Data Use, Technology, and Educational Leadership

Exploring EdTech Advice in a 1:1 School

When you want advice, it matters who you go to. Among other kinds of advice (like how to serve the “whole kid” or how to teach better), I’ve been studying the issue of “go to” people for technology help. Below I describe some WAY preliminary analyses from my study of a 1:1 high school. I end with a few points for school leaders to ponder. 

How to Read the Map?

Figure 1. Entire technology advice network by technology use and in-degree centrality.

Figure 1. Entire technology advice network by technology use and in-degree centrality.

We began with a survey and created maps (“sociograms” to the nerds). This figure shows (a) how often people teach with technology and (b) who people “go to” for advice about teaching with technology. Each survey respondent is shown as a circle. The size of the circle represents how often that person was named as a “go to” person for advice. A line connecting two circles means that those two people talk about teaching with technology at least once a month. Taken together, the map of these lines is the the school’s overall “technology advice” network.

OK, so Figure 1 is a blob, but albeit an informative one. It shows the gamut of responses: school members and who they go to for advice (in any way). Some circles are bigger and some smaller: Some people are seen as key resources for improving one’s instruction using technology, while others are not. Yes, a couple of the big circles are key administrators or specialists — but as my daughter would say, some are also “plain ol'” teachers. 

Teaser Points to Ponder

In my next post: (a) an easier to read map about the technology advice network, and (b) the difference between the pink and blue circles. Hint: Not everyone goes to the same people for advice!

Until then, here are some questions to chew on:

  1. If you were a leader at this school, would you want to be a big circle or little one?
  2. Is it easy, hard, or overwhelming to be a “go to” person?
  3. Are your school’s “go to” people (official AND unofficial) giving out good advice? What are the “right skills” for the job?



One comment on “Exploring EdTech Advice in a 1:1 School

  1. Pingback: Who is at the core of advice at your school? | Datapulted

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This entry was posted on January 31, 2014 by and tagged , , , , .