On April 8, 2014 Project Tomorrow released the report “The New Digital Learning Playbook: Understanding the Spectrum of Students’ Activities and Aspirations” at a Congressional Briefing held in Washington, DC and for the first time, online in a special live stream of the event. Julie Evans, Project Tomorrow CEO, discussed selected student national findings from the Speak Up 2013 report and moderated a panel discussion with students who shared their insights and experiences with digital learning.
Key Findings from this year’s report include:
- Girls outpace boys in use of many digital tools for learning, particularly the socially based tools like texting and collaborating online.
- 29 percent of high school boys say that they are very interested in a job or career in a STEM field, but only 19 percent of girls say the same. This gap remains even among girls and boys who self-assess their technology skills as advanced. During the seven years that the Speak Up surveys have polled high school students on their interest in STEM fields, the level of student interest has not increased significantly.
- Students continue to report less regular interaction with traditional social networking sites like Facebook, while 44 percent of students in grades 6-12 report using social media apps like Instagram, Snapchat and Vine. Nearly one-third of high school students reported using Twitter.
- One-quarter of students in grades 3-5 and nearly one-third of students in grades 6-12 say that they are using a mobile device provided by their school to support schoolwork (these percentages were greater among Title I schools than non-Title I schools).
- In four years, the percent of middle school students taking tests online increased from 32 percent to 47 percent.
- High school students reported a mean average of 14 hours per week using technology for writing.
- Only one-third of middle school students say that for schoolwork reading, they prefer to read digital materials rather than printed materials; more than half, however, say online textbooks would be an essential component of their “ultimate school.”
- Digital equity, including to student access to the Internet outside of school, is a growing concern among district technology leaders with 46 percent saying it is one of the most challenging issues they face today (compared to just 19 percent in 2010).
Over 100 people attended the Congressional Briefing including congressional staff members, student and staff representatives from some of our Speak up schools, and staff from many of our sponsors, champion outreach partners and non-profit partners.
Project Tomorrow was very pleased to welcome staff from American Association of School Administrators, Alliance for Excellent Education, Apple, Inc., Arlington County Public Schools, Baltimore City Public School System, Baltimore County Public Schools, Blackboard, Inc., Colonial School District, CoSN, EdTech Strategies, LLC, EdTechReview, Educational Testing Service, Elmore County Public Schools, Fairfax County Public Schools, Federal Communications Commission, Frederick County Public Schools, Fulton Creative Counsulting, Impact Aid Association, iNACOL, Institute of Museum & Library Services, International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Learning First Alliance, Morgan State University/NASA Office of Education, MWW Group, NAFIS, National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), National Council of Teachers of English, National Museum of Natural History, National Science Foundation, Prince George’s County Public Schools, Qualcomm, State Education Technology Directors Association, The Center for Education Reform, US Department of Education, US House committee on Education, US House and US Senate.
Students and parents from Baltimore City Public Schools (MD), Baltimore County Public Schools (MD), Fairfax County Public School District (VA) and Frederick County Public Schools (VA) shared their insights regarding personalizing their own learning.