Tag Archives: K-12

U.S. students slowly improving in math and science

Last month, the Pew Research Center released data showing that although U.S. students are slowly improving in math and science, they still are behind in the subjects when compared to other countries.

Only 29% of Americans rated their country’s K-12 STEM education as above average; scientists were even more critical, with only 16% of American Association of the Advancement of Science members calling K-12 STEM education above average. Despite these low percentages, U.S. students are slowly improving in math and science, scoring higher on national assessments than they did two decades ago. However, the U.S. still has more work to do when compared internationally, as they still rank in the middle and behind several other nations.
Among these cross-national assessments is the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which measures reading ability, math and science literacy, and other skills every three years; in 2012, the U.S. placed 35th out of 64 countries in math, and 27th in science (see below photo). Another assessment is the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), which tests students every four years, placed the U.S. in the top ten countries

Interested in reading more? Check out the original article, “U.S. students improving – slowly – in math and science, but still lagging internationally” by Drew Desilver and check out the Pew Research Center’s official website. You can learn more about the most recent PISA results by reading our old blog post, “PISA Results
Here at Project Tomorrow, our vision is to ensure that today’s students are well prepared to be tomorrow’s innovators, leaders and engaged citizens of the world.  We believe that by supporting the innovative uses of science, math and technology resources in our K-12 schools and communities, students will develop the critical thinking, problem solving and creativity skills needed to compete and thrive in the 21st century. You can learn more about us and our various programs at http://www.tomorrow.org/

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

Speak Up Planning Webinar Recording Now Available!

New to Speak Up? 

Watch our “All About Speak Up!” Recorded Webinar!!

As a kick off to Speak Up 2013 in your schools share our Speak Up Introductory Webinar recording with your school contacts. This 45 minute recorded webinar, hosted by Project Tomorrow’s CEO, Julie Evans, includes background information on Speak Up, benefits of participation,  key Speak Up findings from last year’s survey as well as how your school  or district can participate in Speak Up this year. The recorded webinar can be accessed via Blackboard Collaborate here: Speak Up 2013 Planning.

 About Speak Up

The Speak Up National Research Project annually collects and reports on the authentic, unfiltered views of K–12 students, parents, and educators about critical digital age education and technology issues. The survey questions reflect many pertinent education topics impacting classrooms today—such as mobile learning, flipped classrooms, digital textbooks, virtual and blended learning, games, common core assessments and social media. Since 2003, more than 3 million K–12 education stakeholders have shared their ideas about digital learning through the Speak Up surveys. And we need your ideas too.
Speak Up is currently open for input through December 20, 2013. There is no cost to participate; no limit on the number of surveys that can be submitted; and all data collected is 100% confidential. The survey is available to anyone in having a voice on critical education and technology trends. 
To “Speak Up,” simply visit www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2013  to take the survey. 
To learn more about Speak Up or to get your school, district or organization involved with Speak Up this year, please visit our website at www.tomorrow.org/speakup or contact Jenny Hostert on the Project Tomorrow team at jhostert@tomorrow.org / 949.609-4660 ext. 17.

Fun-Fact Friday

Happy Friday to all our followers and readers!
How has your week been? If you’ve been following our posts, be sure to let us know which one intrigued you the most!
Happy Friday!
 Before the work week is officially over, don’t forget to vote for Julie Evans’ panel ListenUp! SpeakUp! GameUp! A Game Data Discussion  at the SXSWEdu conference here. Other panelists of this discussion include:
Allisyn Levy of BrainPOP
Robert Torres of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
…And while you are voting for Julie’s panel, you might as well register for Speak Up 2013, right? All the information can be found here.
Exciting events are on the horizon at Project Tomorrow, as our brand new website will be launching very soon! We will be sure to blog about all the new features as soon it arrives…keep checking back!
For Fun-Fact Friday, read up on DoSomething.org’s feature on 11 Facts About Education in America here.
Did anything shock or surprise you? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.
We’ve also provided you a few quotes about education to inspire your weekend!
– The Project Tomorrow team
Education Quotes:
    “Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

   “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”

    “Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”
Margaret Mead

  “A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination.”
Nelson Mandela

    “In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.”
Phil Collins

    “All I have learned, I learned from books.”
Abraham Lincoln

    “Wisdom…. comes not from age, but from education and learning.”
Anton Chekhov

    “All of life is a constant education.”
Eleanor Roosevelt, The Wisdom of Eleanor Roosevelt

   “The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark.”
Thomas Paine

Throwback Thursday

It’s Throwback Thursday here on the Project Tomorrow Blog!
What is your favorite memory of your K-12 education? Was it a particular teacher, subject, or project you worked on?
12 o'clock,timepieces,holidays,household,midnight,New Years,special occasions,hours,minutes,hands
Looking back, what technology do you wish you had during your school years? Would it be the Internet, a laptop, a tablet, a calculator, or something else? How do you think it would have helped you?
Looking forward, what technological resources do you think can aid our students in their educational pursuits in our K-12 schools?
Be sure to join us in the conversation! Post your comments below!
– The Project Tomorrow Team
*Be sure to keep checking our website, www.tomorrow.org. We will be unveiling a shiny new website in the next coming weeks!
Thank you for your continued support in Project Tomorrow.

Learning in Technological Places

A report released by The Wallace Foundation leads to interesting new developments in arts education, and details where the majority of students are receiving their education in the arts.
art supplies,arts,easels,visual arts
Students are turning to other avenues to
obtain their art skills & education.
A recent report by The Wallce Foundation indicates interesting facts about where students are increasingly getting their education in the arts.
The report notes that students are, surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly to some), receiving their education in the arts not from art class or music class, but rather from cell phones, tablets, computers, laptops, and television, to name a few.
Students are overwhelmingly doing this by turning to iPods to listen to several musical varieties, watching visual computer animated films, and creating their own art through a variety of computer programs available today.
This new research could play an important role in arts education & curriculum moving forward: How can educators use these new insights in curriculum planning and development?
While many schools are being limited or have no access to arts education funding, technology could potentially hold the answer to this problem.
Read the Wallace article here for more information, and/or read KPCC’s (Southern California Public Radio) review of the research here
What are your thoughts on this topic?
Share your comments with us below.
-The Project Tomorrow team