Monday, October 20, 2014

EdNet Insight: When Data is Win-Win

Our friend Ann McMullen recently wrote an article, "When Data is Win-Win," about how Speak Up benefits everyone involved. Ann was the primary contact of Klein Independent School District (a longtime Speak Up Loud and Clear recipient) for many years, and continues to support leadership, professional development, and educational technology as a public speaker, writer, and consultant. Check out her reasons why Speak Up is a win-win for everyone:
  • Inside classrooms, the Speak Up survey provides teachers and students with an opportunity to have their voices heard at the district, state, and national levels and impact decisions made by school leaders and state and national policy makers. Plus, by simply reading the survey questions, participants gain a sense of the current shifts in the evolution of digital media in education. Having educators compare their perceptions about digital learning with their students’ responses to the Speak Up survey is powerfully impactful professional development for teachers and school administrators.
  • The data from Speak Up provides schools and school districts with a sense of where they are in the advancement of digital learning compared with schools and districts across the nation. Individual districts often use their Speak Up data for strategic planning. School districts that must seek voter approval for bond referendums to support technology purchases use their Speak Up data to inform and engage their communities. As a former director of educational technology for a large school district in Texas, I found the data from our district’s annual participation in the Speak Up survey invaluable in developing and implementing our district technology plan. Schools in our district also incorporated their own data into their annual Campus Improvement Plans.
  • State education agencies benefit from having as many districts as possible respond to the call for participation in Speak Up. Anita Givens, former Associate Commissioner for Standards and Programs at the Texas Education Agency, says, “Speak Up reports provide the opportunity for the state to hear student and teacher voices from school districts across the state and compare the state data to the national data. The higher the level of participation by schools, the more impact their voices have. This is especially beneficial for planning and policy decisions at the state level. Speak Up data was invaluable in the development of the Texas Long-Range Plan for Technology, 2006-2020 and continues to be used when progress reports on the plan are submitted to the Texas Legislature.”
With over 400,000 online surveys submitted each year from 10,000 schools, the Speak Up data set is the largest collection of authentic, end-user educational technology information available in the market. Click here to register for Speak Up, and be sure to take the survey before it closes on December 19th!

About Ann McMullan: Ann McMullan served as the Executive Director for Educational Technology in the Klein Independent School District, located just outside Houston, Texas, until September 2013 when she moved to Los Angeles, California. For 16 years Ann led the team that provided professional development on technology and 21st century instructional strategies to over 4,000 professional educators. Both Klein ISD and Ann have received multiple honors for educational technology leadership and innovation. Ann served as the co-chair of the Texas Educational Technology Advisory Committee, which produced the Texas Long-Range Plan for Technology, 2006-2020. The Houston Chapter of Association for Women in Computing presented her with their Leadership in Technology Award in 2005, and ISTE awarded her the Making It Happen Award. In February 2010 Ann received the Lifetime Achievement Award for the Advancement of Technology in Learning from the Texas Computer Education Association, and she was recognized as a 2012 nominee for the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame for her work in K-12 education. Tech & Learning featured Ann in their 2013 eBook, Profiles in Leadership. Today she is based in Los Angeles, working as a public speaker, writer, and private consultant focused on supporting leadership, professional development, and curriculum for educational technology. She may be reached at amcmullan@outlook.com. She may also be available to connect on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/annmcmullan and on Twitter at @Ann_McMullan.