“We have reached a ‘perfect storm’ with the alignment of five key factors that are driving new excitement and enthusiasm for leveraging technology to transform teaching and learning,” proclaims the latest Speak Up survey report, released in April by Project Tomorrow.
The annual survey, in its ninth year, measures usage and opinions of technology in the classroom and at home from thousands of K-12 teachers, students, and parents in the U.S. While the survey doesn’t address technology in higher education, Project Tomorrow sees signs that the growing use of tech tools at K-12 levels does influence higher ed, especially as more students arrive on campus with expectations about technology and coursework.
The five transformative factors cited in the report are:
- Greater understanding of the potential for technology to help schools meet curriculum standards.
- More parents, teachers, and administrators using mobile technologies for personal and professional purposes.
- Funding cutbacks forcing schools to seek technological solutions to save money or raise revenues.
- Technology creating a bridge between home and school, allowing parents to take a more active role in education.
- Employers pressing schools to turn out tech-capable graduates.
The report notes all five factors have existed for some time now, but only recently have they approached a tipping point. “Like puzzle pieces, these five factors support one another, but also display unique characteristics that affect the readiness of some schools and districts to move forward with their plans for digital conversions,” says the report, while asking whether schools are prepared for conversion.