Friday, 23 June 2017

Surveying our staff about 'blogging'

At the beginning of the year,  I had set up class blogs for each of the classes in our year 9 cohort and expected my department to ensure students blogged regularly and they posted feedback and comments at the end of each week.  In theory, this seemed doable, but in reality we all struggled to keep on top of this and with the restrictions in our timetables (we see our year 9 classes for 3 hours in total a week) it seemed there just wasn't enough time!.

I wondered if TIME was a common barrier for the staff and teachers at our school.  I posed these questions in a recent survey that I sent out to our staff, in a hope to understand where they were 'at' with blogging and from it, try to figure out ways to best support them in their blogging journeys.  Here are the results:

This was interesting for me, as I expected that the majority of staff at our school would have some sort of blog but the results showed it was a little over 50%.  
44.8% of our staff never blog, with 31% saying only when they have to.  To me this was a worry and I wanted to find out reasons why there were so few staff blogging.

63% of the staff surveyed say they want more P.D on blogging, and for who are already blogging lie in the 37% who don't, although I wonder if some of those who don't want more P.D may believe it is not important or don't want to know about it.

For the staff who said they did blog, I asked them for reasons why they blogged and for those who don't blog, what were some barriers that may stop them from blogging. 

Reasons you blog
Barriers that may stop you from blogging
Because I tend to write exactly as I think and speak.

Practice, had had support, enjoy it

I found it easy to start, but when I don't use it often it becomes difficult to start all over again

Blogging should be a daily activity to keep it going.

It is easy as you can always use the information you have and update your blog

It is time consuming as well, as you have to get some time out from your daily schedule and write the blog.

Getting the information, sorting it and then using appropriate language to suit the structure and needs of your readers takes time, but worth it

Its like keeping a journal but only difference is that it is on line for everyone to read

Finding the time to write a blog.

Because the blog is public, worrying about quality of writing and content.

Too personal

Devoting time to it.

I get anxious about writing

Don't really know how to do it.

No Time, Not used to it . confused what to put there

To me Blogging is too difficult

I Hardly use blogging in my teaching and just not confident digitally. There is so many things to learn about digital.

Too difficult I need to learn the How to to help me

Time consuming

No time

Time conflict

Generally, those who did blog described the process and the ease of blogging which is helpful to understand when looking at strategies to support those who don't blog.  For those who don't blog, time seemed the biggest barrier, along with the difficulty of what to write and how to write a blog.

Another aspect of that I'd found from the survey is that it may not be the 'how' to write a blog the biggest barrier, but the 'why'!

My next step is to show these results to my department and the staff, and find ways and strategies to support them on their blogging journey.   I also want to hear specific feedback from my team personally to see whether the results from this survey matches their ideas and thoughts around blogging.  By developing a systematic school wide approach to blogging for staff, my hope is that they will learn to appreciate and understand the importance of blogging and see it in their everyday teaching and learning pedagogy.

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