Chromebook tablet computers have been a part of the educational experience at East Greenwich High School for three weeks now and an initial survey of teachers aiming to gauge their comfort level with the new technology shows the majority of those who responded are moderately comfortable. The results released last week reflect answers from 34 faculty members; there are a total of 94 faculty members at EGHS (though not all are teachers).
Some students and parents tell a slightly different story, however, including one about a teacher who admitted at the EGHS open house to having “no idea” how to use the Chromebook in class and another in which a teacher asked students for help in exchange for a five-point grade boost.
The survey asked teachers to measure their comfort level using a 1 to 10 scale, with 1 being “not very comfortable” and 10 being “extremely comfortable.” The majority of those who responded used 5s, 6s, 7s, and 8s to describe their comfort level on the seven survey questions.
To the question, “How comfortable are you with hardware component of the implementation of a 1:1 digital environment?” 90 percent of respondents scored it between 5 and 10.
None of the respondents was completely comfortable with the “instructional component” of the Chromebook implementation, but 73 percent gave it between a 6 and an 8.
When it comes to implementing a “1:1 environment” in the classroom, while many respondents expressed confidence – 42 percent gave that question an 8 or higher – 30 percent indicated a lower sense of comfort, giving the question a 5 or lower.
One of the issues raised during School Committee meetings was whether or not teachers would get enough professional development to make the 1:1 implementation successful. Teachers have had a few days of professional development devoted to the 1:1 implementation and additional PD is planned. Survey results indicate that for those who responded, anyway, the professional development was good, with 68 percent giving a 7 or higher.
Regardless of how teachers are handling the transition, two students interview last week said they see Chromebooks at EGHS as a positive. They noted that some of their teachers seem a little “afraid” of the device, but said overall it was helpful and more efficient to have the computer devices.
Supt. Victor Mercurio said the survey would be repeated at various points during the school year.