Data Beautiful

Sum of Total students for each year. Colour shows average of pass rate percentage with the darkest green being 100% and the lightest 91%. Approximately 100 students are missing from the data in year 2009, so growth has been steady since 2004.

Male Female Ratio of students per year. Years above 1.0 signify more male than females in the program. Colour show average Male Pass Rate percentage with the darkest green being 100% and the lightest 92%

Our pass rate is a consistency that speaks to the quality of programming and the needs of the students being met. The money being invested in this program is well spent, since you can see that boys are the big winners here. We are moving in the right direction and hope to improve both the pass rate and the grade level of all the boys in our program. The ability to read predicts success in all other subject areas. According to PISA 2009, girls outperform boys in reading in all countries assessed by the study. The study cites engagement and adopting a wide range of learning strategies will enable boys to attain even higher levels of performance than girls (PISA 2009 Results: Learning to Learn, Student Engagement, Strategies and Practices Volume 3, OECD publishing.

PISA has determined that some boys reject some types of reading, especially in school, but that they do enjoy certain kinds of reading related to other activities in which they participate. This research suggests that boys’ interest in reading may be confined to certain types of reading.

This PISA graph shows how boys’ reading performance would improve if they enjoyed reading as much as the girls. This is a dramatic increase. Imagine what could happen if engagement was improved in our program? What would happen to their reading levels if we incorporated reading into gaming – a sure way of engagement for the modern male.

Here is another graph that shows that we are attracting more males to our program and they are consistently scoring mostly in the 70 – 79% percentage range:

But there is a persistent group of males that are not performing well and we need to adopt strategies to reach this group:

This shows the total male students in at risk percentages for each year.  (30-49 includes 0 – 30) Keep in mind that it is the boys that are the most at extreme risk of failing. Our program caters to a clientele that can be described as disenfranchised, disengaged in the regular classroom and in need of engagement strategies as outlined in the Board’s Strategic Directions.

Our SMART goals to justify supporting the new proposal

To have the male students that are at level 30 – 49 reduced from an average of 4  students per year to 1 or less. These are the extreme at risk students, a special group that is very disenfranchised and disillusioned by the school system. These students are placed in our program with the hope that they will be engaged and succeed. Students will be identified as at extreme risk by conferencing with student services prior to the beginning of the course. Further screening is done with the entire class using surveys on the first days of the course. Students in this group will be offered the opportunity of working in the recording studio. Incorporating gaming into the course, both game design and socially relevant gaming will be applied also. Students in this category will be reassessed at progress report time and at mid-term. They will be asked on exit from the course how the new programming  has affected their engagement in the school and if it has affected their overall attitude towards school.

Approximately 5% of the males that take this course are performing below level 3. Students in this at risk group will be reduced by at least 50% by the end of the first term. The new strategy proposals – incorporating gaming into the course, both game design and socially relevant gaming will be applied to these students plus the opportunity to record/mix their songs in the sound studio. But the more important strategy is for each student to have their own computer. Putting each student on a computer for design, film, animation, sound editing and gaming will improve the learning of each student. It is never as effective watching someone work as it is doing it yourself. This is a hands on course where limited learning can be done by merely observing. Participation is the key to enhanced engagement. Students progress will be closely monitored to assess their progress through preliminary report and mid-term reporting periods. They will be asked on exit from the course how the new programming  has affected their engagement in the school and if it has affected their overall attitude towards school

Our proposal:

1. Create a sound studio where students can record their music.

Students are readily engaged in music: rap, reggae, hip hop, rock, traditional, punk, heavy metal, folk, alternative…

Music can help students connect with each other and themselves. It is an ancient human expression that touches everyone. Students can share their productions online with the community. The facts: Media Art would need the following equipment to get started: diffusion materials to pad vocal booth, voice mics, mixing console, multitrack recorder, and keyboard.

2. Invest in gaming for education. There are several online socially relevant games that students can play for nominal fees. Participants collaborate with global partners in coming up with solutions to the many problems facing the world.

Gaming itself is an excellent way to engage students and enable their innate love of learning. Gamers all have these 4 things in common: 1. urgent optimism – the desire to act immediately with reasonable hope of success or its worth trying now.

2. They like people better who have played a game with them. They have built up a trust based on agreed upon social rules: perseverance, cooperation, respect, trust

3. Blissful productivity – they are happy to working hard than relaxing than doing nothing

4. Epic meaning – they have a mission or task that means something – to the world!

Use the engagement of gaming for learning. Socially relevant games incorporate sophisticated problem solving, collaboration, research, resourcefulness, creativity, vision, courage and perseverance.

3. One computer per student rule. Even Nicholas Negroponte understands the importance of each student being engaged, not just looking on. Each lab needs enough computers to service every student. Let’s sustain this program that delivers on student success.

4. Work in the real world. According to the HWDSB Strategic Directions, HWDSB will maintain and strengthen collaborative relationships with community partners. Develop and implement a Community Engagement Plan to improve student achievement and well-being.

Our students will seek out projects from the local community. They will collaborate with clients from concept through all planning stages to mock-ups, first drafts, and editing – to final product. This will be a senior culminating project that incorporates all the design, graphic and film techniques that students have learned throughout the Media Arts Program. Possible projects could include commercials for cable TV, radio ads, posters, brochures, business cards, business logos, letterhead, signs and flyers.


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