My evaluation methods for selection was guided by this post by our instructor. Most of the considerations in evaluation are well-known, and so in addition to foundational considerations like date of publication, relevance, purpose, bias, authorship, I also considered these goals:
Try to avoid information that was linked to commerce
- No sites explicitly tied to an educational product
Try not to duplicate resources or provide too many
- Find the best source with the most information (“bang-for-buck”)
Try to keep the educators and resources Canadian
Finding Canadian educators was the easy part – admittedly, after my professor pointed me to ONE – I was able to reach out into my Twitter PLN to find educators that speak or research on the topic. Therefore, knowing which educators were credible and reliable was a matter of presumed and reputed credibility. Obviously known educational or government-associated foundations were an easy pick.
I tried to look for resources that were not specific to BC, but I also didn’t want to duplicate ideas with similar provincial sites. And disappointingly, most provincial websites and teacher union sites only had information on more traditional parent-teacher conferences than any mention of communication on a daily or weekly basis.
Working out to the large sources, it was difficult to find Canadian non-profit organizations or foundations like those so well known in the US. For example, I found some really good articles on Canadian site – FreshGrade, but it is in violation of goal bullet-point number one. It seems most of the well known (and therefore sitting atop the search engine results) were large, established US educational brands like ASCD and Edutopia. Even Canadian educators that reached out pointed me in the direction of predominantly US-based resources.
Relevance was a bit of an issue, as “communication” and “engagement” can be considered from any angle – teacher, student, guardian, organization, administration, etc. The term “engagement” was often associated in posts that considered how and what information was “communicated,” which is why there is an overlap in ideas presented in the resources.
Still missing from this curated list is actual exemplars of communication site, logs, and records (and the associated technology) that could be used by educators to begin tracking communication. That will be the next step – including technology for tracking/recording/maintaining communication, and frameworks for what information to capture.