Tag Archives: Speak Up

Webinar: How to Harness Students’ Evolving Vision for Learning: Research & Recommendations

Happy new year! We hope you enjoyed the holidays! We’re excited to kick off 2016 with our upcoming webinar with our friends at ABC-CLIO and Libraries Unlimited. Check out the details below:

How to Harness Students’ Evolving Vision for Learning: Research & Recommendations
Tuesday, January 12 at 1pm PT/4pm ET
Presented by Julie Evans, CEO, Project Tomorrow
Analysis of the Speak Up Research Project data reveals that today’s K-12 students have a unique vision for digital learning that is often surprising and sometimes perplexing to the adults in their learning lives. Students are increasingly tapping into a diverse set of digital tools, content and resources to self-direct learning around areas of academic passion, both in and out of school. Most importantly, this emerging learning behavior is shaping how the students view information, research, learning and school.
In this webinar, Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, will explore this phenomenon as she addresses these questions from School Library Connection Editorial Experts:
  • What are the three elements that comprise the Student Vision for Digital Learning?
  • What types of learning experiences support the Student Vision?  How prevalent are those types of experiences in schools today?
  • How can teachers and librarians use this information about the Student Vision to transform learning in their schools?


Going beyond anecdotes and assumptions, this interactive and eye-opening webinar will provide school library leaders and educators with a new set of lenses for evaluating the future of learning. Julie will field questions from attendees after her presentation.
Join the SLC @ The Forefront community to participate in online discussions with peers, for invitations to upcoming webinars, to view past webinar recordings, to take a quiz and receive a CE certificate for a past webinar, and for access to more resources.
Libraries Unlimited is committed to serving libraries by producing library science textbooks, reference works, practical handbooks, and professional guides of unparalleled quality.
ABC-CLIO Solutions provides robust digital resources that support librarians, patrons, educators, and students in the development and communication of informed positions on complex topics.

Speak Up 2015 Snapshots for School Communications

Communication Officers and Community Member Preliminary Data Snapshot


This is a special release of the preliminary data findings from Speak Up 2015 (data collected from October 1 – December 4th from 182 Communication Officers and 4,070 Community Officers nationwide). The final data results will be published in a series of national reports in spring 2015.
Do you want a chance to win a $225 classroom or school grant? Participate in Speak Up, before it closes on Friday, December 19th! Then take a photo using the Speak Up America badge showing your classroom or school participation for a chance to win a $225 classroom grant! Learn more about this great opportunity here: http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/speakupamerica.html#challenge.
Take the survey at: http://www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2015/. Now is the time to Speak Up about education – be sure to participate before Friday, December 18th.

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 supporters to consider a donation to Project Tomorrow to ensure that today’s students are prepared for tomorrow. All donations will go towards our programs that help students gain the skills they need for the future. Please visit http://bit.ly/donatePT to support Project Tomorrow.

We also ask our Speak Up family and friends to donate 15 minutes of your time for the future of education. Make a difference today by expressing your views about education, technology, and college and career ready skills through the Speak Up 2015 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/SU15survey

Thank you for your continued support of Speak Up! To learn more about #GivingTuesday, visit their official website.

Speak Up News – November 2015

Happy November! Can you believe we are already one month into Speak Up? We are off to a great start with 90,000 surveys submitted! Thank you to all who have participated, and a big thanks to our top states: Texas, Indiana, Alabama, Maryland, and California. Keep up the great work and encourage others to take the survey! Visit our promotional materials page for ideas on how to spread the word.

In this newsletter…

▪ Speak Up 2015: Surveys are open through December 18th!
▪ Calling all Communications Officers! We want to know how you’re using technology to facilitate engagement within your community.
▪ Speak Up America 2015: Get a sneak peek at our week long event before it begins on December 7th.
▪ Speak Up on the go! Check out this month’s upcoming events with Project Tomorrow CEO Julie Evans.

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

-The Project Tomorrow team

SUcalendar 2015 survey

Haven’t taken the Speak Up survey yet?

If not, be sure to take the survey by Dec. 18!

If you haven’t participated in Speak Up yet, be sure to take the survey by December 18th. Click here to take the survey or follow the link: bit.ly/SU15survey. Learn more about which survey you should take below:
Take the educator survey if you are a…

▪ Teacher, Librarian or Media Specialist
▪ Administrator, Tech leader, or Communications Officer
▪ School or district employee (but not a teacher or administrator)

Take the parent survey or padres de familia en español survey if you are a…

▪ Parent
▪ Spanish speaking parent

Take the group survey if you are administering group surveys for…

▪ K-2 student group
▪ Grades 3-5 student group
▪ Parent group
▪ Parent Spanish group
▪ Community members group

If you do not fall into any of the above categories but are interested in sharing your thoughts and ideas, please select the community survey.
Once you’ve submitted your survey, share the following link with five friends and encourage them to take the survey: bit.ly/SU15survey
Word of mouth is the best way to spread the word! If you need help promoting Speak Up to your friends and colleagues, visit our promotional materials page for downloadable flyers, instructions, sample emails, and more.

District Communications and Public Relations Officers, Speak Up!

NEW survey for communications officers

In a special partnership with the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA), we’ve created a special new survey just for Communication Officers! As a companion to the other Speak Up surveys, your input will help complete the picture of what’s required to effectively use technology tools to facilitate communications and engagement within your community. Now’s your chance to get involved! Be a part of the conversation and share your ideas about how to leverage technology in schools to promote better learning. Click here to take the survey.
Not a communications officer? Spread the word about this all new survey to your school and/or district’s communication officer(s)! Contact Lisa Chu atLChu@tomorrow.org for sample emails and tweets.

Speak Up America 2015

December 7th – December 11th, 2015

Get ready – Speak Up America starts in one month! Mark your calendars for this year’s campaign, which will take place from December 7th through December 11th, 2015. Our week long event will feature opportunities to win free conference registrations, Speak Up 2015 preliminary data snapshots, and more!

Speak Up America 2015 features free conference registrations to:

▪ Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) 2016 Annual Conference
▪ CUE 2016 National Conference
▪ 2016 iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium
▪ 2016 Spring Nebraska Educational Technology Association (NETA) Conference
▪ Northwest Council for Computer Education (NCCE) 2016 Conference
▪ Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) 2016 Convention & Exposition

With more to be announced! Stay tuned for more information about Speak Up America as we get closer to December 7th.

Speak Up On the Go!

Don’t miss Julie’s events this month!

We Got This! Integrating Digital Databases within Classroom Instruction
American Association of School Librarians National Conference & Exhibition
Friday, November 6
Click here to learn more
Many school leaders report challenges in the integration of digital content within classroom instruction and yet school librarians and libraries are uniquely positioned to address these key challenges. We will present the results from a study and discuss findings with the librarians from two project high schools. Audience members will learn key strategies for integrating digital databases within classroom instruction, and how innovative librarianship can enhance both student and teacher outcomes. Modeling interactive learning, the audience will be polled throughout the session regarding their views on the outcomes using a Jeopardy style game format. The session supports the AASL strategic plan by demonstrating the relevancy of librarians within digital learning adoptions.
The Pivotal Role of the School Librarian in Education Transformation
American Association of School Librarians National Conference & Exhibition
Friday, November 6
Click here to learn more
Since 2003, the Speak Up Research Project has polled 4 million K-12 students, educators and parents about their views on digital learning. A key finding from the resulting data has been the increasingly importance of curated digital content and in school mentoring to actualize the promise of technology to transform education. Enter the school librarian. In this interactive session, we will share new Speak Up findings that demonstrate the pivotal role of the school librarian in school and classroom adoption of digital content.
1-2-3- 4 New Ways to Examine Blended Learning Outcomes
iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium
Tuesday, November 10
10am-11am PT
Click here to learn more
While the debate continues as to how to measure outcomes in blended learning environments, some districts are now evaluating their blended learning programs based upon student annual growth, student engagement in learning, teacher effectiveness and parental support. In this flipped seminar, we will explore the how, when, why, and what of those outcome measures, and collaboratively develop a new template for assessing the real impact of blended learning.
Twitter chat: Blended Learning Outcomes
Tuesday, November 10
3pm PT/6pm ET
While the debate continues as to how to measure outcomes in blended learning environments, some districts are now evaluating their blended learning programs based upon student annual growth, student engagement in learning, teacher effectiveness and parental support. Let’s discuss all of these – and your ideas – for the best approaches for measuring the impact of blended learning today. Drawing in lessons learned from sessions at iNACOL this year, get ready for a lively Twitter chat! If participating, please include #SUchat in your tweets.

Recap: Project Tomorrow at the 2015 California STEM Symposium

This is a special blog post from Project Tomorrow Direct of Advancement, Greg Nicholson:

We enjoyed seeing many colleagues and friends yesterday at the 2015 California STEM Symposium, and making new friends in our two sessions:  “The Gender Divide and Digital Learning in STEM Fields” and “Recruiting the Next Generation of STEM Teachers through YouthTEACH2Learn.”  Both topics have been much in the news lately, and so interest and attendance was high. 
In the second session, we discussed the fact that the teaching shortage, especially in STEM disciplines, has reached crisis proportions.  In California, according to the California Department of Education, the school year began with 21,500 open teaching positions, while only 15,000 new teaching credentials are issued per year.  This is a result, in part, of a 55% reduction in enrollment in teacher preparation programs in California in recent years.  Unfortunately, the problem is a national one; from 2010 to 2014 there has been a 30% drop in enrollment in teacher education.  The predictable result is an increase in the number of emergency credentials issued to underqualified teachers: up 36% in one year in California.
Project Tomorrow’s YouthTEACH2Learn (YT2L) program is addressing this crisis by moving the starting line for teacher recruitment from college to high school.  YT2L is a science and math education program in which high school students take a full year class to learn about teaching math and science. The students develop a series of hands-on science and math lessons and teach these standards-based lessons in local elementary school classrooms on a regular basis throughout the school year, increasing the time that elementary students have in authentic science and math instruction and allowing high school students to gain real world experiences within teaching.
In our session yesterday, we shared newly released YT2L program results from 2014-15.  Some of the highlights include:
  • Increased student interest in teaching: 63% indicated that they are now interested in teaching after taking the course (51% were considering it before)
  • 93% of participants were comfortable managing a classroom; teaching skills improved on all indicators as a result of the program
  • Plans for attending a 4 year college rose from 87% to 94% from the beginning of the program to the end
  • 84% of elementary teachers said their students were more excited about learning science after YT2L high school students taught them science lessons
Thank you to everyone who attended our sessions, and especially to the teachers and students of YouthTEACH2Learn!  We will continue to share our results, and look for more information on student interest in teaching careers as a result of a special question on Speak Up 2015, which is available now!

Don’t miss Project Tomorrow’s sessions at the California STEM Symposium!

We are excited to attend this year’s California STEM Symposium at the Anaheim Convention Center and are thrilled to host two sessions today, October 29th! If you are at the symposium, be sure to mark your calendars for the following sessions:

The Gender Divide and Digital Learning in STEM Fields
Thursday, October 29
9:40am to 10:55 am
Room 206B
Presented by Ann McMullan, Project Tomorrow Consultant

Speak Up Project Research annually demonstrates the connection between gender differences in students’ use of digital resources for learning, and how girls want to use technology to explore STEM fields. This session will review the latest CA Speak Up results and discuss promising practices for erasing gender divides in learning.

Recruiting the Next Generation of STEM Teachers Through YouthTEACH2Learn
Thursday, October 29
3:30pm to 4:45pm
Room 207C
Presented by Gregory Nicholson, Director of Advancement, Project Tomorrow

YouthTEACH2Learn is a high school class teaching students how to develop and teach mathematics and science lessons to elementary students. Presenters share the experiences of students, past and present, and review seven years of research on this program’s impact on student interest and motivation to pursue STEM teaching careers.

If attending, send us a shoutout on Twitter at @SpeakUpEd and @ProjectTomorrow. We look forward to seeing you all at the Anaheim Convention Center today!

Happy Back to the Future Day!

Today is the day that Marty McFly traveled into the “future” to in Back to the Future Part II! While we still haven’t perfected the time traveling car or hoverboard, a lot has happened in the thirty years since the original Back to the Future film came out.

In honor of this historic day in film – and the fact that Marty was a time traveling high school student – we encourage you and any students you know to take the Speak Up survey and share your predictions about the future of learning! This year’s Grade 6-12 surveys ask students to predict what “school” will be like five years from now in 2020:

Help us predict the future of learning! What will “school” be like five years from now in 2020? How will emerging technologies change the way students go to school, take classes, interact with their teachers and classmates, and learn about the world? Share your ideas with us and we will share them with the futurists who are thinking about this same topic – your ideas are important to those discussions!

What do you think the future of learning will be like in five years? In thirty years? Will we finally have hoverboards – or a Jaws 19 film? Let us know in the comments section below or tweet your predictions to us at @ProjectTomorrow and/or @SpeakUpEd.

We also encourage you to follow the White House’s Back to the Future Day virtual celebration, where they will be discussing the current state of time travel, the human brain, and more! Click here to join the fun.

Today’s #SUchat: Developing Future Ready Leaders

#SUchat:  Developing FutureReady Leaders – using data to inform digital initiatives

Wednesday, October 14 at 4 pm PT, 5 pm MT, 6 pm CT, 7 pm ET

Co-hosted by Julie Evans with several district leaders who are leveraging Speak Up data to inform their digital learning initiatives. Discussion will be around how to use stakeholder data specifically to engage your community, understand the needs of your stakeholders and advance your vision. Join the conversation by including the hashtag #SUchat.

Other hashtags to use include:  #CE15, #FutureReady, #digitallearning

Discussion topic 1:  

Stakeholder data: friend or foe?  How do district leaders currently value the importance of student, teacher or parent ideas around the use of technology within learning?  Are most districts deliberately seeking stakeholder data, and if so, for what purposes?   

We have heard from some districts that at times their preference is “not to know” what their stakeholders’ want or value.  Is that a common strategy?  

What are ways that districts are collecting stakeholder data to inform their plans?   Are those methods effective or efficient?  Or what challenges do leaders face in collecting or using stakeholder data?  

Discussion topic 2: 

Using stakeholder data:  What are some examples of how you have used stakeholder data from students, teachers or parents to advance your vision or to address the 7 gears of the Future Ready framework (http://dashboard.futurereadyschools.org/app/framework)?   

What has worked well for you?  What did not work for you? 

Does stakeholder data address some of the Future Ready gears better than others?  What ones are best?   Professional learning, community partnerships maybe?  Why is that?

Discussion topic 3:  

Using Speak Up to collect and analyze stakeholder data:  How does the Speak Up process help district leaders understand and appreciate the views of key stakeholders such as students, teachers, parents, administrators and community members?   What are the benefits of using Speak Up to address these goals? 

What have you learned from the Speak Up data that helped you advance your vision or address those Future Ready gears?  

How are you planning on using stakeholder data this year to inform your digital learning plans?     

We hope to see you on today’s #SUchat!

Participate in tomorrow’s events to celebrate Speak Up 2015!

Speak Up 2015 is almost here! To celebrate this year’s survey, we’re hosting several events tomorrow, October 1st. These events are a great way to kick off this year’s survey period – check them out below:

Webinar: Getting started with Speak Up 2015
Thursday, October 1, 2015
3 pm PT/6 pm ET
Click here to RSVP

Are you new to Speak Up and want to learn more about our annual survey? Or are you a returning participant who wants to refresh your memory before Speak Up 2015?  Join us on October 1 for a quick 30-minute introduction to Speak Up hosted by the CEO of Project Tomorrow, Julie Evans. Three times are currently available (above) with limited seats, so be sure to RSVP as soon as possible!

#SUchat: The homework gap and teacher professional development
1:30pm PT/4:30pm ET – topic: homework gap
4:30pm PT/7:30pm ET – topic: teacher professional development
Click here to join the conversation

As part of the kickoff to Speak Up 2015, Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow is hosting two different twitter chats on Thursday, October 1 – our launch day for Speak Up 2015.  At 1:30 pm PT, 4:30 pm ET the topic is the homework gap.  At 4:30 pm PT, 7:30 pm ET, the topic is teacher professional development.  Please feel free to join in to either or both to share your insights and experiences?  Sign on under #SUchat.

Are you attending tomorrow’s virtual events? Let us know – we hope to see you there!

Announcing our Speak Up Loud and Clear schools!

Top participating schools from Speak Up 2014

With Speak Up 2015 just around the corner, we would like to thank our past Speak Up participants! We greatly appreciate all the support and encouragement that went in to making Speak Up 2014 such a success – without you, Speak Up would not be possible.

Last year over 521,000 Students, Parents, Educators and members of the community representing over 8,000 schools nationwide participated in Speak Up 2014. To honor our top participating schools and districts, Project Tomorrow has nominated the top Speak Up schools for our Speak Up Loud and Clear recognition program. Speak Up Loud and Clear, formerly known as Speak Up 200, highlights schools that are effectively incorporating Speak Up data into their local decision-making. Each year, finalists are selected based on total student participation, length of time involved with Speak Up, and use of data in local decision making.

We are proud to recognize 244 Speak Up Loud and Clear schools for their strong participation during Speak Up 2014! The complete list of Speak Up Loud and Clear schools are highlighted on our website – click here to view the full list.

Based upon total participation and demonstrated commitment to engaging their stakeholders in local decisions on education issues, five school districts were also recognized for special distinctions. The top 5 school districts from Speak Up 2014 are:

Klein Independent School District (Texas) 
Onslow County Schools (North Carolina) 
Wake County Schools (North Carolina) 
Anaheim City School District (California) 
Hamilton Southeastern Schools (Indiana)
Congratulations to our Speak Up Loud and Clear schools and districts!
Don’t forget – Speak Up 2015 starts in a few days! Spread the word about the survey to your school(s) to encourage strong participation and a chance at being recognized as a Speak Up Loud and Clear school for Speak Up 2015! And for our current Speak Up Loud and Clear schools, this is the perfect opportunity to secure your spot as a top school for another year.