• August 1, 2021
 Bel Air High student participates in Virtual Congressional Briefing

Bel Air High student participates in Virtual Congressional Briefing

Bel Air High School student Olivia Mercado participated in a virtual Congressional Briefing on Wednesday, revealing the results of the annual Speak Up Research Project presented by the nation’s leading education nonprofit Project Tomorrow.

“We’re especially grateful for participation from students like Olivia Mercado because they offer a truly unique perspective when it comes to the learning experience,” said Dr. Julie A. Evans, researcher and CEO of Project Tomorrow. “By hearing directly from students, teachers, parents and community members, education leaders can make informed decisions that improve education. Congratulations to Olivia and to Ysleta ISD for your partnership with Project Tomorrow on the Speak Up Research Project.”

Ysleta ISD is one of only 5 school districts selected to participate in the national event. This year’s results indicate an increased usage of digital tools by teachers and students, as well as other digital learning trends.

Key takeaways from this year’s survey include:

  • Increased usage of digital tools by teachers and students due to the COVID-19 pandemic brings new opportunities to discuss what constitutes rigor and quality in digital resources for classroom use, and new ways to articulate the value proposition of digital learning more comprehensively.
  • As a result of the sudden shift to digital learning, parents developed a stronger appreciation for the value of technology as a learning vehicle and their role in supporting their child’s education from home.
  • Students continue to value how technology supports learning. The realization of the value of digital learning by the adults in their lives resulted in an improved learning environment for many students. The use of digital, online and videos games provide an excellent example of this new impact.

Ysleta ISD Director of Innovative Learning Shelley Smallwood believes technology is an important part of what students are learning and will assist them in being more successful in higher education, the military, and/or the job market.

The Speak Up Research Project is a national research project and free service to schools and districts. Since fall 2003, Speak Up has helped education leaders include the voices of their stakeholders in annual and long-term planning.

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