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From Print to Pixel: The role of videos, games, animations and simulations within K-12 education

Speak Up 2015 National Findings

From Print to Pixel: The role of videos, games, animations and simulations within K-12 education documents the key national findings from Speak Up 2015.

For the past thirteen years, Project Tomorrow’s® annual Speak Up 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. Each year, education, policy, research, and business leaders leverage the Speak Up findings to understand the trends around students’ use of technology, and how schools and communities can better serve the learning needs of today’s digital learners. Speak Up reports over the past few years have focused on connecting the digital dots for learning, mapping a personalized learning journey, and moving from chalkboards to tablets as part of a digital conversion effort.

This year’s report departs from that tradition of examining the state of education change and focuses on a particular phenomenon that we have documented over many years, the emergence of pixel based digital tools, specifically, videos, games, animations and simulations, as legitimate vehicles for learning. Leveraging the views of 415,686 K-12 students, 38,613 teachers and librarians, 4,536 administrators, 40,218 parents and 6,623 community members representing over 7,600 schools and 2,600 districts in the United States and around the world, this year’s Speak Up report examines three aspects of this phenomenon:

  • What precipitates the move within schools from print to pixel to lay the foundation for then understanding how teachers and students are using these digital tools in their classrooms?
  • How are students self-directing learning beyond the classroom?
  • What should we expect in further adoptions of visually engaging digital tools in education?

Key Findings from this year’s report include:

  • Simulations are more widely used by teachers in virtual classes (23%) and teachers who have implemented a flipped learning model (26%) or a blended learning model (17%).
  • Over three-quarters of middle school students (78 percent) are tapping into online videos, and 6 out of 10 (61%) are playing online games, all in service of various types of self-directed learning goals.
  • School principals (84 percent) are almost unanimous in their belief that the effective use of technology within instruction is important for student success. However, they do acknowledge challenges or barriers to meeting the expectation of effective technology usage.
  • Five out of 10 administrators note that the implementation of digital content resources such as videos, simulations and animations was already generating positive student outcome results
  • Almost 60 percent of technology leaders say that one-quarter of instructional materials in their schools today are digital, not paper-based; 26 percent say that their level of paperless-ness is 50 percent.
  • The top subject areas in which the students in grades 6-12 watch videos to support homework, research projects or studying are science (66 percent), math (59 percent), social studies/history (53 percent) and English/language arts (45 percent).
  • When asked what was holding back further expansion of their digital learning visions, 57% of principals say the lack of teacher training on how to integrate digital content within instruction is their top barrier.

If you think this data is interesting and would like to gain a better understanding about your stakeholders’ perspectives about the use of technology for learning, participate in Speak Up 2016. The online surveys will be open from October through December 2016 and survey results will be available in February 2017.

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