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Speak Up LogoFor Immediate Release:
May 23, 2012

Contact: Amber Taylor
703-201-4893, amber@sambertaylor.com

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School Principals and Administrators Are
Early Adopters of Mobile Technolog

Principals’ and Administrators’ Tech Use Correlated to Their Support for Student Technology Use

Washington, D.C. – While only 46 percent of all Americans report using a smartphone, more than 70 percent of school principals and district administrators have these “always connected” phones, according to findings from the national 2011 Speak Up survey released today. And, while just 10 percent of Americans have tablet computers, well over half of principals and administrators use these tools.

The latest Speak Up report also shows that these early adopters of mobile technology see the benefits for students and are more likely to support student use of smartphones and tablets in the classroom.

“For many of us, we cannot truly appreciate the value of a new technology tool until we have realized a direct benefit from its use in our personal or work life. That’s the same for educators,” said Julie Evans, president and CEO of Project Tomorrow, the organization that conducts the Speak Up survey. “We found that teachers, principals and administrators who are mobile users more highly value the benefits of using mobile devices within learning than their peers.”

District administrators who are mobile users themselves are twice as likely to be piloting a Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) approach or be evaluating the idea of implementing a BYOT program as other administrators:

  • More than 40 percent of administrators who are mobile users are currently evaluating a BYOT approach, compared to just 19 percent of all administrators.
  • Nearly 30 percent of the “mobilist” administrators provide school-owned devices (like laptops, tablets and iPod Touch players) for student use, compared to just 13 percent of all administrators.

The same holds for educators who have used online learning to support their own professional development. More than half of teachers and administrators now say they have taken an online class for training purposes (in 2007, only 21 percent of teachers had taken an online course). Compared with teachers in general, those who have taken online courses are 22 percent more likely to recommend online classes for students (25 percent to 32 percent).

“Educators who have taken online courses note the benefits to themselves – and their students – include the ability to review materials as often as needed and to customize the learning process so that those who have mastered a lesson can move on while student who need some extra support can slow down and review before moving on,” said Evans. “Online classes and resources are going to be key to the personalized learning so many student, parents and educators are demanding.”

The latest report, Personalizing the Classroom Experience – Teachers, Librarians and Administrators Connect the Dots with Digital Learning, and a related infographic, are available here.

The 2011 online survey – completed by more than 416,000 K-12 students, parents, teachers, librarians and administrators – offers the largest collection of authentic, unfiltered input on education and technology from those ‘on the ground’ in the schools.

Now in its 9th year, the annual survey about education and technology is facilitated through public, private and charter schools all around the country; every school is eligible to participate. The results provide important insights about education, technology and student aspirations to individual schools, state departments of education and national leaders.

Since 2003, more than 2.6 million K-12 students, educators and parents from more than 35,000 schools in all 50 states have participated in Speak Up. The online survey is facilitated by Project Tomorrow and supported by many of our nation’s most innovative companies, foundations and nonprofit organizations including Blackboard, Inc., DreamBox, Hewlett-Packard, K12, Inc., Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach Initiative, Schoolwires and SMART Technologies.

Project Tomorrow partners with more than 75 different education associations, organizations and think-tanks for outreach to the schools and development of the survey questions including the American Association of School Administrators, Consortium for School Networking, iNACOL, International Society for Technology in Education, National School Boards Association, National Science Digital Library, National Secondary School Principals Association, Southern Regional Education Board and State Education Technology Directors’ Association.

About Project Tomorrow
Speak Up is a national initiative of Project Tomorrow, the nation’s leading education nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that today’s students are well prepared to be tomorrow’s innovators, leaders and engaged citizens of the world. The Speak Up data represents the largest collection of authentic, unfiltered stakeholder input on education, technology, 21st century skills, schools of the future and science instruction. Education, business and policy leaders report use the data regularly to inform federal, state and local education programs. For additional information, visit www.tomorrow.org.