Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Project Tomorrow

In the mid-90s, Sun Microsystems executive John Gage founded NetDay, which began as a grassroots campaign in California to wire schools but soon blossomed into a national nonprofit organization. Julie Evans has been running the organization since 2000, when it expanded its mission beyond one-day "electronic barn-raising" efforts connecting neighborhood schools to the internet and started helping schools integrate technology effectively into the curriculum. In 2008 Julie Evans was recognized as one of "Ten Who've Made a Difference in Educational Technology". Last year, NetDay merged with a California-based science education group to become Project Tomorrow.

Under Evans' leadership, the group has made its biggest impact through a series of annual surveys, called "Speak Up." These surveys aim to collect students', teachers', and parents' views on science, math, and technology, and how to improve education for the 21st century. Since 2003, more than 850,000 K-12 students and their teachers and parents have participated in the annual online Speak Up surveys, and the surveys' findings have helped shape ed-tech policy at the federal, state, and local levels.

Here are two videos from Project Tomorrow which address LEARNING IN A GLOBAL AGE. The needs of students cannot be confined to the walls of a school building anymore; online learning and even hands on learning outside the school are now necessary to make students sucessful in life. At Neuropath Learning we noticed these gaps a while ago and have been working hard to provide students with opportunities for online learning and testing at an early age.
A new study, Learning in the 21st Century: 2009 Trends Update reports this demand for more online learning by students, as well as the online learning practices of schools today and identifies future needs. Parents believe the goal of science education is to provide critical thinking skills and creative problem solving and this is the goal of our educational products and services also.

This first video identifies a disconnect between students and educators in the use of technology in education and how schools are failing to provide students with life skills. Watch Julie Evans, Project Tomorrow CEO Speak Up in Learning to Change, Changing to Learn.

In this second video students speak up to President Obama about how to improve their schools. They have many great ideas and envision some of the same changes that we believe in need to occur. It is very inspiring to hear what they have to say.

Finally here is a slideshow of the 2007 survey showing what is lacking in science education today and what is needed to prepare and motivate student for careers in science and technology.

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