Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"How Did School Do?" - Here We Go!

by Sean Wheeler

“How Did School Do?” : A Social-Media Qualitative Research Project Designed to Acquire Feedback on the Relevance of Our Education Systems

Currently, we judge the effectiveness of our education system by endlessly measuring the progress of our current pool of students.  But as suggested in Shelley Blake-Plock’s article, If School is Not Relevant, this need not be the only way we can measure the relevance of the education that we provide.

Imagine if schools were judged not by how well students achieved while they were in school, but in how well they achieved once they left. If schools saw their worth not in how many kids got accepted to college, but in how many kids went on to live meaningful and engaged lives and who would point back to their school years as the point of relevancy that was the foundation of it all.”  

The “How Did School Do?” Project  seeks to solicit and gather feedback from post-k12 adults via a social media call for video responses.  The respondents are invited to participate by uploading a 3-5 minute video to their own Youtube channel that answers the question, “How well did your K-12 education prepare you for your life?”.

This project is being launched via a wide-variety of social and traditional media formats, with the aim of collecting the largest pool of feedback on education’s relevance ever.  The pool of videos will be openly available for viewing, independent research, and analysis by communities and schools.  The project will also serve as a significant contribution to ongoing discussions about school relevance and effectiveness.

Research will be conducted from a post-positivistic stance, as will be appropriate due to the nature of video collections and the subjects themselves.  Dr. Sharon Kruse, of The University of Akron, has agreed to partner with us in coding the research and developing methods to sift through the data.  Another key aspect of creating this pool of videos will be the ability of independent researchers and commentators to use the information contained in the videos for their own research purposes.  This is a significant step towards social-media driven research, and the possibilities of such a pool of data seem numerous.  Lakewood High School students will use this data to develop research questions of their own, and to analyze various aspects of the research.

While much of our work will be shared on TeachPaperless, this blog will focus more directly on our students and how they navigate the project and begin conducting their research. We'd love to hear from all of you both in your video and in comments and conversations via our numerous social media venues. Please follow @teachinghumans on Twitter, and feel free to email us at teachinghumans@gmail.com. We welcome your input, partnership, and help in spreading the word about the project. 

Please visit howdidschooldo.com and lend your voice to this important opportunity to be heard.

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