With Chromebooks ready to be handed out and the 1:1 initiative on the verge of becoming a reality at both the middle school and high school this next school year, the district was very interested in a small marketing projects performed two of its students.
Shelby Collier and Brett Miller, both sophomores at the high school, gave the district some valuable information they gathered while performing a marketing study for their Fundamentals of Marketing class.
“We had to do a market study on a product of our choice for Mr. (Andrew) Canter’s marketing class,” Collier said. “We first thought about doing it on cell phones, but then we decided to do it on the Chromebooks because everyone has use them at school.”
For the study, Collier and Miller split the school into two different study groups – teachers, which Collier studied, and students, which Miller studied. Next, the two marketing students created 20 questions and distributed them randomly.
“We had 20 questions for both groups,” Miller said. “We asked questions we thought were beneficial for us to know about Chromebooks. Questions like ‘what is your thought on them’…most of them were opinion based”
According to Collier, she and Miller also met with Canter and Principal Dr. Nathan Hostetler and consulted to see what people may want to know.
The two students were thorough with their project and were able to finish the complete the study in about a month.
“The project took only about a month to complete,” Canter said. “That is coming up with the questions, getting them out, analyzing the data, editing and meeting with Dr. Hostetler. But this class only meets every other day, so they were only had 10 days of class.”
According to Collier, Miller and Canter the marketing study did reveal some interesting information. Although not all of the information was positive, they did look at the data and analyzed what the both groups thought about using Chromebooks in the school.
“When we asked about the learning programs that the school uses, the majority of the student liked them.” Miller said. “There was only one or two they did not like.”
Miller’s student questionnaire asked students how they felt about carrying Chromebooks around all day and if they worried about dropping or breaking their unit.
“Most of the students answered they really weren’t worried about handling a Chromebook,” Miller said. “They felt they were responsible enough to handle them.”
Collier also discovered positive feedback from both study groups on several questions.
“Both students and teachers said they saw a great value to for research with the Chromebook,” Collier said. “They were both more organized after Chromebook than before.”
One thing Collier said surprised her was some of the negative responses she recorded during the study. She stated that many teachers were negative about whether the Chromebooks would work or how they would work in their classrooms.
“One of the questions I asked was if the teachers notice an increase in student work with Chromebooks,” Collier said. “Some reported they did not see an increase in productivity. They said if a student doesn’t want to work, it doesn’t matter if they have a Chromebook or not.”
Canter described this to human a nature and some people not liking change.
“To some degree, teachers have to be willing to change,” Canter said. “They have to be willing to change their lesson plans to adapt to technology.”
Collier and Miller’s study did find some glitches and hiccups in the present system that has caused some students not to be completely convinced that Chromebooks are the way to go.
“Students don’t like taking test or doing homework on computers,” Miller said. “When the internet goes out and you are taking a test, you basically lose everything. This actually happened to me in an English Class.”
Collier followed up by adding there are times when the internet doesn’t always work real well around the school.
As the two finished their work and presented their finding to both Canter and Hostetler, both were very impressed with the students’ findings. In fact, Hostetler was so impressed with the work done by Collier and Miller that he had the students present their findings to the school board.
“Their study gave us a sense to people’s attitude toward the 1:1 initiative,” Hostetler said. “We believe in what we are doing, and this make us feel better about it.”
During the April 21 Board of Education meeting, the two sophomores present their findings to the board meeting and explain their project and what impact they believed it to have.
“I think what we accomplished will be very beneficial to the district,” Miller said. “A lot of the things we asked in our study, the district didn’t know before. They really didn’t have any understanding of how many students did not have internet.”
Canter believes the study will be incredibly beneficial to the district and with the implementation of technology in the district.
“Mr. Ruble, Dr. Hostetler, Mindy Southern, and the tech people really liked the data Shelby and Brett pulled together,” Canter said. “I think they will take this information into consideration to make the district better.”
Although this year is almost completed, Canter and his two marketing students would like to see another study, maybe in two years and see what progress has been made. Their betting the results maybe even more favorable once technology has a chance to take over.
Craig Vaughn is a reporter for the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-518-3629 or at firstname.lastname@example.org