Instructional Technology Specialist Sheri Firch of the Milford School District is asking for the community’s help in discovering the role of technology in preparing today’s youth with the skills they need to be successful in the future. Through Speak Up, a national initiative of the nonprofit organization Project Tomorrow which is dedicated to preparing tomorrow’s citizens, Milford community members will have the opportunity to share their thoughts on technology in education with national policy makers.
This is the second year that Milford School District has been a part of the larger effort through Speak Up and the first year where community members are being asked to share their thoughts alongside teachers, parents and students. In helping to address the importance and availability of technology through education, individuals are asked to take the Speak Up 2013 survey from Project Tomorrow. This survey asks participants to evaluate the importance of education within the community and specifically, the role of technology in preparing today’s youth with the skills they need to be successful in the future.
“All of this data will be culminated and given to the district for review,” commented Ms. Firch. “The more active participants in the community we can get, the more information we will be able to use.”
Nationally since 2003, the Speak Up responses from over 3 million teachers, students and parents have been shared with local, state, and national leaders. According to Project Tomorrow’s website “The Speak Up data is used regularly as input by policymakers who are developing new programs, funding and policies for education.”
The online survey consists of a series of multiple choice questions plus an open-ended type question at the end where participants can write in their response. Ms. Firch states that the survey should only take you about 20 minutes to complete. After the open-ended question, there are 6 demographic questions, that are optional, used only by Project Tomorrow to give context to their national data findings.
“The data we receive will give a representation of where the school is and how we can meet certain needs for technology in education,” commented Firch. “We are living in a technology-driven world and we need to be sure we are meeting those needs so that our students can live productive lives.”
In addition to seeking input from community members, parents, students and teachers are encouraged to answer Speak Up survey questions online at http://www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2013/. Individuals must simply click on the group survey they identify with and choose a local school to connect with.