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Speak Up Annual Methodology - 2016

Each year, the Speak Up Research Project for Digital Learning polls K-12 students, parents, and educators about the role of technology for learning in and out of school.  This survey represents the largest collection of authentic, unfiltered stakeholder voices on digital learning. Since fall 2003, more than 5 million K-12 students, parents, teachers, librarians, principals, technology leaders, district administrators, communications officers, and members of the community have shared their views and ideas through Speak Up. K-12 educators, higher education faculty, business, and policy leaders report that they regularly use the Speak Up data to inform federal, state, and local education programs.

In fall 2016, Project Tomorrow surveyed 435,510 K-12 students, 38,512 teachers and librarians, 4,592 administrators, 29,670 parents and 5,846 community members representing more than 7,000 public and private schools and 2,400 districts.  Schools from urban (26%), suburban (38%), and rural (36%) communities are represented. Just over one-half of the schools (57%) that participated in Speak Up 2016 are Title I eligible schools (an indicator of student population poverty).  The Speak Up 2016 surveys were available online for input between October 2016 and January 2017.

The Speak Up surveys included questions about the use of technology for learning, 21st century skills and schools of the future, as well as emerging technologies (online learning, mobile devices, and digital content), the use of technology within specific curricular areas, and STEM career exploration.  In addition, educators shared the challenges they encounter integrating technology into classroom instruction, and how budget challenges have affected these decisions.  The data is collected from a convenience sample; schools and districts self-select to participate and facilitate the survey-taking process for their students, educators, and parents.  Any school or school district in the United States (or worldwide) is eligible to participate in Speak Up.  In preparation for data analysis, the survey results are matched with school level demographic information, such as Title I status, school locale (urban, rural, and suburban), and ethnicity selected from the Core of Common Data compiled by the National Center for Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/). Speak Up data is cross-consulted with NCES statistics to ensure that data represent nation-wide school demographics. The data are analyzed using standard cross-tabulation analysis.