Google Classroom or Hapara?


More by accident than design Wellington East Girls College have a % of teachers using Hapara Teacher Dashboard and some using Google Classroom.

Both these products provide fantastic opportunities to improve learning at home and in the classroom. Parents and caregivers can easily be invited to view their children work. The question is: Do you use Hapara, Classroom or both? There is obviously an overhead in using both i operations, technical support, teacher and student training and potentially cost.

For those interested in a feature by feature comparison have a look here. I suspect we will be debating the choice of one or both in the next few months.

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And the most popular device for BYOD is?

captureFrom a recent sample of 200 Year 9 and 10 students at Wellington East Girls College. WEGC are just starting their third year where Year 9 students are required to bring their own devices (BYOD). The BYOD policy is platform agnostic.

“Laptop Other” is generally Linux. “No device” means the school has to look at options to ensure the student is not disadvantaged.

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New typewriter for Digital technologies


Just arrived, Only $30. I have been meaning to get one of these for awhile. It has a few purposes namely:

  1. Teaching history of  QWERTY keyboard to Year 9’s or anyone that will listen.
  2. Warning students that if they are caught on Facebook (unauthorised) they will be asked to write their essays the old fashioned way.
  3. Teaching Year 13 students structure of CSV file ie ASCII codes for LF, CR , Bell etc…
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Puppy Pre School …


see in Lyall bay…

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Harsh lesson on complying with instructions


I have two Level 3 students that were awarded Merit for their external assessments. They should have gained Excellence however they failed to follow instructions related to font size (Ariel 12 pt) and standard margins on A4 paper. They used 11 point and narrow margins respectively. Hence the last part of their assessments was not marked -ie deemed to have exceeded 10 pages.

Fair enough I suppose. Bad luck to get a marker that noticed the font size and margins. Other students had similar transgressions but had different markers… one gained an Excellence, it could easily have been Merit. lucky for her! We do tell students the requirements…

On a slightly different note I had another two Level 3 students that I think deserved Excellence however were marked as Not Achieved and Achieved… I have asked them to apply for a re mark of their papers. At only $20, it is worth applying – I have seen students get better grades as a consequence.

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Comparing results for 2016


As is usual practice at the start of a new year, schools start comparing results for NZQA assessments, both internal and external. Hopefully this gives an idea of relative performance. My initial skim of comparative data yielded some interesting data and a few questions… (Recall we are a Decile 8 all girls school)

  • Who do you compare your selves to? Decile 8, with 8-10 as stretch targets?
  • Do you compare against girls only or boys and girls?
  • WEGC does well on external Digital Technologies assessments eg At L3 information systems report we had 21% Excellence grades awarded verses a Decile 8-10 national average of 13% (girls only decile 8-10)
  • We compare well with internal assessments also… but there appears to be a trend towards what I call “Excellence creep” across schools ie twice as many Excellence grades being awarded. Perhaps we are just getting better at teaching the content… or interpreting the standard…
  • Some schools do no enter Not Achieved results. I am aware that some NA grades at other schools resulted in students being withdrawn (not condoned or allowed as I understand it)

I am sure the number crunchers will have plenty to look at over the next few months… I wonder if the data is made widely available for the press to analyse?

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Nothing is really new!

Excellent video – I plan to show it to my Year 13 class.

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