Results from the 2004 readership studies of eSchool News are in. The researchers conducting the studies asked me to convey their sincerest gratitude to all those who participated.
Now, your editors are hard at work trying to turn what you told us into action. Key findings will be applied to the print and online editions of eSchool News, and you’ll be seeing the subtle improvements in the weeks and months to come.
The research was conducted using third-party online survey instruments deployed under the direction of Jane McDonald, Ed.D., associate professor of educational leadership in the Graduate School of Education at George Mason University. Dr. McDonald will be analyzing the results in greater detail, but even an initial reading can tell us something about who you are and what you want. (For a more detailed look at the studies, visit http://www.eschoolnews.com/mediakit/readership)
For both our online and our print constituencies, the research reveals this prototypical eSchool News subscriber:
She is an administrator in her 50s leading a large school system (the ratio of women to men is 60:40 for eSchool News, compared to 75:25 in education at large, and nearly two-thirds of our subscribers serve K-12 school districts with student enrollments greater than 2,500).
Although the 180,000-plus readers of the print newspaper tend to be different individuals than the 200,000 unique visitors to eSN Online (approximately 11 percent of our audience uses both the print and online publications), all the K-20 decision makers who rely on our print and online publications are deeply involved in the technology purchasing process.
For the print newspaper, the research show 87.1 percent are involved in tech purchases. For eSchool News Online, 84 percent report being involved in the technology purchasing process.
The prototypical subscriber is white and has worked in education for 20 or more years. She uses a personal computer (PC: 62.3 percent, Mac 8.8 percent; both 28.9 percent) and has broadband access to the internet from school (broadband: 81.6 percent; dial-up: 2 percent; “don’t know”: 16.4 percent).
Her connection at home tends to be speedy, too. Although 31.3 percent of eSN Online members still use dial-up internet access, well over half (59.3 percent) use a broadband connection at home. This might explain why nearly half of eSN Online subscribers (48.8 percent) access eSN Online (http://www.eschoolnews.org) from home as well as from school.
For the print newspaper, 98 percent of those receiving it report reading it regularly; 95 percent say it’s “useful” or “extremely useful”; and 96.1 percent of print subscribers report that eSchool News is valuable in their work. Readers say they “agree” or “strongly agree” that the print newspaper is “informative” (97 percent); “credible” (95 percent); “interesting” (93 percent); and “authoritative” (86 percent).
For eSchool News Online, 83 percent of members report visiting the site once a month or more, and nearly one-third (32 percent) say they visit from at least once a week (26 percent) to more than four times a week (6 percent). The Number One reason eSN Online members say they come to the site is to “read the latest news.” Other top reasons are, Number Two, “advance my knowledge of school technology” and, Number Three, to “get grant and funding news and information.”
Nearly all members (97.6 percent) report that eSN Online is valuable. Here’s are the top five online resources you say you like the best: (1), “eSN Special Reports”; (2), “Latest News”; (3), the “Educator’s Resource Center”; (4), the “Funding Center”; and (5) the “Professional Development Center.”
For the print newspaper, subscribers report these departments as their eSchool News favorites: (1), “Best Practices”; (2) “eSN Special Reports”; (3) “Grants & Funding”; (4), “Netwatch”; and (5), “Marketplace.”
Even though some of you prefer getting your education technology news and information online and some prefer print, the subject areas of interest across the board are remarkably similar.
Both print and online subscribers say “professional development” is one of your greatest challenges, and this is a topic on which you’re calling for more information. Other hot topics you identify are “funding,” “technology support/upkeep,” “virtual schooling,” “wireless,” and “security.” You say you want more case studies and best practices, and you’re calling for more reviews and information on new technology products.
Right from the start, our mission has been to provide you with all the education technology news and information you need and want. We take what you say extremely seriously. So, we’ll be poring over the results of these studies to see how we can do a better job of giving you what you need.
Meanwhile, you must remember this: You don’t need to wait for a readership survey to tell us what’s on your mind, what you need to succeed, and how we can serve you better. We’re ever eager to hear from you.
And as always, we’re deeply grateful for your support.