Action Research ProjectGoal: Determine if there is a correlation between the digital divide and theachievement gap in El Campo Independent School District?Action Person(s) Timeline: Needed EvaluationSteps(s): Responsible: Start/End Resources Myself March 2011- Internet Are the1. Research May 2011 activitiesarticles and realistic andliterature will I be able topertaining to come up withthe DigitalDivide and theAcademicAchievementGap Myself and May 2011 District Is this a reliable2. Utilize site mentor Calling survey? IfECISD calling System students do notsystem to ask have internetall families in they may notour district if have homethey have phones.internet accessat home. Myself and August 2011 Survey Is the survey3. Survey site mentor Monkey bias? Dostudents to questions stayfind out there on target?accessibility toInternetresources athome. Myself and June 2011 TAKS Data Will I be able to4. Analyze site mentor access all ofTAKS scores the data Ifrom 2010, need?particularly
looking at theeconomicallydisadvantagedscores. Myself September All of my Is there a5. Compare 2011 research correlationresearch and compiled between oursee if there is digital dividea correlation students andbetween the ourdigital divide economicallyand the disadvantagedachievement students?gap in ECISD. Myself and October Presentation Will I be able to6. Share my site mentor 2011 with all data come up withfindings and appropriatebrainstorm solutions?possiblesolutions. Format based on Tool 7.1 from Examining What We Do to Improve Our Schools (Harris, Edmonson, and Combs, 2010)
1. Setting the Foundation:After discussing with my site mentor several topics on which to do my action researchproject we decided that I would research if there is a correlation between academicachievement and our digital divide students. We are a title one district; over 50% of ourstudent population comes from economically disadvantaged homes. I am going to research ifthese are the same group of students performing lower on our state standardized tests and ifthey are also students who do not have internet access in there homes.2. Analyzing Data: Use a variety of sources to gather dataUtilize our district calling system to send out an automated phone call to every student inour district asking them if they have internet access to gain a broad percentage ofstudents with access. Use Money Survey to gain qualitative data to further find out theaccessibility of which students has internet access. Analyze our 2009-2010 TAKSscores to gain quantitative data, particularly looking at our sub populations and oureconomically disadvantaged. After compiling all of the data compare my results to see ifthere is indeed a correlation between our achievement gap and the digital dividestudents.3. Developing Deeper UnderstandingAs I begin to gather data I am sure more questions will arise and a light will be shed onthe gap of our economically disadvantaged students in our district. I will meet regularlywith my site mentor to discuss my findings and make a point to talk to our computer labteacher about them as well.4. Engaging in Self ReflectionTake time to reflect on the qualitative and quantitative data that I analyze and activelyuse this information. Also, ask yourself reflective questions throughout the process andcome up with other questions based on your topic.5. Exploring PatternsAfter analyzing the various forms of data and discussing it with my site mentor begin tofind solutions. Share my findings with other professionals I work with and bounce ideasoff each other to see if we can also come up with different solutions.6. Determining DirectionBefore launching you action research project be sure to answer two key questions:What is the purpose and significance of this action research project? Particularly focuson the main objective, the key stakeholders, and in the end who this research willbenefit.A. Are you clear on what you are attempting to solve (your research questions)?B. Have you adequately addressed the skills and resources questions?C. Have you established a collaborative approach to the issue?D. Are your timelines realistic?E. Do you have a reasonable plan to monitor the project?F. Do you have a reasonable plan for determining the level of success – how do youevaluate if the plan is effective?G. How will you revise and improve the plan based on monitoring and evaluation?Throughout my action research project I will continue to refer to these questions to makesure I am staying on topic with my study.
7. Taking ActionIf there is indeed a correlation between academic achievement and the digital dividemake a community goal to close this gap. Discuss my findings with my site supervisor tofind different ways to close this gap. I can not personally go out and buy internetpackages for all of our students, but I think we can make more use of the public areasthat have free internet access.8. Sustaining ImprovementContinue to monitor these areas and see if the achievement gap is closing by analyzingthe following years TAKS data.