From Print to Pixel: The role of videos, games, animations and simulations within K-12 education
Speak Up 2015 National Findings
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
At SXSWedu 2016, Julie Evans shared new 2015 Speak Up data on whether or not there are differences in how girls and boys approach digital learning as part of a session on gender sensitivity in gaming.
Students use technology for learning in four ways:
1.) teacher directed
2.) student self–initiated
Out of school:
3.) supporting schoolwork
4.) supporting personal learning
More than 50 percent of both girls and boys say “using technology in my classes increases my interest in learning.”
Speak Up 2015 reports on some of the ways teachers are using technology for learning (not much difference by gender)
And, Speak Up 2015 reports on some of the ways students are directing their own learning with technology outside of school (greater difference by gender)
Speak Up 2015 also asked about interest in coding – by age level and gender – and the results showed that interest in coding is greatest in elementary school for both boys and girls.
When it comes to games, Speak Up shows the boys – especially middle-school aged boys – are the most likely to turn to an online game or virtual simulation for self-directed learning.
Girls and boys report that they play games for different reasons. Via Speak Up 2015, they told us:
1.) Games increase my interest in school
2.) Games provide a more interesting way to learn
3.) Games make it easier to understand difficult concepts
4.) I learn more through a game
5.) Games personalize my learning
1.) Games make it easier to understand difficult concepts
2.) Games increase my interest in school
3.) Games provide a more interesting way to learn
4.) Games adapt to what I know or need to know
5.) I am a better thinker and problem solver when I play games
View Julie’s SXSWedu presentation for examples of games from BrainPop and for resources to help you evaluate gender sensitivity in games.
Happy Flashback Friday! Every Friday we focus on Speak Up data, articles, and press releases from the past. This week we’re looking at National Environmental Education Week’s blog post, “Apps and Games for STEM Learning” from April 2014, which features data from one of our Speak Up 2013 reports. Check out a snippet of it below:
According to Project Tomorrow’s latest Speak Up report released this week, “girls and boys across all grade levels see digital games as having significant learning benefits if employed within a school environment, including greater engagement in learning and making it easier to understand difficult concepts.”
One-quarter of teachers said that they are integrating digital games into their classrooms, and students are playing games outside of school to support their own learning. “Approximately one-quarter of middle school students have played an online game outside of school on their own, specifically to learn something. The percentage jumps to almost 50 percent amongst boys and girls who consider their technology skills advanced.
Interestingly, the report also showed that nearly one-third 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 share that same vision for themselves.
Be sure to check out National Environmental Education Week’s original post, “Apps and Games for STEM Learning,” their guide to the “Apps & Games for Environmental Engineering,” and last year’s Speak Up report The New Digital Learning Playbook: Understanding the Spectrum of Students’ Activities and Aspirations for more information.
Are you a teacher or student who uses apps and games for in the classroom? Let us know by participating in Speak Up 2014! Speak Up provides an easy way for students, parents and educators to participate in local decisions about technology, as well as contribute to the state and national dialogue about educational technology. Data from the surveys – including data regarding online classes – will be released in February 2015. Click here to register for Speak Up 2014 and mark your calendars for the survey’s launch date on October 6!
What: Engaging Students, Empowering Learning – New Roles for Digital Content and Games in the Classroom
Who: Julie Evans, Robert Miller, and BrainPOP
When: Wednesday, September 17 at 3:30PM EST
Research tells us that engaging students in learning has the potential to improve achievement; teachers know that instinctively. But how to increase student engagement is still often an elusive concept in many classrooms. Promising new developments in the use of digital content, and specifically digital and online educational games, in elementary and middle school classrooms aim to make that connection between student engagement and empowered learning more explicit. In this webinar, Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, will introduce a new white paper that highlights Speak Up research findings around teacher and student use of digital content and games for learning, and how administrators are increasingly supporting those efforts. And Robert Miller, 5th grade teacher from Daytona Beach, Florida, will share examples of how digital content and games are transforming his classroom today. With a combination of research findings and classroom practices, this webinar will provide you with new strategies and ideas to use in your classrooms this year!
About BrainPOP: Founded in 1999, BrainPOP creates animated, curricular content that engages students, supports educators, and bolsters achievement. Their award-winning online educational resources include BrainPOP Jr. (K-3), BrainPOP, BrainPOP Español, and, for English language learners, BrainPOP ESL. BrainPOP is also home to GameUp, an educational games portal for the classroom.