The sudden shift in digital learning in spring 2020 instigated new and sustainable changes in K-12 education. Project Tomorrow, the nation’s leading education nonprofit, is providing new insight into the efficacy and future of digital tools with this year’s Speak Up Research Project findings. Presented during a virtual Congressional Briefing today hosted by edWeb.net, this year’s results indicate an increased usage of digital tools by teachers and students, as well as other digital learning trends.

The Speak Up Research Project is a national research initiative and free service to schools and districts. Since fall 2003, Speak Up has helped education leaders include the voices of their stakeholders in annual and long-term planning.

“By examining Speak Up results from before and after school closures, we are able to see in almost real time how the unexpected shift has altered not only teachers’ expectations for using technology within learning, but also parents’ perceptions on the value of digital learning and the impact of this experience on students’ aspirations for enhanced learning environments,” said Dr. Julie A. Evans, researcher and CEO of Project Tomorrow.

Key takeaways from this year’s survey include:

  • Increased usage of digital tools by teachers and students due to the COVID-19 pandemic brings new opportunities to discuss what constitutes rigor and quality in digital resources for classroom use, and new ways to articulate the value proposition of digital learning more comprehensively.
  • As a result of the sudden shift to digital learning, parents developed a stronger appreciation for the value of technology as a learning vehicle and their role in supporting their child’s education from home.
  • Students continue to value how technology supports learning. The realization of the value of digital learning by the adults in their lives resulted in an improved learning environment for many students.  The use of digital, online and videos games provide an excellent example of this new impact.

Educators can view the Congressional Briefing recording here and earn an edWeb.net CE certificate. Closed-captioning will be added to the recording within two weeks of the live presentation. To download this year’s Speak Up Research Project report, please visit https://tomorrow.org/speakup/speakup_congress_2020.html

About Project Tomorrow & Speak Up
The Speak Up Research Project is a national initiative of Project Tomorrow, an internationally recognized education nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that all students are prepared to become tomorrow’s leaders, innovators and engaged citizens of the world. Each year, the Speak Up Project polls K-12 students, parents, and educators about the role of technology for learning in and out of school, and the impact of new learning models on student outcomes and teacher effectiveness. The Speak Up dataset represents the largest collection of authentic, unfiltered stakeholder voices on digital learning. Since fall 2003, almost 6 million K-12 students, parents, teachers, librarians, principals, technology leaders, district administrators, communications officers, and members of the community have shared their views and ideas through Speak Up.  Education, business, and policy leaders report that they regularly use the Speak Up data to inform federal, state, and local education programs, policies, and initiatives. Learn more at https://tomorrow.org/speakup