Appendix A
Needs Assessment Survey and Responses

Needs Assessment Survey
Email sent to Halton District School Board teachers on Tuesday, July 20, 1999.
Hi there!

For my Master's project I am developing a web site that will have links categorized on a huge grid according to specific strands in all subject areas for all grades K-8. For example, should you wish to find web sites related to The Human Body you would go to the Grade 5, Science and Technology cell and click on the "Life Systems" link. You would then be presented with a page containing a list of sites that are relevant to that specific strand.

This site would differ from other educational link sites in that a) it is geared specifically for Ontario curricula, b) it is designed to be easy to use, c) it provides a further level of classification than most other sites (which are categorized by grade level or subject area) for useful web sites, d) it is comprehensive (all strands, all subject areas, all grades), and e) it is participatory - users can add sites that they find useful to the specific cells.

It would be the same format as my other page. If you would like to visit it to see the layout please go to

Any input would be appreciated, especially input which would express either support or disdain for this type of project :-) I need to do a "needs assessment" to demonstrate that this project would be worthwhile.

So: do you feel that a web site of this nature is needed? If so, how would this site benefit your online search experience? Would the organization of this site (like the grid on my other page) be inviting?

Responses to Needs Assessment Email Survey
From Mary Kebalo-Plata (teacher-librarian). Great idea, Brent...good organizational layout, I believe the need would be HIGH, provided the links are continually updated to insure that they are still working and relevant, big job, good luck, looking forward to seeing and trying out the results, keep us posted!
Mary  :~)

From Andrew and Kelly McMillen (elementary teachers). >>Do you feel that a web site of this nature is needed?
Yes, I feel this is a very worthwhile endeavour.
>>How would this site benefit your online search experience?
It would cut down on wasted exploration time if all sites are related to education.
>>Would the organization of this site (like the grid on my other page) be inviting?
Yes, information laid out in a quick-scan format is user-friendly. I like the idea of being able to add useful sites to the list (should I happen to find one that is not included on your list--as if)
Brent, some suggestions that both Andrew and I are offering:
Would it be possible to include a rating--how useful is the info at that site?
Also, would there be a way of letting the teacher know if it is a student-friendly or adult-friendly site?  To use your example, if Andrew was searching for info re:  the Human Body, he would like to know if the site is only suitable for an adult (either too advanced or not appropriate for children) and if it is student-friendly, is it appropriate for grade one or grade five or grade eight.  Having a list of sites that he could direct his students to would be very helpful if he was having them use the Internet for research purposes.

From Kim Phillips (no relation to author, elementary teacher).
Your website sounds great.  As a teacher who is returning to the system after an almost 2 year absence I am feeling somewhat apprehensive about the new curriculum and my ability to work my way around it.
A site that let's me start with the curriculum specifics and then leads me to activities, lessons, and a wealth of other teachers' ideas sounds ideal.
As a classroom teacher it seems to me that your web site would be a great jumping off point for taking the formal curriculum and giving it my personal spin without losing sight of the original objectives.
I look forward to seeing the site up and running.  If it's as easy to work with as your personal site, then you will have created a valuable resource for many Ontario teachers.

From Janice Quinn (elementary classroom teacher).
I think your web page would be an extremely useful tool.
I have retired this year mainly  because of the heavy workload - looking up resources that were non-existent, particularly in the science and social studies curriculum this year. Can you somehow integrate assessment ?
I found only one sight that was particularly helpful - How things work.  The kids learned about cogs and pulleys through viewing the sight.
Your web page would save teacher time
I'd suggest linking it to a common sight so it is easy to find - that time feature
I'd also suggest different links - teacher links and student links
The student links should also be geared to reading level of the students - We have found too many adult sights  that the younger students wouldn't bother with because there was too much reading.
With having to integrate technology with curriculum your web sight sounds like a great time saver
Jan Quinn

From Mark Zonneveld (elementary vice-principal).
I think your site would be extremely useful.  Classroom teachers find the amount of new curricula, the rate at which is has come at them, the lack of current resources, and the lack of support for implementation all quite overwhelming.  Your site will certainly lessen the burden in terms of resources.  It will eliminate the need for time consuming searches (or at least reduce it).  I like the idea of people being able to add other good sites to the lists.  I'm sure it would also help if some of the sites listed contain links to other sites in case the user wants to delve further into the topic.
A futher benefit of reducing the stress of finding resources will be a general improvement of teacher attitudes towards implementing the new curriculum, because they will see that there is another form of support available to them.  Go for it!

From Ed Weins (elementary principal).
Brent - I think this has great value.  Have you considered adding Secondary links.  With Secondary School Reform, our grade 9 folks will be desperate for links, and suddenly greatly aware of the power of Internet resources.  I am working on a special project with two other principals, developing a Principals Course On - Line - it is through CASA (Canadian Association for School Administrators) and the SATIR-RITAS web site currently under development through our Alberta counterparst.   Having just finished two intensive days on our project, I can see a direct link to your site (depending on how extensive it is) that  could be included as one of our cross references .  The Course is Canada wide, not just Ontario.  I would assume that our counterparts in Alberta or other provinces could still use the information on your site!!!  Just to let you know the connection, the on - line course has a curriculum section that allows the administrators to access sites that would be of interest to teachers - not that we need the same in depth knowledge that a teacher needs, but that we become the link to them enhancing their use of the internet to specific curriculum. Another part of my current activity is to work on the development of a conference in February (along the lines of TLC) for teachers and administrators locally and in parts of Ontario, and finally, we are retooling TLC for September 2000, connecting with the Sheridan College SKATE project.  Perhaps your site might be included  in our planning.  Please keep me informed.  Ed