Category Archives: Speak Up

Speak Up 2014 Snapshots for Educators

This is a special blog posting by Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, to share some selected , preliminary data findings from Speak Up 2014 (data collected from October 6 – November 24 from 17,913 teachers nationwide). The final data results will be published in a series of national reports in spring 2015.

Wishing upon a professional development dream —
what teachers say they really need to be more effective!

Both teachers and administrators agree that the value of the use of digital tools and resources can be enhanced if teachers receive appropriate professional development that builds both tangible skills and capacity for future learning. But what do teachers say they need this year specifically to increase their effectiveness in their classroom? This “Teacher PD Wish List” may surprise you!
In terms of building their own capacity to use a wide range of digital tools and resources, a majority of classroom teachers (51 percent) identify that they need training on how to effectively leverage technology specifically to differentiate instruction. The heightened interest in personalizing learning for every student is a great motivator for learning how to use various emerging digital tools to accomplish that goal. Correspondingly, approximately one-third of teachers say they are particularly interested in learning how to use educational games and tablets this year in their classrooms. Students will be glad to hear that – both games and tablets show up prominently on students’ wish list for their dream school also!
Online assessments are also on the minds of many teachers these days. Depending upon their school, they may have already implemented online state tests with their students last year or they are preparing to do so this spring. It makes sense therefore that teachers also indicate interest in learning how to use technology for formative assessments as well as how to prepare their students for the standardized summative online assessments.
When asked about their preferred method or approach for PD, the teachers’ responses this year show some consistency with the data findings over the past few years. Face-to-face events such as attending a conference or participating in a school or district based training are still the most popular forms of training or PD for teachers. In those cases, learning from outside experts is the strong appeal. But teachers also highly value learning that is collaborative with colleagues and they place a high premium on the experiences and expertise of their peers. Consequently, teachers this year also indicate that they would like their PD experiences to include observing other teachers to get new ideas, being part of a school study team, and having the opportunity to be mentored by a master teacher.
As school and district leaders prepare agendas and recruit speakers for spring in-service training days or summer institutes, keeping in mind the teachers’ PD wish list is both wise and prudent. With time as a teacher’s most precious commodity, let’s make sure that we are using that asset effectively to help teachers enhance skills and capacities around topics that they are most interested in. The results will most certainly be evident in the classroom – both in terms of teachers’ use of technology and the satisfaction they will feel from having their voices heard.
Want to understand the PD needs of your teachers? Every school and district that participates in Speak Up and promotes the surveys to their staff, students and parents, receives a free report with both local and national data findings. Speak Up 2014 surveys are open for input until December 19. Local reports will be available February 5. Here is your link to the surveys: http://www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2014/

Speak Up, America! What do you think about technology use for learning?

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, smartphones, tablets, mobile apps, online classes and games – do these digital tools or others like them really have a place within our classrooms today?
Are students more engaged in learning when instruction includes these tools?
Can technology increase teacher productivity or student achievement?
Do these tools support the development of critical thinking, communications, teamwork and global awareness?
What are the expectations of parents, business leaders and community members around the use of  technology within learning?
And if schools want to make better use of these digital tools, what are the challenges they face – is it funding, teacher training, support, bandwidth?
How do students say theywant to use these digital tools to support learning?
It’s time to share your answers to these questions!
All across America, district administration teams, school boards, civic leaders and state and federal policymakers are asking these same questions.  And too often they are relying upon hunches, guesses or outdated reports to inform their policies, plans and programs.  That’s just silly – and not an example of good decision-making.
They can learn directly from you – students, parents, teachers, administrators and community leaders – to inform their decisions on these topics.
By giving 15 minutes of your time to Speak Up America 2014, you can make sure your voice is heard loud and clear from classrooms to the halls of Congress, from state capitols to boardrooms.  Ensure that policymakers are making those important program and funding decisions based upon real data from real education stakeholders – you!
We would like everyone to have a voice in the future of how technology is used in our nation’s schools.  So, please share this link (www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2014)  with your friends, students, teachers, parents, administrators, community organizations, members, affiliates or anyone who has a passion for improving education and ask them to take the Speak Up survey THIS WEEK.
More than 300,000 K-12 students, parents and educators have already completed Speak Up surveys from all across the country.  But now it is your time – Speak Up, America!  Have a voice in the future of digital learning in our nation’s schools by participating in this year’s special Speak Up America campaign by Dec. 19th!

Speak Up America Photo and Video Challenge

Educators, win a $250 or $500 grant for your classroom or school just by having your students participate in Speak Up!  
Planning to have your class or school participate in Speak Up this week? Already had your class or school participate? Need a little incentive to get your class or school to participate? Join in on the fun and take part in our Speak Up for America Photo and Video Challenge.
 
Hashtag: #SpeakUpSnapshot
To celebrate digital learning and all our wonderful Speak Up participants, we will be offering a $250 grant to one lucky Speak Up participating classroom or school during the week of December 8th. All you need to do is take a picture with the Speak Up for America 2014 Badge highlighting your Speak Up experience and upload to one of our social media sites or the photo challenge page. The contest is open now, so get your cameras out and shoot a photo showing you and your students Speaking Up!
For contest rules please visit our photo challenge page here.

Examples from last year’s contest:
Hear from last year’s winners
 
 “The Speak Up America grant pushed my Video class into a more professional production as we have purchased a Green Screen Background, lighting, and video memory sticks.  My class produces a weekly Morning Announcement newscast every Wednesday at the beginning of 1st period and the entire student body and staff watch and rave with approval!  The Speak Up America grant has my students broadcasting loud and clear now!”
–Mark Rivadeneryra, Capistrano Unified School District, CA 
 
 “I have been participating in the Speak Up survey ever since it started.  Technology has grown in my classroom by leaps and bounds since then, but as with any technology, there is always something new to add to the classroom. After winning the grant last year, I purchased an XYZ 3D printer to integrate STEM into my classroom. My students since then have created iPhone cases, key chains, tie clips and more.  Even though the survey data is an invaluable tool at our school, getting the opportunity to purchase the latest in technology was icing on the cake!”
– Dr. Karl Ochsner, Pope John XXIII Catholic School, AZ
 
“The grant from Speak Up was used to purchase two iPad Minis to be used in our first grade classroom. We are very thankful to be able to have this technology at our finger tips, every single day.  It is hard to remember life without our iPads.  Thank you Speak Up!”

 

– Ashton Burk, Red Lion Area School School District, PA

  

Hashtag: #VoicesofSpeakUp
“Why is using digital tools for learning important for your future?
Last year, we heard you loud and clear with over 85,000 participants during Speak Up America week and multiple #speakupsnapshots submitted to the 1st annual Speak Up America photo challenge. Now in our second year of Speak Up America, we want to see you and your class “Speaking Up” in action! In this new social media video challenge, Project Tomorrow wants to know:
“Why is using digital tools for learning important for your (students’) future?”
All you need to do is create a short 15-30 second video answering the question above. Use this opportunity to get your class involved by making this into a class project. Submissions can come in the form of videos, animations (Powtoon), slideshows, voice snippets and more!  The more creative the better!
In this challenge, there will be THREE grant opportunities with a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prize.
1st: $500 classroom or school grant
2nd: $350 classroom or school grant
3rd: $150 classroom or school grant
Never has your chance of earning a $500 grant for your classroom been easier. Enter your #VoicesofSpeakUp video into the Speak Up America video challenge today!

 

Learn more about the video challenge contest rules here.

We are very sensitive to student and participants’ privacy and with that no faces are required to be in the photos and videos. We just ask that you incorporate the Speak Up America badge and student voice (thoughts, ideas, and opinions) into the challenge –  the more creative the better! 

Speak Up News, December 2014

Happy December! We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Can you believe we are already in the last month of Speak Up? In just eight weeks we’ve already received 280,688 surveys! Thank you for all of your hard work in making sure student, parent, educator, administrator, and community voices are heard.
There are only 3 weeks of Speak Up left – share your ideas and opinions with policy makers and the broader education community by taking the survey today. Take the survey, and pass it on!
In this newsletter, you will find information regarding…

▪ Happy Giving Tuesday! Help shape the future of education by participating in Speak Up 2014.
▪ Speak Up 2014: This is the last month of Speak Up! Surveys are available for input through December 19th, 2014.
▪ Speak Up America: Our weeklong celebration of Speak Up participants takes place December 8th through December 12th.
▪ 2015 Student Technology Conference: Learn more about this free, virtual conference produced by the students of the Marymount School of New York.
▪ Speak Up Data Luncheon at ISTE: Learn how to use your Speak Up data at this special workshop for school and district leaders. 

Happy reading! Feel free to share your thoughts with us on FacebookTwitter, and our Blog.

-The Project Tomorrow team

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Happy Giving Tuesday!

After giving thanks on Thanksgiving, it’s time to give back with #GivingTuesday! Today, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world are coming together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.
For #GivingTuesday we ask our Speak Up family to donate 15 minutes of your time for the future of education. Although #GivingTuesday is over, you can still make a difference today by expressing your views about education, technology, and 21st century skills through the Speak Up 2014 National Research Project. Click here to take the survey.
We want everyone to have a voice in the future of how technology is used in our schools – please share the Speak Up survey with your students, teachers, parents, administrators, community organizers, friends, and anyone who has a passion for improving education: bit.ly/SU14survey
Click here to donate to Project Tomorrow
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Speak Up 2014

Teachers, Librarians and Administrators:

Share your ideas about digital learning by completing a Speak Up survey today

How do you use technology for learning?
Share your perspective in the Speak Up 2014 survey, and help steer the future of education technology.
To achieve real and positive change in the field of education technology, it is crucial that you share your ideas and opinions with policy makers and the broader education community. Make a difference today by expressing your views in the Speak Up 2014 National Research Project!
Surveys are open for input through December 19th, 2014 at:www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2014.
For additional information on the Speak Up surveys, including FAQs, promotional materials and more please visit www.tomorrow.org/speakup.
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Speak Up America

Mark your calendars! Speak Up America 2014 takes place from December 8th to December 12th.

Do you plan on participating in Speak Up America? Click here to let us know!
In honor of the superb survey period that took place during Speak Up 2013, Project Tomorrow launched the inaugural “Speak Up America” campaign, a weeklong event to celebrate Speak Up participants, past, present and new!
Now in its second year, Speak Up America 2014 features…

▪ National Speak Up Day – encourage your community to participate in Speak Up on December 10th! Every survey submitted on this date will be entered into a special drawing for free ISTE conference registration.
▪ Photo and video challenge – check the Speak Up America homepage TODAY at 3PM ET for the release of challenge information and contest rules!
▪ Chances to win free ISTE, CUE, TCEA, NETA and NCCE conference registrations – with chances to win throughout the week
▪ Speak Up 2014 preliminary snapshots – released daily
▪ Data Surprises from the Speak Up 2014 Student Surveys – Twitter chat hosted by Julie Evans on Wednesday, December 10th at 4:30PM ET.

Click here to learn more about Speak Up America

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2015 Student Technology Conference

Project Tomorrow is thrilled to work with Marymount School for the 2015 Student Technology Conference, a student-directed global conversation about technology in education. This free, online event is planned and run by the students of Marymount School from New York City, and will be held virtually on Saturday, January 31st, 2015.
The 2015 Student Technology Conference is committed to fostering a better understanding of how students use technology in education, to promote discussion about technology, to assist teachers and administrators in understanding how students use technology both in and out of the classroom, and to strengthening the relationship between students, teachers and administrators about technology in the curriculum. If you are interested in presenting at the conference, then you can submit your proposal here. This year’s strands include Student Technology Clubs, Education Technology Tools, Students and social media, and more. Click here to learn more about the strands.
We are excited to be working with this wonderful team of student organizers, and look forward to your participation in January’s event. You can learn more about the 2015 Student Technology Conference on the event’s official website: studenttechnologyconference.com

Call for student panelists

As part of the 2015 Student Technology Conference, the Marymount School is hosting a student-led presentation where students reflect on the Speak Up data collected at their schools. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase your school and district at the conference and to give your students a spotlight and leadership opportunity. If you are interested, please contact the Speak Up team atspeakup@tomorrow.org so we can coordinate submitting this proposal presentation.
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Using Speak Up Data to Inform Your Digital Learning Plans – a special workshop for school and district leaders

Save the date: Sunday, June 28 from 12PM to 3PM in Philadelphia, PA (in conjunction with ISTE 2015)

Plan to attend this special, first-ever workshop for school and district leaders on how to leverage Speak Up data from your education stakeholders to inform and guide your digital learning plans. You have collected the views and aspirations of your students, parents, teachers, community members and staff – now how do you use that data to kickstart a new initiative, change the perceptions of your teachers, gain the support of your school board, parents and community, or develop new funding sources to support your plans? We will cover all of that and more in this special workshop that will feature strategies for using the Speak Up data – and testimonials from school district leaders on their successes. Lunch will be provided also.
Interested in learning more – or want to save your seat for this limited enrollment opportunity? Contact Jenny Hostert at jhostert@tomorrow.org.
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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 FacebookTwitterInstagramand 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.
Many thanks to our sponsors and partners for the support of Speak Up 2014: Blackboard Inc., BrainPOP, K12, DreamBox Learning, Schoolwires, SMART Technologies, Rosetta Stone, American Association of School Administrators, Consortium for School Networking, Digital Learning Day, Digital Promise, edWeb, International Association for K-12 Online Learning, International Society for Technology in Education, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National School Boards Association, Secondary Education Teachers’ Association, and the Southern Regional Education Board.
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There is still time to participate in Speak Up!

With only three weeks of Speak Up left, there is still time to participate and share your thoughts about education! Surveys are open for input through December 19th at http://www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2014/. If you are new to Speak Up, check out the above tutorial on how to get started, as well as the rest of our tutorial videos here.

How loud is your state?

Is your state speaking up about education technology and 21st century skills? Use our participation map to see which states are providing a voice to their students, parents, community members, and more. Click here to view the participation map, or click on the image above.
Don’t forget that Speak Up is open for participation through December 19th! Click here to take the survey and share your thoughts about education.

Happy Thanksgiving!

We hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Look for big Speak Up news coming your way next week!
Mark your calendars for Speak Up America, which will take place from December 8th to December 12th. This week long celebration of Speak Up participants features our social media contest, with opportunities to win school and classroom grants. Click here to learn more about Speak Up America. Additionally we will be releasing a special announcement on December 3rd at 3PM ET regarding our popular Speak Up social media contests. Check the Speak Up America page and be on the lookout for a special email with the challenge information and contest rules!
Finally, thank you to everyone who has taken the Speak Up survey! Surveys are open through December 19th on our official survey page. Let’s take a look at our survey counts:

Survey counts as of November 24

233,701 (and counting!) overall surveys taken.
Students: 193,844
Teachers: 18,974
Administrators: 2,093
Parents: 16,098
Community Members: 2,692

Speak Up Superstars! Our top participants as of today, based on total survey counts:

Top Schools:
North Carolina Virtual School, NC
Hamilton Southeastern High School, IN
Fishers High School, IN
Klein Forest High School, TX
Buhach Colony High, CA
Top Districts:
Hamilton Southeastern Schools, IN
Klein ISD, TX
Weslaco ISD, TX
Wake County Schools, NC
Anaheim City Public Schools, CA
Top States:
Indiana with 39,886
California with 37,693
Texas with 35,733
North Carolina with 30,512
Maryland with 9,399
As always, don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and our Blog. Have a great Thanksgiving!

– The Project Tomorrow team

Flashback Friday

Happy Flashback Friday! Each week we’ll feature past Project Tomorrow news, events, Speak Up data, and more. This week we’re focusing on past participant Liberty High School, who submitted the below photo for Speak Up America 2013:


Speak Up America is our weeklong campaign, which celebrates Speak Up participants – past, present, and new! Last year’s event featured a photo challenge, a chance to win a free ISTE conference registration, and more – who knows what this year will bring? Stay tuned for news about Speak Up America 2014, which will take place from December 8th-December 12thClick here to learn more about Speak Up America

Additionally, be sure to participate in Speak Up 2014!  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 be sure to take the survey before it closes on December 19th, 2014!

#FutureReady

 
Are we preparing our students to be future ready? Yesterday, President Obama and the U.S. Department of Education hosted “ConnectED to the Future,” a summit with over 100 superintendents and other educators from across the country who will lead their schools and districts in the transition to digital learning. At the event, the superintendents signed the Future Ready District Pledge, demonstrating their commitment to implement digital learning, to empower educators through personalized professional learning, and to help other educators who are looking into digital learning.
Out of the 100+ superintendents in attendance of the event, 21 were leaders of Speak Up participating districts. Our Speak Up surveys ask questions regarding technology’s impact on student achievement, professional development for educators and administrators, and more. Click here to register for Speak Up 2014, and be sure to take the survey before it closes on December 19th, 2014!

 

To learn more about #FutureReady and yesterday’s event, click here.

Speak Up lesson plans

Do you need a class activity for your students before Thanksgiving break? How about our Speak Up surveys? We offer lesson plans for grades K-12. Click on the following links to download our lesson plans, or click on the above image to visit our promotional materials page for our lesson plans and more.