Category Archives: speak up 2014

Have you already registered for Speak Up but need help spreading the word? Here’s one of our sample emails for you to send out to your school/district! Don’t forget to visit our website for our full list of promotional materials.

Subject: Collect valuable data for your school by participating in Speak Up 2014
Join the conversation about the use of technology for learning through Speak Up, a National Research Project. Since 2003, over 3.4 million K-12 education stakeholders have participated in the annual online surveys. Data findings are shared each year with federal, state and local policymakers to inform education programs, policies and funding.  
Surveys will be open for input October 6th– December 19th, 2014 at: www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2014.
Get your schools involved!  All schools in (DISTRICT NAME) are registered to participate in Speak Up.  To help facilitate the Speak Up process at your school we recommend designating a primary contact that will be in charge of the promotion and encouragement of the survey at your school. By assigning a primary contact you will be able manage your school information and obtain free, online access to your school aggregated results with diocese, state and national comparisons starting on February 4, 2015.
To learn more about the benefits of assigning a primary contact and participating in Speak Up please go to: http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/MainContactInformation.html.
To register now, please follow these simple steps:
* If your school does not come up by zip code or school look up, please contact the Speak Up Team at speakup@tomorrow.org. We may need to update the information in our system.
** Two school passwords are required:  An organizational login password “admin password” (to view weekly survey counts and other important updates during the survey period) and a “student survey” password (secret word students will use to access the survey).

Need help promoting Speak Up to your stakeholders?

Speak Up partners – need help promoting the survey to your stakeholders? Check out some of our ideas for inspiration! Don’t forget that Speak Up opens on October 6th until December 19th – participants can register here.

Promote participation in Speak Up:                                 

q  Encourage your stakeholders to participate in Speak Up through email blasts, newsletters, your blog or other online social media tools.
q  Highlight the Speak Up survey on your website using the Speak Up Partner logo (with a link to the survey).
q  Inform your stakeholders that you are actively promoting participation in Speak Up by issuing your own “customized” press release using the Speak Up press release template provided by Project Tomorrow.  Project Tomorrow will issue its Speak Up national press release on October 6th.
q  Distribute Speak Up Info flyers during your presentations at conferences or from your booth on the exhibit floor.
q  Host a “Speak Up” media event to encourage participation in Speak Up.
q  Use social media networks such as Facebook or Twitter to get the word out about Speak Up to your stakeholders.

Spotlight students’ views in the dialogue about K-12 education 

q  Include Speak Up data in your articles, promotional materials or presentations.
q  Share how the Speak Up results are important to your organization’s mission and work.
q  Use the Speak Up results to identify your stakeholders’ needs, secure funding or demonstrate the success of your initiatives.
q  Schedule Julie Evans, CEO- Project Tomorrow, to present the Speak Up findings to your team, at a conference or through a webinar.
q  Host a regional or state summit to share Speak Up data and develop an action plan for creating 21stcentury schools.

Strengthen the Speak Up network

q  Blog about how you are using Speak Up data to inform your decisions about curriculum or technology, programming, legislation, or services.
q  Share promising practices with staff from partnering organizations, schools and districts who are involved with Speak Up.  

Speak Up News – September 2014

Welcome back to school! We hope you all had a great summer!
In this newsletter, you will find information regarding…
* Speak Up 2014 launches next month! Registration now open, surveys will be available October 6th- December 19th, 2014
* Speak Up 2014 promotional materials are now available! Visit our website for a full list of our flyers and guides
* Vote for our panels for SXSWedu 2015: “Paying it Forward: Leveraging Today’s Female Voices” & “Learning My Way: Anytime, Anywhere, Anyplace”
* Speak Up on the Go! Check out this month’s presentations with our CEO, Julie Evans.
Happy Reading! Feel free to share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter, and our Blog.

-The Project Tomorrow team

***

Collect valuable data for your school or district by participating in Speak Up

savethedate
Join the conversation about the use of technology for learning through Speak Up, a National Research Project.
Since 2003, over 3.4 million K-12 education stakeholders have participated in the annual online surveys. Data findings are shared each year with federal, state and local policymakers to inform education programs, policies and funding.
Surveys will be open for input October 6th – December 19th, 2014 at: www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2014.
Get your schools involved! Register as the primary contact of your school or district to manage your district profile and assign organizational passwords to access your data in Feb 2015. Learn more about the registration process on our website or contact Jenny Hostert on the Project Tomorrow Team at jhostert@tomorrow.org to learn more.
For additional information on the Speak Up surveys, including FAQs, promotional materials and more please visit www.tomorrow.org/speakup.
***

Our Speak Up 2014 promotional materials are now available!

To see all of our helpful flyers and guides, visit our website here.
promo
***
p BlMSI  400x400-350x233

Vote for Julie Evans’s panels for SXSWedu 2015

We need your help! Our CEO, Julie Evans, is featured in two proposals for SXSWedu 2015’s Panel Picker, where educators can cast their votes for the most compelling ideas and ultimately shape the conference line-up. Voting ends this Friday, September 5th so make sure to give our sessions a “thumbs up” before time is out – you’ll need to create a SXSW username and password if you don’t already have one, but the process is simple and free! Learn more about the sessions below:
1. Paying it Forward: Leveraging Today’s Female Voices
This panel brings together female change agents intentionally gathered from across the ed tech space to examine the unique role women play at this nexus of education and technology. Research has demonstrated that the today’s young girls and women need role models in technology fields to develop self-efficacy in these fields. Whether you are examining how to further your own voice, grow your PLN, or mentor the next great generation of female ed tech leaders, this is a “must attend” conversation.
Vote for “Paying it Forward: Leveraging Today’s Female Voices”” here
2. Learning My Way: Anytime, Anywhere, Anyplace
Giving students 24/7 access to learning materials can dramatically improve education outcomes as proven in 40+ pilot projects. However, data shows that up to 30% of U.S. households have no access to high-speed broadband at home, and in some districts it’s as high as 70%. This causes many students to power down after school. We need a viable solution to address the gaps for those students without access. Learn about new mobile-centric solutions to enable safe and affordable 24/7 learning.
Vote for “Learning My Way: Anytime, Anywhere, Anyplace” here
Don’t forget – voting ends this Friday on September 5th!
***

Speak Up on the Go!

Our CEO Julie Evans has two free webinars this month! Check them out and sign up!

Enabled, Engaged, Empowered: The New Student Vision for Digital Learning
Date and time: Monday, September 15, 2014 3:30 pm EST
Sponsored by Blackboard K-12
Sign up here
The dynamic profusion of emerging technologies, both in school and out of school, is propelling today’s K-12 students to make new demands on their schools for a dramatically different kind of educational experience. Enabled, empowered and engaged, our students have a unique vision for 21st century education that reflects their desires for social-based learning experiences that are un-tethered to the traditional classroom, and rich in digital media and content. The annual Speak Up National Research Project provides an exclusive window into the views of students on personalized learning and new classroom models. In this webinar, we will share the latest Speak Up national findings from over 403,000 K-12 students, parents and educators with a special emphasis on how today’s students want to be engaged with mobile learning, online and blended learning, and e-textbooks and digital content. The discussion will provide new insights into the digital disconnect between students and educators, and stimulate conversations about how to effectively leverage new classroom models of innovation to drive both increased student achievement and teacher productivity.
Engaging Students, Empowering Learning – New Roles for Digital Content and Games in the Classroom
Date and time: September 17 @ 3:30 pm EST
Sponsored by BrainPOP
Sign up here
Research tells us that engaging students in learning has the potential to improve achievement; teachers know that instinctively. But how to increase student engagement is still often an elusive concept in many classrooms. Promising new developments in the use of digital content, and specifically digital and online educational games, in elementary and middle school classrooms aim to make that connection between student engagement and empowered learning more explicit. In this webinar, Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, will introduce a new white paper that highlights Speak Up research findings around teacher and student use of digital content and games for learning, and how administrators are increasingly supporting those efforts. And Robert Miller, 5th grade teacher from Daytona Beach, Florida, will share examples of how digital content and games are transforming his classroom today. With a combination of research findings and classroom practices, this webinar will provide you with new strategies and ideas to use in your classrooms this year!
As always, be sure to take the conversation online by mentioning @ProjectTomorrow, @BrainPOP, and @BlackBoardK12 during on Twitter!
***

Thank you for your interest and continued support of Speak Up! Be sure to stay updated on all things Speak Up by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our Blog.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our Speak Up Operations Manager, Jenny Hostert, at jhostert@tomorrow.org or via phone at 949/609-4660 ext. 17.

Help spread the word about Speak Up with our sample tweets!

This sample tweet list is meant to serve as a head start to promoting Speak Up registration and participation via Twitter, Facebook, or other social media. Feel free to use or customize any or all of these tweets to share your school/district’s involvement in the nationwide conversation about technology and education and to encourage others to do the same!
Before surveys open:
  • Empower your students to voice their opinions on the role of technology in & out of school–register for Speak Up: http://bit.ly/SU14survey
  • Encourage your students to take part in the nationwide conversation about the uses of technology for learning: http://bit.ly/SU14survey
  • Interested in being a part of the dialogue about K-12 program & policy decisions at the local, state & national level? http://bit.ly/SU14survey
  • Interested in learning how online learning is changing the classroom paradigm within schools? Register for Speak Up! http://bit.ly/SU14survey
  • Join us and 3.4 million students, parents, teachers, and admins who have participated in Speak Up since ’03, register now! http://bit.ly/SU14survey
  • Our school has registered to be a part of a nationwide conversation about educational technology–join in today: http://bit.ly/SU14survey
  • Our school just registered for Speak Up!  Join the conversation about the role of technology in & out of school: http://bit.ly/SU14survey
  • Participate in Speak Up & share your ideas about how to leverage technology in schools to promote better learning: http://bit.ly/SU14survey
  • Share your opinions about the role of technology in education–register your school or district for Speak Up today! http://bit.ly/SU14survey
  • Use these promo materials to spread the word about Speak Up to fellow students, teachers, & admins in your school: http://bit.ly/SU14survey
  • 70% of students say mobile devices allow access to research any time/place. Learn how your students use technology: http://bit.ly/SU14survey
  • 3 out of 4 school administrators use smartphones, and more than half are tablet users… survey your school today: http://bit.ly/SU14survey
During the survey period:
  • Speak Up Surveys are available Oct. 6 thru Dec. 19! Make your voice heard! http://bit.ly/SU14survey
  • Don’t forget to submit your Speak Up surveys! If you are having trouble, refer to these instructions: http://bit.ly/SUoutreach
  • Teachers-encourage your students to voice their opinions on the use of technology in school! See here http://bit.ly/SUoutreach
  • Be a part of the thousands around the country who are speaking up to decision-makers about 21st century learning http://bit.ly/SU14survey
  • Teachers, to learn more about Speak Up before participating in this nationwide educational survey, see this FAQ page: http://bit.ly/PdRqbt
  • Parents, to learn more about Speak Up before participating in this nationwide educational survey, see this FAQ page: http://bit.ly/PUS23q
  • Speak up now about issues regarding the use of new technology such as mobile devices and tablets in schools: http://bit.ly/SU14survey
  • Students, to learn more about Speak Up before participating in this nationwide educational survey, see this FAQ page: http://bit.ly/LLxSXP


To Speak Up, simply visit our official Speak Up 2014 page in order to register your district. Be sure to mark your calendars for our launch date, October 6th – you can do so with our invite hereFurthermore, check out our promotional materials page for tools to use to get your district on board and ready for Speak Up. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date on all things Speak Up!

Flashback Friday: The Challenge of Educating Today’s Digital Natives

Happy Flashback Friday! As part of our new blog series, Flashback Fridays will focus on previous Speak Up data, press releases, and articles. This week we’re highlighting IMS Global Learning Consortium’s article from March 2014, “The Challenge of Educating Today’s Digital Natives,” which features Julie Evans and highlights the challenges that educators face when working with students who are experts in digital technology. Check out an excerpt from the article below:

While all K-12 and college students today enjoy some familiarity with technology, Evans said their data shows that the leading edge of the truly digital native student today is at the 8th grade level. “What we’re seeing is that it’s the middle school students and younger that are actually more digitally native, not only more comfortable using technology, but that they are fully taking advantage of this technology to supplement their education. We’re seeing about a third of middle school students that tell us they are doing self-directed learning outside of school using some type of digital resource.”

 “… The perception that these students were coming to class every day as empty vessels and their teacher needed to fill them with wisdom was not the case,” said Evans.

Students are increasingly taking online classes to supplement their traditional classes – sometimes without their teachers even knowing. Furthermore, while schools and platform providers try to guess which devices are most popular among students, students are actually “very device agnostic. What is most important to them is to use the right tool for the right task.” Given this growth in students’ thirst for knowledge and growth in number of platforms that allow students to access that knowledge, educators and schools should be aware of how their students are adopting technology and should use that information to adapt to meet their educational needs.

As “digital natives,” students are experts in digital technology use and should be taken into consideration when schools are creating policies regarding technology. Our Speak Up 2014 surveys feature questions regarding students’ use of technology, such as the question:

Besides not having enough time in your school day, what are the major obstacles to using technology in your school?

Speak Up provides an easy way for students, parents and educators to participate in local decisions about technology, as well as contribute to the state and national dialogue about educational technology. Data from the surveys – including data regarding online classes – will be released in February 2015. Click here to register for Speak Up 2014 and mark your calendars for the survey’s launch date on October 6!

Why should your district participate in Speak Up 2014?

The Speak Up National Research Project collects and reports on the authentic, unfiltered views and opinions of K-12 students, parents and educators on critical 21st century education and technology issues. Since 2003, over 3.4 million K-12 education stakeholders have participated in the annual online surveys.  Data findings are shared each year with federal, state and local policymakers to inform education programs, policies and funding. Results will be available for participating schools and districts in February 2014. Speak Up is facilitated by Project Tomorrow® (www.tomorrow.org), a national education nonprofit organization.

Top 5 reasons why your district should participate in Speak Up 2014:

  1. Gain a better understanding of what our district’s technology needs are
  2. Learn about the aspirations for our teachers for using technology more effectively – and what is holding them back
  3. Find ways to improve school to home communications using new technology tools
  4. Make more informed funding decisions
  5. Ensure that our parents and students have a voice in national, state and local decisions about education.

To Speak Up, simply visit our official Speak Up 2014 page in order to register your district. Be sure to mark your calendars for our launch date, October 6th – you can do so with our invite here! Furthermore, check out our promotional materials page for tools to use to get your district on board and ready for Speak Up.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date on all things Speak Up!

An Online School Just for Girls

When two teachers at Westridge School in Pasadena decided to create a course based on pairing music and English together, they decided to turn to online education after their school became part of Online School for Girls, a nonprofit dedicated to educating girls. Paid by the online school, the teachers were able to build the course on their own time; now, Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition: The Music of Literature will hold its first lessons this fall.

Westridge is just one of eight schools in Los Angeles County that offers online classes through Online School for Girls. Despite the extra costs, the schools say the price is worth it and that they choose the nonprofit over other online options because it emphasizes teaching girls through creativity, practical lessons, and connection and collaboration. Furthermore, the schools found that it was time to join the edtech world or risk falling behind.

Through Online School for Girls, students are able to enroll in online courses that don’t fit into their regular school schedules or are of a special interest not on campus. These courses are taught by teachers from around the world who provide lecture videos, homework assignments, and even feedback through video chat. Due to the program’s emphasis on convenience outside of school, several students take courses to go beyond and prepare them for challenges outside of school.

Despite the nonprofit’s praises for its convenient and relevant courses, some critics of Online School for Girls note that its single-gender model can reinforce stereotypes, and that gender has very little to do with academic performance. However, the students don’t seem to mind the single-gender structure of Online School for Girls; since its establishment five years ago, the program has grown to over 80 schools and over 1,000 middle and high school students. In addition, Online School for Boys will launch this fall and pair with independent boys schools.


What are your thoughts on online learning and online classes? Check out the original article,“Online School for Girls puts focus on connection, collaboration” and check out Online School for Girls’ website to learn more about the nonprofit.

Our Speak Up survey features questions regarding online learning and online classes. An example question is:

If you could take an online class in whatever subject you wanted, what would be the advantages to you?

Speak Up provides an easy way for students, parents and educators to participate in local decisions about technology, as well as contribute to the state and national dialogue about educational technology. Data from the surveys – including data regarding online classes – will be released in February 2015. Click here to register for Speak Up 2014 and mark your calendars for the survey’s launch date on October 6!

Register to become your school or district’s main contact!

It’s not too early to sign up as your school/district’s main contact for Speak Up 2014! Speak Up provides an easy way for students, parents, educators and community members to participate in your local decisions about technology, as well as contribute to the state and national dialogue about educational technology.  As the primary contact for your district, school or organization you will be in charge of the promotion and encouragement of the survey at your selected organizational level. In return, you will receive free, online access to your aggregated results with state and national comparisons in February 2015.
The Speak Up Promotional materials page (http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/promo.html) offers convenient tools for helping make Speak Up a success in your district. You can find promotion flyers for posting at each school, informational flyers for your stakeholders, lesson plans for teachers, a banner ad to place on your website, sample emails, tweets and blog posts for encouraging participation and more.

Benefits of designating a primary contact:

  • Gain administrative access by assigning your district (or school) an organizational login password (administrative password), which allows you to
    • Update district or school contact information.
    • Assign individual student survey passwords to schools .(*optional)
    • Assign school primary contacts to facilitate the survey taking process at the school level. (*optional)
    • Have the ability to monitor district/school’s survey counts at any time through the main contact login.
    • View your district and school data once it becomes available *administrative password is required to view data results.
  • Ensure confidentiality of your surveys with your students by assigning a survey “secret password” for students to use to take the survey. *Educators and parents are no longer required to enter a password to take the survey.
  • Receive weekly emails with up to date participation numbers by school and/or district (option to opt out of emails during registration process).
  • Receive an email from Project Tomorrow when your Speak Up local data becomes available.
  • Keep up to date on other important updates during the survey process.

Types of Primary Contacts:

District– Has access to all schools within the district. Will only need to assign one contact for the district. The district assigned passwords (administrative and survey) will work for all schools within that district.
School- Access to an individual school site. This is optional. Can assign individual school level passwords different from the district passwords (district passwords will work in addition to school level passwords).
Private School- Access to your individual school. If you would like to group a set of private schools to receive a grouped dataset much like the district level reports, please contact the Speak Up Team at speakup@tomorrow.org.
Organization – Please contact the Speak Up Team at speakup@tomorrow.org  to help set up your registration.
International school– Access to your individual school. If you would like to group a set of schools to receive a grouped dataset much like the district level reports, please contact the Speak Up Team at speakup@tomorrow.org.

Information needed to register:

  1. Name
  2. Email address
  3. An organizational login password (to view weekly survey counts and other important updates during the survey period)
  4. Student Survey password (secret word students will use to access the survey
*Main contact information will need to be renewed for each survey year.
If you have any additional questions regarding speak up registration, surveys, or promotion please contact the Speak Team at speakup@tomorrow.org.

Save the Date!

Our Vision
Speak Up provides an easy way for students, parents and educators to participate in your local decisions about technology, as well as contribute to the state and national dialogue about educational technology. Since 2003, Project Tomorrow has collected the viewpoints of over 3.4 million students, educators and parents – the Speak Up dataset represents the largest collection of authentic feedback from these key educational stakeholders.

Learn how to get Involved Here »

Be part of the Speak Up Movement
Speak Up 2014 will be open for input October 6th through December 19th, 2014! All districts and schools, in the current NCES database, are automatically registered to participate in Speak Up. To learn more on how to sign up as the primary contact for your school or district to manage your information and gain access to your local reports in Feb. 2015 please,

Learn More about how to register here »