Williamsville Central School District

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Case Studies

Mobile Devices in Action!

Our Mobile Device Case Study provided fifteen K-12 classrooms with five devices and teachers with related professional development. Here is what some of the teachers have to say about how this study has impacted learning in their classroom so far:

Stephanie Herberger, a 7th/8th grade English teacher is using the Chromebooks for groupwork, writing assignments, and for selected students to take online notes for the class. “The Teacher Center provided my students, and me, the opportunity to learn ahead of the curve. We have been given the much needed opportunity to learn in real time, explore, experiment and find out what works best! The Teacher Center gives teachers the chance to use the tools and get our footing before they become part of our students everyday lives. This is essential in the effective implementation of technology in the classroom.”

Paula McGirr’s kindergarten class uses the iPads for a wide variety of classroom activities. “Through the Teacher Center iPad study, my kindergarten students not only learned how to use the iPad technology, they trained other classes in their use. In total, 125 kindergartners benefited from the program. This is true hands-on, cooperative learning.”

Julie Boucher, high school science teacher is involved in several teacher center activities. "I would have to say the Teacher Center has been a great asset to my classroom! The support that I received has been tremendous.   I have been able to add a great deal of technology to the flipped classroom and have gotten great ideas through the many in service classes that I’ve attended.  In addition, the center has paid for me to attend various conferences and I have been able to bring back great information which has benefited all my students!"

Current Case Studies:

  1. Mobile Device case study to support classroom initiatives which need a few mobile devices (BYOD, Flipped classroom, learning centers...) Teachers applied for between 1-5 devices (iPads or Chromebooks).
  2. ThinkBlocks case study to provide students with a concrete tool for categorization to organize their thinking for writing assignments as well as many other categorization tasks in a variety of subject areas.
  3. Robotics/Coding case study to explore the use of coding resources and manipulatives to encourage students to explore STEM careers.

The teachers attend inservices related to instructional uses of the devices/equipment.

Evidence Collection:

A sharing session is held at the end of each year.  The teachers share student work and a description of how the mobile devices were used and how they impacted teaching and learning.  This qualitative data is accompanied by a quantitative survey which will be used to evaluate the impact of using iPads to assess student learning.

See the reports below for the results of previous case studies.

History of Case Studies:

The Williamsville Education Center director and policy board collaborated to develop the idea to utilize the case study process in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the allocation of resources during the 2008-20010 school years. Resources included technology purchases and related inservices designed to support the use of the technology to make a difference in the classroom. Five case studies were introduced with significant results.

The case studies were designed to:

  • Provide immediate and easy access to technology to encourage teachers to use it regularly
  • Provide related inservice courses to support the basics of how to use the technology along with effective pedagogy
  • Provide the teacher center a means of collecting data on the effectiveness of some inservice courses and technology resources provided through the center.
The case study concept successfully provided a means for the Williamsville Education Center to offer teachers immediate and easy access to technology along with professional development designed to combine pedagogy with technical knowledge. In addition, collecting long-term data on the classroom impact provided the WEC with valuable information from the teacher’s perspective on how the technology was being utilized in the classroom and how it affected the teaching/learning process.

This first year was a learning year. The case study concept was well received by the teachers. Some teachers who did not take advantage of the case studies later regretted it after realizing that the feedback required from participants was not going to be unnecessarily time consuming. The process was slightly modified as the year went on.For example, in order to streamline the process of registering for the related inservice after the first Elmo inservice in the fall, the participants were automatically registered for the course and were notified of the date(s) and time(s) when they were accepted into the study. This resulted in an attendance rate that far exceeded the normal attendance rate for district inservice courses.

When participants from the ZOOM case study asked for additional training, a second inservice was added. At this inservice, some participants who were hesitant to implement the technology in the classroom were inspired by others who had taken the plunge to try it out. Participants helped each other with overcoming difficulties which included some trepidation on the part of the teachers.

In the second year, several more case studies were implemented successfully.  Case studies were now being run using document cameras, ZOOM recorders, wireless keyboards/mice being used with interactive technology, CPS student response systems used for data teams, digital video cameras and still cameras in the classroom, and flip cameras. At the end of the year a group of sharing sessions were held, and all case study participants were invited to come and showcase how they were using technology to improve and enhance instruction.  Teachers were excited to hear from their peers and were inspired to begin using additional technologies in their classrooms.

A survey was given to the participants which indicated that the technologies were transforming classrooms.  Details about the various advantages are outlined in the powerpoint presentation below.  Further elaboration on the data collected can be found in the full summary report.

See below for Summary Report, Power Point, and Case Study Promotion Documents

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