Tag Archives: edtech

EdNet Insight: When Data is Win-Win

Our friend Ann McMullen recently wrote an article, “When Data is Win-Win,” about how Speak Up benefits everyone involved. Ann was the primary contact of Klein Independent School District (a longtime Speak Up Loud and Clear recipient) for many years, and continues to support leadership, professional development, and educational technology as a public speaker, writer, and consultant. Check out her reasons why Speak Up is a win-win for everyone:

  • Inside classrooms, the Speak Up survey provides teachers and students with an opportunity to have their voices heard at the district, state, and national levels and impact decisions made by school leaders and state and national policy makers. Plus, by simply reading the survey questions, participants gain a sense of the current shifts in the evolution of digital media in education. Having educators compare their perceptions about digital learning with their students’ responses to the Speak Up survey is powerfully impactful professional development for teachers and school administrators.
  • The data from Speak Up provides schools and school districts with a sense of where they are in the advancement of digital learning compared with schools and districts across the nation. Individual districts often use their Speak Up data for strategic planning. School districts that must seek voter approval for bond referendums to support technology purchases use their Speak Up data to inform and engage their communities. As a former director of educational technology for a large school district in Texas, I found the data from our district’s annual participation in the Speak Up survey invaluable in developing and implementing our district technology plan. Schools in our district also incorporated their own data into their annual Campus Improvement Plans.
  • State education agencies benefit from having as many districts as possible respond to the call for participation in Speak Up. Anita Givens, former Associate Commissioner for Standards and Programs at the Texas Education Agency, says, “Speak Up reports provide the opportunity for the state to hear student and teacher voices from school districts across the state and compare the state data to the national data. The higher the level of participation by schools, the more impact their voices have. This is especially beneficial for planning and policy decisions at the state level. Speak Up data was invaluable in the development of the Texas Long-Range Plan for Technology, 2006-2020 and continues to be used when progress reports on the plan are submitted to the Texas Legislature.”

With over 400,000 online surveys submitted each year from 10,000 schools, the Speak Up data set is the largest collection of authentic, end-user educational technology information available in the market. Click here to register for Speak Up, and be sure to take the survey before it closes on December 19th!

About Ann McMullan: Ann McMullan served as the Executive Director for Educational Technology in the Klein Independent School District, located just outside Houston, Texas, until September 2013 when she moved to Los Angeles, California. For 16 years Ann led the team that provided professional development on technology and 21st century instructional strategies to over 4,000 professional educators. Both Klein ISD and Ann have received multiple honors for educational technology leadership and innovation. Ann served as the co-chair of the Texas Educational Technology Advisory Committee, which produced the Texas Long-Range Plan for Technology, 2006-2020. The Houston Chapter of Association for Women in Computing presented her with their Leadership in Technology Award in 2005, and ISTE awarded her the Making It Happen Award. In February 2010 Ann received the Lifetime Achievement Award for the Advancement of Technology in Learning from the Texas Computer Education Association, and she was recognized as a 2012 nominee for the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame for her work in K-12 education. Tech & Learning featured Ann in their 2013 eBook, Profiles in Leadership. Today she is based in Los Angeles, working as a public speaker, writer, and private consultant focused on supporting leadership, professional development, and curriculum for educational technology. She may be reached at amcmullan@outlook.com. She may also be available to connect on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/annmcmullan and on Twitter at @Ann_McMullan.

Press release: Students, Parents, Teachers, Administrators “Speak Up” on Top Technology Issues Facing Schools

For Immediate Release: October 15, 2014                          
Contact: Amber Taylor                                          
Students, Parents, Teachers, Administrators “Speak Up” on
Top Technology Issues Facing Schools
National Speak Up 2014 Surveys Open Until December 19th
Online Surveys: http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/
Irvine, Calif. – For the 12th year, K-12 students, parents, teachers, administrators and community members across the country have the opportunity to share their views on the role of technology within learning as part of the annual Speak Up National Research Project. 
The national online Speak Up 2014 surveysare open to all students, parents, educators and community members until December 19th.  More than 13,000 individuals have responded since the surveys opened last week. 
More than 10,000 schools and 3,000 districts are expected to register and promote the online surveys to their stakeholders again this year because of the value of the Speak Up data in informing their plans and policies for the school year.  Schools and districts who register to participate receive survey data particular to their school(s) at no cost. Last year, more than 400,000 people shared their opinions.
Always cognizant of the key issues facing schools and districts with technology usage, this  year’s Speak Up annual surveys poll K-12 students, educators and parents about the use of mobile devices, online and  blended learning classes, digital games and digital content within learning.  The 2014 surveys include new questions about data privacy, students’ interest in learning coding, college and career readiness, teachers’ familiarity with digital badges, and the features desired by both students and parents in a school mobile app.   
As more students have their own smartphones, tablets and laptops, last year’s surveys showed a major shift in attitudes towards Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies. The surveys continue to explore that issue as well as schools’ bandwidth capacity to support the use of high quality digital content such as videos and animations within classroom instruction.  And in recognition of the ongoing interest in improving teachers’ skills with technology, the Speak Up surveys collect important data for local schools about teachers’ wish lists for professional development and the training methodologies that are more effective.
“Speak Up provides an easy way for students, parents, teachers, administrators and community members to tell school leaders and policymakers how they feel about some of the most important policies and programs that impact day-to-day school life,” said Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow. 
“Innovative education leaders use the annual results of Speak Up each spring to help direct their policies, programs and investments,” said Evans. “As a national nonprofit dedicated to improving learning experiences for students, we are pleased to leverage our expertise in collecting authentic stakeholder feedback to provide this important free service to local schools and national leaders.”
After more than a decade and 3.4 million participants, Speak Up continues to be the only annual, national survey to ask students, educators and parents how they use – and how they would like to use – technology for learning.  Again this year, the online surveys ask students, parents and educators to envision their ultimate 21stcentury school and to identify the technology tools that would be essential to support increased student achievement and learning.  Past Speak Up national reports are available at www.tomorrow.org/speakup/speakup_reports.html.
The Speak Up National Research Project represents the largest collection of authentic, unfiltered input on education and technology from those ‘on the ground’ in the schools.  The annual survey about education and technology is facilitated through public, private, parochial and charter schools all around the country. The parent survey is also available in Spanish.
Project Tomorrow will share the national data findings from the survey in the spring with federal, state and local policymakers.  Additionally, every school or district that participates in Speak Up receives a free online report with all of their locally collected data – and the national data findings to use for benchmark comparison. All participating education entities will gain access to their own stakeholder data in February 2015. 
Individual participation and responses provided in the Speak Up surveys are completely confidential and completing the online surveys takes only 20 minutes.  Speak Up is open to every public and private school and district in the United States, American schools on military bases and other interested schools worldwide.
Since 2003, more than 3.4 million K-12 students, educators and parents from more than 30,000 schools in all 50 states have participated in Speak Up. The online survey is facilitated by Project Tomorrow and supported by many of our nation’s most innovative companies, foundations and nonprofit organizations including Blackboard, Inc., BrainPOP, DreamBox Learning, Fuel Education, Qualcomm Wireless Reach, Rosetta Stone, and Schoolwires.
Project Tomorrow partners with more than 75 different education associations, organizations and think-tanks for outreach to the schools and development of the survey questions including the American Association of School Administrators, Consortium for School Networking, Digital Learning Day, Digital Promise, edWeb.net,  iNACOL, International Society for Technology in Education, National School Boards Association, National Secondary School Principals Association, Southern Regional Education Board and State Education Technology Directors’ Association.
For additional information, visit www.tomorrow.org

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!

Speak Up 2014 is NOW OPEN for participation! Click here to take the survey and have your voice heard!

Flashback Friday: “Apps and Games for STEM Learning”

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!

The Evolution of Computers

While the addition of tablets, smartphones, and laptops to classrooms is increasing, these devices wouldn’t be around if it weren’t for other tools. PostTV took a look at technology use in classrooms throughout the years, featuring everything from the Oregon Trail to iPads. Check out the timeline video above, or click here to view the original article.