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Defining the Emerging Role of Social Learning Tools to Connect Students, Parents & Educator

A Special White Paper based upon the Speak Up 2011 National Finding

This year, Project Tomorrow has partnered with Schoolwires, Inc. to create a special white paper on the role of tech-enabled social learning within K-12 education. Increasingly, innovative schools and districts are tapping into the power of social learning tools to create more engaged learning environments for students, share school information effectively and efficiently, and increase teacher productivity. In this white paper we examine the Speak Up 2011 survey data collected from over 416,000 K-12 students, parents and educators to explore how social learning is being used by these education stakeholders and to better understand the value proposition for incorporating such tools into the classroom. Key research questions discussed include:

  • How do we define “social learning” in an education setting?
  • Is there an unmet demand for the greater use of social learning within schools?
  • What is the value proposition around social learning?
  • How can new solutions mitigate some of the concerns that still exist about social learning?

Key findings:

  • Students, teachers, administrators and parents are increasingly recognizing the value of social learning in both their personal and professional lives.
  • Students, in particular, have heightened aspirations for more effectively leveraging social learning tools to enhance their engagement in the learning process, access more interesting and relevant educational content, tap into additional opportunities for collaboration with peers, advisors and mentors and overall, increase their academic productivity.
  • Despite this strong value proposition, school site administrators and parents continue to have lingering concerns about social networking, Internet access and the role of social learning tools.
  • Within the administration ranks, Speak Up data has revealed a new cohort of school site administrators that is particularly interested in leveraging social learning more extensively within instruction. Those administrators are paving a new path for the innovative use of these tools within their schools and districts.

Click here to download the report from the Schoolwires website.

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