Schools speak up and get recognized

Madison student populations and faculties have been recognized for speaking their minds — at least about technology.

Madison City Schools participated in the Speak Up National Research Project, which collects and reports views of students in grades K-12, teachers, administrators and parents about using technology for learning (www.tomorrow.org/speakup).

For the Madison district, Madison Elementary School took first place with the highest percentage of involvement. Mill Creek and Horizon elementary schools earned second and third place, respectively.

Discovery and Liberty middle schools were chosen as National Award Winners, placing them among America’s top schools for involving school families in decision-making.

The Speak Up Survey questioned how the school staff implements technology in the classroom, Discovery Principal Dr. Robbie Smith said. Research project employees wanted to know ways that teachers encourage students to use technology and how often students apply the tools.

The survey asked “what kind of computers we have and do we allow personal devices,” Smith said.

Discovery families received the survey with Discovery’s ‘listserv’ (email distribution). “Teachers took students to the computer lab to take the survey,” Smith said. “The survey’s intent is to get (student) input for us to use in planning for instructional technology.”

Madison City Schools uses Speak Up findings to write its district technology plan and goals, plan professional development and determine purchasing priorities.

Since 2003, more than 2.2 million students, educators and parents from all 50 states, as well as internationally, have shared their views in Speak Up surveys. Their ideas influence local, state and federal policies and programs every year.

By participating in Speak Up, parents can contribute to the national dialog about science, technology and the preparation of students for the 21st-century workforce.

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