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Are Schools Preparing Students for 21st Century Learning?

There's a "disconnect" between school administrators and parents. While more than half of America's school principal's said they think they're "doing a good job" preparing students for the 21st century, only a third of parents of middle school and high school students agreed, according to research released by Project Tomorrow and Blackboard.

The research also showed that only 40 percent of students in grades 6 through 12 think their schools are doing a good job preparing them for the future.

"The disconnect between educators and parents reveals the need for schools to improve the integration of technology into the learning environment and students' learning experiences," said Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow. "Parents do not feel that schools are effectively preparing students for the jobs of the 21st century, and view technology implementation as essential to student success."

The findings were part of a report released this week--Learning in the 21st Century: Parents' Perspectives, Parents' Priorities. They were compiled from data collected as part of Project Tomorrow's annual Speak Up survey, which included responses from more than 335,000 K-12 administrators, students, parents, and educators.

It also found that parents think teachers "need more training and more access to up-to-date technology" and that they "support K-12 school adoption of 21st century technology-infused approaches to teaching and learning, ranging from online textbooks to tools such as interactive white boards, laptops for students, computer projection devices and technology-based organizational tools," according to information released by Project Tomorrow.

Further details about the research, along with a complete copy of the report, can be found here. (The report can be downloaded free with registration.)

About the Author

Executive Producer David Nagel heads up the editorial department for 1105 Media's education publications — which include two daily sites, a variety of newsletters and two monthly digital magazines covering technology in both K-12 and higher education.

A 21-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192 or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education). A selection of David Nagel's articles can be found on this site.


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