AR Focus Statement
The problem is communication between parents and teachers. The solution is to find out what educators know about blogging as a communications tool to reach out to others.
- How can educators use technology to enhance communication?
- What are educators willing to share and learn virtually?
- Will providing a real time tool such as blogger enhance or improve communication?
The target audience was comprised of 48 classroom educators ranging in age from 20 – 60+, predominately female. Participants are currently teaching grade levels elementary, middle, and high school. Learning environments include 44 public schools.
Summary of Cycle 1
I submitted the pre-survey by contacting participants, via email, to describe the purpose and function of my AR project. Using a Google Doc I shared the link to invite classroom teachers, using a contact list, encouraging them to share and invite other classroom teachers to participate. Within minutes of delivering the survey I had received several completed forms and over the course of 5 days I had received a total of 45 completed surveys.
I posted on the progress and interaction of blogging daily. Each post included one or more questions that would invite conversation about the technology, use, or validity focused on improving communication.
The outcome of my implementation process was very good considering the audience and time frame that I delivered the survey. Comments were most informative on the topic of what educators were willing to share.
The data led me to encourage more questions and challenged me to invite more participants into the process of developing personalized communication methods that appealed to them. The largest percentage of participants (99%) were willing to share and create lesson plans together. Followed by 79% who were interested in Virtual Field Trips. Many participants (51%) responded that they were willing to share ideas about classroom management. Finally, 70% eclectically responded being willing to engage in inviting other professionals into their classroom and allow students to collaborate virtually. It became apparent that the use of blogging was not the only method of increasing communication. It became a stepping stone to increased participation as well. The chart below indicated the percentage of existing Non-Bloggers (Blue) and Bloggers (Red) that participated in the pre-survey.
I learned in cycle 1 that the format and design of the questions was integral in the compilation of the data. Using a pivot form created from the data I was able to quantify some results but not all. This led me to focus on the information in a new way. Emphasizing the importance and relevance of the summary information verses direct correlation data. Here is an example of a chart created from the data gathered, indicating the amount of communication teachers were having with parents. Numeric results indicated 1 person out of 47 reported they had Constant Communication with Parents(Blue), 32% reported they had Non-existent communication(Red), 24% reported having some Communication(Yellow), and 37% reported very little communication(Green).
The pre-survey indicated that 45% of participants had experience with blogging. 20 of them indicated that technology availability or consistency was a concern in being able to implement a blog. My literature review was focused on examining the communication methods within the education system. Specifically how communication between parents and educators had the most impact on the success of the student. Being able to engage parents as well as students was a common concern for all participants. My AR project changed frequently as the cycle continued into the next phase building upon what was being learned at the time. Following other bloggers and creating more of a network of educators helping educators became more of a starting point.
There were many surprises along the way. The pre-survey results indicated there was a desire and willingness to communicate, however, the methods and comfort levels were diverse and created some barriers.
The cycle was relevant to my AR project because it allowed me to again visually showcase the benefits of improving communication and using new tools and techniques to do so. My overall reaction was good. I feel that it remains true that to create the most meaningful success people must be involved in the creation of the methods.
The next cycle of my AR project will incorporate inviting participants that have completed formal technology training to compare the results achieved by using a Web 2.0 communication tool.