This post is part of a series inviting discussion, comments and reflection on the results of my dissertation.
Another major part of my study was to create a model to predict the use of curriculum videoconferencing in schools. I selected a combination of variables that were significant in the correlation analyses or the multiple regression analyses which gave a more complete picture of the implementation of videoconferencing.
This graph shows the multiple regression B weights for each variable. Think of it as how much that variable contributed to the school’s use of videoconferencing while all the other variables are held constant. You can click the graph to see it larger.
Here are the B weights and their significance for each of these variables.
Significantly Positive: Elementary School (b=15.269, p=.000)
Significantly Positive: Ethnicity Other (remember this was mostly First Nations/Native American) (b=26.249, p=.000)
Female (b=6.422, p=.146)
Significantly Positive: Level of education: 2 years of college (b=20.544, p=.002)
This post is part of a series of posts with some of the results from a survey of my top VC-using teachers. Read more about it in the first post of this series. Remember, they are using videoconferencing to support curriculum instruction (not full length courses).
The question featured in this post is the following:
What are the supports that are critical for you to keep on using videoconferencing?
This is a qualitative representation of the results using Wordle. Click the graphic for a larger version. This time instead of including all the words, I renamed them similar topics to the same words so that the results were more understandable.
To me, these results are a mandate to continue the following components of our videoconferencing program:
Supporting, training, sustaining VC Coordinators, making sure they are replaced and trained if they leave
Providing resources, both print and web-based, to help teachers see how VCs match their curriculum
Offering free programs to our schools (ASK and collaborative projects) that are tightly matched to their curriculum, including the “boxes” that come with the ASK programs
Offering mini-grants to help pay for programs
Increasing access to VC in every school
Assisting principals and tech coordinators in the districts with supporting VC
How would your teachers answer this question? If you’re a teacher, do you agree with this list? What supports must continue to sustain your use of videoconferencing? If you support teachers, are you able to provide most of this support? Do you provide any other supports? What do you see as most important? Please comment!
So here’s my dream scenario for supporting VC in schools. There are ways to adapt this structure if your scenario is missing a piece or two. See if this matches what you find as successful in your area.
Educational Service Agency Level
A curriculum integration person, who helps teachers integrate VC in the curriculum, trains the school VC coordinators, creates resources to support VC in the curriculum, and facilitates original programs for the schools.
A technical support person, who runs the MCU (if applicable) and assists the districts in getting VC to work through their firewalls, explains how VC works to the district techs, troubleshoots videoconferences, finds alternative ways to connect a VC if the school can’t do it on their own, upgrades software on the endpoints, provides just-in-time training to the district technical personnel, etc.
Technology Coordinator. At the very least, the technology coordinator needs to be aware of videoconferencing, the benefits to student learning, it’s impact on the network, how to make VC work through the firewall, how the cables are hooked up to the projector/monitor etc to assist when problems arise, how to dial, and basic videoconference troubleshooting.
This person needs support from the ESA level tech person as they often are so swamped with every day technical support that they don’t have time to learn the intricacies of making VC work on their network.
VC Coordinator who is supported by the people listed above.
The VC Coordinator has many names: site facilitator, cart manager, etc. and could be the librarian, media specialist, a couple of lead teachers, the school technology facilitator, a media paraprofessional, or even a secretary. I have two coordinators who are secretaries – they are in small schools with limited staff.
I don’t think any of these positions need to be full time for videoconferencing, except if possible at least one person at the educational service agency level or district level if the district is large.
In very large districts, the educational service agency level support is provided at the district level.
In some cases, schools receive some of the educational service agency support from organizations such as CILC and TWICE.
Your Turn: What do you think? Do you agree? How does this match up to your area? Are you missing any of the pieces? How could you work to fill the gap?
Or another question might be: Is this support structure unique to VC? or is it helpful in all educational technology implementations?
Or another question: What other great examples do you know of where these structures are in place?