Posted by: Kathy Cassidy | June 11, 2008

Considering Audience

In June of last year I sent home a survey to the parents of the children in my classroom to get an idea about what they thought about our classroom blog.  The comments were mostly positive, but I misfiled the responses and so I didn’t get a chance to reflect on what the parents had to say as I would have liked to.  I did later find them (Easter this year), but it was a little late to do the thinking I should have for this school year.

A few weeks ago, I received an email from a researcher in Israel who was interested in parents’ reaction to their children blogging at school.  She wondered if I would be interested to send home a survey with my students that would help her with her research.  I took a look at her questions, and since they were very similar (but with much better wording) to the ones that I had asked the year before, I agreed to send it home instead of the one I had prepared.  She asked if each parent would fill out a survey, and so with 22 students in my class, I received 36 responses.  Each student returned at least one survey.  I did offer prizes to those who returned their surveys, and the children also received flags and bookmarks from Israel.

I will probably save my real thinking about this until the summer holidays, but the first couple of questions caught my eye.    All of the parents indicated that they were aware of our classroom blog, and all but two indicated that they had access to a computer with the Internet.  The next question asked how many times they had visited the blog this year.  Here are the responses:

More than 20  14

11 – 20             6

6 – 10               6

3 – 5                6

1 – 2                2

While I would like to think that all of the parents are hanging on my every word, this is obviously not the case.  I am not complaining about this.  We are all busy.  As I have been musing for some time, although I write the blog with mostly the parents in mind, they are clearly not our major audience.  Does this change what I put on it?  I think it does.  How it changes it is the question.   I’m not sure what the answer is.

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Responses

  1. I think that the biggest problem is the monumental effort it takes to change the way that people do things. I would have loved for my daughter’s 1st grade teacher to have hosted a blog. I even volunteered my services. The problem is that not everyone has access, those that do don’t maximize it, and most teachers see it as another thing that they have to do. I would much rather receive the newsletters that both my kids teachers and principals send home in the “Friday Folder” via blogs and my RSS reader, I won’t be holding my breath. I can’t even get the district to set up an RSS feed for their home page. They also realize that even if they did, I’d probably be one of a dozen or so people that would even bother to subscribe to it. But look at it this way, whether you send it via blog or paper, only about half will even bother to take a look, and I wish I had the answer as to how to solve that dilemma!

  2. I think you’re right. Perhaps we can’t expect to change things too quickly, much as we would like to.

  3. I starting blogging this year through my board’s web publishing via First Class. It’s been a great way to get started.

    I would love to send the survey home with my parents just to see the responses. Is there anyway I can get a copy of yours?

    I love visiting all your pages Kathy. You are so inspiring! Keep up the great work.

    Sheri

  4. Thanks, Sheri. I’d be happy to share it with you. I’ll check with the researcher to see if i can share the one she wrote, and if not, you are welcome to my less precise version.

  5. That would be great – thank you. You can email me through my website when you get a chance.

  6. […] Last spring I blogged about a research project that Etty Rosen, a researcher from Israel, was doing about my classroom […]


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