Posts Tagged ‘data’

The 7 Best Open Government Sites

At Sarah Lawrence the last 3 weeks of school students are filling their conference papers with large amounts of data. These websites might be helpful now… Or in the future for other conference papers.

Beyond SLC, the list created by RWW will simply make your life easier.

We’ve already established that members of Congress are pretty bad at informing the public via their websites. The good news is that you can find a number of excellent sites for keeping an eye on the U.S. government. Not surprisingly, most of these are provided by third parties, rather than the government itself. To help ReadWriteWeb readers as the election season approaches, we’ve pulled together a list of the best sites for seeing just how the sausage is made. Just remember: What’s been seen can’t be unseen.

The 7 Best Open Government Sites.


Knowing Vs. Perceiving the Needs of Students

I’d like to open up the topic of knowing versus perceiving.

What would you say if I were I to ask you:

Do students use a laptop, tablet, or smartphone more?

It’s a bit of a tricky question because there is no context, though there are many in decision making positions at edu’s that have to rely on personal awareness, experience, observation, anticipated needs, and any number of other concerns before deciding to embark on a change of the infrastructure.

For the past 4 years a technology survey has been conducted here at SLC and we’ve learned some surprising things.

  • Wireless was not only a technology of interest, it was imperative that it be in place everywhere.
  • Students like ebooks but aren’t interested in ereaders/tablets.
  • The scale of tech needed is not as dynammic or vast as a techy deciding what to purchase might think it to be.
  • Students are thrilled by Google Apps as their email and they use it as a backup for their work.
  • We now have a very accurate number of computers and other handheld tech that is brought to campus by students.

While we could have taken feedback from a number of students regarding wireless and extrapolated the needs, having the data provided decision makers on the tech and financial front what should take priority.

Other pieces of information were less obvious, especially the ebook interest, until it was discussed with students. Students need access to multiple books/documents in a classroom and ereaders limit their ability to flip to and from the key sections of text that they need when they need it in class. Books are still very popular because of this.

I wonder…

  • What mechanisms are you using to gauge technical desire and/or needs?
  • How involved are students, faculty and staff in new technology decisions?
  • What mistakes were made because there was no data or interest in a technology acquisition?

I welcome any thoughts on the idea of knowing vs. perceiving the needs of students at an edu.

The Sarah Lawrence College Technology Survey 2009-2010 Response Numbers and Chart

A 29.97% response rate from the Sarah Lawrence Community without any incentives… Fantastic!

Below is the response chart for the tech survey. As you can see the response rate jumps significantly after a reminder is sent. Below the chart are the numbers used to create the graph.

Additional data will be posted soon. The survey close at midnight last night.

Click to view complete graph

Date    Total Responses    Complete Responses    Incomplete Responses    Remaining        Time
4/13/2010*    0    0    0    2161    launch    12:00
4/14/2010    161    136    25    2025        9:00
4/15/2010    179    152    27    2009        9:00
4/16/2010*    186    159    27    2002    reminder
4/19/2010    285    240    45    1921        9:15
4/20/2010*    295    251    44    1910    reminder    9:53
4/21/2010    359    304    55    1857        10:00
4/22/2010    369    313    56    1848        12:00
4/23/2010*    372    316    56    1845    reminder    9:00
4/26/2010*    432    368    64    1793    reminder    9:54
4/27/2010    557    467    90    1558    closed    9:13

* = reminder sent

The Sarah Lawrence College Technology Survey 2009-2010

After some tweaks based on feedback after last year’s initial technology survey I launched, what is now, the 2nd Annual Technology Survey at The Sarah Lawrence College using LimeSurvey. If you are in academia and use LimeSurvey please contact me if you are interested in using our survey at your campus.

This year we released the survey to the entire campus in one fell swoop – last year we released it in two phases: students then faculty and staff.

I will be tracking the daily numbers and will post response rates as I did last year.

The important changes/additions include:

  • iPad interest and purchase plans
  • eBook interest
  • eReader interest and purchase plans
  • Microsoft Office ownership, use, and interest in purchasing a discounted copy
  • Open text field asking for suggested uses of any technology for use on- and off-campus. We asked them to think big!
  • Due to the financial standing of the institution no incentive was made available.

Stay tuned.

Tech Survey Response Graph

While the student body was taking the Tech Survey I noted the response rates daily. Below is the end result.

Of significance is the dates where the data takes a significant upswing. Dates in the graph marked with *’s indicate that the invitation or a reminder was sent to those that had not completed the survey. The graph was created using Gryphon Mail Docs. The spreadsheet can be viewed here.