It was with this in mind that I decided a blog on personalisation required an actual live project to be taking place in the real world in parallel (read earlier posts for accounts). We are now 7 weeks in to the project and very good things are happening but is there enough data yet to make us confident about how, when and why we should scale? Perhaps we should just repeat it?
Technically, I could not argue that results after such a short project could be statistically significant, but having said this, we have been overwhelmed by the rate at which positive outcomes are already being reported. I will of course continue to update until the end of the project in July but so far...
This week, phase one ends. The tablets are going to be taken off the students and given to the next group. The plan is to sit each student down with the student who will be getting their tablet so they can hand it over and explain any nuances together with what they have learned. Staff and students have already said they are going to find it really hard to give them up as we predicted they would. We definitely didn't realise, however, just how much impact 15 school days could have.
Well over half of the lessons the students have, don't take place in tutor groups so for many of the teachers, the tablets will just be being brought to the lesson by different students and they won't see the change for another 3 weeks. We designed it in this way to compare as many scenarios as we could and particularly to try and draw some comparisons between a 1:1 project and a 1:2 project.
Stage 1 - Recognising that a "one size fits all" model of education is no longer appropriate. Teachers at the school have already achieved this understanding many years ago luckily but in many schools I have worked in this is still a major focus.
Stage 2 - Unevaluated choice: Here students are given choices but without them or the teacher being aware if they are the right choices. To some extent this project is in this stage because our evaluation data is not yet strong enough for us to be certain.
Stage 3 - Differentiation for groups (or Personalisation FOR): Here teachers begin to make some strategic decisions about how they can alter their lessons to meet the needs of more students. Sometimes this is as simple as the teacher defining objectives that ALL students should know by the end, that MOST should know by the end or that SOME should know by the end. During the trial we have found already that where teachers usually set out such differentiated challenges for their students, the tablets have facilitated this often just because of the extra resources available through the web.
Stage 4 - Developing the underpinning SECRET skills: Here teachers not only differentiate in terms of the academic challenge but also in terms of the competency challenges. The leadership team underpinning this project is a key part of this skills based challenge but currently these are the only SECRET skills being formally assessed in the project so it is likely that most development of such skills is going on in unevaluated ways at present. (A full listing of the SECRET skills can be found here )
Stage 5 - This is informed and evaluated choices being made by students and verified by teachers with both using data to evidence this(Personalisation BY): Although we set up the project specifically to lead to such use, it is too early to tell conclusively how much we have helped practice to move this way.