by Julie Evans
Are you “Speaking Up” about ed tech this year? If not, you are missing a unique opportunity to have your views—as well as the views of your colleagues, students, and their parents—included in the increasingly important U.S. national and state discussions on digital learning policies, programs, and funding.
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 of the discussions we have at ISTE’s Annual Conference and Exposition on topics such as mobile learning, flipped classrooms, digital textbooks, virtual and blended learning, games, and social media. Since 2003, more than 2.6 million K–12 education stakeholders have shared their ideas about ed tech through the Speak Up surveys. And we need your ideas too.
ISTE has been an important partner in Speak Up since our first student surveys in 2003. It provides input for our survey questions and uses the data findings for its advocacy efforts. The real value of that data for advocacy, of course, depends on strong participation nationwide by ISTE members.
Why should you participate? “Speaking Up” will ensure that your voice is heard loud and clear in Washington, DC, and in your state capitol about ed tech issues that matter to you. As a former ISTE Board member, I understand the importance of ed tech advocacy. That is why we annually share the Speak Up national results with policymakers. From the halls of Congress to school board meetings, the Speak Up data is used regularly to inform new programs, initiatives, and budgets.
Participating in Speak Up brings direct value to your school or district as well. Every school or district that participates in Speak Up and promotes the surveys to its students, teachers, administrators, and parents gets a special report from Project Tomorrow with all of its local data in addition to the national data. This report can help you learn about the views of your stakeholders to inform your local decisions and plans.
The Speak Up surveys for students, parents, and educators are open for input through December 21, 2012. To “Speak Up,” simply visit our website at www.tomorrow.org/speakup or contact Jenny Hostert at 949-609-4660 x17 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julie Evans is the CEO of Project Tomorrow and has been a frequent speaker, writer, and advocate for the effective use of technology in learning and teaching for the past 15 years. She is a graduate of Brown University and recently completed a term of service on the ISTE Board’s Executive Committee. In April 2008, eSchool News named Evans one of the Top Ten Most Influential People in Education Technology in the past decade.