Collective Wisdom: The end-of-year learning survey

This Wordle shows the apps that students listed as their go-to resources for academic success this year.
This Wordle shows the apps that students listed as their go-to resources for academic success this year.


As the year wrapped up, I asked Convent students three questions about how the year went academically. These questions map well to the Big Three questions I encourage students to answer during their four years of high school (what am I good at? what’s hard for me? how can people help?).

The graphic at left shows their answers to the technology question on the survey; as you can see, Notability, Quizlet, and Google Drive were overwhelmingly the favorite tools of our students this year. Their more detailed feedback below gives more insight into how they used those tools in the trenches of the school year.

The answers are powerful because they’re not the words of a teacher or some other authority figure. Instead, this is student wisdom shared for the benefit of their classmates. Enjoy.


Question One: What were the best strategies you used for school this year?

  • “I liked Ms. Guina’s brainstorming packet for essays in Jane Schaffer. I also think it help me to have all my notes on notability.”
  • “Change the way you take notes if the way you are using affects your class progress.”
  • “Keep notes organized and easy to read. Try to stay focused reading Jane Eyre. FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS.”
  • “I took notes on my iPad which really helped because they would turn out to be very organized. “
  • “Make quizlets
  • Take notes in class
  • Do homework even when teacher doesn’t check it
  • Ask questions in class”
  • “making clear and concise study guides for myself instead of using someone else’s. using the public library. just write it down! don’t worry about it being useful or not later on.”
  • “I kept everything in chronological order and stayed on top of all my notes that I needed. Leaving big projects to the last minute was a bad idea that I quickly learned to avoid. “
  • “Google.“
  • “Taking good notes, not being distracted by my iPad, reading and annotating the books for English.“
  • “Staying on top of what I had due and doing homework the night it was assigned made me feel productive and efficient. It’s easy to put things off to the last minute, but when you do it right then and there it really helps you in the long run and ultimately is less stressful. Getting teachers to review work and essays is a really helpful way to understand and meet your teacher’s expectations of your work.”
  • “I used my laptop in most of my classes for notes because it was faster and more organized than hand writing it. “
  • “I stayed organized by having different folders on my laptop for specific subjects. This way, all the assignments I had done were easily accessible. I found this helpful for when I had to go back and find a certain document or for studying purposes. “
  • “Highlighting while I read and taking notes after, making quiz lets “
  • “Really taking notes in class and incorporating all research possible into papers.”
  • “taking notes, organized filing of notes for easy access and review for finals.”
  • “Writing the times when I’m going to do my homework and making a schedule.”
  • “Writing the times when I’m going to do my homework and making a schedule.”
  • “Writing the times when I’m going to do my homework and making a schedule.”
  • “Physically writing out vocab words for English and French. Also, making outlines for essays and tests. “
  • “working somewhere other than home.”


Question Two: What were the best non-digital tools that helped you be successful this year?

  • “Book planner to keep track of all the homework and assignments due.”
  • “A large binder filled with all the notes that I printed out from notability and a homework binder. “
  • “Binder paper!!!”
  • “Binders for each class.” [more than half of the students gave this same answer.—PMK]
  • “my daily planner that helped me keep track of homework and other things I had to do; there is nothing special about it, it just remembers stuff better than my brain :-)”
  • “I had a lot of luck with spiral notebooks. They keep me focused and helped me stay organized, especially the ones with multiple divisions. The five star ones were good, as were the staples brand. “
  • “Accordion folder and one notebook with 5 subjects.”
  • “Having a planner really organized my schedule for the week and helped me remember assignments announced in class that aren’t necessarily online. Rather than having separate binders for each class, I used notebooks and accordion files. With a 3-ring binder, you always have to refill paper and that was something I couldn’t deal with, so with notebooks you just have paper with you all the time! Accordion files help me so much! I always used to forget the specific subject work and they allow me to easily file papers given back and homework to turn in.”
  • “I wrote important dates on my hand. “
  • “I have a mini white board in my room that I found super helpful when trying to study. I used it to do math problems and to write down key information. I think it’s a nice tool to have because it’s fun and can be reused over and over again.”
  • “Notecards.”

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