Cycle 2 Data

AR Focus Statement

The purpose of my action research is to foster parental involvement with technology tools to communicate effectively and collaborate with the school.  Through this research, I am trying to improve upon the standard already in place with regards to communicative and learning technology tools.

Target Audience

The target audience was kindergarten parents.  The number of those participating was about 20 parents.  Those that ended up actually completing the surveys and interviews were about 5.  They are African-American or mixed and are low to middle income.  The surrounding area that they come from is urban in nature but has all that the students and their families need from playgrounds to libraries to stores, etc.  Within the school, they have at least two computer labs, netbook carts, and classroom laptops at their disposal.  At their homes, most of the families have a working computer or laptop and access to a phone for alternative method of communication.

Summary of Cycle 2

For Cycle 2, I used the information and verbal feedback from the parents to guide the process.  First, I used paper-based communication methods to share updates and information.  Then, due to technology issues on the part of the participants, they were offered classroom technology resources so that they could see and were able to interact with the technology tools available.  Needless to say, there was no one that followed through with that offer.  Using an LMS allowed me to provide them with one central location from which to get information such as discussion postings, resources like websites and relevant articles, and online assessments to determine if I needed to refine my focus even more.  It was a place also for them to access some “how-to” videos about using Google, SchoolNotes, and others.  I noticed that the LMS site was not being used to its fullest potential so I worked on scheduling parent meetings so that all can come in and work through the system and information.

Activities

Journal- wrote one journal entry for this cycle.   Journaling is a reflective process that can be used to figure out what worked and what didn’t and to write ideas out that will help as the process moves forward.  I think that I could have garnered more if I had taken the time to write entries throughout the process more and not just after filtering through the data.  I know that I learned quite a bit in my interactions more with my critical friends and co-workers more than anything.

Creating LMS- Used the LMS Schoology to place my information for parents.  It is a system that offers areas for discussion, sharing or resources and materials (which is part of my focus), assessments, and even a place to post information in the form of videos.

Post-survey- The Google survey was given in paper form and the link provided to the parents.  However, as I noted above the feedback was very limited.  I extended the time during which they had to complete and return the survey and that did not work.  I think that if they had some type of incentive that the feedback may have been a little bit more forthcoming.  Another thing is that I have to write in some changes by hand on the printed copy because the post-survey I originally created was not focused on the right audience and directed primarily on communication assistance for parents.

Google website- had a teacher website through Google where information was posted quite frequently.  I know that not too many have accessed it because of the feedback on the survey form.  One even noted that she wanted to have weekly updates, and I had to remind her that I posted it there on the website.  I share videos of our special projects, important and useful websites, and even some free or reduced cost resources that could be of use to them and their children.

Overall the outcome was not expected.  There were tools and opportunities provided to the parents however they did not use them or take part in the assessments.  They also did not use the digital technology that was available. In terms of discussions and technology, they were used properly and were beneficial in terms of giving purpose to the project and its completion.

Data Collection

Data Report

–  Survey: 20 parents were provided with the follow-up post survey; 5 completed and returned the surveys

–  Interview and discussion group: 5 parents participated and provided feedback, 8 critical friends, and 3 co-workers

Parents: African-American; middle-class; single parent (mostly); average age 30

The purpose of the post survey was to determine whether the technology tools were used effectively and to promote community/involvement.  Based on the survey, it was shown that the process used was helpful and the activity worked.  In terms of changes, that technology needed to be used more to get information sent more efficiently time wise and updates more frequent.  The resources and methods used were shown to have been varied and of use and allowed the participants to be involved and communicate.  The website, e-mails, phone calls, and written communication were vital to the experience and gave them the ability to choose and aided in the involvement, collaboratively and technologically.

Insight

The data that was collected shows that there is a need and a purpose for digital technology to be used as part of the communication process.  It also showed that there are many ways in which to share and show how involvement and interaction can aid in the process, whether it is the sharing of information, resources, or activity feedback.  In terms of the literature, the data does correlate with it in terms of parental involvement in many forms and the use of things like LMS to promote learning and success.

I was fortunate enough to have critical friends and co-workers who aided in the Cycle 2 implementation.  I was able to bounce ideas off of them and decide on ways in which to connect more effectively with the parents.  My goal as a result of that was to get all involved with regards to the parents in the classroom and from there I can broaden it out to help the school as a whole since it is one of our focuses for the remainder of this school year and heading into the next.

The other conclusions that I can make after this second cycle is that communication is key no matter what form it is in and that it is important to look at different technology to see its benefits and drawbacks for the given environment.

Surprises

 The most noticeable and unexpected was the limited responses to the surveys and discussion opportunities.  The second cycle was relevant to the focus statement in that it provided ample opportunities for participation, involvement, and use of digital technology.  I have to say that the actual activity and follow-up were not what I had hoped and therefore no that more adjustments need to be made and that I need to have something that provides more chances for involvement and interaction like workshops, discussion circles, and using technology like Skype to share when timing is an issue.  As for the target audience, it is my hope that they will work more on being involved and proactive.

Future Direction

This cycle was indeed relevant to my goal addressed in the Action Plan.  I worked on ways to keep participants involved using technology and communication.  I provided resources often.  And most importantly, I had adjusted content, activities, and assessments around the needs of the participants.

As I move forward, past this second cycle, I need to continue with planning more, implementing a variety of ideas, and evaluating things as I go along.  Along with that too, is the use of communication in a back and forth, conversational method.

Evaluate and Reflect

I tried my best to stick with the timeline.  The only modifications made where in re-sending the survey and sharing of results.  I did not intend to stretch that out past the time that I allotted for it.  I plan on continuing with my Plan of Action because this process is on going and I want to make sure that it is done completely and to the point that it meets the needs that are being asked.  And as with anything there are some modifications that may need to be made; so I will work on them as I move forward.


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