The National Convergence Technology Center (CTC) recently conducted its annual longitudinal survey of attendees from the past three years of Summer Working Connections events. For those who may not know, each July, 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. The format of Working Connections also encourages informal networking and collaboration among like-minded faculty – that is, the conversations that happen in the lunch line or in the hotel shuttle can be just as valuable as the technical content they’re learning in the training sessions.
This past January, over 400 survey requests went to attendees from the 2020, 2021, and 2022 Summer Working Connections events. Fifty percent of those took the time to respond to 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 consider 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 2020-2022 survey cohort.
* 62% of respondents selected a Working Connections track topic they were not already teaching, thereby teaching students new skills they might not otherwise learn
* Respondents reported teaching over 9700 students across 660 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 112,700 students across 12,200 courses)
* Nineteen respondents further reported implementing Working Connections topics into new 26 different degrees and certificates
* 45% of respondents have already incorporated Working Connection topics into their classrooms, with another 43% planning on doing so “in the future”
* 75% reported that Working Connections to a “great” or “moderate” extent improved their knowledge of emerging technologies
* 76% likewise reported that Working Connections to a “great” or “moderate” extent improved their understanding of trends in industry
* As for student and classroom changes, 54% believed that Working Connections to a “great” or “moderate” extent helped students learn material they would not have otherwise been exposed to
* 54% believed that Working Connections to a “great” or “moderate” extent helped improve student engagement
Registration will open soon for the 2023 edition of Summer Working Connections, which will be offered across two weeks – in person at Collin College in Frisco, Texas July 10-14 and all online July 17-21. Topics are not all finalized, but we’re hoping to offer tracks in – among others – AI, AWS, Azure, cybersecurity, data analytics, internet of things, and Security+.
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 nationalCTC@collin.edu.