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

David Nagel is editorial director, education for 1105 Media's Public Sector Media Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal. A 22-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

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