Teachers’ Perceptions of Technology- Based Communication with Parents             Lisa Malsberger & Debbie Dillon
Purpose of the Research   If a teacher believes technology-based    communication with parents will increase a student’s ...
Why is this important to research?   A 2005 Harvard Education report indicates that    about one-sixth of American teache...
Technology-Based Communication   Technology-based communication can mean a    class website, a newsletter, e-mail, etc. t...
Technology-Based Communication   Several studies have shown a positive link    between communication with parents-teacher...
BackgroundDerry Township School District     Approximately 3,500 students K-      12     5 schools—114 acre campus      ...
BackgroundHershey Area High SchoolHome Access Center Software was implemented in 2006 Parents of students grades 6-12 can ...
Online Access
Methodology   Quantitative Method       Online survey tool using Google Docs           Sample Questions:              ...
Results   83 teachers at Hershey Area High School   24% of teaching staff responded to the survey   85% of teachers tha...
Demographics      How long have you been            teaching?                            0% What is your age?             ...
ResultsWhat grade do you teach?   What subject do you teach?                           Business               0 0% 9th    ...
ResultsGrade                            Subject   We could not find a             There was a correlation    distinct co...
Results  How comfortable are          Do you teach in a lab you using computers?               setting?      5%           ...
16% of teachers never used computers inclass     If computers are                               Correlation  available, ho...
Every teacher communicated with parents usingonline methods at least occasionally     Do you communicate            If you...
Results   What percentage of   parents respond to      your online                                   1 Health, 1 learning...
65% of teachers talk to parents using othermethods of communication                                    61% prefer using Ph...
Only 2 teachers said they DON’T preferonline communication90% of teachers preferonline communication!             Correlat...
Students who have problems in theclassroom…    Do you use online               If yes, do you feel it is communication wit...
85% of teachers see a positive correlation       Do you see a positive correlation between      student progress and paren...
What can parents access on your class website?           11%     7%                             Grades2%                  ...
95% of teachers say parents aren’tapprehensive    Do parents seem apprehensive to communicate           with you using onl...
However…     Do you know if any of the following reasons   apply to why parents may not be communicating               usi...
Percentage of Students who own a homecomputer   Based on your own    experience, what   percentage of your                ...
Findings   What we found based on our purpose for this research:    85% of the teachers we surveyed do believe technology...
Additional Comments from 2 teachers:   “Communicating with parents is essential to a students success, particularly if a ...
Limitations   Communication barriers with contacts       Barriers with first point of contact       Communication barri...
Limitations   Unable to have direct access to the teachers at    Hershey Area High School       This meant that if we wi...
Recommendations   Survey should be re-administered during a non-holiday    season   Perhaps useful to administer the sur...
Questions?
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Teacher perceptionlisa debbie++++final[1]

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Teacher perceptionlisa debbie++++final[1]

  1. 1. Teachers’ Perceptions of Technology- Based Communication with Parents Lisa Malsberger & Debbie Dillon
  2. 2. Purpose of the Research If a teacher believes technology-based communication with parents will increase a student’s success. (Does this support higher grades, test scores, and graduation rates?) Identify any barriers between teacher-parent through the use of technology-based communication. Identify teachers’ opinions regarding technology- based communication with parents.
  3. 3. Why is this important to research? A 2005 Harvard Education report indicates that about one-sixth of American teachers leave the profession every year! According to research by the Center for the Study of Teaching & Policy in 2005, the stress of dealing with difficult parents is one of the top reasons teachers choose to depart. Among new teachers, communication with parents is the most frequently cited challenge and the area in which they feel least prepared. (2005 MetLife Survey of the American Teacher)
  4. 4. Technology-Based Communication Technology-based communication can mean a class website, a newsletter, e-mail, etc. that can be used by a teacher, student, and/or parent The Department of Education reported in 2003 that 99% of public schools had access to the internet, and 86% of those schools communicated with parents using technology
  5. 5. Technology-Based Communication Several studies have shown a positive link between communication with parents-teachers and student success Positive results include: higher grades, test scores, graduation rates, improved school attendance, increased motivation and increased likelihood of going onto college. (Lewis, 2003)
  6. 6. BackgroundDerry Township School District  Approximately 3,500 students K- 12  5 schools—114 acre campus  Hershey Early Childhood Center  Hershey Primary Elementary  Hershey Intermediary  Hershey Middle School  Hershey High School  Appx 1,200 student grades 9-12  Graduation Rate in 2007-2008 was 96%  95% of graduating seniors pursue post-secondary education
  7. 7. BackgroundHershey Area High SchoolHome Access Center Software was implemented in 2006 Parents of students grades 6-12 can access: Report Card Grades Discipline Records Class Assignment Grades Attendance “Other General Student Information” Access is gained using an individual username and password Help Desk is available for parents with questions or who need assistance
  8. 8. Online Access
  9. 9. Methodology Quantitative Method  Online survey tool using Google Docs  Sample Questions:  Do you communicate with the parents of your students using email?  What percentage of parents respond to your online communication attempts?  Do you see a positive correlation between student progress and parent communication through technology? Survey was submitted to the Technology Director, who then forwarded the survey to the teaching staff at the Hershey Area High School Teachers had approximately 2 weeks to respond to survey
  10. 10. Results 83 teachers at Hershey Area High School 24% of teaching staff responded to the survey 85% of teachers that responded completed the survey within one week -20 surveys received from grade 9-12 teachers
  11. 11. Demographics How long have you been teaching? 0% What is your age? 15% 15% 0-5 years 21-30 25% 20% 6-10 years 31-40 41-50 11-15 years 15% 35% 35% 51-60 16-20 years 61-70 Over 20 years10% 30% What is your gender? 45% Male 55% Female
  12. 12. ResultsWhat grade do you teach? What subject do you teach? Business 0 0% 9th 8 44% English 4 21%10th 9 50% History 4 21%11th 14 78% Math 3 16%12th 14 78% Science 1 5%Other 2 11% Technology 0 0% Other * 7 37% *Health/PE, Learning Support, Reading, Language, School
  13. 13. ResultsGrade Subject We could not find a  There was a correlation distinct correlation between technology-based communication with parents between the grades and the subject the teacher taught and a difference in teaches. the response to the  Health/PE teachers reported questions using technology-based communication monthly with parents, and also that 0-25% of the time, parents would respond to their attempts
  14. 14. Results How comfortable are Do you teach in a lab you using computers? setting? 5% 10% 5% Very Comfortable Yes30% Somewhat No 65% Occasionall Not 85% y comfortable at all
  15. 15. 16% of teachers never used computers inclass If computers are Correlation available, how often do you use them in class?  There was a correlation between how often computers are used and 16% the subject taught 21% Daily Weekly Monthly  1 Health/PE, 1 Math, 1 32% 31% Never History teacher never used computer in class
  16. 16. Every teacher communicated with parents usingonline methods at least occasionally Do you communicate If you communicate with parents using with parents using email? online methods, how often do you do so? 21%0% 25% 25% Yes Daily No Occasionally Weekly 79% Monthly 50%
  17. 17. Results What percentage of parents respond to your online  1 Health, 1 learning & communication support, & 1 History teacher attempts? reported parents responding only 0-25% 3 1 0-25% 1 26-50%  15 teachers reported 76-100% 51-75% of parents respond 15 76-100%
  18. 18. 65% of teachers talk to parents using othermethods of communication 61% prefer using Phone Do you talk to parents If yes, what other using other methods methods do you prefer besides online to use to communication? communicate? 0% Yes 30% Phone 35% No Notes 61% In Person 65% Occasionall 9% Other y0%
  19. 19. Only 2 teachers said they DON’T preferonline communication90% of teachers preferonline communication! Correlation? Do you prefer online  Of that 10%, they were communication with parents instead of other only somewhat methods? comfortable using computers Yes  They were between the 35% ages of 31-40 and 51- No 60 and had over 20 55% Occasionall years of teaching y10% experience
  20. 20. Students who have problems in theclassroom… Do you use online If yes, do you feel it is communication with the productive for dealing parents of students with these issues of who have problems in students? the classroom or with their assignments? Yes Yes 37% No 25% No 63%5% Occasionall 70% y Occasionall 0% y
  21. 21. 85% of teachers see a positive correlation Do you see a positive correlation between student progress and parent communication through technology? 10% 5% Yes No Not Yet 85%
  22. 22. What can parents access on your class website? 11% 7% Grades2% 32% Attendance Assignments Disciplinary Action I do not have a class website Other 34% 14%
  23. 23. 95% of teachers say parents aren’tapprehensive Do parents seem apprehensive to communicate with you using online methods? 0% 5% Yes No Other 95%
  24. 24. However… Do you know if any of the following reasons apply to why parents may not be communicating using online methods? They are busy and/or lack time 0% They dont feel a responsibility to 30% communicate with you more than they 35% have to (i.e., parent-teacher conferences, a phone call) Computers arent available to them or they are not proficient in using them Other 35%
  25. 25. Percentage of Students who own a homecomputer Based on your own experience, what percentage of your From the U.S. Census students own a home Bureau: computer?  76% of households with 5% school-aged children from the ages of 6-17 0-25% own a computer (2003) 26-50% 51-75% 76-100% 95%
  26. 26. Findings What we found based on our purpose for this research: 85% of the teachers we surveyed do believe technology-based communication with parents increases a student’s success The teachers we surveyed said 95% of parents are not apprehensive to communicating using technology-based methods Barriers with why parents may not respond to attempts include lack of time or busy; not feeling a need to communicate more than they have to; or computers aren’t available or they aren’t proficient in using them 90% of teachers prefer technology-based communication!
  27. 27. Additional Comments from 2 teachers: “Communicating with parents is essential to a students success, particularly if a student is struggling. Being able to let parents know what is happening in the classroom via e-mail and my teacher web site has been invaluable. However, I have had to be extremely careful regarding how e-mails are written. I am continually asking myself when I compose an e-mail to a parent if my words are clear or if the message I am sending could be misinterpreted. Since a parent cannot see my nonverbal cues, nor hear the intonation in my voice that I would use if I were speaking on the phone or in person, I must be continually aware of how my words might be interpreted. “ (Female English teacher from the ages of 41-50, with over 20 years teaching experience) “I like email. It is very efficient. No parent wants to be called out of a meeting for a call from the school. I have a tight schedule during the school day, and I fully expect parents to be just as busy. Email allows me to write when I have time. The parents reply when they have time. Email also allows me to be specific, logical and say things only once. Theres nothing so frustrating as an emotional parent who just wants someone to listen when I have quizzes and tests to grade, lessons to prepare, and try to have a life outside the school. Also I can put both positive and negative things about the student or their grades in the same email that might only take 5 minutes to read. If I spend 10 minutes laying out why their child is performing poorly, I may not get a chance to say anything positive before the parents despair.” (Male English teacher from the ages of 31-40, with 0-5 years teaching experience)
  28. 28. Limitations Communication barriers with contacts  Barriers with first point of contact  Communication barriers with contact at Hershey Area High School  The communication barriers led to other minor issues, in that the start of the survey had to be delayed. Time of year survey was administered  Thanksgiving holiday
  29. 29. Limitations Unable to have direct access to the teachers at Hershey Area High School  This meant that if we wished to send any follow up or reminder emails, we had to go through the technology director, who then would send them to the teaching staff. We were unable to make any educated correlations because of the minimal amount of responses received.
  30. 30. Recommendations Survey should be re-administered during a non-holiday season Perhaps useful to administer the survey at a school district where you have permission to be in direct contact with the teaching staff Survey multiple schools that offer parents access to student records online Expand the survey to include demographics regarding the students and class size Include questions to determine the extent of the relationships that teachers have with parents In follow up surveys, the researchers should have the ability to communicate in person with teachers or administrators at the school(s) being surveyed
  31. 31. Questions?

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