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2013 Congressional Briefing National Release of Speak Up 2012 K-12 Teachers, Librarians and Administrators

Speak Up Congressional Briefing 2012

“The application of software, hardware and devices should be as customary as a chalkboard, pencil and paper were years ago. To prepare students for the challenges ahead they need to be using the resources that will prepare them for college and/or careers and they need to use their problem solving skills, presentation skills, and communication abilities to develop as "solutionists" in a global world.”


—(School Principal, Wisconsin)

From Chalkboards to Tablets: The Digital Conversion of the K-12 Classroom

On April 19th, 2013 Project Tomorrow released the report “From Chalkboards to Tablets: The Digital Conversion of the K-12 Classroom” at a Congressional Briefing held in Washington, DC. Dr. Julie A.Evans, Project Tomorrow CEO, discussed selected Educator and Parent national findings from the Speak Up 2012 report and moderated a panel discussion with educators and parents who shared their insights and experiences.

Key findings:

  • Today’s teachers, administrators and parents are increasingly mobile-using, texting, tweeting social media devotees whose personal and professional lives are dependent upon Internet connectivity and online collaborative learning environments. A majority of teachers (52 percent), parents (57 percent) and district administrators (52 percent) are now regularly updating a social networking site, and many are using a personal mobile device such as a smartphone to do that. 
  • Four out of ten district leaders (41 percent) in 2012 pinpointed achievement measured by test scores and closing the achievement gap as top concern points for their district, a growth of 21 percent over 2011 responses.
  • Teachers are increasingly interested in leveraging technology for activities with students and many are modifying their instructional plans to incorporate more digital experiences.  Nearly a majority of classroom teachers (45 percent) noted in 2012 that they were creating more interactive lessons because of having access to technology, an increase of 25 percent in just the past two years.
  • A continuation of the multi-year stagnation in funding for new education technology investments is finally forcing school and district leaders to scrap the plans they have on hold, and to test new ways to leverage technology to increase revenue or decrease costs even though some of these approaches challenge conventional wisdom and long held policy positions.  In 2012, we see proof of this digital conversion happening right in the principal’s office.  Today, over a third of principals (36 percent) say that a new Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to school policy for students is likely this school year.
  • Social media and digital tools and resources have transcended the classroom and are emerging strongly as key components of 21st century school to home communications.  37 percent of parents wish that their child’s teacher or school would communicate with them via text messaging, less than one-quarter of teachers (23 percent) say that texting between parents and teachers is a common practice today.

Over 100 people attended the Congressional Briefing including congressional staff members, student and staff representatives from some of our Speak up schools, and staff from many of our sponsors, champion outreach partners and non-profit partners.

Project Tomorrow was very pleased to welcome staff from Alliance for Excellent Education, American Association of School Administrators, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, American Library Association, Amplify, Apple Inc., Archdiocese of Baltimore, Arlington Public Schools, Baltimore City Public Schools, BBP, BCPSS J Ruhrah EMS, Blackboard Inc., CH Global Strategies, Common Sense Media, CoSN, Convergence, DC Public Schools, DC State Board of Education, Digital Learning Experience, Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), EDGE Consulting, Education Development Center, Education Free Agent, Einstein Fellows, E & W, Fairfax County Public Schools, Falls Church City Public Schools,  Flipped Learning Network, Institute of Museum and Library Services, iNACOL,  International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Kajeet, Klein Independent School District, Learning First Alliance, Learning.com, Microsoft, Mid-Atlantic Catholic Schools Consortium, MindShare Learning, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Learning Technologies, National Association of Federally Impacted Schools, National Association of College Stores, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Association of State Directors of Special Education, Inc., National Commission on Teacher’s and America’s Future,  National Council of Teachers of English, National Education Association, National Museum of American History, Notre Dame University of Maryland, Pearson, Prince George County Public School District, Prince William County Public Schools, Qualcomm Wireless Reach Initiative, Qorvis Communications, Renaissance Learning Inc, RMC Research Corporation, Senate HELP Committee, Smithsonian Institution, StarShine Academy International Schools, State Educational Technology Directors Association, The Century Council, Triangle Coalition, US Army, US Department of Education, US House, US House Committee on Education and the Workforce, US Senate and Verizon.

Educators from Arlington Public Schools (VA), Baltimore City Public Schools (MD), Fairfax County Public School District (VA) and Klein Independent School District shared their insights regarding digital conversion in today’s classrooms.