Work smarter not harder

One of the roles of teachers in many colleges is to ring parents if students are late or don’t come to school AND don’t have a note (email or written). It is really important that students attend school on time, every day. Indeed for many students, it is a prerequisite for success. However getting teachers to carry out this task may not be an efficient use of their time – it could take a couple of hours a week. And if the parents have rung the school it seems a complete waste of time to ask for a subsequent written note. (Students can forge emails and notes just as easily as voice calls.) I am not even sure this later point is a mandatory MoE requirement anyway.

Surely in this day, if a parent has to be contacted with a routine message by phone (your son/daughter was away and we have no note) we can just get the computer to do it – it could also be programmed to speak in the appropriate language (and maybe tone :)). I think teacher time is a valuable resource and we have to use technology to work smarter not harder.

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Week 5 done and dusted… survey of students

I ran a survey of all my DT students Years 9-13. (Year 13 students helped design the questions,)

No real surprises… The profile is a little different for subject difficulty. (Students generally say it is easier than Maths and Physics, and sometimes Chinese)

I have been feeling a tad disorganised this year (ad-hoc on the fly lessons in some cases) so I asked them if they also thought so… I am not too concerned, as it turns out unplanned lessons can yield better learning opportunities.

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

OIA request on NZQA – Part 2

See below…

Erh… Did NZQA actually read my OIA request? Perhaps it was unclear in which case they could have sought clarification. Perhaps I should ask an entire class individually to send an OIA request in for their marking schedules? It would be a good exercise in learning about their rights and Government process.

——————————————

My request:

If one or several of my students request their external portfolio marking schedules under the official information act will these be provided? Are there grounds for urgency in this request given that the deadline for reviews and reconsiderations is 16 February 2018.

These relate to Digital Technology external Portfolios at Level 1,2 and 3 for standards AS91070, AS91367 and As91632.

If they will not be provided what is the policy reason for this?

Their answer (from Deputy Chief Executive Assessment):

Thank you for your email of 3 February 2018 regarding the marking schedules for Digital
Technology standards.
We do not generally publish the assessment schedules until after the reconsiderations submission period has ended, to minimise the risk of breaches. In the case of Digital Technologies, I can confirm however that the generic marking schedules available on our website were used. These schedules only vary in that the date is changed year on year.
The marking schedules can be found on our website at
http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/ncea/subjects/technology/levels/. You can find the assessment schedules by clicking on each of the NCEA Levels and then selecting the three standards you are specifically interested in.
I hope that this meets your and your students’ needs.

My response:

Thank you for your email.

Unfortunately, this does not meet my request,

The students want to see their completed marking schedules. This tells them what part of the standard they did not achieve. This gives them no advantage in asking for reconsideration but does indicate the areas they did not meet the required standard.

My question stands ie what is the policy of regarding returning individual marking schedules to students?

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Groundhog day with Vodafone…

For reasons of poor Vodafone process, an invoice was accidentally paid to what is an incorrect account Vodafone Fixed Line & Broadband via the Internet. Despite several calls, this payment did not end up in the correct account. Yes, it had reference information, names and to the layperson is actually for a fixed line and broadband account. So third time lucky I rang again today and guess what… their help desk could not get through to their accounts team! Their emails state ” We will respond to you in three business days”. BS is all I can say.

So tonight I get a message asking me to fill in a form to query payments – the only problem is I cannot be bothered for the third time to do this. For fu%^s sake the help desk actually read back my completed form. I thought in this day and age business processes could be well designed, systems were easy to search and people actually could take accountability to see a problem through. Is that too much to expect? But I guess sh^& service is to be expected… (I would call it theft but it is just pure incompetence.)

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Schools have reasonably complex information systems and flows

I have had cause recently to gain some perspective on Wellington East Girls College information systems, flows and various authentication regimes. At the heart of managing users, at least for several systems is Active Directory (AD) and of course the Google equivalent. Critical systems include KAMAR (Student Administration), Hapara and Classroom (both Classroom support systems) and at last count about 20 systems that require management and integration to some degree. The failure of some of these components impacts materially on student learning and school administration.

WEGC has over 1,200 “users” of their systems (excluding whanau), this is more than many Government agencies! As such, school ICT systems are increasing “mission critical” and will need to be resourced accordingly in the future.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Sorry “kids”, I don’t always know why you got a low mark or Not Achieved

I sent the following email to a number of my 2017 Level 2 Digital technology students. Pass rates were lower than expected and unfortunately, in some individual cases, I don’t  know why as there is no marking schedule returned to each student… (although the portfolios are albeit with no feedback)

Anyways as a result of this and some lower than expected Level 1 marks quite a few students have become despondent and will not be attempting an external portfolio this year.

——————————————————————

Hi All

I have been in contact with some of you regarding the DT200 external portfolio assessment results. I know some of you are disappointed with your results…

Firstly, the same content was made available to all students – as per previous years, and the assessment criteria have remained the same. 

The pass rates are generally in line with those that NZQA expects from a nationwide perspective ie 25-33% NA, 34-41% A, 18-25% M and 10-15% E. In previous years our pass rates have been over 90%. hence lower pass rates inevitably disappoint.

Unfortunately, you do not get copies of your marking schedule (neither do I), however, your portfolios can be returned to you on request once they are delivered to the school.

I have had a quick look at some of your assessments, and it is clear that a number of you did not Achieve or gained a lower than expected grade for one of the following reasons:

1. You relied too much on exemplars and templates ( WEGC has an exemplar on TKI).Some of your portfolios contained bullet lists for significant chunks of content –  clearly just copied from teacher notes
2. Your portfolio did not read as authentic ie in student voice.
3. Essential parts of the portfolio were not completed ie

  • gave only one description for ethical and legal issues (or gave examples that were not relevant)
  • left out  information on how data is manipulated
  • left out information about  input/output/storage/retrieval or back-up 

4. You did not hand me a draft to look at and provide feedback. 
5. Some of you focussed on your experiences outside of the context of a shared information system, some reused parts of 2016 portfolios
6. You did not complete an analysis of A/M/E criteria using the guidelines provided.This gave you a very good idea of what was missing – if anything…

Having said that I am not an NZQA marker… and a couple of the marks I expected to be at least Achieved, probably better…For now, I suggest that, if you think your result should be better then ask for reconsideration. http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/ncea/ncea-results/reviews-and-reconsiderations/  This costs around $20 and is worth the effort.

Mr. Bruce

By the way… Level 3 results were largely E and M. Everyone that submitted passed.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

OIA request on NZQA

I was faced with a barrage of questions from my 2017 Level 1 and 2 students regarding their Digital Technologies external portfolio marks. I advised them that I can return their papers but:

  1. The marking schedule is not provided, and
  2. There is no feedback at all on their actual papers.

I must say they gave me looks of disbelief and a little dismay. As such I have sent the following OIA request to NZQA. I look forward to their answer.

If one or several of my students request their external portfolio marking schedules under the official information act will these be provided? Are there grounds for urgency in this request given that the deadline for reviews and reconsiderations is 16 February 2018.

These relate to Digital Technology external Portfolios at Level 1,2 and 3 for standards AS91070, AS91367 and As91632.

If they will not be provided what is the policy reason for this?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment