As with doing reviews the first challenge is one of paperwork. We’ve tweaked the word processed forms to make them work a bit more slickly on the pads but there’s still this nagging feeling that there ought to be a more efficient way – we’ve added bookmarks to jump between units which saves a certain amount of scrolling (and replaces the performance of constant page flicking when doing it on paper!) but it’s still a bit of a cludge – perhaps NVQ observations are inherently paperwork heavy? Or inherently a bit chaotic because you (rightly) are always trying to gather evidence for more than one unit at once.
Adding media has been the main advantage of using the tablets, particularly for capturing hardware tasks and errors at device level for the troubleshooting units we cover. (Rather neatly on one software installation task we had a learner upgrading Android on one of the tablets while snap-shotting it with the other!)
After some initial doubts about the mic pickups I’ve since used them to record questions and answers and discussions, albeit still using the same recording forms.
There’s a small time saving and an improvement in neatness of the recording docs but no major changes to the workflow.
We haven’t had them lent out to learners yet, concerns about the user profile issues and physical security of the tablets, given the warranty issues having got in the way but we’ve had in house learners using them a lot for their Application of Number project (on paper aeroplanes!) They’ve been making videos and taking photos of their experiments then storyboarding, subtitling and narrating them to put in a presentation about the project. They also create a shared document on Google which they can all edit simultaneously to compare their findings and reflect on what they’ve learned. For proving their written work we’ve snapshotted it and uploaded directly to their portfolios rather than scan it and transfer it them.
That’s probably were I’ve seen the biggest difference so far – both in terms of time taken for delivery of the work and the motivation of the learners. Instant results and the opportunity to get up and about!