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Congressional Briefing

2014 Congressional Briefing—National Release of the Speak Up 2013 Findings for Educators and Parents

On June 2, 2014 Project Tomorrow released the report “The New Digital Learning Playbook, Advancing College and Career Ready Skill Development in K-12 Schools” at a Congressional Briefing held in Washington, DC and online in a special live stream of the event. Dr. Julie A.Evans, Project Tomorrow CEO, discussed selected educator and parent national findings from the Speak Up 2013 report and moderated a panel discussion on the impact of digital learning tools to support college and career readiness in K-12 schools with leaders in the education field.

Special Guest Speakers

  • Joseph South, Deputy Director, Office of Educational Technology, U.S. Department of Education
  • Mark Belles, Senior Vice President, K-12, Blackboard


  • Dr. Katherine Bihr, Vice President and Executive Director, Tiger Woods Learning Center Foundation
  • Tamika V. Culbreath, Reading/ English Language Arts Teacher, Prince Georges County Public Schools
  • Monet Deadwyler, Rising Senior, Cesar Chavez Public Charter School for Public Policy at Capitol Hill
  • Breck DeWitt, CTO and National Director K12 and Higher Education, EMC Corporation
  • Dr. Patrick Murphy, Superintendent, Arlington Public Schools, 2014 Virginia Superintendent of the Year

Key Findings from this year’s report include:

  • More than 40 percent of high school principals are now offering online classes for students in math, science, history and English/language arts. Only 17 percent of high schools are not offering online classes, according to school principals.
  • Principals are offering online learning for multiple reasons, including providing academic remediation (66 percent), keeping students engaged in staying in school (63 percent) and providing options for students that need credit recovery (61 percent).
  • Teachers who teach online classes, in particular, see a strong correlation between the use of technology and students’ college and career ready skill development. More than half of these teachers say technology use helps students understand how to apply academic concepts to real world problems (58 percent), take ownership of their learning (57 percent) and develop problem solving and critical thinking skills (57 percent).
  • The professional development requests of teachers are fairly common among new and veteran teachers. Even new teachers, who are presumed to be more digitally native and comfortable with technology, have a wish list of professional development support. The rookie teachers have a greater interest than other teachers in learning more about incorporating games and using social media with both students and parents.
  • Parental support of mobile device as part of learning does not appear to have an economic, community type or grade level bias. Around 60 percent of all parents said they would like their children to be in a class where using one’s own mobile device was allowed. Two-thirds said they would purchase a mobile device for their child to use within class, if that was allowed by the school.
  • Two-thirds of community members and a similar number of parents of school-aged children expressed support for paying $.50 more per month on their phone bill if those funds were used to increase school access to the Internet for student learning.
  • One-third of elementary school teachers (32 percent) report using games in their classrooms. The top two reasons given for using games within instruction were increasing student engagement in learning (79 percent) and providing a way for teachers to address different learning styles in the classroom (72 percent).

Click here to download the PDF of the report.
Click here to view the report in HTML.

To download a copy of the first report on K-12 Student data, "The New Digital Learning Playbook: Understanding the Spectrum of Students’ Activities and Aspirations” please click here.

Over 70 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. Additionally over 500+ people watched the briefing online through our live stream feed and took the conversation online via social media using the hashtag #SpeakUpBriefing.

Project Tomorrow was very pleased to welcome staff from American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Association of School Administrators, American Meteorological Society, Apex Learning, Appalachian Regional Comprehensive Center, Arlington Public Schools, ASCD, Association for Childhood Education International, Baltimore City Public School System, Baltimore County Public Schools, Blackboard, Inc., Broadway Middle School, Center for Digital Education, Cesar Chavez Public Charter School for Public Policy at Capitol Hill, Charleston County School District, CoSN, Discovery Education, Federal Communications Commission, Flipped Learning Network, Intel, Learning First Alliance, Learning Objects, Inc., Madison Metro Schools, National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), National Association for the Self-Employed, National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (NCTAF), New America, Partnership for 21st Century Skills, Prince George’s County Public Schools, Qualcomm, State Education Technology Directors Association (SETDA), South Western School District, The Center for Education Reform, Tiger Woods Foundation, US Department of Education, US House committee on Education, US House and US Senate.

If you need additional information about Speak Up or the Congressional Briefing, please feel free to contact the Speak Up Team at speakup@tomorrow.org or 949 609-4660 ext 17.