The Speak Up National Research Project provides participating schools, districts and non-profit organizations with a suite of online surveys and reports to collect authentic feedback from students, educators and parents. In addition, they summarize and share the national findings with education and policy leaders in Washington DC and in each state.
The top three reasons schools and districts participate in Speak Up are to:
- Collect unique data from their stakeholders.
- Conduct a needs assessment and create a vision for 21st century learning.
- Use the data to create and inform technology initiatives or create strategic plans.
Across the nation, educators report that Speak Up:
- Gives them a better understanding of issues important to their stakeholders.
- Provides a mechanism to empower students to voice their opinions.
- Provides meaningful input into their planning process.
- Enhances their ability to implement technology initiatives more closely aligned to students’ expectations and needs.
- Helps identify meaningful benchmarks for measuring success.
Speak Up 2011 Report
On April 24, 2012, Project Tomorrow released the report “Mapping a Personalized Learning Journey – K-12 Students and Parents Connects the Dots with Digital Learning” at a Congressional Briefing held in Washington, DC. Julie Evans, Project Tomorrow CEO, discussed selected student and parent national findings from the Speak Up 2011 report and moderated a panel discussion with students and parents who shared their insights and experiences.
The report focuses on how today’s students are personalizing their own learning, and how their parents are supporting this effort. The ways that students are personalizing their learning centers around three student desires including how students seek out resources that are digitally-rich, untethered and socially-based. The key questions being addressed in this report include:
- How are students personalizing their learning?
- How are parents helping students to personalize their learning journey?
- What are the digitally-rich, untethered and socially based learning strategies that facilitate this process?
- How can education stakeholders support students as they seek to personalize their learning?
- What are the gaps between administrators’ views of personalized learning compared to parents’ and students’ views?
- Students are adopting technologies and then adapting them to support their own self-directed learning. For example, 1 in 10 high school students have Tweeted about an academic topic. 46% of students have used Facebook as a collaboration tool for schoolwork.
- Parents are supporting their children’s personalized learning journeys. 64% of parents report that they would purchase a mobile device for their child’s academic use at school.
- There is a gap in offerings between what schools offer and what students want to learn. As a result, students are looking outside of the classroom to meet their personalized learning goals. For example, 12% of high school students have taken an online class on their own, outside of the classroom, to learn about a topic that interested them.
- In math and science classrooms where students and teachers direct learning supported by technology, students’ interest in a STEM career is 27%, compared with 20% for students in traditional math and science classrooms.
- Parents’ definition of academic success for their children places a strong emphasis on learning the right skills to be successful (73%)- more than any other metric for success, including monetary success or getting into a good college (Source).
At a Glimpse
Below is an infographic presenting many of the key findings from the Speak Up 2011 Report. Click on the image to download the full-size PDF.
So, Now What?
Speak Up 2011 demonstrates how students are personalizing their own learning, and how parents are supporting their efforts. As reflective educators it is important that we consider the implications of these findings. I’ve used a modified Compass Points Thinking Routine as a framework for guiding our reflection and conversation.
- How do these national findings compare to your local experiences?
- Are there changes that need to be made so that your local classrooms can be more reflective of these findings?
- What excites you about these findings? What is the upside?
- What do you find worrisome about these findings? What is the downside?
- What else do you need to know or find out about the findings? What additional information would help you to evaluate things?
- What is your current stance or opinion on the findings? How might you move forward in your evaluation of this report?
- Speak Up Report: Mapping a Personalized Learning Journey (usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com)
- Interview | On a New Mission with Knovation (edtechdigest.wordpress.com)
- Pearson’s New White Paper Outlines Intervention Models, Provides Guidance for Creating Customized Learning Road Maps (prweb.com)
- We Know Our Education System Is Broken, So Why Can’t We Fix It? (bulldogdrummond.com)