Last month, the iWizards sent out a survey to the student body, asking them these essential questions:
1) What are the iPad apps you use regularly for school?
2) What iPad apps do you find most essential to your learning and why?
3) What iPad apps would you like to learn a better understanding and mastery of?
4) Do you use a keyboard with your iPad? If yes, which kind of keyboard?
The survey was created by iWizard Sophie Sawicki. Three iWizards and three staff mentors examined the data: Alyssa Johnston , Madison Konja, Brooke Madak , Lisa Robinet, Chris Janusch, Larry Baker. We came to the following conclusions:
For taking class notes, students have a strong preference for Notability over other apps. Students volunteered that they enjoyed its ease of use, the ability to diagram on the app, split screen with a book, and organize their notes. The ability to highlight and color code was also remarked upon. The students on the committee were not surprised by Notability's as the iWizards themselves signaled this preference last year when they shifted from iAnnotate to Notability for their new student tech orientation.
A second very interesting finding was that so many students depended on Quizlet in order to study and review materials. They enjoyed the flashcards, language features and options for reviewing . The committee concluded that Quizlet should be included in future orientations. The students on the committee said that both apps were attractive because they allowed students to individualize study methods. We felt that some of the other apps like Schoology, PowerSchool, Google Docs, and Pages stood out as essential because course workflow more or less mandated their use. That said, we thought it was interesting that a slightly greater number of the respondents use Google Slides than Keynote.
In retrospect, we think question #3 about "What apps would you like to learn . . ." was not well conceived. In the case of Evernote, for example, we think more students may have wanted a better understanding because they had not heard of it (Since only 3% expressed that they regularly used it). On the other hand we thought that 37% of the students expressing a desire for better mastery for iMovie needed to be addressed through the school curriculum. Teachers may be assuming that students have a better mastery of the app than they actually do. We need to teach them how to use it.
Finally, the iWizards have always debated what to recommend in regard to iPad keyboards. The school does not sell nor require iPad keyboards. Now we have some data: Students stated that they were mainly using three brands: Belkin, Logitech, and ClamCase. Going forward we can share this information without endorsing a product.