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EdTech survey: Connecting educators

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Connected Educator Month was established in 2012 as a way for educators to participate in professional development activities and grow their personal learning networks. In support of this initiative, SmartBrief on EdTech recently asked readers what tools, events and social media platforms they rely on to connect and collaborate with their peers.

According to our findings, the majority of our readers are using or planning to use professional learning communities (53%) and face-to-face conferences (23%) as a way to network with other educators this year. Among social media networks, Twitter (43%) and Pinterest (25%) are the two most relied-upon platforms for educators to connect and exchange ideas.

A large number of readers – 81% — indicated that they would be open to attending events, sponsored by vendors, if those events presented useful content and provided opportunities to network with peers. Forty-six percent of these respondents said they’d like to attend such an event but that it should not be “a day-long sales pitch.”

Here’s a quick look at the results:

Which of the following tools are you currently using/planning to use to connect and collaborate with other teachers this school year?

  1. Professional learning communities: 53%
  2. Social media channels, such as Twitter, Google+: 15%
  3. Face-to-face education conferences: 23%
  4. Virtual education conferences: 2%
  5. Video chat platforms, such as Skype, Google Hangouts: 8%

Which social media platform do you use most to connect with and get ideas from education peers?

  1. Twitter: 43%
  2. Pinterest: 25%
  3. Facebook: 14%
  4. Google+: 17%
  5. Instagram: None

If you were invited to a free one-day education event in your area — sponsored by a vendor — that gave you the chance to connect with your peers, hear from experts and participate in workshops, would you attend?

  1. Yes absolutely: 35%
  2. Yes, but I don’t want to hear a day-long sales pitch: 46%
  3. Maybe: 13%
  4. No: 6%

How does this data stack up with your perspective? What tools and events will you employ in 2015 to stay connected to and exchange ideas with your peers? Sound off in our comments section below.