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Chadwick School - 26800 S Academy Drive, Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA - (310) 377-1543


Volume 65 Number 1

Early Returns for Chadwick’s new Haiku: It’s Not Working

by Robert Mack - 2014-10-09


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Haiku, Chadwick’s replacement for the student portal, was met with widespread negative reactions from students.

Chadwick is testing a new system this year, a replacement of the retired Chadwick Portal.

Last year, the Chadwick administration made the decision to improve venues for students to get their homework.

“We kept hearing feedback from all parts of our community, students, parents and teachers, and we found that the portal just wasn’t cutting it, that it was too clunky to work around, that it wasn’t meeting their needs, and it was inconsistent how teachers were using it,” said Deborah Levy, Technology Integration Specialist who worked on the transition.

So Chadwick decided to partner with Haiku Learning, a young, Indiana-based education company that, since its inception, has gained a variety of clients and local state awards, to replace the portal this year.

Levy said that the main difference between Haiku and the portal was usability and that “everybody’s doing it.”

Haiku, like Chadwick, remains committed to a set of core values: harmony, simplicity and community.

While being a notable fiscal success, Haiku believes in a strong connection to the clients it serves, according to Levy.

“They’re definitely a customer service-driven organization, and an education-driven organization. They care about what they’re doing; they listen to their customers. Like if you have a feature you want to suggest…you put it online and they pay attention to it. They email you back and say, ‘That’s a great idea, look for that coming out in our next release,’” she said.

Although the intention for switching to Haiku was to improve student usability, the first few weeks of the new system at Chadwick were characterized by failure and massive breakdowns.

Owning to its reputation for reliability, “We were shocked when the beginning of the year hit and it was almost always down,” Levy said.

Turns out the start of the school year had been too much for the company’s system.

“They weren’t expecting that kind of traffic,” Levy said. “It was their bad. But the good news is that for the past week or so, it’s been up way more than it’s been down.”

Although breakdowns largely stopped around the third or fourth week of school, students continue to hold largely negative views of Haiku.

A recent unofficial classroom poll showed that all but two students expressed dislike for Haiku. Miles Williams, a junior, was one of the two who didn’t mind, claiming he doesn’t use Haiku.

“I just prefer my planner,” Williams said.

Sophomore Jonah Storr said he likes that teachers have to use Haiku in the same way.

“Also the pages are a lot nicer, because you don’t have to go through Chadwick,” Storr said. “It’s not very reliable.”

“I think that although this new technology provides a useful set of tools, changing to this platform at this point in time causes more confusion and difficulty than usefulness,” said junior Alex Dean.

Said Levy: “We hope this’ll be the year of bumps and bruises and figuring it out like you do with any new system, and that we continue working with them and that it just gets better and better.

“When you have a new program like this, it’s hard to test it unless you do a full-scale roll-out. The hope is that we go with it, but we don’t have to if it’s not working.”



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Article Keywords:

haiku, chadwick, levy, student, portal, new, system, year

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