Author Archives: Lisa Chu

Don’t miss our sessions at FETC 2017!

If you’re attending the Future of Education Technology Conference in Orlando, FL from January 24 – 27, be sure to check out Julie Evans’s sessions below.

Student Engagement, Teacher Empowerment: An Extended Evaluation of the Impact of Tablets

C314
Thursday, January 26 at 1PM
Orange County Convention Center – North 220F
Click here to learn more
While interest in K-12 mobile learning continues to increase, few studies have examined in-depth the classroom impact of using mobile devices and wireless technologies to support student learning and teacher productivity. In this session, the chief researcher that led a recent three-year evaluation study of a tablet project in Chicago will reveal how access to the devices in school and out of school changed 5th graders self-efficacy as learners and empowered their teachers to transform their instructional practice.

Augmented Reality in Education: Present Accomplishments, Future Visions

C710
Friday, January 27 at 10AM
Orange County Convention Center – North 220AB
Click here to learn more
Augmented realities (AR) for learning use mobile, context-aware technologies (e.g., smartphones, tablets) that enable participants to interact with digital information embedded within the physical setting. This session discusses current uses of AR in education, using case studies of three projects that span learning in both formal and informal environments (i.e., schools, universities, museums, parks, zoos).

Are you attending one or both of these sessions? If so, send us a Tweet through one of our accounts (@SpeakUpEd or @ProjectTomorrow). We look forward to seeing you there!

One Month Remains to Speak Up!

With winter break approaching and the survey period closing on January 13, now is perfect time to make a final push for your school(s) to take the Speak Up survey! We have several promotional materials and tips for you to use:

  • Last minute outreach emails – can also be used for website and social media content
  • Sample tweets – to use before, during and after break
  • Survey lesson plans – great to use as a classroom activity before or after break
  • Focus on parents and community members – this can be some of your most valuable stakeholder data. Be sure to promote the opportunity to Speak Up beyond your campus!
  • Data sneak peeks – share some early national data findings to encourage discussion within your school(s)
  • Speak Up Appreciation week – Our all new weeklong event kicks off on Monday, January 9th where we will be recognizing some of our great Speak Up partners and school districts during the final week of Speak Up. This week will feature our Speak Up Spirit Photo Challenge and another opportunity to win free conference registrations.
  • Start making plans this week for survey participation when everyone returns to school in January – check out our promotional materials, follow our timeline, or pick a day of the week to encourage participation before January 13th! (View intro & tips webinars for insights from other school leaders on implementing and using the surveys.)

You can also view your preliminary data now! We will update your preliminary data every Monday morning before the close of the survey at http://www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2016/find_school.aspx. Finalized data will be released on February 6. View your preliminary data to determine which audiences still need to Speak Up!

Be sure to follow @SpeakUpEd on Twitter for news and updates!

Don’t forget to take the survey yourself!

If you have any questions, please contact us at speakup@tomorrow.org!

Happy Giving Tuesday!

After giving thanks on Thanksgiving, it’s time to give back with #GivingTuesday! Today, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world are coming together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

For #GivingTuesday we ask our supporters to consider a donation to Project Tomorrow to ensure that today’s students are prepared for tomorrow. All donations will go towards our programs that help students gain the skills they need for the future. Please visit http://bit.ly/donatePT to support Project Tomorrow.

We also ask our Speak Up family and friends to donate 15 minutes of your time for the future of education. Make a difference today by expressing your views about education, technology, and college and career ready skills through the Speak Up 2016 Research Project. Click here to take the survey.

We want everyone to have a voice in the future of how technology is used in our schools – please share the Speak Up survey with your students, teachers, parents, administrators, community organizers, friends, and anyone who has a passion for improving education: bit.ly/SU16survey

Thank you for your continued support of Speak Up! To learn more about #GivingTuesday, visit their official website.

Learn about the homework gap at next week’s CA STEM Symposium!

If you’re attending the 2016 California STEM Symposium in Anaheim next week, don’t miss Julie’s session about the homework gap! Check out the details below:

The Impact of the Homework Gap on STEM Education
Monday, October 11 at 11am PT
Room 204 C, Anaheim Convention Center
Click here to learn more

As digital content, tools and resources are increasingly used within K-12 instruction, there is an amplified demand for safe and consistent Internet and technology connectivity for all students outside of school. Failure to address this new type of digital divide is becoming a social justice and educational equity issue. This is especially critical when we think about the value of STEM resources to drive students’ development of key workplace and college skills.

In this session, we will share the latest California and national level Speak Up data on the extent of the “homework gap” where students do not regular access to safe and consistent to technology and the Internet when they are beyond the boundaries of their school. Access from a parent’s smart phone is no longer sufficient to support students in flipped or blended learning environments. The Speak Up data documents where students are accessing the Internet for homework (14% of California high school students say they are doing their digital homework at an fast food restaurant or coffee shop), students’ attitudes about the importance of out of school access (64% of students say this is important for student success) and what California districts are doing or thinking about doing to resolve this equity issue. Using the research data as the foundation, we will then engage the session participants in a discussion about what they doing to address this issue in their school, and what policy/program/funding supports they believe ar needed to eliminate the homework gap. Additionally, given that science teachers are the most likely to be using technology within their instructional plans (per the Speak Up 2015 data), we will also discuss the implications of this new digital disconnect on science education in particular. Of special note will be how today’s students are increasingly using digital tools to self-direct learning in science and the impact of the disparity in home connectivity on students’ interests in STEM education and careers.

Audience members will leave this session with a clarified vision on the extent of the homework gap issue in CA, and especially how this trend is impacting science instruction in California classrooms right now.

To learn more about attending the 2016 California STEM Symposium, please click here.

 

Why Participate in Speak Up? Here’s what superintendents told us.

This summer, we recognized 20 school districts and their superintendents for their exceptional participation in the Speak Up Research Project for Digital Learning.

As you prepare for Speak Up 2016, we wanted to share some of what they told us about why they participate!

“The survey provides districts with great information that can be compared between schools, to their state, and to the entire country. When Southwest Allen County Schools first began to participate, our intention was to educate our constituents by comparing our usage of technology to that of other districts across the country. We are now using it to drive improvement as our constituents are able to give us much more educated feedback. The advantage of national, longitudinal data cannot be underestimated.” – Philip G. Downs, Southwest Allen County Schools, Indiana

“Project Tomorrow’s annual Speak Up survey has allowed us to infuse the voice of our entire school community into key decisions around trends in technology ubiquity, mobility, video and personalization, K-12 use/misuse of social media, and the expansion of classroom walls connecting us to the world. Annual data from the survey is analyzed and shared among stakeholders, creating awareness and conversations that have led to action. The data has helped to generate community support for bond initiatives that resulted in needed infrastructure improvements and wifi coverage throughout the district.” – James P. Lee, Paradise Valley Unified District, Arizona

“East Noble School Corporation continues to find the Speak Up Survey to be a valuable tool used to measure our progress with technology use, instructional integration, and overall effectiveness. Having the ability to annually match stakeholder perception to district perception creates an invaluable reality check that leads to instructional growth and improved outcomes.” – Ann Linson, East Noble School Corporation, Indiana

“Frederick County Public Schools (Virginia) has participated in Speak Up over the past 5 years. Each year, FCPS has increased participation and used the Speak Up findings to inform and guide our efforts toward professional learning opportunities for teachers.  The information gained about our school division and the ability to directly compare that data to state and national trends has been invaluable as we have planned and implemented our division-wide 1 to 1 Chromebook initiative.” – David T. Sovine, Frederick County Public Schools, Virginia

Why do you Speak Up? We want to hear why you participate and how your school or district uses your data. Tell us your story!

YouthTEACH2Learn Students Receive Congressional Recognition

This morning, on behalf of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Field Deputy Cynthia Morales presented 25 graduating seniors with Congressional Certificates of Recognition for completing Project Tomorrow’s YouthTEACH2Learn program, the culminating course in Thomas Jefferson High School’s Teacher Prep Academy.  The students celebrated their accomplishments, and their imminent graduation, with representatives from the school administration, Los Angeles Unified School District administration, and Project Tomorrow.

YouthTEACH2Learn Students

Jefferson High School Students Receive Congressional Recognition from Rep. Roybal-Allard’s Field Deputy Cynthia Morales (left), with their teacher Jaime Gomez.

YouthTEACH2Learn is a high-impact science and math education program in which high school students are enrolled in a full year elective class to learn about teaching math or science. As part of the class, the students develop a series of hands-on science or math lessons and in turn, teach these standards-based lessons in local elementary school classrooms on a regular basis throughout the school year.  The Jefferson High School students taught twelve science lessons at neighboring Nevin Elementary, to students in Kindergarten, First, Second, and Fourth grades.  As a result, the elementary students had additional, hands-on instruction in science that was highly engaging.  One of the cooperating elementary teachers shared the impact of the program, noting: “The Jefferson students have been a great motivation for my students.  My class has looked forward to the science lessons with great anticipation.”

Of course, the students at Jefferson High School benefitted as well, gaining the opportunity to experience teaching first hand, while developing the content knowledge, pedagogical skills, and college and career readiness skills they will need to successfully pursue a teaching career.  At this morning’s celebration, the students reflected on their time in the class, and one concluded: “This experience has inspired me to pursue a career with kids and has definitely made me more interested in becoming a future educator.”

Recruiting tomorrow’s teachers today, starting with high school students, is more important than ever.  The impending retirement of the baby boom generation (1/3 of California teachers are over the age of 50), coupled in California with a precipitous drop in the number of students enrolled in teacher preparation programs (a 70% decline in the last decade), means that the chronic shortage of qualified STEM teachers has become much worse, and expanded to all subject areas. In fact, according to the California Department of Education, the 2015-16 school year began with 21,500 open teaching positions, while only 15,000 new teaching credentials are issued per year.  Project Tomorrow is pleased to share that we are addressing this problem through our Tomorrow’s Teachers Initiative programs, YouthTEACH2Learn and Educators Rising California.  Participation in both grew tremendously last year, and is on track to do so again in 2016-17.

In the meantime, we hope that you will join us in offering our congratulations to the YouthTEACH2Learn students at Jefferson High School.  We hope that they will continue on the path to becoming teachers, and we wish them the best of luck in all of their future endeavors.

YouthTEACH2Learn is a career exploration program where students explore teaching as a career. During the course, the students gain practical experience by observing elementary school classrooms, learning how to teach, developing and teaching standards-based lessons to younger students in neighboring elementary schools and participating in local community service projects. In addition, students also have the opportunity to meet local educators, attend career panels, and visit local college campuses in order to determine if teaching is a “good-fit” for their professional goals. To learn more about YouthTEACH2Learn, visit http://www.tomorrow.org/programs/yt2l.html.

Are you near Washington DC? Attend NCTET’s special homework gap briefing on June 6!

Our friends from the National Coalition for Technology in Education and Training (NCTET) are hosting a special Congressional briefing on Monday, June 6 about the homework gap. This event features remarks from our very own Julie Evans – learn more below:

SEIZING THE MOMENT: PROGRESS ON BRIDGING THE HOMEWORK GAP BUT MORE WORK TO BE DONE

When: June 6, 2016   1:00-2:30
Where: 904 Hart Senate Office Building

In this installment of the Seizing Opportunity in the Digital Age Congressional briefing series, the National Coalition for Technology in Education and Training (NCTET) will discuss the progress made by the FCC and Congress in closing the “homework gap”: the chasm that exists between students who have home access to high speed broadband and those who do not. In addition to highlighting changes wrought through the Every Student Succeeds Act and the FCC’s recent Lifeline Modernization Order, this session will also explore the work that remains to be done to ensure all students have access to high speed broadband in the classroom as well as at home.

This event will feature remarks from:

  • Senator Angus King (I-ME)
  • FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel
  • Project Tomorrow CEO Julie Evans
  • Albemarle County Public Schools (VA) CIO Vincent Scheivert

Please RSVP by June 5th at info@nctet.org

Interested in learning more about the homework gap before attending this event? Click here to view our Speak Up 2015 homework gap data. We look forward to seeing you at this event!

Addressing the Teacher Shortage: Recruiting Tomorrow’s Teachers Today

It is more than likely that your district has felt the impact of California’s teacher shortage.  By now, the numbers are well known. The 2015-16 school year saw a need for 21,500 new teaching positions, while only 15,000 new teaching credentials are issued per year.  The impending retirement of the baby boom generation (1/3 of California teachers are over the age of 50), coupled with a precipitous drop in the number of students enrolled in teacher preparation programs (a 76% decline from 2001-2014), means that the chronic shortage of qualified STEM teachers has become much worse, and expanded to a shortage in virtually every area of teaching. A full analysis of the causes of the current shortage, as well as recommendations to address the challenges, was released in January by the Learning Policy Institute, and several bills have been introduced in the state legislature to attract more candidates into teaching.  Districts and schools do not need to wait for state action, however, to stop the boom and bust cycle of teacher recruitment and preparation.  Indeed, many districts across the state are working to “grow their own” teachers by recruiting the next generation of teachers beginning in high school.

Project Tomorrow has been working with districts to recruit the next generation of teachers by providing high school students with significant teaching experiences for the last 18 years.  We target high school students because our national research project, Speak Up, shows that 45% of college students say their decision to become a teacher was made prior to college. In addition, in 2015, over 10,000 California high school students took the Speak Up survey, and 34% said that they were either somewhat or very interested in becoming a teacher.  Finally, 77% of students said they want to learn about a future career through direct field experiences. This is in line with Richardson’s and  Watt’s research, which showed that perceived teaching ability and having had positive prior teaching and learning experiences was a strong motivation for those who chose a teaching career.  Thus, by moving the starting line for candidate recruitment and development from college to high school, we can dramatically increase the pipeline for new teachers.

Project Tomorrow offers several programs designed to provide high school students with significant opportunities to learn about and experience teaching in specific content areas.  For example, YouthTEACH2Learn (YT2L) is a full year class to learn about teaching math or science. High school students develop a series of hands-on science or math lessons and in turn, teach these standards-based lessons in local elementary school classrooms. In addition, Project Tomorrow is the state affiliate for Educators Rising, a national Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO). Educators Rising California is a student leadership organization with co- curricular chapters throughout the state providing high school students with information and experiential learning opportunities, including statewide teaching competitions and conferences, to support their exploration of teaching careers.  Our program evaluations indicate that students are more likely to visualize themselves as teachers and believe they can be successful as teachers because of their experiences in our programs.  In fact, a recent analysis of the Commission on Teacher Credentialing database found that 38% of YT2L alumni hold a credential.

Give that 2/3 of teachers teach within twenty miles of where they went to school, it is not surprising that many are turning to a “grow your own” approach in the face of the current teacher shortage.  There are 50 teaching academies across the state (including this one at Century High School featured in EdSource).  At least two Career Pathways Trust Grants are supporting education pathways, the Orange County Teacher Pathway Partnership led by Santiago Canyon College, and the Establishment and Enhancement of Education Pathways led by Clovis Unified School District.  San Diego Unified and Fresno Unified both have teacher recruitment and preparation initiatives that begin in high school.  Educators Rising California alone supports 30 chapters and 700 students across the state. Today’s high school students will not be able to fill open teaching positions this fall, but these efforts show that we can start filling the teacher preparation pipeline today with the teachers that we will need tomorrow, and prevent the current teacher shortage from becoming a chronic problem.

For more information on Project Tomorrow’s programs mentioned above, contact gnicholson@tomorrow.org.

Our Speak Up 2015 report, From Print to Pixel: The role of videos, games, animations and simulations within K-12 education, is now available!

From Print to Pixel: The role of videos, games, animations and simulations within K-12 education

Speak Up 2015 National Findings

ProjectTomorrowCover2016_v1-page-001

From Print to Pixel: The role of videos, games, animations and simulations within K-12 education documents the key national findings from Speak Up 2015.

For the past thirteen years, Project Tomorrow’s® annual Speak Up Research Project has provided schools and districts nationwide and throughout the globe with new insights into how today’s students want to leverage digital tools for learning based upon the authentic, unfiltered ideas of students themselves. Each year, education, policy, research, and business leaders leverage the Speak Up findings to understand the trends around students’ use of technology, and how schools and communities can better serve the learning needs of today’s digital learners. Speak Up reports over the past few years have focused on connecting the digital dots for learning, mapping a personalized learning journey, and moving from chalkboards to tablets as part of a digital conversion effort.

This year’s report departs from that tradition of examining the state of education change and focuses on a particular phenomenon that we have documented over many years, the emergence of pixel based digital tools, specifically, videos, games, animations and simulations, as legitimate vehicles for learning. Leveraging the views of 415,686 K-12 students, 38,613 teachers and librarians, 4,536 administrators, 40,218 parents and 6,623 community members representing over 7,600 schools and 2,600 districts in the United States and around the world, this year’s Speak Up report examines three aspects of this phenomenon:

  • What precipitates the move within schools from print to pixel to lay the foundation for then understanding how teachers and students are using these digital tools in their classrooms?
  • How are students self-directing learning beyond the classroom?
  • What should we expect in further adoptions of visually engaging digital tools in education?

Key Findings from this year’s report include:

  • School principals (84 percent) are almost unanimous in their belief that the effective use of technology within instruction is important for student success. However, they do acknowledge challenges or barriers to meeting the expectation of effective technology usage.
  • Five out of 10 administrators note that the implementation of digital content resources such as videos, simulations and animations was already generating positive student outcome results
  • Almost 60 percent of technology leaders say that one-quarter of instructional materials in their schools today are digital, not paper-based; 26 percent say that their level of paperless-ness is 50 percent.
  • The top subject areas in which the students in grades 6-12 watch videos to support homework, research projects or studying are science (66 percent), math (59 percent), social studies/history (53 percent) and English/language arts (45 percent).
  • When asked what was holding back further expansion of their digital learning visions, 57% of principals say the lack of teacher training on how to integrate digital content within instruction is their top barrier.

Click here to download the report and more

Tomorrow’s Teachers are Teaching, and Learning, Today

Educators Rising California Students at Century High School in the News

We’ve been sharing news about the teacher shortage for a while now (see a previous post here). This week EdSource highlighted one of our Educators Rising California schools and how they are working to prepare their students for careers in teaching – and ultimately combat the teacher shortage. Check out our summary below:

When Century High School (Santa Ana, CA) senior Maria Vasquez teaches 1st graders about sentence structure and pronunciation, she “learns so much more from the students than they do from her.” Students in the school’s TEACH Academy are given the unique opportunity to gain hands-on work experience to prepare for careers as teachers. This is not only an excellent way for these high school students to gain real world experience as teachers, but, as educators note, it is also a great way for California schools to funnel students into teaching careers.

Through the TEACH Academy, Century High School students begin gaining experience as sophomores, where they learn skills such as lesson planning and parent correspondence. As juniors they serve as tutors and aides at nearby elementary schools, and as seniors they are paired with graduate students from Cal State Fullerton to further explore careers in teaching. All academy students also take college-level education courses and accrue 15 units of college credit by the time they graduate.

The academy is a part of the Orange County Teacher Pathway Partnership, which is funded through a $6 million California Career Pathways Trust grant and is headed by Rancho Santiago Community College District.

Century High School’s TEACH Academy is just one of over 50 education pathways in California high schools.  Janis Perry, lead project specialist at Santiago Canyon college, says, “Students will learn in a robust [teacher pathway] program that will lead to high-wage, high-growth, and high-skill occupations that will help fill California’s anticipated shortage of well-prepared teachers.” Officials estimate that the current academies could eventually add 2,000 – 4,000 teachers annually.

To read the original article by Fermin Leal, please click here

All students in the TEACH Academy are members of Educators Rising California. Project Tomorrow is proud to be a community partner in the OCTPP initiative. Two of Project Tomorrow’s initiatives, YouthTEACH2Learn and Educators Rising California, work to combat the issue of the teacher shortage.

YouthTEACH2Learn is a career exploration program where students explore teaching as a career. During the course, the students gain practical experience by observing elementary school classrooms, learning how to teach, developing and teaching standards-based lessons to younger students in neighboring elementary schools and participating in local community service projects. In addition, students also have the opportunity to meet local educators, attend career panels, and visit local college campuses in order to determine if teaching is a “good-fit” for their professional goals. To learn more about YouthTEACH2Learn, visit http://www.tomorrow.org/programs/yt2l.html.

Educators Rising California – Project Tomorrow is the state affiliate for Educators Rising, a national student leadership organization that provides high school students with information and experiential learning opportunities to support their exploration of a teaching career, particularly in teaching science and math, through co-curricular and after-school student clubs. To learn more about Educators Rising, visit https://www.educatorsrising.org/.