Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Raft's Wicked Problem Part D

My Wicked Problem was a somewhat complex problem to solve.   My focus was trying to find more time during the class period to address the needs of struggling students.  The focus was for the teachers to incorporate some differentiated learning methods into their daily instruction.  In this scenario we implemented “flipped” learning by having teachers make video tutorials that students could access within in the classroom and at home.  Also, using QR codes made the experience user friendly for those smart phone users.  Overall, I feel this implementation was successful.  Below is a graph from a poll the students took after a month of using QR codes.  As you can see 73% of the students find this method beneficial.   

( was used to complete all polls.  The students in Mr. Reeves’s class helped participate with this poll by the use of their electronic devices) 

After working through this Wicked Problem one thing I would do differently would be to look for an issue of a smaller scale.  My Wicked Problem was one that I feel is an issue that may have been too large to take on for my first Wicked Problem.  Looking to help support the 69-minute class period by using the flipped method of instruction is a strong concept, however, it is a large endeavor that takes more time and training then I was working under.  Moving forward, my future Wicked Problem will be a little smaller in scale and focus on issues that I can problem solve relatively quickly.

One lesson that I have taken from this Wicked Problem is asking too much from my staff.  They were willing to help support my problem and gather some data, but it was being done in a short amount of time.  Not to mention changing their ways of delivery from what they have been doing all year.  Change is difficult in most cases, but without some lead-time and planning it compounds the idea of change.   Sure they where doing good things for their students by creating lessons online and by the use of QR codes, but it still takes time to create such lessons.  The good news is that once they are created you have them and they can be used over and over.  

One of the things that I will continue to do is push the use of technology to create lessons that are stimulating for all learners.  I think providing the staff with professional development and training prior to kicking off a similar situation would be much more beneficial.    Looking at the poll response below you would notice that the students really have not taken advantage of the online tutorials.  After a class discussion it was clear that even our students are creatures of habit.   It appears like years of learning by teachers using traditional methods of delivery have created a routine in these young people.  One student, said “maybe if we did this from the start we would be more use to the idea” which said a lot for this idea being implemented so late in the school year.  So starting the process earlier and giving clear explanation of what is being done would be a change that I would make going forward.

This last poll provided me with some hope.  The students were pretty even when asked if they like having their learning delivered differently.  Through our discussion they did express that they liked having more time during class with their teacher.  They felt that they had more one-on-one time and that their teacher was able to help and guide them through the lessons more individually if needed.  I think the results from the survey below would have swayed more towards having lessons viewed at home if a clearer vision had been explained.  Plus, using these methods from the start would have set the table for the school year. The students and teachers really didn’t roll this out as well as it could have been to reach its full impact. 

I chose a complex Wicked Problem that provided me with some good knowledge moving forward.  Even though it may have been a complex problem to work with in a short time period, it was still a valuable experience. We did explore some different methods of delivery using technology.  Students were able to provide feedback that was helpful moving forward.  Most important was the feedback from the staff.  It clearly takes a lot of time to develop lesson online.  Time isn’t something teachers are fortunate to have a lot of.  So providing them time to develop online lessons is crucial.  Moving forward I must continue to support what has been started.  Even though my original problem was much larger than expected it still has lots of value to offer.  In the end, these methods of delivery and support are in the best interest of our students. 

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