Category: Case Study
Pt England School is a co-ed state school in Auckland, New Zealand.
Point England School students have had 1:1 digital learning in classrooms since 2010 supporting a focus on achieving high levels of engagement and independently driven learning.
Key to this engagement and independence is an emphasis across all the schools on web smart behaviour and an understanding of the responsibilities of being a good digital learner. However for Russell Burt, Principal of Point England School, there has been a need for more visibility on student web usage since the beginning, “I have been looking for the kind of service offered by Linewize probably for a decade. I wanted to be able to accurately inform our conversations with individuals or groups of students who might need guidance on appropriate online behaviour and the development of CyberSmart behaviour for all our learners.”In 2015, Russell’s search came to an end, “Linewize was recommended by an existing provider. As far as I am aware there isn’t another service like this in the country. We decided to pilot it on behalf of the Manaiakalani Cluster and our associated clusters to see if it would meet our needs – and it did.”
For Russell, “Linewize offers a granular solution, not a one-size fits all like other services. We can monitor web usage by class and by individual student. Teachers can reward and report on levels of engagement in a meaningful way with each and every child.”
Kent Somerville, Year 5 and 6 teacher, Team Leader and ICT Manager for Point England School was part of the Linewize trial. Kent could see immediately what Linewize offered, “Linewize ticked all the boxes, allowing the school to filter out all the really nasty stuff but give teachers and administrators visibility over the rest of the online activity via the built-in reporting mechanisms. The reports created opportunities for teachers and students to grasp teachable moments and together discuss issues such as distraction or inappropriate usage or behaviour. This information was like gold dust to both Point England Primary School and the community, who wanted their children to prepare for the 21st century workplace in a way that was safe and secure but not unrealistically locked down.”
From Kent’s perspective as the ICT Manager, Linewize has helped him prove or disprove individual children’s involvement in misuse of the Internet. As a classroom teacher, Kent has been able to better monitor the engagement of the students. “If you glance in a 1:1 classroom all the students look as if they are behaviourally on task but Linewize helps me see if they are cognitively on task.”
Kent doesn’t spend classroom time glued to the screen though, “Linewize is easy to use and I can just have a quick look now and then. The more detailed graphical analysis and statistics provided by Linewize are used by the children themselves to see how they have performed, when they have been distracted and to monitor improvements.”
Both Russell and Kent were committed to introducing the software in a way that adhered to Point England’s value system. Kent explained, “Linewize could be tailormade to suit our pedagogy, support the way we teach and our kids learn – and it's simple for any ICT Manager or Teacher with ICT responsibilities to do.”
Helen King, Year 3 and 4 Team Leader brings the perspective of a Year 3 teacher. Her students are using apps on iPads rather than the Chromebooks that the older children use. This means that their access to a browser is limited and the nature of a Year 3 student is to stay on task. With a class of 30 seven year olds, Helen’s ability to find a chance to peek at Linewize is also limited.
For Helen and her team of Year 3 teachers Linewize is a tool for them to analyse the levels of engagement of their students after the event. “It is very interesting to see how individual students behave and to use this information to inform future tasks.” She notes that the switch from tool for teacher to tool for student occurs during Year 4, as independent learning increases and the need for awareness of web safety becomes a pre-requisite.
The reaction from students has been positive. “At first most students’ response to seeing their footprint was shock and surprise but it is a very powerful learning experience for them about CyberSmart behaviour,” explains Kent. For Russell it meant that the majority of students could be acknowledged for their sensible use of the web and that action could be taken on their behalf with the few who were testing the boundaries.
Russell also notes, “Parents were really pleased because of the protection it offers students, and we have already had some very constructive conversations with parents where problems have arisen.”
The Linewize team based in Christchurch have provided first rate support. “We are involved in a lot of pilots of this nature and are very aware that there will always be teething problems in the roll out. The issue is how well we can work together with the company to resolve these issues,” describes Russell. “Linewize compared very well with other companies and any issues were fixed quickly with one phone call or even face to face as they were prepared to fly up to Auckland as required. They were also very gracious about our idiosyncrasies!”
Linewize is now rolling out across the Manaiakalani Cluster and into the associated clusters across the country.
“Teachers are very happy that they can add Linewize to their tool set for accelerating learning by increasing on task behaviour and highlighting ethical CyberSmart practice,” concludes Russell, happy that his ten year search for that extra level of visibility has ended.