Tag Archives: Julie Evans

Students’ perceptions of school vs. learning – not the same thing!

Special release of selected California Speak Up 2016 data for the CUE 2017 National Conference

While 84 percent of California middle school students say that doing well in school is important to them, their interest in school vs. learning mirrors what George Couros has often talked about as a fundamental divide. For example, 57 percent of California middle school students like learning about new ideas, 62 percent like learning how to make or build things and 70 percent say that they like learning how to do things. However, only 49 percent are interested in what they are learning at school, and only a slight majority (52 percent) says that the subjects they are learning in school are important for their future.

But, is this disconnect in name only? Do the students’ belief statements really align with their actions or is this just the latest example of a generational angst?

Consider this: while one-third of students in middle schools and high schools in California admit that they are bored at school, 75 percent are regularly sourcing and watching online videos outside of school, on their own, to learn about things that interest them. Four in ten middle school students are using social media to learn about people’s ideas and to identify people who share their learning interests, not just posting selfies and random comments about celebrities. And, this may come as a surprise to some English teachers, 45 percent of California students are tapping into online writing sites to self-improve their writing skills.

This self-directed learning is purposeful and most importantly it is driven by the students themselves around what they perceive as learning needs or interests. This self-learning imperative actually represents a very organic form of self-blended, personalized learning empowered by a ubiquitous access to technology and an overwhelming hunger for information, knowledge and learning experiences that are more challenging and meaningful than what is happening in the classrooms at their school.

View our infographic: California Speaks Up! Results from Speak Up 2016 at CUE 2017

The same is true today for career exploration – students are more likely to want to find and watch a video about an aspect of a career that interests them or take an online personalized quiz to learn about their strengths than attend a standardized one size fits all after school program or summer camp for career exploration.

This disconnect is also manifesting itself in how students are doing homework. Sensing that in many communities, teachers were still reluctant to assign digitally based or internet based homework for a number of reasons including equity of access, the Speak Up surveys this fall probed on the frequency of the use of digital tools and the Internet outside of school.

First, we asked teachers how often they assigned homework or projects that relied upon digital tools or the Internet. Then, we asked school site administrators that same question about their teachers. Finally, we asked students how often they used the Internet or digital resources to support their homework or school related assignments. Here are the results for California:

  • Just 8 percent of teachers say that they assign digital homework daily or almost daily (for CUE members that jumps to 20 percent). 18 percent of teachers say that they assign digital homework at least weekly (34 percent for CUE members).
  • About 16 percent of school site administrators say their teachers are assigning digital or Internet dependent homework on a daily basis (almost 30% of administrators who are CUE members believe this to be the case for their teachers). One-third of school site administrators say their teachers are assigning digital or Internet dependent homework at least weekly (and half of administrators who are CUE members).

So, already we see a disconnect between teachers and administrators – and even CUE members – on perception vs. actual practice.

But here is the real rub: 40 percent of California middle school students say they are using the Internet daily to complete homework (and 67 percent say they are using the Internet several times a week). We see similar findings of high school students: 42 percent say they use the Internet for homework daily, and even for students in grades 3-5, 22 percent say they use the Internet daily for schoolwork).

Speak Up 2016: How often do California teachers assign homework assignments that require Internet access? How often do California middle school students use the Internet to do homework?

This makes the disconnect between teachers and administrators look like a narrow statistical gap while the difference between teachers and students is an imposing chasm.

Students are using the Internet to support school-based learning at almost 4 times the rate in which teachers say they are assigning those types of activities. Why is this? Because quite simply, as the students explain to us every year, the use of digital tools:

  • puts the students in control of their learning,
  • makes the learning process more efficient, and
  • personalizes the experience in a way that fits their needs, in a way that we are not yet replicating in the classroom.

This use of technology in learning has evolved way beyond engagement – for the students it has always been about their vision for a new type of learning experience that is socially-based, un-tethered and real world relevant.

Do our teachers and administrators know about this reality, and if so, how are they adapting to this sea change in their learning lives of our students? How are they moving from a school-centered rules and procedures to a focus on the student learning experience? How are they incorporating information such as the Speak Up Research about how our students are self-directing learning using digital tools and resources to transform the learning experiences for all students?

Lots of important questions. It is our nonprofit mission at Project Tomorrow to help every school and district find answers to these challenges. You can learn more about our work, the Speak Up data and how your school and district can gain free access to similar data about your students at our website www.tomorrow.org.

Download the related infographic on California Speak Up 2016 data.

FETC attendees, don’t miss today’s session at 10am!

Are you at the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) in Orlando, Florida? If so, plan to attend Julie Evans’s session TODAY at 10am with Robert Miller (Volusa County Schools) and Kari Stubbs (BrainPOP). Check out the details below:

Digital Teachers, Digital Principals: Transforming the Ways We Engage Students (CS154)
Friday 10:00-11:00 a.m
OCCC – North 220 FG
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 the connection between student engagement and empowered learning more explicit. Explore a 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. Hear examples of how digital content and games are transforming classrooms and and how games can influence classroom practice via the BrainPOP GameUp portal.

Julie Evans
Chief Executive Officer, Project Tomorrow

Julie Evans is the CEO of Project Tomorrow (www.tomorrow.org), an internationally recognized education nonprofit organization that focuses on improving learning opportunities for students through the effective utilization of STEM resources. Previously, Ms. Evans was a sales and marketing executive with Unisys and two ed tech startups. She is a graduate of Brown University and serves on several nonprofit boards and corporate advisory councils. Ms. Evans is a frequent speaker and writer on K-12 and higher education issues around digital learning. In April 2008 she was named one of the Top Ten Most Influential People in Education Technology over the past 10 years by eSchool News.

Robert Miller
5th Grade Teacher, Volusa County Schools

Robert Miller is a fifth grade teacher at Port Orange Elementary School in Port Orange, FL. An avid user of technology in his instruction, Robert is constantly revising his pedagogy to reflect current research in content delivery and student creativity. He is also an Apple Distinguished Educator, a Google Certified Teacher, and a member of the inaugural class of YouTube Star Teachers.

Kari Stubbs
Vice President, Learning and Innovation, BrainPOP

Dr. Kari Stubbs is an internationally recognized educator who began her career as a public school teacher in Kansas and Texas. She went on to lead the Kansas Title IID program, and served as an adjunct professor while earning her PhD in Curriculum with an emphasis on Technology. Currently, she serves as Vice President of Learning and Innovation at BrainPOP. Kari has presented extensively on the subject of technology and education, keynoting and speaking at conferences across the United States and around the globe from Shanghai and Dubai to Australia, Prague, Beijing, and beyond.

There’s still time to register for today’s webinar with ABC-CLIO and Libraries Unlimited!

Are you interested in learning how to harness students’ evolving vision for learning? If so, plan to attend today’s virtual event at 1pm PT/4pm ET featuring Julie Evans and our Speak Up data. Check out some last minute details below:

How to Harness Students’ Evolving Vision for Learning: Research & Recommendations
Tuesday, January 12 at 1pm PT/4pm ET
Presented by Julie Evans, CEO, Project Tomorrow
 
We look forward to seeing you online at 1pm PT/4pm ET!

Don’t miss tomorrow’s webinar!

There is still time to register for Julie’s webinar with Libraries Unlimited and ABC-CLIO Solutions! Check out the information below to learn more about the webinar and how you can save your seat for this virtual event.

How to Harness Students’ Evolving Vision for Learning: Research & Recommendations
Tuesday, January 12 at 1pm PT/4pm ET
Presented by Julie Evans, CEO, Project Tomorrow
 
Analysis of the Speak Up Research Project data reveals that today’s K-12 students have a unique vision for digital learning that is often surprising and sometimes perplexing to the adults in their learning lives. Students are increasingly tapping into a diverse set of digital tools, content and resources to self-direct learning around areas of academic passion, both in and out of school. Most importantly, this emerging learning behavior is shaping how the students view information, research, learning and school.
In this webinar, Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, will explore this phenomenon as she addresses these questions from School Library Connection Editorial Experts:
  • What are the three elements that comprise the Student Vision for Digital Learning?
  • What types of learning experiences support the Student Vision?  How prevalent are those types of experiences in schools today?
  • How can teachers and librarians use this information about the Student Vision to transform learning in their schools?
Going beyond anecdotes and assumptions, this interactive and eye-opening webinar will provide school library leaders and educators with a new set of lenses for evaluating the future of learning. Julie will field questions from attendees after her presentation.
Join the SLC @ The Forefront community to participate in online discussions with peers, for invitations to upcoming webinars, to view past webinar recordings, to take a quiz and receive a CE certificate for a past webinar, and for access to more resources.
Libraries Unlimited is committed to serving libraries by producing library science textbooks, reference works, practical handbooks, and professional guides of unparalleled quality.
ABC-CLIO Solutions provides robust digital resources that support librarians, patrons, educators, and students in the development and communication of informed positions on complex topics.

Don’t miss Julie’s session at FETC next week!

Are you attending the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) next week in Orlando, Florida? If so, plan to attend Julie Evans’s session on Friday, January 15 at 10am with Robert Miller (Volusa County Schools) and Kari Stubbs (BrainPOP). Check out the details below:

Digital Teachers, Digital Principals: Transforming the Ways We Engage Students (CS154)
Friday 10:00-11:00 a.m
OCCC – North 220 FG
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 the connection between student engagement and empowered learning more explicit. Explore a 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. Hear examples of how digital content and games are transforming classrooms and and how games can influence classroom practice via the BrainPOP GameUp portal.

Julie Evans
Chief Executive Officer, Project Tomorrow

Julie Evans is the CEO of Project Tomorrow (www.tomorrow.org), an internationally recognized education nonprofit organization that focuses on improving learning opportunities for students through the effective utilization of STEM resources. Previously, Ms. Evans was a sales and marketing executive with Unisys and two ed tech startups. She is a graduate of Brown University and serves on several nonprofit boards and corporate advisory councils. Ms. Evans is a frequent speaker and writer on K-12 and higher education issues around digital learning. In April 2008 she was named one of the Top Ten Most Influential People in Education Technology over the past 10 years by eSchool News.

Robert Miller
5th Grade Teacher, Volusa County Schools

Robert Miller is a fifth grade teacher at Port Orange Elementary School in Port Orange, FL. An avid user of technology in his instruction, Robert is constantly revising his pedagogy to reflect current research in content delivery and student creativity. He is also an Apple Distinguished Educator, a Google Certified Teacher, and a member of the inaugural class of YouTube Star Teachers.

Kari Stubbs
Vice President, Learning and Innovation, BrainPOP

Dr. Kari Stubbs is an internationally recognized educator who began her career as a public school teacher in Kansas and Texas. She went on to lead the Kansas Title IID program, and served as an adjunct professor while earning her PhD in Curriculum with an emphasis on Technology. Currently, she serves as Vice President of Learning and Innovation at BrainPOP. Kari has presented extensively on the subject of technology and education, keynoting and speaking at conferences across the United States and around the globe from Shanghai and Dubai to Australia, Prague, Beijing, and beyond.

Webinar: How to Harness Students’ Evolving Vision for Learning: Research & Recommendations

Happy new year! We hope you enjoyed the holidays! We’re excited to kick off 2016 with our upcoming webinar with our friends at ABC-CLIO and Libraries Unlimited. Check out the details below:

How to Harness Students’ Evolving Vision for Learning: Research & Recommendations
Tuesday, January 12 at 1pm PT/4pm ET
Presented by Julie Evans, CEO, Project Tomorrow
 
Analysis of the Speak Up Research Project data reveals that today’s K-12 students have a unique vision for digital learning that is often surprising and sometimes perplexing to the adults in their learning lives. Students are increasingly tapping into a diverse set of digital tools, content and resources to self-direct learning around areas of academic passion, both in and out of school. Most importantly, this emerging learning behavior is shaping how the students view information, research, learning and school.
In this webinar, Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, will explore this phenomenon as she addresses these questions from School Library Connection Editorial Experts:
  • What are the three elements that comprise the Student Vision for Digital Learning?
  • What types of learning experiences support the Student Vision?  How prevalent are those types of experiences in schools today?
  • How can teachers and librarians use this information about the Student Vision to transform learning in their schools?

 

Going beyond anecdotes and assumptions, this interactive and eye-opening webinar will provide school library leaders and educators with a new set of lenses for evaluating the future of learning. Julie will field questions from attendees after her presentation.
Join the SLC @ The Forefront community to participate in online discussions with peers, for invitations to upcoming webinars, to view past webinar recordings, to take a quiz and receive a CE certificate for a past webinar, and for access to more resources.
Libraries Unlimited is committed to serving libraries by producing library science textbooks, reference works, practical handbooks, and professional guides of unparalleled quality.
ABC-CLIO Solutions provides robust digital resources that support librarians, patrons, educators, and students in the development and communication of informed positions on complex topics.

California Educators & Tech Leaders, don’t miss Julie’s presentations this week!

California educators and technology leaders – Julie Evans is hosting sessions this week at the CETPA Annual Conference and eLearning Strategies Symposium! If you’re attending these events, be sure to mark her sessions down to learn more about our Speak Up data about students, digital learning, blended learning, and more.

CETPA Annual Conference
Top 10 Things Tech Leaders Should Know about Today’s Students and Digital Learning
Tuesday, December 1st
4:50pm-5:40pm in Room 411B

Since 2003, the Speak Up Research Project has collected the authentic, unfiltered views and ideas of almost 4 million K-12 students, parents and educators on digital learning. The annual data findings regularly inform federal, state and local policies, programs and funding for education technology. In this session, we will leverage the national and California specific findings to debunk lingering mythology around student use of technology, in school and out of school, and provide you with new insights on digital learning expectations and aspirations. With a focus on the key trends in mobile, blended and virtual learning, we will also examine the role of digital content, social media and online assessments in the development of new learning environments – and what tech leaders need to know to best support your stakeholders. In addition to the student data, the session will also include key findings from parents, teachers and administrators. Tech leaders will have opportunities to share their perspectives on these topics in this highly interactive session and to learn how their school or district can participate in the annual Speak Up process.

eLearning Strategies Symposium
Keynote: Taking the Pulse on eLearning Today: The Views of K12 Students, Educators and Parents
Friday, December 4th
8:30am-9:30am in Pacific 2-4

For the past 13 years, the Speak Up Research Project has collected and reported on the views of almost 4 million K-12 students, educators and parents regarding digital learning. Using current and longitudinal Speak Up data, we will provide new insights into the students’ vision for the use of games, mobile devices and digital content within learning, and counter mythology with the authentic views of teachers and parents regarding technology use within instruction. Going beyond anecdotes and assumptions, this interactive and eye-opening presentation will provide leaders with new metrics for evaluating the pulse of eLearning in their school or district.

1-2-3-4 New Ways to Examine Blended Learning Outcomes
Friday, December 4th
11:05am-12:05pm in Emerald Bay 3

While the debate continues as to how to measure outcomes in blended learning environments, some districts are now evaluating their blended learning programs based upon student annual growth, student engagement in learning, teacher effectiveness and parental support. In this flipped seminar, we will explore the how/when/why/what of those outcome measures, and collaboratively develop a new template for assessing the real impact of blended learning.

We look forward to seeing you this week!

At #AASL15 this weekend? Attend our TWO sessions on November 6th!

Librarians and media specialists, are you at the American Association of School Librarians (AASL)17th National Conference & Exhibition in Columbus, Ohio this weekend? If so, don’t miss Julie Evans’s TWO sessions tomorrow, November 6th:

We Got This – Integrating Digital Databases Within Classroom Instruction
11:20am – 12:20pm
Room C216
Julie Evans (Project Tomorrow), Victoria Jones (Westtown School), Elizabeth Cousins (The Shipley School)

Many school leaders report challenges in the integration of digital content within classroom instruction and yet school librarians and libraries are uniquely positioned to address these key challenges.  We will present the results from a study and discuss findings with the librarians from two project high schools.   Audience members will learn key strategies for integrating digital databases within classroom instruction, and how innovative librarianship can enhance both student and teacher outcomes.  Modeling interactive learning, the audience will be polled throughout the session regarding their views on the outcomes using a Jeopardy style game format.  The session supports the AASL strategic plan by demonstrating the relevancy of librarians within digital learning adoptions.

Enabling, empowering and engaging digital learning – the pivotal role of the school librarian in education transformation
4:30pm – 5:30pm
Room C213-214
Julie Evans (Project Tomorrow)

Since 2003, the Speak Up Research Project has polled 4 million K-12 students, educators and parents about their views on digital learning. A key finding from the resulting data has been the increasingly importance of curated digital content and in school mentoring to actualize the promise of technology to transform education. Enter the school librarian. In this interactive session, we will share new Speak Up findings that demonstrate the pivotal role of the school librarian in school and classroom adoption of digital content.

Will you be at our sessions? Give us a shoutout on twitter at @SpeakUpEd, @ProjectTomorrow, and @JulieEvans_PT! Be sure to include the #AASL15 hashtag in your tweets as well. See you there!

Valuing the Voices of Experts

During Connected Educator Month, Project Tomorrow CEO Julie Evans teamed up with Cable Impacts Foundation VP of Education Frank Gallagher to write a blog post about the importance of teacher voices while planning for “future ready” schools. Read the article below, and be sure to check out the original article on Connected Educators’ blog. Special thanks to Connected Educators for inviting Project Tomorrow to celebrate Connected Educator Month.


Change is easier, and often more effective, when it’s done with you rather than to you. Many times in the past, education reform has come from the top down, without teachers having a voice.

We’ll never get “future ready” schools without the active involvement of educators in all aspects of the process. At Cable Impacts Foundation, when we embarked on the project to create “Building Your Roadmap for 21st Century Learning Environments,” a tool education leaders could use to map out and manage transforming their schools into technology-rich hubs of personalized digital learning and 21st century teaching, we involved teachers from the beginning. Their voices defined the teaching component of the Roadmap. The voice of teachers played a key role in constructing the Future Ready Schools initiative, as well.

So what do teachers think is most needed for creating a “future ready” school? Since 2003, the Speak Up Research Project has been asking students and teachers that kind of question. Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, the organization that runs the Speak Up Project summarizes what the teacher survey data tells us.

Teachers have a unique perspective on what is working, what is not working and what other things should be done to improve their effectiveness and impact student learning. They see four things that are vital for creating a future ready school.

First, teachers realize that they need professional development but the traditional in-service methods just don’t work anymore. Educators want PD that is highly personalized to their strengths and weaknesses, contextualized to be relevant to their curriculum, and timely – providing just the right amount of coaching and mentoring exactly when they need it.

Second, teachers value opportunities to collaborate and learn from each other. Increasingly, that’s being done through social media tools and online communities that become their “home team” of colleagues and coaches with whom they can share advice and support.

Third, teachers want to be at the table when digital tools are being evaluated and selected for classroom use. In many schools and districts, the decisions about and investments in online curriculum, digital content licenses, e-textbooks and even what websites can be used with students are being made by individuals several steps removed from the classroom. Administrators look first for digital content that is research based while teachers seek products that are created or evaluated by other teachers, and that they can modify or customize.

Fourth, teachers want their administrators to be authentic, co-learners with them on the journey to creating future-ready schools. Educators want to have confidence that their leaders truly understand the challenges they face, that they have a personal understanding of a new classroom models, and that they will provide the supports necessary for teachers to build capacity.

In the Roadmap project, teachers gave us great insight into what was needed and the best ways to deliver resources and PD to meet those needs. Too often school reform has failed, in part because teachers weren’t an integral part of the process. With the fast-paced, constantly evolving, globally economy, complex civic and social spaces, change is a given. We can’t afford to ignore the voices of teachers.

Frank Gallagher is VP of Education at Cable Impacts Foundation, the pro-social foundation of the cable telecommunications industry dedicated to leveraging cable’s resources – including its platform, technology and content – to empower consumers and enhance communities. Cable Impacts is the lead sponsor and curator of the Future Ready theme of Connected Educator Month.

Julie Evans is CEO of Project Tomorrow, a non-profit group driven to ensure that today’s students are well prepared to be tomorrow’s innovators, leaders and engaged citizens of the world and well known for its Speak Up surveys.

Today’s #SUchat: Developing Future Ready Leaders

#SUchat:  Developing FutureReady Leaders – using data to inform digital initiatives

Wednesday, October 14 at 4 pm PT, 5 pm MT, 6 pm CT, 7 pm ET

Co-hosted by Julie Evans with several district leaders who are leveraging Speak Up data to inform their digital learning initiatives. Discussion will be around how to use stakeholder data specifically to engage your community, understand the needs of your stakeholders and advance your vision. Join the conversation by including the hashtag #SUchat.

Other hashtags to use include:  #CE15, #FutureReady, #digitallearning

Discussion topic 1:  

Stakeholder data: friend or foe?  How do district leaders currently value the importance of student, teacher or parent ideas around the use of technology within learning?  Are most districts deliberately seeking stakeholder data, and if so, for what purposes?   

We have heard from some districts that at times their preference is “not to know” what their stakeholders’ want or value.  Is that a common strategy?  

What are ways that districts are collecting stakeholder data to inform their plans?   Are those methods effective or efficient?  Or what challenges do leaders face in collecting or using stakeholder data?  

Discussion topic 2: 

Using stakeholder data:  What are some examples of how you have used stakeholder data from students, teachers or parents to advance your vision or to address the 7 gears of the Future Ready framework (http://dashboard.futurereadyschools.org/app/framework)?   

What has worked well for you?  What did not work for you? 

Does stakeholder data address some of the Future Ready gears better than others?  What ones are best?   Professional learning, community partnerships maybe?  Why is that?

Discussion topic 3:  

Using Speak Up to collect and analyze stakeholder data:  How does the Speak Up process help district leaders understand and appreciate the views of key stakeholders such as students, teachers, parents, administrators and community members?   What are the benefits of using Speak Up to address these goals? 

What have you learned from the Speak Up data that helped you advance your vision or address those Future Ready gears?  

How are you planning on using stakeholder data this year to inform your digital learning plans?     

We hope to see you on today’s #SUchat!