Cycle 2 Data

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.

TARGET AUDIENCE

The target audience was comprised of classroom educators who had received formal technology training, ranging in age from 20 – 60+, predominately female.  Participants were classroom teachers currently employed in K-12 education. Learning environments included 23 public schools, and 7 private schools.

Summary of Cycle 2

I began cycle 2 by creating a Google form survey consisting of 10 questions.  I provided the survey in the month of June via email.  I  accumulated 30 responses in total.  In addition, I remained aware of the dialogue and information obtained in informal online discussions by actively reviewing responses and online teacher forums.  I participated in discussions, via online forums, with classroom teachers that allowed me to receive qualitative feedback.  I aggregated the information from the online survey, using a pivot table, to identify a quantitive summary of responses.

A summary of the states that participated in the post survey.

DATA COLLECTION

Cycle 2 resulted in a total of 30 responses.  Twenty-0ne of which indicated that they have little or some communication with parents.  This represented a slight increase (10%) over the original sample.  One percent reported having constant communication with parents, six (21%) reported having no communication.  The qualitative measure of my cycle 2 data focused on the impact of willingness and flexibility to incorporate technology into the classroom.  The following are the top three things that educators were inspired to do by integrating a Web 2.0 communication tool into the classroom.

1.  Create and share lesson plans
2.  Invite professionals into the classroom
3.  Have students collaborate virtually

Having students collaborate virtually, via blogs and visiting professionals, seemed to generate the most response relative to improving communication with parents.  Being able to engage participation via online forms enhanced the effectiveness and experience of my survey process.  I was able to administer a survey in a real time form and link an email message directly to the survey which improved effectiveness in communicating with participants and their ability to quickly provide feedback.
Demonstrating that a Web 2.0 tool is an effective method of providing and receiving information efficiently.

Insight

My Action Research experience led me to understand the continued barriers to effective communication.  Time, efficiency, and direct communication seemed to have the largest impact on the quality and desire to participate.  The focus of my research was centered in the idea of increasing techniques to provide more co-operative and interactive discussions.  Communication is an art and not a science, therefore, improvements will continue to be important to the success of any endeavor.  However, the implementation and exercise of the AR project was  another experience that supported a reflection that communication is vital to student and teacher success and technology can be used to enhance and support the process.  Direct communication is usually the hardest to achieve, as indicated in my literature review.  Non-communication remains to be a strong obstacle to providing any solution to problems.  Utilizing technology to navigate obstacles and improve co-operation creates a dramatic difference because it allows otherwise non-participatory parents to have more opportunities to participate.  It opens up a dialogue that may not have been achieved via a face to face meeting due to time or comfort level between parents and teachers.  Finally, it increases a students self-efficacy by allowing students to demonstrate and be recognized for their progress as it happens.

Surprises

I was surprised to realize how little direct communication there was between influential stakeholders of student success.  Given the vast amount of personal use technology offers students, teachers, and community members it was informative to investigate the causes of the lack of integration of communication tools in the classroom.  I have a better understanding now of the breakdowns and barriers to effective communication as it pertains to access and consistency.

Future Direction

The research summarized provided me with a tangible experience of the impact clear direct communication has and insight into ways that I can contribute to the success of any organization or environment that does not currently utilize technology to maximum collaborative communication .   I was grateful for the experience and remain optimistic that over time and with continued effort we can provide faster, better, and more collaborative solutions.

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