Leona Bunting, University of Gothenburg

As spring term started here in Sweden, we needed to recruit some new schools for the evaluation. Most of the schools we had begun the evaluation with had already had the iRead apps for a year and were ready to return the tablets. But how to go about the recruiting process? Previously, we had contacted the principals of schools and this had proven to be quite a slow process. Often it had been weeks before they replied to the initial e-mail, if they had replied at all. We decided to try our luck with social media. 

Image. iRead UGOT Team’s post on Facebook to encourage participation in the project.

On 15 February we put out a call (see Image on the left) in a Facebook group for English teachers in primary school which has about 5000 members and hoped for the best. Almost immediately interested teachers started to reply. Within the first day, 23 very keen teachers, at different schools, expressed an interest to try out the Navigo game! Some of the teachers worked at schools which were simply too far away, but we selected four teachers which were in the vicinity and had quite a few students who could try the app.  

Image. UGOT team member Leona Bunting during school visit for iRead in COVID-19 times.

The selected teachers then asked their principals if they would give us permission to come to the schools. Due to the pandemic, no outsiders are allowed into schools, not even parents, so we needed explicit permission to be able to go there. We of course granted that we would wear masks and protective visors (see image on the right). Three of the teachers managed to get permission from their principals within a few days and we decided to start with them. We also wrote to one more teacher and asked if she would be interested to begin after Easter and received a positive reply.