If you knew that 55 percent of your district’s parents thought their children would thrive in a blended learning classroom, would it impact your strategic planning for your school or district? Would it help your planning if you knew the five essential elements your teachers felt they needed to effectively and efficiently integrate digital content, tools, and resources into their daily instruction? Would it surprise you if you found that 53 percent of your middle and high school students felt they needed the Internet at home to do their homework, but only 13 percent of your teachers were assigning homework that needed the Internet? All of this information and so much more can easily be obtained by your district’s participation in the SpeakUp Survey. And by the way, these statistics are from the surveys completed by Texans in 2016.
Project Tomorrow is a national education nonprofit group whose mission is to “ensure that today’s students are well prepared to be tomorrow’s innovators, leaders, and engaged citizens of the world.” The SpeakUp Research Project for Digital Learning is a national research project and a free service to schools and districts to gather survey data from students, teachers, librarians, campus and district administrators, parents, and community members. It is designed to help education leaders as they create and implement their vision of the next generation learning model. And it is completely free to school districts.
You are probably thinking this sounds like way too much work, that you simply don’t have time to distribute all of these surveys and make sure they are completed. The good news is that they have made this process super easy. They have everything you need.
SpeakUP Support Materials
Some of the items you can find on their website to help you organize and promote the survey are listed below.
- Welcome Packet – gives you enough information to get started
- Flyers – to help promote the survey
- Information Material – to help answer all your questions (timeline, testimonials, introduction letters to give to principals, etc.)
- Social Media – suggested messages for the different social media outlets
- Sample Emails – help you get the word out
- Instructions – for each group you are targeting
- Lesson Plans – in case you want your teachers to build this activity into a learning experience
- Press Release – to communicate to your community that you want their input
You have complete flexibility with the implementation of the survey. If this is your first time, you could start small by targeting one school or one grade level. You could decide to only survey students and staff this year and add parents and community members the following year. Just remember, the more data collected, the more information you will have for your strategic planning. This brings us to the best part. After the data is collected, Project Tomorrow analyzes it and provides you with your own data in an extremely easy format to read and manipulate. They even have a PowerPoint template that you can use to easily import your district’s data.
- Register your district so all further communications from Project Tomorrow will get to the right person.
- Promote the survey using all of their free materials.
- Determine the time frame to conduct the survey. Project Tomorrow opens the survey on October 16 and closes it on January 19.
Information is power. Knowing what key stakeholders value and their opinions on certain issues can assist school district administrators when implementing new programs and adjusting current ones. This is especially important when the district is transitioning from a print-based instructional model to one that relies on the use of digital materials and technologies. The SpeakUp Survey provides your district an excellent opportunity to help gather the data you need to monitor and adjust during this transition. Gaining this information has never been so easy! What are you waiting for? Register now!
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