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How ‘geeky’ are our students? January 7, 2011

Posted by IaninSheffield in Management, Web 2.0.
Tags: , , , ,

We’ve been needing to audit our students’ ICT ‘capabilities’ for a while, but I’ve been hanging back because I wasn’t at all sure exactly what I wanted to explore.  I knew I didn’t want to look at whether they know how and why to use ‘styles’ in a word processing application or the difference between relative and absolute references or the features of a relational database.  There’s no point – I can simply ask my colleagues in the IT department and they’ll give me chapter and verse because it’s what they do.

geek chat

from Geek And Poke

No I wanted to explore more generic . . . ‘skills,’ for want of a better word.  Some of the aspects of ICT use which have only come to the surface in recent times.  Neither did I want this to be an ‘assessment’ i.e. a means of grading our students and monitoring their progress with time . . . I think we do quite enough of that already thank you very much!  No, this exercise is much more about taking a snapshot of what our students currently can do and are doing so that we have an idea of their range of experience and whether that picture is any different across the year groups in school.

To what end?  Well it’s another way of helping us plan the ways our provision and infrastructure ought to be developing and perhaps to provide insights into the areas colleagues might wish to develop in addressing students’ needs and interests.
Here then are the areas I thought we might want to explore:

  • School-produced and delivered online resources (our learning platform)
  • Their experience creating things online
  • Using online communication tools
  • The resources/tools to which they have access
  • Gaming
  • GPS-related resources
  • Online shopping
  • Accessing information online (searching etc)
  • Being safe online
  • Ethical considerations of using computers

Despite the shortcomings of using questionnaires, I suspect a survey tool is likely to provide the most efficient way of collecting data.  So if you’d like to see a draft of how the questions are developing, head on here.  All observations, comments and suggestions welcome.