21st Century Learners Design the Ultimate School of the Future - Today

These notes are taken from the necc07 presentation entitled "21st Century Learners Design the Ultimate School of the Future - Today" given by Julie Evans and Laurie Smith, and are the results of the Speak Up 2006. There were also a panel of three students present.

Feedback and ideas are from students as if they designed schools of the future.

Project Tomorrow was NetDay. SpeakUp is a national research project. 100% online survey for parents, teachers and students. Reported to congress, schools, science foundation, etc. 800,000 students have participated since fall of 2003.Public and private schools, all around the world. A snapshot of the findings for 2006 can be seen on their website.

Speak up for 2007 will be Oct. 1-Nov. 15th.

232,000 students took survey, 2100 parents. All 50 states do participate. They get back the aggregated data. 96% public, 4% private schools.

Presented national findings at congressional meeting. It is available on a podcast. Speakup 100 are top schools.

What we learned from students:
¨ Communications is #1 use of technology – global connections.
¨ Online connected-ness creating new “friends”
¨ Online safety & privacy are not top student concerns
¨ Students say “make science & math relevant!”
¨ Youngest learners are very tech sophisticated
¨ Continued disconnect between students and adults

Are you involved with technology decisions? @ home 50% of students said yes, but at school only 14% said yes. 35% said they want their school to listen to their ideas about education.

“If you were designing a new school today for students just like you, what kinds of technology and access would be part of your idea school?”

Assignment: Design the Ultimate School of the Future (3 students in a panel)


No standardized testing. Use the internet to the full capacity. Lots of computers.

  • access: to technology, knowledge, information, experts proquest, online database resources, more computers available – one-on-one computing.
  • devices & tools: “the stuff” school cell phone – every student their own school phone. Prevent them from cheating. MP3 offering of podcasts could record lessons. Email was very convenient for communications. More management of email for mass mailing.Utube and video on demand. IM allows collaboration. Social Networking – spacebook can register as a teacher.

Gaming technology – maybe in elementary. Game simulation in math and science examining things from different points of view with 3-d.
  • delivery: how, what, when where of learning
How does online classes fit? Some interest, but not enough interest.
School websites are not really utilized that well. Example still has august assignments on there.

Rss feeds delivery of assignments. Teachers could download assignments on the computers! J

Interactive white boards – info can be exported and put onto web pages.
  • connecting: for learning-locally, nationally, globally
  • support: the infrastructure

IT staff needs to be available for students. Students are trying to break through security and staff keep them from doing that. After school training. Backed up on a server, nothing stored locally.
  • assessment: how to show what you know
Results of a Survey

  1. Number 1 priority: a laptop for every student.
  2. Use cell phones/mp3 players/handhelds
  3. Time for students to use computers individually
  4. Use email/IM/blogs
  5. Digital moviemaking equipment
  6. Interactive whiteboards
  7. Time for students to work on group projects
  8. Oneline textbooks

By gender – girls are more interested in boys in having access to email, IM, and blogs and digital equipment for multi-media equipment.

By grade – younger students are more interested in computer equipment in the pocket (cell phones, etc)

Older students (10-12) have stronger interests in online textbooks, online classes, email, and time for individual work

Self-assessment of tech skills

Didn’t matter if they had it at home, but they needed broadband.

Fluency – when using cell phones for texting – they are more interested in using handhelds. When using IM, they are more interested in blogging/email, etc.

Online learning
¨ Taken online class outside of school 42%
¨ Students who want to 4%
¨ Time to work with technology is a big issue for taking an online class.
¨ Those not interested in taking an online class were still interested in laptops, handhelds and film making equipment.

Key findings for the teacher data:
¨ Top priorities for teachers
o Interactive white boards
o Wireless laptops for students to use at school
o Ways to communicate with parents
o Ways to use email, IM, blogs with students and parents
o Digital cameras and video facilities

Parent Data
They want data pushed to them, not have to go to a web site.

Trends to watch
¨ Spectrum of digital native-nes (generational differences between 2nd graders today and the kids graduating college and their exposure to computers and the internet)
¨ New uses for communications devices and tools
¨ Connecting without boundaries – new friends
¨ Technology as tool – not fad or fun
¨ Inclusion of student, teacher or parent ideas into planning and investments

They help run focus groups, consulting, data analysis
Use their reports and data
Participate in Speak Up 2007.
We are already pre-registered.
Survey opens Oct. 1 – Nov. 15
Aggregated quantitative data back to schools in Jan. 2008
Public release Mar. 2008

Can do benchmarking because it is aggregated against national numbers.