Students say filtering hurts their learning opportunities

SpeakUp logoProject Tomorrow has just released the Speak Up 2007 National Findings.

Over 319,223 students, 25,544 teachers, 19,726 parents and 3,263 school leaders shared their ideas through Speak Up 2007 surveys.

From their website: Speak Up 2007 revealed a growing “digital disconnect” between students and their teachers and parents about the role of technology for learning, and how well schools are preparing students for the jobs of the future. This disconnect is evident in the fact that school administrators (66%), teachers (47%), and parents (43%) say “local schools are doing a good job preparing students for the jobs and careers of the future,” but over 40% of middle and high school students stated that teachers limit their use of technology in schools. Forty-five percent of middle and high school students indicated that tools meant to protect them, such as firewalls and filters are inhibiting their learning.

“Students continue to be on the leading edge in terms of adopting, modifying and re-using digital content and technology tools to enrich both their personal and educational lives. The students in many ways are far ahead of their teachers and parents not only in the sophistication of their technology use, but in the adoption of emerging technologies for learning purposes,” said Project Tomorrow CEO Julie Evans. “It is in our nation’s best interest that we support and facilitate student usage of technology for learning.”

Other findings:

  • 54% of students are interested in STEM careers
  • One-third of teachers say they would like to teach an online class
  • 84% of administrators say educational technology enhances student achievement
  • 63% of parents say they know more about child’s schoolwork and grades because of school technology


5 Replies to “Students say filtering hurts their learning opportunities”

  1. The college I work at does not filter the Internet connection. If someone is caught accessing offensive or inappropriate materials in class, they are held accountable. Last year we taught dual credit art and digital media classes in a filtered environment belonging to another school. It was nothing but trouble all year long. It was easy for me to conclude that the filters don’t work as advertised and make teaching difficult without any positive benefit.

  2. Sylvia,

    I am interested in this stat:

    63% of parents say they know more about child’s schoolwork and grades because of school technology

    I couldn’t find it on the pdf – is it there or is that somewhere else?

    Thanks for helping!


  3. Hi Hank and Sylvia: The parent data from this year’s Speak Up is particularly interesting. We will be sharing more of it over the next few months. Here are a few of my favorite nuggets today from the 2007 Speak Up parent data:

    What has been the impact of using online tools to connect with your child’s teacher(s) or school?

    Better informed about my child’s grades and achievement (62%)
    Feel more connected to my child’s school (52%)
    Have a better relationship with my child’s teacher (37%)
    My child believes that I am better informed about his/her school, classroom and activities (35%)
    My child is doing better in school (20%)

    What are the top 3 things that you think would improve tech use at your child’s school?

    There should be enought technology for all students to use (42%)
    Students should receive training on how to use technology for schoolwork (41%)
    Technology tools should be integrated into daily instruction (37%)

    Thinking about your child, how does the use of technology in learning impact student achievement?

    Accelerates learning opportunities (58%)
    Fosters independent work (44%)
    Addresses different learning styles and matches my child’s pace of learning (41%)
    Develops creativity and self-expression (39%)
    Develops critical thinking and problem solving skills (37%)

    What is the best way for your child to acquire the tech skills needed to be successful in the 21st century?

    #1 response: have access to technology at home (57%)

    I would be interested in your impressions of these data points.

    Julie Evans
    CEO, Project Tomorrow
    Speak Up National Project

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