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Press Release

National Speak Up Study: Technology Infrastructure Critical to Delivering 21st Century Learning Experiences

Schoolwires Provides Centricity(TM) Web Platform that Enables Easy Integration of Strategic Web 2.0 Engagement and Learning Tools

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- A national survey being presented today at a Congressional briefing highlights administrators' concerns and districts' barriers to providing 21st century learning environment. A common thread documented in the study is the need to have an effective technology infrastructure. The 2009 Speak Up Survey was conducted by Project Tomorrow and sponsored by Schoolwires.

In the national survey of more than 368,000 K-12 students, parents, teachers and administrators, students shared their vision for 21st century learning that includes:

  • Social-based learning – students want to leverage emerging communications and collaboration tools to create and personalize networks of experts to inform their education process.
  • Un-tethered learning – students envision technology-enabled learning experiences that transcend the classroom walls and are not limited by resource constraints, traditional funding streams, geography, community assets or even teacher knowledge or skills.
  • Digitally-rich learning – students see the use of relevancy-based digital tools, content and resources as a key to driving learning productivity, not just about engaging students in learning.

"Today's students are already envisioning the educational experience of the future," said Edward S. Marflak, CEO of Schoolwires. "Schoolwires is in step with their vision, providing a web platform that easily integrates and supports the technology tools they are describing today, as well as future applications that have not even emerged yet. We have eliminated the barriers that prevent districts from fully engaging with their students in support of their success."

In the area of social-based learning, the study stated that 91 percent of administrators report that the effective implementation of instructional technology is important/extremely important to their district's (or school's) mission; and that facilitating meaningful social-based learning requires a supportive technology infrastructure, access to technology (provided by the student or school) and explicit opportunities for students to collaborate.

In support of un-tethered learning, the study found that providing opportunities for students to learn anytime anyplace requires that the district has the vision, policies, infrastructure, curriculum and professional development in place to create effective learning experiences 24/7.

Digitally-rich learning experiences were also highlighted as being important because in addition to increasing student engagement in school, administrators report that digital content has the potential to help extend learning beyond the school day (62 percent) and prepare students for the world of work (59 percent).

"The common thread throughout all three elements identified in the study is the need for a platform that provides students and teachers with a seamless experience that brings together all the rich teaching and engagement tools they need to be successful today and that can support tomorrow's exciting educational environment," said Marflak.

In Congress, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor Chairman George Miller (D-CA) has led the charge to integrate innovation in the classroom, and has held several hearings on education technology and innovation over the last year.  "It's clear that technology and innovation in the classroom not only helps make lessons come alive for students, but can help them gain the skills needed to compete in a global marketplace," said Congressman Miller. "Technology allows teachers to better understand the needs of their students on a real time basis, which in turn can make a dramatic difference in the way teachers teach and students learn."

Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, is presenting the findings at the congressional briefing. "Schoolwires is absolutely in synch with understanding the rich interactive technology environment painted by students and administrators in the study," said Evans. "This future vision cannot be realized without the thought leadership and technology environment provided by vendors like Schoolwires."

The Speak Up data represents the largest collection of authentic, unfiltered stakeholder input on education, technology,  21st century skills, schools of the future and math and science instruction. To read the full report, visit www.projecttomorrow.org.

As an underwriter of the project, Schoolwires provides input into the survey questions and gains advance access to the results. Schoolwires uses the data from the survey to help ensure that the company is creating solutions that meet the current and future technology needs of districts to build stronger school communities, more effective schools and greater student success.

About Project Tomorrow

Project Tomorrow is a national education nonprofit organization. The vision of Project Tomorrow is to ensure that today's students are well prepared to be tomorrow's innovators, leaders and engaged citizens of the world. The organization believes that by supporting the innovative uses of science, math and technology resources in K-12 schools and communities, students will develop the critical thinking, problem solving and creativity skills needed to compete and thrive in the 21st century.  Project Tomorrow approaches its mission through national research projects such as the Speak Up National Research Project, the replication of model excellence projects in schools and communities, online tools and resources for students, teachers and parents, and national and regional advocacy efforts. For more information, visit www.tomorrow.org

About Schoolwires, Inc.

Schoolwires provides strategic online communication, community-management and productivity solutions to the K-12 education market. The company's core product is Centricity™, which brings together robust and flexible website management, community management and web 2.0/social network capabilities in a single, user-centric solution. Schoolwires also delivers Schoolwires Synergy™, a digital file sharing solution; Schoolwires Assist™, a service request solution; and Schoolwires Share, an exclusive online client community and support center. Schoolwires works with nearly 1,200 districts, over 5,000 schools and an estimated 5 million users across the nation.

Schoolwires is recognized by Inc magazine as one of the top ten fastest growing private education companies across the nation for three consecutive years. Schoolwires ranks in the Inc. 500|5000 as the 605th fastest growing private companies after achieving Inc. 500 status overall for the previous two consecutive years.

Schoolwires is headquartered in State College, Pennsylvania, USA. The company is celebrating its 10-year anniversary in April 2010. For more information, visit www.schoolwires.com.

SOURCE Schoolwires, Inc.