Annual survey highlights how students, teachers leverage digital tools to change education
Project Tomorrow CEO Julie Evans shared some of the latest Speak Up Survey data during an exclusive edWeb webinar. The annual survey focuses on digital tools, emerging technologies, professional development, digital citizenship, STEM, and administrators’ challenges.
“We have a strong belief that today’s students should be well-prepared for the future, and digital tools can help ensure that they are prepared,” Evans said.
When it comes to district administrators’ views on solutions that can most transform teaching and learning, their top motivating factors include enhancing teacher effectiveness (58 percent), integrating 21st century skills into curriculum (49 percent), and leveraging technology more effectively (46 percent).
(Next page: Digital learning for students and teachers)
Libraries are growing digital hubs, offering varied services
The American Library Association’s 2014 Digital Inclusion Survey makes note of the large role libraries play in education, individual engagement, as well as new programs they are developing, such as maker programming and 3D printing.
Though digital resources are growing throughout libraries, the survey also found that this growth is uneven. For instance, fewer than half of rural libraries said they increased bandwidth speeds in the last 24 months, compared with 64 percent of urban libraries and 56 percent of suburban libraries.
(Next page: Top findings about libraries’ digital offerings)
Annual survey reveals that mobile tech, online assessments are key issues
Technology skills for students and educators are essential for college and workforce success, particularly in an increasingly global economy. But how does technology integration match up with education leaders’ goals?
Bring your own device (BYOD) initiatives continue to increase across the nation, and an annual school technology survey reveals that BYOD use or immediate planned use in secondary schools jumped from 60 percent in 2013 to 66 percent in 2014.
According to the Software & Information Industry Association’s (SIIA) 2014 Vision K-20 report, 85 percent of secondary, 66 percent of elementary, and 83 percent of K-12 district survey participants said mobile devices will be allowed in schools in the next five years.
(Next page: Technology use, integration, and goals)
These four innovations in special-education technology were on display at a special event during the annual ISTE conference in Atlanta
A software program that can boost the memory and attention of students with disabilities, called the “most innovative medical advancement of 2012” by the National Institutes of Health, was among four special-education technologies highlighted during an event at the 2014 ISTE conference in Atlanta.
ISTE stands for the International Society for Technology in Education, and its annual conference is the largest ed-tech trade show in North America.
More than 16,000 educators and administrators gathered in Atlanta for this year’s conference, including a few dozen special-education teachers and administrators who attended a special event on June 30, hosted by the public relations firm C. Blohm & Associates.
For this event, C. Blohm partnered with the Inclusive Learning Network (a special-education focus group affiliated with ISTE), Arc Capital Development, and the Atlanta Braves to showcase four innovations in special-education technology—including a robot with very natural-looking facial expressions that is helping students on the autism spectrum learn social cues.
Also shown during the event was a “cognitive cross-training program” from a company called C8 Sciences, developed by Dr. Bruce Wexler, a neuroscientist at the Yale School of Medicine.
Built on the theory of neuroplasticity—the idea that our brains can change as a result of experience—the program combines computer games and physical exercises to help students with ADHD or other learning disabilities develop eight key areas of “executive functioning” that form the basis for all learning.
The human brain is like a muscle, said Myron Pincomb, an investor in C8 Sciences who was on hand to discuss the program. “If you’re very specific in how you exercise it,” he said, “you’re going to get specific results.”
C8’s ACTIVATE program is being used in some 130 school districts, Pincomb said, including Virginia’s Fairfax County Schools—where about 3,000 students have seen measurable gains in their working memory, sustained attention, and impulse control, while also reducing the time it takes to process information.
(Next page: Three more innovations in special-education technology)
How tech-savvy are you? Read on to find out…
Using tech in the classroom today will help students develop and build those essential tech skills so that they can compete on a global scale.
And often, today’s educators and administrators learn much of their tech skills from students, who are tech experts in their own right. Tech-savvy teachers take the tech skills gleaned from students and use them for academic and instructional purposes.