Because Counting Our Blessings Just Isn't Enough

Survey results are in!

As the newly appointed facilitator of  YU2.0 , an on-line community of practice dedicated to educational technology integration in Jewish schools, I anticipated the results of a survey we sent to all members with excitement. I sat with the data when it arrived, a plethora of questions swirling in my mind. So much feedback; so much insight. And yet, something felt not quite right. But, what? Pondering further, it struck me. Sitting alone analyzing data for a community negated the wisdom of community. Why not collaboratively reflect, wonder about implications and dream about possibilities collaboratively?

And so, in search of creative collaboration and multiple perspectives, I share with you our data. Your insights, perspectives, wisdom, and reflection will support a Community of Practice better to meet the needs of members.

Who are the members of YU2.0?

We are teachers, technology coordinators, administrators, and more. 37% of us are Judaic studies teachers, 25.9% of us are general studies teachers, and 5.6% of us are department chairs. 31.5% of us are technology coordinators and there are a number of technology directors as well. 11.1% of us are principals and 7.4% of us are heads of school. Also included among our members are a school board president, the Director of Educational Leadership at a Board of Jewish Education, a curriculum writer, student programming directors and coordinators, a parent, a religious school director, and a learning strategist.

We work with pre-k through twelfth grade students, with the following distribution:

Pre-School 19.1%

K-2 35.3%

3-5 39.7%

6-8 55.9%

9-12 42.6%

Why do we participate in YU2.0?

We are motivated to participate in YU2.0 for a range of reasons, shared below in order of expressed importance:

1. Using educational technology and social media to more effectively support student learning High: 49.1 % Very High 41.8%

2. Keeping updated on trends and advances in educational technology High 41.5%  Very High 45.3%

3. Using educational technology and social media more effectively in our own professional learning High 38.2% Very High 38.2%

4. Extending and strengthening the network of educators with whom to learn High 49.1% Very High 21.8%

5.Interacting with others specifically interested in educational technology integration and social media in Jewish schools High 30.8% Very High 34.6%

6. Making a contribution helping and mentoring others High 47.2% Very High 13.2%

7. The opportunity to work collaboratively on projects with others High 21.8% Very High 20.4%

One member wrote in an interest in increasing and strengthening connections between Israel and those outside of Israel. Another wrote, “educational technology is one tool. I am a big techie but find that people who are very into the tech side of education forget that it is about the kids because they are so into the technology.”

What do we hope to learn with YU2.0?

We are seeking to develop a range of skills, shared below in order of expressed importance:

1. Educational technology resources for student learning High 44.4% Very High 48.1%

2. Keeping up to date on emerging trends in educational technology High 45.5% Very High 41.8%

3. Educational technology resources for our own professional development and growth High 41.8% Very High 38.2%

4 Web 2.0 resources for our own professional development and growth High 40.7%  Very High 37.0%

5.Web 2.0 resources for student learning High 40.0% Very high 32.7%

6.Developing school wide learning plans for technology integration high 35.2% Very high 38.9%

7.Using the Smartboard interactively High 34% Very High 39.6%

8.Google apps in the classroom High 38.9% Very high 24.1%

9.The Judaic Studies classroom, integrating technology and social media High 29.6% Very high 31.5%

10. Technology coaching and technology peer coaching to support other educators implementing technology High 22.2% Very High 37.0%

11.Creating videos with students High 34.5% Very High 21.8%

12. Ipad use in the classroom High 31.5%  Very High 24.1%

13. Planning for school wide iPad implementation High 18.9% Very High%

14.Connecting students with other students using social media and educational technology High 25.9% Very High 11.1&

15.Blogging and portfolios with students High 20.8% Very High 15.1%

16.Podcasting with students High 16.7%  Very High 9.3%

One member wrote of interest in flipped learning both for classrooms and faculty meetings. Another wrote in interest in fundraising for moving to a technology based education and communication system. Several wrote in about interest in blended and on-line learning, including school-industry partnerships.

What are obstacles we face in terms of more effectively utilizing educational technology and social media?

1. Too many other demands on my time 57.4%

2. Competing school priorities requiring my focus in other areas 50%

3. Insufficient technology tools available 42.6%

4. Insufficient professional learning 38.9%

5. Competing professional priorities of mine requiring my focus in other areas 38.9%

6. Insufficient knowledge of available resources 29.6%

7. Being overwhelmed with the multitude of options available 27.8%

8. School policies blocking access to sites and resources I might use 20.4%

A number of members wrote in that financial constraints are a significant obstacle. One wrote in that lack of interest among teachers who have little time is an obstacle. One wrote in that educational technology duplicates preexisting materials without proven benefits.

What are the benefits of YU2.O to our members?

Benefits, in order of importance, include:

1. I am learning new things from my colleagues on YU2.0 that are helpful to me Agree 63%  Strongly Agree 6.5%

2. There is a feeling of community and shared identity as Jewish educators Agree 46.7% Strongly Agree 20%

3. The conversations on Yu2.0 are interesting and important to me Agree 59.6% Strongly Agree 4.3%

4. We are creating new knowledge together Agree 51.1%  Strongly Agree 8.9%

5. I am not comfortable sharing my questions on YU2.0 Disagree 48.9% Strongly Disagree 13.3% (on this question disagreement indicates comfort in the community)

6. I do not feel that members on YU2.0 have a common purpose Disagree 37.8% Strongly Disagree 24.4% (on this question disagreement indicates members do have a common purpose)

7. I am sharing what I learn from YU2.0 with colleagues at work  Agree 48.9% Strongly Agree 8.5%

8. There is a growing sense of trust, ease, and valuing of relationships with peers on YU2.0 Agree 44.4% Strongly Agree 13.3%

9. I am confident if I ask a question I will receive helpful, respectful feedback Agree 48.9% Strongly Agree 8.9%

10. I am able to contribute something of value to the group Agree 44.4% 4.4%

11. Participating in YU2.0 has not changed the way I use technology at work Disagree 38.3% Strongly Disagree 6.4%(on this question disagreement indicates that participation has changed the way members use technology at work)

How might we expand our Community of Practice?

We expressed interest, in order of priority, in:

1. Face to face conferences or Edcamps High 40.7% Very High 27.8%

2. Presentations from guest experts High 56%  Very High16%

3. Streamed conferences or decamps High 48.1% 16.7%

4. Webinars High 44.2% Very High 19.2%

5. Opportunities to coordinate visiting each other’s schools High 39.2%  Very High 27.5%

6. Peer presentations and collaborative problem solving High 41.5%  Very High 18.9%

7. Connections for collaborative projects among YU2.0 members High 38.5%Very High 19.2%

8. Connections for peer mentoring among YU2.0 members High 34%  Very High 15.1%

9. Google + Hangouts High 23.1% Very High 19.2%

10. Real time conversations using social media High 30% Very High 14%

11. Twitter hashtag High 23.1% Very High 9.6%

How might we use our periodic e-mail updates?

40.8% of members find the periodic e-mail updates valuable and  4.1% find them very valuable. 38.8% find them somewhat valuable and 16.3% find them not so valuable. Items members would like included in periodic e-mail updates in the future include: top post, best links to new information, technology that improves a specific aspect of education rather than how to integrate technology into education (focus on education with technology as a tool, rather than technology as the goal with education being the platform), information on teaching Judaic Studies with technology, event updates, innovations, ideas, resources, how other professionals and teachers are using various tools in the classroom, connections to current events, what schools are doing, and new groups that have formed within YU2.0.

What are leadership roles of interest to members?

Members wrote in that the would be interested in:

  • Being a regular guest blogger
  • Sharing knowledge about teaching Hebrew with technology
  • Connecting on twitter and Facebook
  • Teaching a webinar
  • Facilitating a subgroup
  • Organizing an online conference
  • Organizing face to face or online meetings to strengthen relationships
  • Teaching about iPad integration in schools
  • Speaking about creating student movies
  • Supporting schools to implement hybrid learning approaches in which technology is a tool to improve the quality of learning
  • Just about anything if it will further my knowledge and abilities in educational technology

What questions does this data raise for you? What recommendations, based on the data, do you have for our Community of Practice? How might we reflect, analyze, dream, and plan?

 

 

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Comments on: "Crowd-Sourcing For Learning" (2)

  1. Wonderful! How do we get the teachers on board, particularly those who stick to antiquated practices.

    • Shira Leibowitz said:

      A good question! The YU2.0 folk are self-selected as interested in educational technology. Changing school cultures, supporting teachers to come on board, is an important topic in and of itself. It’s an important ongoing conversation.

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