Learning All the Time
Many people still assume that a student is only “learning” when they spend time in school, but technology has been upending that assumption for a while. As phones and mobile devices become smaller and more powerful, the world of information becomes more accessible and the number of learning opportunities increases. Meaningful learning becomes a 24/7 reality. But how do we better understand the relationship between technology and learning that happens outside of the classroom?
For almost 20 years, Project Tomorrow has managed the Speak Up research initiative, a national research project and a free service to schools and districts everywhere designed to collect and report on the authentic, unfiltered ideas and views of K-12 students and their parents, teachers, and administrators on education, technology, schools of the future, science and math instruction, professional development, and career exploration. Speak Up has three main objectives: to provide a means for local schools and districts to easily and effectively listen to and act upon the ideas of their stakeholders; to provide a conduit for the voices of education stakeholders, most notably students, to inform national and/or state policies and programs; and to stimulate new local discussions around the use of technology within education.
On the Speak Up website, there are a variety of reports and presentations that, although they are K-12 focused, can nevertheless help us understand technology trends and how students especially are utilizing technology in their learning processes, inside and outside of school. If anything, the data make the case that educators and administrators need to keep pushing for the adoption and use of technology in school, especially as technology blurs the line between learning happening at school and outside of school. Students are telling us that they want to be able to use technology in school in ways that they use it in their everyday lives. It also gives us the chance to rethink our instruction and consider different models that incorporate the social aspects of learning. Take some time to explore the reports, presentations, and infographics that Speak Up has created to better understand the views on technology of the various stakeholders, especially students.
You can also listen to a podcast featuring the CEO of Project Tomorrow, Julie Evans, and some recent Speak Up findings in the article, Students Today Are Learning All The Time. Can Schools Keep Up? by Stephen Noonoo at EdSurge.
Website: Speak Up at Project Tomorrow