Report Release: Speak Up 2013 National Findings, K-12 Students


2014 Congressional Briefing National Release of Speak Up 2013 K-12 Students

“Innovative technologies are helping K‐12 educators augment their teaching to reach students with more collaborative, creative and, ultimately, more effective delivery methods. We’re proud to partner with Project Tomorrow to gauge the progress districts continue to make in leveraging technology to better prepare students for future learning success.”

– Mark Belles, senior vice president, K‐12, Blackboard.

PT 2014cover front

On April 8, 2014, Project Tomorrow released the report “The New Digital Learning Playbook: Understanding the Spectrum of Students’ Activities and Aspirations” at a Congressional Briefing held in Washington, DC and for the first time, online in a special live stream of the event. Julie Evans, Project Tomorrow CEO, discussed selected student national findings from the Speak Up 2013 report and moderated a panel discussion with students who shared their insights and experiences with digital learning.

Over 100 people attended the Congressional Briefing including congressional staff members, student and staff representatives from some of our Speak up schools, and staff from many of our sponsors, champion outreach partners and non-profit partners.

Students and parents from Baltimore City Public Schools (MD), Baltimore County Public Schools (MD), Fairfax County Public School District (VA) and Frederick County Public Schools (VA) shared their insights regarding personalizing their own learning.


The New Digital Learning Playbook: Understanding the Spectrum of Students’ Activities and Aspirations

Speak Up 2013 National Findings K-12 Student

The New Digital Learning Playbook: Understanding the Spectrum of Students’ Activities and Aspirations is the first in a two part series to document the key national findings from Speak Up 2013.

For the past eleven years, Project Tomorrow’s® annual Speak Up National Research Project has provided schools and districts nationwide and throughout the globe with new insights into how today’s students want to leverage digital tools for learning based upon the authentic, unfiltered ideas of students themselves. With this year’s national report on the views of 325,279 K-12 students representing over 9,000 schools and 2,700 districts nationwide, we focus on getting beyond the anecdotally- driven stereotypes of student technology use to establish a more comprehensive understanding of the myriad of different ways that students are currently personalizing learning using technology.

Given the increasing interest amongst education, business, policy, and parent leadership on the value of digital tools to personalize learning and improve student outcomes, this year’s report provides new findings around these three central questions to further both national and local discussions:

 ▪ How are K-12 students currently using digital tools and resources to support schoolwork activities?

How are K-12 students currently using digital tools and resources to enable out of school time learning activities?

What are K-12 students’ aspirations for using digital tools and resources within new innovative learning environments?

Key Findings from this year’s report include:

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Infographic Infographic- The New Digital Learning Playbook: Mobile Learning

 ▪ Girls outpace boys in use of many digital tools for learning, particularly the socially based tools like texting and collaborating online.

29 percent of high school boys say that they are very interested in a job or career in a STEM field, but only 19 percent of girls say the same. This gap remains even among girls and boys who self-assess their technology skills as advanced. During the seven years that the Speak Up surveys have polled high school students on their interest in STEM fields, the level of student interest has not increased significantly.

Students continue to report less regular interaction with traditional social networking sites like Facebook, while 44 percent of students in grades 6-12 report using social media apps like Instagram, Snapchat and Vine. Nearly one-third of high school students reported using Twitter.

One-quarter of students in grades 3-5 and nearly one-third of students in grades 6-12 say that they are using a mobile device provided by their school to support schoolwork (these percentages were greater among Title I schools than non-Title I schools).

In four years, the percent of middle school students taking tests online increased from 32 percent to 47 percent.

High school students reported a mean average of 14 hours per week using technology for writing.

Only one-third of middle school students say that for schoolwork reading, they prefer to read digital materials rather than printed materials; more than half, however, say online textbooks would be an essential component of their “ultimate school.”

Digital equity, including to student access to the Internet outside of school, is a growing concern among district technology leaders with 46 percent saying it is one of the most challenging issues they face today (compared to just 19 percent in 2010).

Download Links:

Download PDF of the report

View the report in HTML

Speak Up Report Landing page

Infographic- The New Digital Learning Playbook: Mobile Learning

Congressional Briefing Homepage

Congressional Briefing Packet Materials

Congressional Briefing Powerpoint

Recording of the event

Speak Up in the News

 ▪ One-Third of U.S. Students Use School-Issued Mobile Devices, THE Journal

Students Want More Alignment of Tech In and Out of School, Mind/Shift

Use of Digital Tools Rises, but ‘STEM’ Gender Gap Persists, Survey Finds, Edweek

If you tuned into yesterday’s Speak Up Congressional Briefing Live Stream we would like to apologize for the poor connection issues. Thank you for tuning in and we hope you enjoy watching the recorded version on our website.

Thank you for your interest and continued support of Speak Up! Be sure to stay updated on all things Speak Up by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our Blog.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Jenny Hostert at or via phone at 949/609-4660 ext. 17.

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