New Speak Up Survey to collect information about districts’ needs to support remote online learning

As you may have heard or read, it is anticipated that the US Congress and some state governments will be considering new funding to support school and district investments to provide continuity of learning in their communities impacted by COVID-19. Lots of people are providing suggestions as to what that new funding should include, anticipated to be as much as $2 billion. The suggestion lists include WiFi hotspots, Chromebooks, tablets, laptops, content filtering, digital content, teacher training and more. All are important and necessary but the real problem is that many school and district leaders have not been given an opportunity to weigh in on what they really need in their local communities and how the new funding will impact continuity of learning in their district and community. These decisions are too important to make based upon a hunch, a guess, an outdated assumption or even the wish list of a lobbyist. Let’s get real about this and listen to the experts on the front lines about what they really need.

As you may already know, at Project Tomorrow our mission is built around listening to the authentic voices of K-12 stakeholders including students, parents, teachers and administrators. Since 2003, over 5.7 million education stakeholders have shared their views with us about new learning models including the use of technology and digital tools to support learning in school and out-of-school. That includes asking students about their at-home access to technology since 2003 and specifically about the Homework Gap since 2015. Through our reports, infographics and briefings, the Speak Up data is used annually to inform education programs, policies and funding at the federal, state and local levels. We are therefore pleased and honored to provide an easy and efficient way for K-12 school and district administrators to be part of these national discussions about new funding. The new Speak Up Planning Survey about Needs for Remote Online Learning is now open now for input from school and district leaders. Administrators can access the survey to give input in two ways:

https://bit.ly/SpeakUpRemoteNeeds

https://bit.ly/DistTechFeedback

The overall focus of this short 5-minute survey is the following critical question: What are your infrastructure and organizational needs to support remote online learning with your students? Specific questions ask administrators about:

• Priority needs today for mobile devices, hot spots and out of school access infrastructure
• Priority needs for content, apps, teacher support tools and teacher training to support remote online learning
• Challenges associated with school closures and implementation of remote online learning
• Perception on the skill and comfort of teachers to implement various aspects of remote online learning
• What administrators see as the big takeaways from their experience with remote online learning during this COVID-19 crisis

This new data from school and district administrators will help policymakers understand not only what districts need today but what they will need in the future to ensure a continuity of learning over the summer and into the new school year. So, what are we going to do this critical feedback from administrators?

Step #1: Share the aggregated data with policymakers in Washington DC and in states to inform decisions about new funding to support schools and districts during the COVID-19 crisis. We take seriously our role as the unbiased guardian of these feedback and will ensure that the priority needs of our K-12 leaders are heard loud and clear! We will also analyze the data and report on differences by community type, size of district and other attributes that can ensure that a “one size fits none” situation doesn’t occur.

Step #2: We will provide school and district leaders that share their views with us with a comparative Speak Up data report on the responses from their peers and colleagues in their state and nationwide to see how their needs compare with others.  It is our goal that the Speak Up data from this short survey will have a double ROI – helping to ensure that the new funding meets the real needs of schools and districts, and that the comparative data helps enhance local planning and decision-making.

The survey is open to all K-12 school and district administrators. All data collected is kept confidential. We will not share any school or district specific data with any companies, vendors or suppliers. As always, we value our partnership with schools and districts and respect the importance of this data to inform this new potential funding. While we appreciate the need for expediency in supporting K-12 education with new funding, we also believe that it is important the decisions are made based upon the real authentic feedback of our K-12 leaders on the front lines. We encourage district leaders to share this information with their colleagues, both internally and at other districts. And to complete your Speak Up survey today as well! Your voice is critical in this discussion. Thank you for your leadership.

For more information or if you have questions, please contact me directly.  Let’s keep this conversation going!

Julie

Julie A. Evans, Ed.D.
Chief Executive Officer, Project Tomorrow
jevans@tomorrow.org

Project Tomorrow Celebrates Digital Learning Day 2015

Happy Digital Learning Day! Project Tomorrow is proud to be a longstanding Core Partner in Digital Learning Day. Subsequently, we’ve released a new participation map and a special sneak peek at the 2014 National Findings for K-12 students titled: Top Ten Things Everyone Should Know About K-12 Students’ Views on Digital Learning. Additionally all 2014 Speak Up district contacts now have access to a new data report to help with data analysis.
Not sure what Digital Learning Day is about? Keep reading to learn more about the event, as well as ways you can get involved.

Quick links:

▪ Digital Learning Day 2015: Learn more about this annual celebration, as well as ways to get involved.
▪ Top Ten Things Everyone Should Know About K-12 Students’ Views on Digital Learning: Get a sneak peek at the 2014 National Findings for K-12 students. 
▪ Speak Up 2014 Participation Map: We’ve created a new and improved participation map in honor of #DLDay – check it out!
▪ New data report for district contacts: If your district participated in Speak Up 2014, check out this new way to view your data.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts with us on FacebookTwitter, and our Blog. Don’t forget to share your digital learning celebrations with@OfficialDLDay and with the hashtag #DLDay!

-The Project Tomorrow team

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Happy Digital Learning Day

Digital Learning Day 2015

About Digital Learning Day

Since 2012, Digital Learning Day has provided a powerful venue for education leaders to highlight great teaching practice and showcase innovative teachers, leaders, and instructional technology programs that are improving student outcomes. This grassroots effort blossomed into a massive nationwide celebration as teachers realized that Digital Learning Day is not about technology, it’s about learning. It’s not about laying off teachers for laptops, it’s about enhancing the role of the teacher in America’s classrooms. Digital Learning Day promotes the effective use of modern day tools afforded to every other industry to improve the learning experience in K-12 public schools.

Digital Learning Day Live!

This year, Digital Learning Day is going live! Digital Learning Day Live! will highlight some of the nation’s most promising digital learning initiatives and foster a stimulating discussion about what it takes to integrate technology effectively, strategically, and meaningfully in schools. This free online event streams live from Washington, DC, beginning at 1PM ESTTo RSVP to this free, online event, visit the Digital Learning Day website.

Get involved!

It’s not too late to start celebrating Digital Learning Day! Check out some of these easy ways to get involved:

▪ Visit Digital Learning Day’s Planning Resources Hub to find free and easy to use tools to get started with your digital celebration.
▪ View the interactive activity map to gain ideas from other celebrants
▪ Spread the word about digital learning by visiting Digital Learning Day’s Facebook page, Twitter account (@OfficialDLDay), and by using the hashtag #DLDay.
▪ Join the virtual experience by participating in Digital Learning Day Live!


Visit Digital Learning Day’s official website to learn more, and keep reading to see how we’re celebrating digital learning today.
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Top Ten Things Everyone Should Know About K-12 Students’ Views on Digital Learning

Sneak peek at the 2014 National Findings for K-12 Students

We are excited to release a sneak peek of the 2014 National Findings for K-12 students in honor of Digital Learning Day! Last fall, 431,231 K-12 students nationwide spoke up about digital learning and more – here’s a preview of what we learned:

▪ 42% of 6th-8th graders say taking an online or virtual class should be a requirement for graduation.
▪ Amongst girls, 64% of 3rd-5th and 50% 6th-8th graders want to code.
▪ 46% of 9th-12th graders are Twitter users now – 4 times more than in 2011 when only 11% were tweeting.


To read the full list of things everyone should know about K-12 students’ views on digital learning, click here.
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Interactive District Participation Map

Check out our new interactive participant map, which shows how loudly all of our Speak Up 2014 districts spoke up about education, technology, and more.
Click here to view the map.
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Did your district participate in Speak Up 2014?

If so, we’ve provided a way for all district contacts to view a report of their district’s school results in a side by side comparison format. Follow these steps to view your data:

1. Visit the view data homepage and log in under option 1.
2. Once logged in, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Download Excel Summary.”
3. Select which audience you would like to view data under.
4. Download the spreadsheet.


Please note this information is only available to districts that participated in Speak Up 2014.
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Thank you for your interest and continued support of Speak Up! Be sure to stay updated on all things Speak Up by following us on FacebookTwitterInstagramand our Blog.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our Speak Up Operations Manager, Jenny Hostert, at jhostert@tomorrow.org or via phone at (949) 609-4660 ext. 17.
Many thanks to our sponsors and partners for the support of Speak Up 2014: Blackboard Inc., BrainPOP, Fuel Education, DreamBox Learning, Schoolwires, Qualcomm Wireless Reach, Rosetta Stone, American Association of School Administrators, Consortium for School Networking, Digital Learning Day, Digital Promise, edWeb, International Association for K-12 Online Learning, International Society for Technology in Education, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National School Boards Association, Secondary Education Teachers’ Association, and the Southern Regional Education Board.

Digital Learning Day is in ONE day!

In honor of Digital Learning Day, Project Tomorrow will release a special sneak peek at the 2014 National Findings for K-12 students titled: Top Ten Things Everyone Should Know About K-12 Students’ Views on Digital Learning. Additionally all 2014 Speak Up district contacts will gain access to a new data report to help with data analysis! Check www.tomorrow.org/speakup or @SpeakUpEd on Twitter this Friday for more details! Happy Digital Learning Day!
To learn more about Digital Learning Day, visit the event’s website, and watch their informative video above. How are you celebrating Digital Learning Day? Share your plans on their interactive map and on Twitter by mentioning @OfficialDLDay and #DLDay.

Started in 2012, Digital Learning Day has provided a powerful venue for education leaders to highlight great teaching practice and showcase innovative teachers, leaders, and instructional technology programs that are improving student outcomes. This grassroots effort blossomed into a massive nationwide celebration as teachers realized that Digital Learning Day is not about technology, it’s about learning. It’s not about laying off teachers for laptops, it’s about enhancing the role of the teacher in America’s classrooms. Digital Learning Day promotes the effective use of modern day tools afforded to every other industry to improve the learning experience in K-12 public schools. To learn more, visit http://www.digitallearningday.org/domain/54.

Around the Web Wednesday

Happy Around the Web Wednesday! Browse all the links below for the latest news and topics trending in education and technology. Be sure to let us know which article intrigued you the most!

Mark your calendars – Digital Learning Day is this Friday, March 13th! Not sure what digital learning or Digital Learning Day are? Visit the event’s website for more information. How will you celebrate #DLDay? Let us know by commenting on this post or sharing your ideas on Twitter and Facebook.

The Road To TEACH #SXSWedu

Wednesday, March 11 
12:00PM – 1:30PM 
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Theater 2 
320 East 6th Street
Do you have what it takes to be a teacher? Three college students, all aspiring teachers, embark on a cross-country road trip of self-discovery and adventure and find real-life inspiration from educators, policy makers, social entrepreneurs, and activists who share their own roads to the classroom. We follow Nadia, Rafael, and Grace’s personal journeys as they contemplate their futures and begin to understand the vast opportunities, personal rewards, and vital need for passionate young people to teach. Join the Q&A after the film and discuss how to inspire the next generation to teach.
Panelists
 
Grace Worm
Roadtrip Nation – Roadtripper
Julie Evans
Project Tomorrow – CEO
Lisa Zimble
Participant Media/TEACH Campaign – Producer
Mike Marriner
Roadtrip Nation – Co-Founder
Rafael Silva
Roadtrip Nation – Roadtripper

Paying it forward: Leveraging Today’s Female Voices in Ed Tech #SXSWedu

SXSWedu Logo
Tuesday, March 10
3:00PM – 4:00PM
Austin Convention Center Room 12AB
500 East Cesar Chavez Street 
#edtech4women
http://www.tomorrow.org/SxSweduPanel.html

Are you at SXSWedu? Attend Julie Evans’s panel with Dr. Kari Stubbs, Dr. Mila Thomas Fuller, and Dr. Kecia Ray.

This panel brings together female change agents intentionally gathered from across the ed tech space with the hope of examining the unique role women can play at this interesting nexus of education and technology.  The discussion will be anchored around data on the presence, role, and level of influence of female voices in education and will include personal histories and testimonies on the growth in this field.

Join the conversation to hear from and interact with Nashville district leadership, the CEO of Project Tomorrow, a Vice President from BrainPOP, and the Director of the National Council of Teachers of English, all of whom have been national leaders in their field and have lent their expertise and vision to the work of the board of ISTE, the International Society of Technology in Education.  Research has demonstrated that the today’s young girls and women need role models in technology fields to develop self-efficacy in these fields.  While women have dominated the teaching profession for over the past century, the role of women as technology leaders within education is still emerging.

This interactive discussion explores multiple paths to ed tech leadership, including through university doctoral work, leadership with state and federal grants,  school district leadership, lending thought influence to visionary agencies such as Horizon K12 and Digital Promise, research  expertise, corporate America or a membership association, and contributing to the industry conversation through publications and at conferences such as SXSWedu.  The experiences of this diverse panel of education technology leaders will provide invaluable input into new best practices for supporting young girls and women in this field.  Whether you are examining how to further your own personal voice in the space, grow your PLN and exploring new professional career paths, or you are interested in how to leverage the experiences of women who are currently in this field to mentor and coach the next great generation of female ed tech leaders, this is a conversation you won’t want to miss.

Speak Up 2014 National Research Project Findings: Flipped Learning continues to trend for third year

Project Tomorrow and The Flipped Learning Network Speak Up 2014 National Data
To continue watching the Flipped Learning trend, for the third year in a row we have partnered with the Flipped Learning Network to ask specific questions on flipped learning in the Speak Up 2014 surveys. In this new whitepaper, the Flipped Learning Network, focuses on data from teachers, librarians, building and district administrators, technology leaders and students regarding their use of videos in the classroom, digital content, and other flipped learning related experiences. Additionally, educators and administrators weighed in on professional development when learning how to flip a class. While students lent their voices on flipped learning, videos as homework, and how (and how often) they use learning and social media tools. To read the full report, click here.
Results were released at AASA: The School Superintendents Association’s National Conference on Education on February 28, 2015.
 
The mission of the Flipped Learning Network™ is to provide educators with the knowledge, skills, and resources to successfully implement Flipped Learning. The goals of the FLN are to: (1) Serve as the hub connecting educators engaged in Flipped Learning; (2) facilitate and collaborate on research relevant to Flipped Learning; (3) provide access to professional learning opportunities on Flipped Learning.

Around the Web Wednesday

Happy Around the Web Wednesday! Browse all the links below for the latest news and topics trending in education and technology. Be sure to let us know which article intrigued you the most!

Infographic: Mobile Learning in the United States

 

In honor of Mobile Learning Week 2015, we created this handy infographic based on mobile learning data pulled from Speak Up 2014. Click here to view the full image, or click on the smaller version above. Let us know what you think!

Additionally, if you participated in Speak Up 2014, your data is now available for viewing! Click here to access your data or retrieve any lost passwords.

Memo #5 from Mobile Learning Week 2015

Paris, France
February 27, 2015
The last day at this year’s Mobile Learning Week was a research seminar. The goal of the seminar was to bring together researchers as well as practitioners and policymakers to discuss the types of research that is available and needed around mobile learning, with an eye this year on women and girls.  With our longstanding interest and work in mobile learning research, I was excited participate in these discussions and to be part of the closing MLW2015 panel about the intersection of mobiles, women/girls and leadership.
At first glance, these three terms or concepts – mobile devices, women/girls’ empowerment, leadership – may seem to be an odd mix with little apparent commonality.  Each is a rich topic in their own right and in many circles, justifies their own dedicated conferences and research.  That is why this year’s Mobile Learning Week, as a collaboration between UNESCO and UN-Women, was such a fascinating idea and experience.  The big question is where do these three weighty concepts intersect and how can they be leveraged together to yield greater impact for all.  With the benefit of hindsight now, it is obvious that through the week’s keynotes, panel discussions, breakout sessions and workshops, the real goal of this year’s event was to uncover this unique intersection.  Not an easy task but one that I think was very successfully summarized in this closing panel.  I felt honored to be able to share my interpretation of this challenge (and potential solutions) as a panel participant.  Here is a short synopsis of some of the remarks I shared on this panel.
As we learn from the annual Speak Up data, while girls and boys have similar perceptions on the value of digital tools and resources, including mobile devices, on their learning, the way they want to use technology can be very different. Girls are particularly interested in using mobiles to connect, create and collaborate with others.  Underlying these activities is a deep felt passion to share ideas and to have a voice in local as well as wider range issues that affect their lives. After spending the week with conference representatives from all over the globe, I have a new appreciation for the immense power of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to enable girls and women to have a voice, a voice that in many parts of the world is not socially or culturally the norm.  In that sense, the impact of mobile devices on women and girls is indeed a new sense of empowerment.  And while we don’t often think about that in the United States, I think the impact can be similar in many circumstances.  Beyond sharing ideas, we also learn from Speak Up that girls like the idea of using their mobile devices to create and share various forms of content.  This type of content creation can be to develop skills or to gain feedback from others on their work. Earlier in the week, I learned about an interesting Silicon Valley nonprofit called Technovation (http://www.technovationchallenge.org/home/) that provides a program and competition for girls around mobile app development to solve local problems. This type of activity brings together the idea of skill development with content creation in a way that has high relevancy for girls.  Again more empowerment at play!

 

When I think about the types of skills that girls are acquiring through their use of mobile devices and mobile-enabled content, the concept of developing a next great generation of women leaders comes clearer into focus. When I talk with corporate and university leaders about the types of skills that today’s youth need to acquire to be successful in the new economy and society, the refrain is amazing consistent.  The skills that have the highest value include communications, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and computation thinking.  These are also the same skills that leadership gurus say are essential for leadership in a global, information-intensive era.  As noted earlier, the girls themselves articulate the relationships between their use of mobile devices and the development of these types of skills. Given the need for the development of new skills, and a new attitude about the potential of women and girls to be full participants in leadership roles in work and society, the responsibility of mobile devices in supporting these twin goals cannot be ignored.  It simply makes common sense now.  So, as we close out this year’s Mobile Learning Week, our new discussions post-2015 should be not about if access to mobile devices is important for women and girls, but rather, what we need to do to position these tools to enable and empower new capabilities and opportunities for all.  I look forward to continuing this discussion throughout the year and leveraging what I have learned at this year’s Mobile Learning Week to inform our work at Project Tomorrow.