated with my progress with my reviews. I will try to get an update up every week. I cannot wait to find out the results from this experiment, and as I have been part of the BSN from Foundation 2 all the way to now in Year 13 I hope that this experiment can help contribute in any way to the school that I have been a part of all my life. Thank you for reading, and see you next week!
The views expressed in this post are my own and will reflect my experiences with the different devices.