Last year, YIS implemented a Visiting Scholars Program, which basically means that YIS is willing to host educational researchers looking to conduct research in an international school context. Naturally, our very first visiting scholar was Dr. Mary Hayden, the leading expert, author and researcher on international schools. (Can you tell I’m a big fan? I have all her books – which I did, embarrassingly, tell her the first time I met her. Yet another geek moment, for sure.)

So pleased with how our CLC handbook turned out!It was wonderful to have Mary at our school, not only because she is so knowledgeable about international schools and offered several sessions for our community (notes and resources), but also because she was always willing to stop and chat, and offer her excellent advice.  I had several great conversations with her while she was here, and one, more formal, meeting with our Connected Learning Community team that I think is worth sharing here.

Tips for Measuring Success 

At the end of last year, which was when Mary was at YIS, we were just in the final stages of planning for our Connected Learning Community implementation, and foremost on our mind (once the practicalities were out of the way) was how we could evaluate the success of the program. Mary’s extensive experience in research gave us a great foundation to start from, and our conversation produced several key ideas to implement:

  1. Create a list of goals/desired results in practicalities, based on our Vision for the CLC (here’s how we developed our vision). Remember to focus on not just technology, but habits, including: social and emotional wellness, and digital citizenship.
  2. Create an audit or survey to determine if we’ve met those goals, consider running this at the beginning, (middle?) and end of the year to see where we’ve started from, as well as where we’ve gone.
  3. Create a form/format for all stakeholders to regularly record what they’ve seen based on the desired results – basically a way for us to continually gather evidence about our successes and challenges through multiple perspectives.
  4. Develop a case study group, to ensure regular reflection and feedback with a specific group composed of students, teachers and parents (similar to the team that worked together to develop our program).
  5. Add software to image that tracks when students are online and what they’re doing – we can ask students to run the software during orientation. (What does this mean for student privacy?)
  6. Use student blogs as a record of their development, interest and use of technology tools to connect, communicate, share and collaborate.
  7. Try some experiments: for example: run parallel classes: same class – one with tech, one without – to see the impact that technology is having on a day-to-day basis. Or use text messaging to see how students are using text messaging (What are you doing now? What do you think about what you’re doing?)

At this point, we haven’t implemented any of these ideas yet, and I’m sharing them here as a way of reflecting and reminding myself of what’s important while we are in the early stages of implementation. We are two weeks away from our mid-semester break, and I hope to bring together a case study group after we return, refreshed and relaxed for the second half of our first semester. Ideally, this group can not only provide much-needed feedback from multiple perspectives, but also act as a mini-steering committee for the program as we continue.

PinboardI’m sure our planning team would have come up with several of these ideas on our own, but we wouldn’t have known which would be most effective, where to start or why they are so important. Having a chance to sit and discuss these plans with someone as experienced in successful research as Mary was priceless for us. And, I know she was excited to learn about the ways that technology connects us, and how the use of technology is changing the international school experience.

This is why the Visiting Scholar program is so amazing: it brings respected and brilliant researchers and educators into our school community, enabling us to push our own thinking forward and open new doors to authentic conversations and learning opportunities within our broader community; plus it gives researchers who may not otherwise have an opportunity to spend an extended amount of time in a school like ours to see things from a slightly different perspective, exactly that.

Final Thoughts

It was so exciting to plan for the implementation of this program, that I’ve just been enjoying how smoothly things have gone since we started. I haven’t forgotten the importance of the evaluation stage (how could I, after all these years of teaching MYP Technology?) but I did need a little bit of time to get my head around the finer details of the program that we’ve been working out for the last few weeks (more on those later). So, the more advice, the better: How have you evaluated the success of your school’s 1:1 program? How would you recommend we start?

And of course, if you’re a researcher, or you know someone who is, and you/they would like to work in an international school context, please take a look at the program and submit an application.

Image Credits

  • CLC Handbooks by superkimbo on Flickr, Creative Commons Licensed
  • Pinboard by midiman on Flickr, Creative Commons Licensed

6 thoughts on “Advice from an Expert: Dr. Mary Hayden on Measuring 1:1 Sucess

  1. Kim
    Thanks for the post. Nice timing too, we will be evaluating in a few months our own 1:1 programme, blogs etc. I be sharing this with our tech planning team and admin team.

    1. @Jason,

      Glad the post was helpful! Would love to hear how you plan to evaluate your program as well!

  2. Good stuff and thanks for sharing your excitement about your program. One tip I’ve learned is to think about prerequisite skills and attitudes one might need in order to achieve the goals. Measure those too. Thus, if you aren’t achieving a goal as strongly as you had hoped, you have data to help you identify and tackle the problem.

  3. I am a junior at USA in Mobile and I am studying to be an elementary teacher. I liked reading your blog post this week. I feel like there is still so much that I need to learn before becoming a teacher. You gave a lot of detailed, and important information. I also like that you put so many links that we can click on to learn more about the information you posted. I believe that reading your blogs will be very helpful and very beneficial to teachers and also to future teachers! I think your blog page is very helpful as well, and it is very easy to navigate, with a lot of very good information! Thanks so much!

  4. Hey Kim, I love the idea of a “Connected Learning Community”. A school in our area has recently adopted a similar idea. Every older student received an apple computer. I think students having their own computer is so important. Especially middle and high school students. I am so loving the idea of having student blogs. I have a student blog and I really see the value in it. It allows students and teachers to share ideas while connecting outside the classroom. Good luck this semester and I hope everything goes as planned.
    Faun Lyles´s last blog post ..Blog Post 9

  5. Hey Kim,
    I am a student at the University of South Alabama and enrolled in EDM 310 a class for future teachers. I really enjoyed reading this blog post and thought it had a lot of important information. I think its great that so many people and big researchers have taken the time to help you in the process to start evaluating your schools programs. Evaluations are great since they not only tell you where you came from and how much you have achieved, but also what you want to do next or where you want your program to go.
    Thanks for the great post!
    Kimberly Lefferson
    Kimberly Lefferson´s last blog post ..Final PLN report

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