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ICT in Education Newsletter Survey Evaluation

The UNESCO ICT in Education Newsletter has been providing resources and sharing the latest information on the topic with its subscribers and avid readers since 2005. The ICT in Education team is always looking for ways to make this resource more relevant and informative for all the readers, and the survey has been a useful way to receive feedback for our further improvement. Although it does not represent all of our readers, it provides us with a general idea and ways for further growth shared from the ‘other side of the screen’, which is the most important aspect of this resource, you.

With 192 respondents, the UNESCO ICT in Education Newsletter Survey revealed that our readers span from India to Italy, from Japan to Kenya, from Mexico to Lebanon, with the largest amount of respondents coming from India (18.64%), Thailand (7.91%), Philippines (7.34%), Malaysia (5.08%), and Australia (4.52%).

With no surprise, most of our respondents are in the teaching profession, including professors (26.01%) and teachers (26.01%), as well as teacher trainers (23.12%), followed by researchers (20.81%), government officials (18.50%), and IT specialists (15.03%) (multiple answers were allowed). Some of the other readers represent NGOs (8.67%), school administration (6.94%), INGOs (6.36%), students (2.89%), and journalists (0.58%).  The majority of the respondents are between the ages 41-50 (33.33%) with almost 70% being male. 

In regard to the use of the newsletter, most of the subscribers utilize it for work (61.98%), research (57.29%), personal interest (45.31), or training needs, studies, and staying updated on ICT-related topics, with most of the respondents always opening and reading the newsletter (60.73%).  34.03% of respondents have reported to open it occasionally.

The most crucial part of the newsletter is its content. Every month the ICT in Education team works hard to provide the readers with the experts in the field on the featured themes, who in turn share background information and knowledge, exposing continuous challenges and issues, and highlighting exemplary cases and recommendations. UNESCO Bangkok vision and projects are also reflected in the articles, showcasing foundational beliefs and values of the organization, its approach to resolving challenges at hand, programmes and projects that support Member States, and events that promote collaboration, exchange of knowledge, and smart partnerships.

As such, the most favourite sections of the newsletter have been (multiple answers were allowed) the ‘Programmes & Projects’ (56.52%), ‘Resources’ (54.66%), ‘Highlights’ (46.58%), ‘New Publications’ (34.16%), ‘News & Events’ (32.92%), and the ‘Sub-Regional Corner’ (15.53%), with 32.92% of the respondents stating that all of the sections are useful and interesting to them, finding none of the sections the least interesting (54.79%). As further shared, most of the users utilize the e-newsletter content to help in planning and developing projects and training content, staying exposed to the latest research, trends, and issues in ICT in Education. 

Zooming into the sections of the newsletters, some of the respondents’ favorites included the ICT in Education Portal for Teachers as a great support system to mobilize teachers to utilize ICTs for subject delivery and learning, the ICT in Education Toolkit and UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers, the ICT in Education Teacher Training Series, as well as many cases, projects, and publications that were featured throughout the year from different parts of Asia Pacific. Additionally, most respondents evaluated that the newsletter does not require any changes (54.05%), with one main recommendation of making it easily sharable through social media platforms (22.97%).

In terms of any new sections to be added, some respondents offered specific recommendations, such as ‘New ICT Devices & Research’, ‘Case Study on ICT Implementation’, ‘Innovations’, ‘NGO Corner and Development Resources’, and more youth-related information, shared best practices, teachers to inspire teachers or a teacher forum, ‘practitioners’ voices, a ‘Q&A’ section, new tools for professional development and networking, and much more. Some of the proposed topics for upcoming newsletters included ‘Wearables’, ‘Collaborative Research’, ‘Policy Options for Effective ICT Integration’, “Accessibility in Online Course Design and Delivery’, ‘ICTs in Low-Tech Environments’, “Curriculum for the 21st Century’, ‘Special Needs’, ‘Education for Peace’, ‘Augmented Reality’, ‘ICT and Ethics’, ‘Adult Education’, and more.

In regard to newsletter usability, 96.20% of the respondents found it to be user-friendly. Some of the feedback stated this is “an invaluable publication useful for all education policy makers and practitioners at all levels”, and that it is “the best newsletter to which I am subscribed to”. This serves as evidence that our team is providing useful information to support its readers in furthering their knowledge, practices, and understanding of the issues and themes that we cover. Thank you all for the responses, and for a great 2015!

Reflecting back on the past year, and looking forward to a productive 2016, our team will do its best to incorporate your invaluable feedback in making the newsletter more reader friendly, compact, usable in various formats, and in tune with your areas of interest. This year we hope to further explore the importance of innovation and equity, school leadership, assessment, data and ICT indicators to help our subscribers stay atop the latest conversations and developments in the field. Additionally, starting with the February edition, our newsletters will be shared bimonthly, with an improved layout for mobile friendly versions, as requested by the readers. We hope to hear more from all of you this year, and look forward to collaborations and knowledge exchange in 2016!