Speak Up Survey: Is Technology Missing the Mark?


3/22/2007—The majority of parents in the United States are unsatisfied with the way technology is implemented in K-12 schools. At the same time, the majority of educators say that students are more engaged in school work as a result of technology implementations and that there is a corresponding increase in student achievement, according to a new survey released this week by Project Tomorrow-NetDay.

The 2006 Speak Up survey polled some 270,000 K-12 students, teachers, and parents from from around the country on subjects ranging from technology, math, and science instruction to communications, collaboration, and self expression. The findings were presented Wednesday at a Congressional briefing sponsored by U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), chair of the Senate's Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.

"The survey shows that much more needs to be done to equip our classrooms with technology, train our teachers to integrate technology into their curricula, and involve our parents in the use of technology in education," said Julie Evans, CEO of non-profit group Project Tomorrow-NetDay. "Most importantly, this survey shows that technology presents a unique opportunity to engage students in their core-curricular subjects, such as math and science, by providing them the high-tech tools that raise their levels of interest in this coursework."

Students, for their part, expressed the strongest interest in techniques for learning math and science that include "real-world problem solving, visiting places where science is in action, talking to professionals in those fields, and using multimedia and interactive simulations," according to the survey.

Some of the other 2006 Speak Up findings include:

  • More than 66 percent of parents and teachers are "increasingly concerned with" privacy and online safety issues;
  • Twenty-five percent of students are concerned about safety and privacy issues;
  • Fifty-four percent of students surveyed are "increasingly establishing connections" with students outside their immediate geographical location through IM, e-mail, gaming, and personal websites;
  • Students cite cell phones as their favorite means of communication, and 66 percent of parents and students said that students should be able to bring cell phones to school for emergency purposes; and
  • Forty-one percent of parents and 71 percent of teachers favor e-mail and school websites as means of communications.

Details from the survey are available on a school by school basis on Project Tomorrow's website. See the link below.

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About the author: Dave Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's educational technology online publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at [email protected].

Have any additional questions? Want to share your story? Want to pass along a news tip? Contact Dave Nagel, executive editor, at [email protected].

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 29-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEDavidNagel (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).