mixing and remixing to find a balance….
When my Head of School and Board asked me last year to do an evaluation of academic technology use at the school, I asked that we bring in an outside group to assess us because I’m just too close to it all to be objective. I was afraid I would only find what I was looking for, and I really see this as an opportunity to get useful feedback about our technology program.
Obviously, I’m hoping for a generally positive assessment of what we’re doing here, but I’m also looking forward to hearing what the we need to work on as a department and a school.
Last week the consultants from Independent Focus visited us to conduct focus groups and one-to-one interviews of students, faculty, administrators, and parents. It was an intense four days. I was impressed by the consultants’ thoughtful approach and thorough preparation.
While I did not have much time to debrief with them, it seems the primary concerns that came up are those I expected, those we regularly wrestle with: age appropriateness of the Middle School one-to-one laptop program, reliability of the Macintosh computers, appropriate/safe use, network speed, and user data backup. I’m curious to hear what else comes up.
To complete the first phase of the evaluation, the evaluators will conduct phone interviews with recent graduates to get their perspective as well. I’m hoping that this perspective will offer a rich source of new information.
The next phase will involve online surveys of the same constituent groups, but with a larger sampling and wider range of questions than the face-to-face meetings could include.
Once that is completed, the consultants will report back to the school sometime in the spring.