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Ongoing classroom Impact of Summer Working Connections

The National Convergence Technology Center (CTC) recently conducted its annual longitudinal survey of attendees from the past three years of Summer Working Connections events. Faithful blog readers know that Working Connections offers cutting-edge, cost-effective professional development opportunities to current IT faculty. This helps teachers get the newest technologies and latest industry trends into their classrooms. Working Connections also encourages the kind of networking and collaboration among educational and business leaders that can strengthen any IT program.

In January, almost 500 survey requests went out to attendees from 2019, 2020, and 2021 Summer Working Connections events. Sixty percent of those took the time to answer the questions. These surveys are essential in measuring the impact of Working Connections – it’s simply not enough to hold the training events. Grants funded by the National Science Foundation must also answer the question of “so what?” Beyond the event itself, what did attendees do with the training? How did they use it? How did students benefit?

Below are some highlights from this 2019-2021 survey cohort.

* 73% of the respondents selected a Working Connections track topic they were not already teaching, thereby getting new skills in front of students that they might not otherwise learn
* Respondents reported teaching over 12,700 students across 800+ courses the topics they learned at Summer Working Connections (if you look back at all of the longitudinal surveys and measure the impact of all of the Summer Working Connections events since 2013, those impact numbers jump to 139,000 students across 13,000 classes)
* 24 respondents further reported implementing Working Connections topics into 39 different degrees and certificates
* 43% of respondents have already incorporated Working Connection topics into their classrooms, with another 44% planning on doing so “in the future”
* 80% reported that Working Connections to a “great” or “moderate” extent improved their knowledge of emerging technologies
* 74% reported that Working Connections to a “great” or “moderate” extent improved their understanding of trends in the industry
* As for student and classroom changes, 55% believed that Working Connections to a “great” or “moderate” extent helped students learn material they would not have otherwise been exposed to
* 53% believed that Working Connections to a “great” or “moderate” extent helped improve student engagement

Registration is open now for the 2022 edition of Summer Working Connections running July 11-15, 2022. The CTC is hosting both in-person tracks – the first time we’ll be getting together in person since July 2019 – and online tracks. If you’re an IT instructor at a high school, a community college, or a four-year university, let us know if you’d like to get an invite by emailing

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