Author Archives: Lisa Chu

The 2015 Project Tomorrow Innovation in Education Awards are now open for nominations!

Now in its 10th year, this award and scholarship opportunity celebrates and showcases school programs, educators, and students for their innovative use of science, math, or technology in the classroom and community. We are seeking nominations from schools throughout Orange County in the following three categories:

  • Innovative School-Wide Program ($1,000 Winner Award, $250 Finalist Award)
  • High Impact Teacher ($1,000 Award, $250 Finalist Award)
  • Emerging Student Innovator ($1,500 Scholarship, $500 Finalist Scholarship)

This year’s awards will be presented at the 22nd Annual High-Tech Innovation Awards dinner reception on Thursday, October 8th, 2015, in conjunction with OC Tech Alliance’s own corporate awards. Award recipients will be hosted, along with a guest, at the reception and will receive regional and national recognition through both online and traditional media outlets.

Please help us spread the word and take a moment to identify and recognize innovation at your school.

1. Nominate a student, teacher, or innovative school-wide program (You can even nominate yourself!)
2. Let people know about this award opportunity! Pass along this information to teachers, counselors, and parent groups and encourage them to participate. More information can be found here:

1. Reward Innovation: Your teachers and students deserve financial support and recognition for their innovative projects.
2. Positive PR: Let the community, the county, and even the nation, know about your school and its accomplishments.
3. Build relationships with local business leaders: Over 300 business leaders from Orange County will hear about your school’s innovations at the High-Tech Innovation Awards dinner.

All applications must be received by 5 p.m. Friday, May 15th, 2015 for consideration. More information and the nomination forms can be found online at our website. For additional information, please contact Kelly Stump at 949-609-4660, ext. 11 or

Thank you, in advance, for participating and for all you do to develop tomorrow’s innovators!

NSBA Education Technology Site Visits

Since 1987, the National School Boards Association’s Technology Leadership Network has hosted education technology site visits that give educators a first-hand experience of successful technology programs in districts. Through these site visits, educators get an in-person look at successful methods and essential conditions for technology implementation at their schools.

From the past 28 years of site visits, the NSBA has seen that district leaders often cite these visits as an important factor in creating technology programs. The site visits take place at schools within the host district and include classroom observations, mini-briefings, and conversations with students, staff, board members, and community partners. Participants gain insight on how district staff implemented their vision, and in some cases, what changes they would make if starting over.

If you are interested in starting an education technology program within your own school or district, check out the upcoming site visits later this month:

Prince William County Public Schools
Manassas, VA
April 22-24, 2015
Click here for more information

Mentor Public Schools
Mentor, OH
April 26-28, 2015
Click here for more information

Kent School District
Kent, WA
April 29-May 1, 2015
Click here for more information

To learn more about the program, visit the education technology site visit homepage. If you would like more information regarding the site visits, please contact Ann Flynn at

Around the Web Wednesday

Happy Around the Web Wednesday! Browse all the links below for the latest news and topics trending in education and technology. Be sure to let us know which article intrigued you the most!

Getting to Know the Project Tomorrow Team

Happy Monday!

We hope you all had a great weekend! Today we would like to introduce you to Kelly Stump, our Program Support Coordinator – Special Projects!

Kelly Stump
Program Support Coordinator – Special Projects
Project Tomorrow
949-609-4660 x11 voice

Kelly joined the Project Tomorrow team as a Program Support Coordinator in 2015. In addition to supporting education research and other projects, she also coordinates several events such as the annual Innovation in Education Awards and the Youth Leadership Summit. Kelly has always had a passion for education. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from the University of Southern California, she spent six years teaching an environmental science program with the Orange County Department of Education. At Project Tomorrow, Kelly hopes to continue to support and encourage students to pursue their passions through education. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, hiking, and reading.

CoSN 2015: 10 Reasons Why Flipping the Classroom Can Change Education

Last week’s 2015 CoSN Conference in Atlanta, Georgia featured several sessions about digital learning, special programs, educational technology, and an interesting overall dialogue about K-12 education technology. One spotlight presentation, held by Kathleen Fulton, president of Fulton Creative Consulting, listed the “Top 10 Reasons Why Flipping the Classroom Can Change Education.” Check out the list below:

  1. Maximizes class time
  2. Individualizes instruction
  3. Creates peer learning opportunities
  4. Improves effectiveness
  5. Excites teachers
  6. Interests students
  7. Flipping benefits parents
  8. It uses resources effectively
  9. Builds 21st Century skills
  10. Flipped classrooms could be the future of education
To learn more about each reason, as well as Fulton’s caveats for each reason, check out the original article, “CoSN 2015: 10 Reasons Flipped Classrooms Could Change Education” by D. Frank Smith (EdTech Magazine). You can also learn more about flipped learning through Kathleen Fulton’s book of the same name.
During the fall of 2014, over 521,865 K-12 students, teachers, administrators, parents, and community members participated in the 12th annual Speak Up online surveys facilitated by the national education nonprofit organization, Project Tomorrow© in conjunction with the Flipped Learning Network™.
For the third year in a row, specific questions were asked of teachers, librarians, and building and district administrators on flipped learning and the use of videos in the classroom. Educators and administrators weighed in on professional development when learning how to flip a class. Students lent their voices on flipped learning, videos as homework, and how (and how often) they use learning and social media tools. Click here to learn more.

CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) is the premier professional association for district technology leaders. For over two decades, CoSN has provided leaders with the management, community building, and advocacy tools they need to succeed. Today, CoSN represents over 10 million students in school districts nationwide and continues to grow as a powerful and influential voice in K-12 education.

Scholarship opportunity for high school seniors in Orange County, CA and Salt Lake County, UT

Are you or do you know a high school senior in Orange County, California and Salt Lake County, Utah who will be pursuing a STEM Bachelor’s Degree? Check out this scholarship opportunity from our friends at Edwards Lifesciences:

Edwards Lifesciences is passionate about improving the quality of life around the world and strengthening the communities in which we live and work. The Edwards Lifesciences Scholarship Program was launched to increase access to higher education and to promote careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Through this program, 10 Orange County, California and Salt Lake County, Utah high school seniors pursuing STEM bachelor’s degrees will be selected to receive a four-year scholarship totaling $10,000 ($2,500 per year) from The Edwards Lifesciences Fund. In addition, the scholarship recipients will have an opportunity to visit the Edwards Lifesciences campus in Irvine or Draper and apply for internship opportunities with the company.

Scholarship Criteria:
Applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a current high school senior who is a resident of Orange County, California or Salt Lake County, Utah
  • Plan to enroll in full-time undergraduate study at an accredited two- or four-year college or university for the 2015-2016 academic year pursuing a major in a STEM field
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Note: Children of Edwards Lifesciences employees are eligible to apply

Important Dates:

  • March 2015 – Scholarship application available for 2015 -2016 academic year
  • April 11, 2015 – Application deadline
  • By May 31, 2015 – Scholarship Recipients Announced
  • July 30, 2015 – Scholarship Award Ceremony at Edwards’ corporate headquarters in Irvine
  • August 2015 – First half of scholarship mailed to students ($1,250)
  • December 2015 – Second half of scholarship mailed to students ($1,250)

Around the Web Wednesday

Happy Around the Web Wednesday! Browse all the links below for the latest news and topics trending in education and technology. Be sure to let us know which article intrigued you the most!

Obama announces over $240 million in pledges at White House Science Fair

Yesterday at the 2015 White House Science Fair, President Obama announced over $240 million in pledges to inspire more students – especially those from underrepresented groups – to pursue education in science, technology, engineering, and math. Included in Obama’s announcement were:

  • $150 million philanthropic effort to empower a diverse cadre of promising early-career scientists to stay on track to become scientific leaders of tomorrow;
  • $90 million “Let Everyone Dream” campaign to expand STEM opportunities to under-represented youth;
  • $25 million Department of Education competition to create science and literacy themed media that inspires students to explore;
  • 120 universities and colleges committing to train 20,000 engineers to tackle the “Grand Challenges” of 21st century; and,
  • CEO coalition Change the Equation committing expand effective STEM programs to an additional 1.5 million students this year.
This year’s White House Science Fair focused on diversity and included students from underrepresented backgrounds. The Fair also featured more women and girls in science than in previous years, with over 100 students from more than 30 states. Among the participants were a high school student from Arizona who created an algorithm to identify other medical applications for existing drugs, a student from Pennsylvania who designed an innovative carbon-dioxide powered battery, and a group of 6-year-old “Supergirls” who invented a batter-powered page turner to help people with disabilities read books.
To learn more about the White House Science Fair and yesterday’s events, watch the video above or visit the White House Science Fair’s homepage and the fact sheet about Obama’s new STEM commitments.

Did your district participate in Speak Up 2014?

If so, we’ve provided a way for all district contacts to view a report of their district’s school results in a side by side comparison format. Follow these steps to view your data:

  1. Visit the view data homepage and log in under option 1.
  2. Once logged in, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Download Excel Summary.”
  3. Select which audience you would like to view data under.
  4. Download the spreadsheet.
Still not sure how to access your school comparison data? Contact the Speak Up team at for help.

Please note this information is only available to districts that participated in Speak Up 2014.

Top Ten Things Everyone Should Know About K-12 Students’ Views on Digital Learning

In honor of Digital Learning Day last week, we released a sneak peek of the 2014 National Findings for K-12! Last fall, 431,231 K-12 students nationwide spoke up about digital learning and more – here’s a preview of what we learned:
  • 42% of 6th-8th graders say taking an online or virtual class should be a requirement for graduation.
  • Amongst girls, 64% of 3rd-5th and 50% 6th-8th graders want to code.
  • 46% of 9th-12th graders are Twitter users now – 4 times more than in 2011 when only 11% were tweeting
To read the full list of things everyone should know about K-12 students’ views on digital learning, click here.