Schools are at a greater risk for cyberattacks than ever before

Key points:

  • A lack of collaboration in schools is increasing cybersecurity risks
  • Most district leaders and administrators agree K-12 schools face higher risks for cyberattacks than ever before
  • See related article: The essential guide to 2FA for schools

Cyber threats against K-12 school districts are on the rise, yet only minimal steps are being taken at the local level to safeguard district technology assets and student information, according to a new research report from Project Tomorrow and iboss, a Zero Trust Edge cloud security provider.

The report, Why A Different Cybersecurity Ecosystem Is Needed Today, details findings from K-12 district, technology, and communications leaders on the cybersecurity challenges they’re facing today.…Read More

Student engagement remains a major concern

The vast majority of educators said they are concerned about their students’ engagement in classroom-based learning, according to the latest installment of the national Gradient Learning Poll, which examines the growing student engagement crisis in classrooms across the country.

The findings are bolstered by Project Tomorrow’s Speak Up research, in which 50 percent of student respondents claimed they are not engaged in what they are learning in school for the majority of their classes.

Teachers highlighted a number of reasons students are struggling to stay engaged in the classroom this year—from a lack of intrinsic motivation on core subjects to the long-term impacts of pandemic-driven disruptions.…Read More

Digital Tools Key to Financial Literacy,According to Study by Certell and Project Tomorrow

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The vast majority of high school students are not financially literate but respond well to economics and personal finance courses that include digital tools in their curriculum, according to a new study by Project Tomorrow and Certell, creator of the Poptential™ family of free, award-winning social studies course packages. Click to tweet.

According to the study, just 10% of teachers say that their students are at a level of proficiency higher than basic when beginning an economics course, and 53% report students at below basic proficiency levels.

“This lack of financial literacy among high school students shows why basic economics and personal finance courses should be required in high school,” said Fred Fransen, CEO of Certell. “Today, just 25 states require that students take an economics course in order to graduate, and just 15 require personal finance. If students don’t improve their understanding of economics and finance at the high school level, they may never be exposed to it.”…Read More

New research offers major insights into post-pandemic learning

Educators are noticeably more comfortable giving students autonomy over their learning–and this is just one of the long-term impacts the pandemic has had on K-12 education, according to insight from the nonprofit Project Tomorrow.

In its annual Congressional Briefing, the nonprofit presented this year’s Speak Up Research Project findings. This year’s results indicate patterns across digital learning for students and teachers coinciding with the effects that the pandemic had on learning.

The Speak Up Research Project is a national research initiative and free service to schools and districts. Since the Fall of 2003, Speak Up has helped education leaders include the voices of their stakeholders in annual and long-term planning. hosted the briefing, which featured keynote speaker Kristina Ishmael, Deputy Director of the Office of Ed Tech at the U.S. Department of Education.…Read More

Whole child learning paves a path to success, teachers say

An overwhelming majority of educators polled in a new survey say they believe students achieve success when schools make whole child learning a priority.

Ninety-one percent of teachers participating in education nonprofit Gradient Learning’s national survey, say they believe students perform better when schools prioritize whole child learning.

Conducted in partnership with Project Tomorrow, the Gradient Learning Poll surveyed 1,418 teachers, of grades 4-12, across the country to better understand their views on the state of education. …Read More

How teachers can make history current this Presidents’ Day

Social Studies teachers seem to have an impossible challenge: take events that happened hundreds or thousands of years ago and make them relevant to today’s teens. That explains why only about half of middle and high school students say they are engaged in what they are learning in school most of the time, according to recent research from Project Tomorrow.

Presidents’ Day is a great opportunity to turn this around. The key is understanding what gets students jazzed and adapting lessons to fit their preferences.

There are many reasons for the lack of interest in history and other subjects. Teachers worry that it’s hard for them to compete with smartphones and the type of entertaining content that students can access at any time, including TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. …Read More

A national esports effort aims to ‘change the trajectory’ for students

As a student, video gamer and flight instructor Hudson Davis was often bored in school. He found that many classes provided only a surface-level understanding of key topics—and he was doing a lot of self-directed learning outside of class to explore topics he was passionate about.

“School should do a better job of allowing students to dig into those subjects that interest them,” Davis said. “Many kids just don’t get the opportunity to do that.”

Davis’s experience isn’t unusual. Even before the pandemic, many students felt disengaged from school. The shift to remote learning through platforms such as Zoom and Google Meets has only intensified the problem, creating what Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, called an “unparalleled crisis for today’s teens.”…Read More

5 new developments in physical and network safety

As technology improves, so do solutions to keep students and teachers safe in school buildings and on school networks. This is the main reason why school safety, including cybersecurity and physical safety, retains its place as a top concern for education leaders.

Balancing access to educational resources with security needs remains a top challenge for school district IT leaders, according to new findings from the Speak Up Research Project for Digital Learning.

Seventy-one percent of district administrators and IT leaders are concerned about the security of their network against malicious attacks or misbehavior, as outlined in the data, which comes from a collaboration between the nonprofit Project Tomorrow and cloud security provider iboss.…Read More