WPS Technology Integration Survey
One of the easiest ways to collect quick information is through a brief online survey. I welcome everyone in the Waltham School Community – including parents, teachers, administrators, community members, and students – to participate! The survey will be available in September, and will be linked here as soon as it is finalized. I will be seeking feedback from the technology committee before making the final survey available. The survey is specifically designed to help me and the Department of Instructional and Information Technology learn:
- How students and teachers are innovatively using technology in WPS classrooms;
- How the Waltham community would like students to be using technology in the future;
- What challenges or obstacles related to technology integration may exist in our schools;
- And what priorities and values drive the Waltham community forward as we prepare students for their future colleges and workplaces.
I have designed similar surveys during my doctoral work and in my work at Boston Public Schools, where I collected data from all members of the school community. My survey and the methods I will use to analyze it draws on research in educational technology and survey design and is adapted from surveys I have used in the past that have helped my colleagues and me design professional development and have guided decisions about purchasing and infrastructure improvements.
Interviews and Shadow Days
In addition to the survey and conversations with members of the advisory committee, I will also hold one-on-one meetings with individuals key to technology support and integration throughout the district. This includes school leaders, technology and library specialists, and members of the technology and curriculum departments in central office. These one-on-one interviews are meant to help me get to know members of the WPS community and to assess immediate and long-term needs, concerns, and goals for WPS teaching and learning. I plan to conduct short 30-40 minute interviews with the following groups, as they are available to meet with me:
- School-based Technology Support: Technology Specialists and Library Media Specialists
- Central Office Leadership and Technology Support: MIS Department Members and/or Curriculum Directors
- School Leadership: WPS School Principals and/or Lead Teachers
In addition to these brief conversations, I will spend time shadowing library media specialists and technology facilitators in all WPS schools to learn more about how these leaders support WPS teachers and students. During these observations, I will take descriptive (not evaluative) notes, which I will later analyze and combine with survey and other data to look for trends and patterns. The following section describes my approach to analysis in more depth.
Collecting and Analyzing Data
As I meet with members of the WPS community, I will collect various forms of quantitative and qualitative data, including survey data, field notes from shadow days and observations, and notes from interviews and conversations with members of the WPS community. My doctoral research taught me the importance of participant confidentiality. As such, individual responses to surveys and my notes (raw data) will be kept entirely private; these will not be shared with anyone and will be stored on a secure device.
To analyze the data I collect, I will look for trends and common themes related to how technology is used in Waltham schools, how teachers and students learn best in digital environments or with digital tools, and what obstacles to integration hinder regular use of technology in our classrooms. I will listen to teachers’ and administrators’ goals related to both digital technology integration and student achievement to inform the composition of a district-wide technology plan, and I will triangulate data to compare trends across surveys, observations, and interviews. Some of this, I will do in partnership with members of the Technology Advisory Committee, or with members of the Department of Instructional and Information Technology. The following section describes how I will share and analyze data in partnership with these individuals.