'Speak Up' Reveals Digital Disconnect: Results of the Annual Survey Indicate a Large Gap between Students and Their Parents and Teachers on the Role of Technology in Learning

T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education), May 2008 | Go to article overview

'Speak Up' Reveals Digital Disconnect: Results of the Annual Survey Indicate a Large Gap between Students and Their Parents and Teachers on the Role of Technology in Learning


STUDENTS THROUGHOUT THE NATION have voiced their opinions about the role technology has in their education, and according to the results of Speak Up 2007, they're singing a different tune from that of their parents and teachers.

The Speak Up surveys are an initiative of Project Tomorrow (www.tomorrow.org), an educational nonprofit organization. Surveys are provided in English and Spanish for K-12 students, teachers, and parents, and this year, for the first time since the project was started in 2003, surveys were also given to principals, technology coordinators, district administrators, and school board members.

In line with past Speak Up surveys, the 2007 edition focused on teaching and learning with technology, 21st-century skills, and science instruction, and also touched on the influence of emerging education technology such as gaming, online learning, and mobile devices.

The survey findings point to what Project Tomorrow (formerly NetDay) calls "a growing digital disconnect" between students and adults, most evident in their conflicting thoughts on the quality of the education that kids are getting. Sixty-six percent of school administrators, 47 percent of teachers, and 43 percent of parents surveyed agreed that "local schools are doing a good job preparing students for jobs and careers of the future," but 45 percent of middle and high school students said that tools meant to protect them, such as firewalls and filters, are inhibiting their learning. …

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