Author Archives: Project Tomorrow

Your Chance to Speak Up, America (And Why You Should)

 “Take out your devices and begin researching animals found in your biomes.” On a recent visit to a local high school, I was taken aback by the teacher’s instructions. Immediate access. Incredible efficiency. Genuine engagement. Each student group huddled around two or three mobile devices scrolling vigorously, jotting down notes, and actively conducting (what looked like) research.
But then, I thought back to an unfortunate technology-related incident I was witness to last year: a cell phone stolen from an unattended backpack, used to photograph unsupervised students standing and laying atop a teacher’s desk, making inappropriate faces and gestures which ultimately lead to tears and suspensions.
There may be no way to allow students to use their own devices at school without risks, but certainly ignoring this possibility as a way to enhance learning would be unwise. As would, passing up the opportunity to contribute to the discussion about the future of digital learning and the role technology will play.
The Future of Digital Learning: What Do You Think?

We cannot prepare teachers or create schools for today; we must envision the classrooms and learning of tomorrow. If we want to prepare teachers for, and create, future learning environments, we must embrace the role technology will play in the classrooms of tomorrow. So how do we accurately evaluate the role technology plays, and the ways it can be leveraged for maximum impact in the future of education? Take the popular, but debated trend mentioned earlier: the use of student-owned mobile devices in the classroom.
You probably have an opinion and, perhaps, a few questions. How are these devices used during the school day? How do students, teachers, parents, and administrators feel about it? What are the specific benefits and concerns associated with this shift from the traditional structure of learning?

Now, take this issue and picture the teacher typing her syllabus and guidelines at her computer the week before school begins; or your local principal meeting with his/her staff to compile and craft the yearly handbook of school policies; or a school board discussing personal device usage before adopting an annual budget. Each individual has an opinion, informed by experience and maybe a dated national report, or a newspaper article about a nearby district who reported increased test scores and engagement with personal device usage. But, do they have your thoughts or the current, unfiltered views of your school community?
Just as we would not allow a doctor to diagnose an illness or create a treatment plan without listening to our current concerns, we must approach the future of education and the role technology will play with the same attentiveness.
Make A Broader Impact

Across the education spectrum, at a national level down to the classroom your child, grandchild, niece, nephew, or future employee sits in each day, your voice can either inform policy decisions or go unheard. Your views and experiences concerning technology trends, like personal device usage (and so many others in education), are critical and go well beyond whether a student can or cannot use their phone or tablet at school. Their extended reach affects privacy and confidentiality legislation, funding allocations, internet accessibility, access to information, connectivity, global competitiveness and, most importantly, how today’s learners and tomorrow’s labor force will navigate a future in which the rate of progress is greater than at any time in history.

‘Tis the Season to Speak Up

In this season of giving, be part of Speak Up America 2013. Donate twenty minutes of your time today to take the National Speak Up Survey. Join over 3.3 million students, educators, parents, administrators, and community members who have “spoken up” since 2003—a dataset representing the largest collection of authentic feedback from key educational stakeholders about the digital learning. Speak Up closes on December 20th, so NOW is the time to participate. Take the online Speak Up survey at http://www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2013/.

Donate 15 minutes of your time today for the future of education!

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Have a voice, participate in National Speak Up Day today December 18, 2013!

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Join the conversation about the use of technology for learning through Speak Up, a National Research Project. Since 2003, over 3.3 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.
By giving 15 minutes of your time to Speak Up America 2013 (www.tomorrow.org/speakup), 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 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 TODAY.
More than 366,000 K-12 students, parents, educators and members of the community have already completed Speak Up surveys, this year, 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.
To “Speak Up,” simply visit www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2013 to take the online survey by Dec. 20th!
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Speak Up America 2013 a week in review:

366,090 (and counting!) overall surveys taken.
Surveys taken this week 51,326 (and counting!).

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

Top Schools:
North Carolina Virtual School, NC
Weslaco High School, Weslaco ISD, TX
Newport Harbor High School, Newport-Mesa Unified, CA
Florida Virtual High School (FLVS), FL
Memorial High School, McAllen ISD, TX
Top Districts:
Klein ISD, TX
McAllen ISD, TX
Weslaco ISD, TX
Shelby County School District, AL
Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
Top States:
Texas with 69,593
California with 46,317
Alabama with 32,975
Indiana with 27,390
North Carolina with 25,791

Speak Up America’s Photo Challenge $500 grant Winners:

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Get your photos in today, there are still 3 chances to win! Entries are cumulative and multiple teachers from your school can enter each day! For more information on the photo challenge, to see examples and to find out who won, please visit the Speak Up Photo Challenge page on our website at:http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/speakupamerica_photoChallenge.html

Speak Up Data Snapshots

Click each audience to view the 2013 preliminary data infographic for that group, or to view them all go to:http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/speakupamerica_snapshot.html!
Educators
Parents
Students
Administrators—Thursday, December 19, 2013
Community Members—Friday, December 20, 2013
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Thank you for your interest and continued support of Speak Up! We look forward to your participation in Speak Up 2013! Be sure to stay updated on all things Speak Up by following us on FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest and ourBlog.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at jhostert@tomorrow.org or via phone at 949/609-4660 ext. 17.
Jenny Hostert
Speak Up Operations Manager
Project Tomorrow

Educators, have your students participate in Speak Up for a chance to win a $500 grant for your classroom or school!

Photo Challenge

 Join in on the fun and take part in our Speak Up America Photo Challenge! Just Follow the steps below:
Photo Challenge
DOWNLOAD THE SPEAK UP AMERICA BADGE AT:
Post photos to one of the following social media sites:
Or by email to: speakup@tomorrow.org
We are very sensitive to student and participants’ privacy and with that no faces are required to be in the photo. We just ask that you incorporate our special Speak Up America badge into a photo of your classroom or school, the more creative the better!

Challenge Rules:

·         There must be record of survey completion in our system i.e. surveys taken at your school.
·         Winners will be announced the following day
·         You may only submit one picture per teacher or school per day (a school and multiple teachers from that school may enter on the same day, increase your chances!)
·         A teacher or school may only win once during the photo challenge
·         At least 25 submissions must be present for daily selection to occur, be sure to encourage others to participate.
See below for some examples:
 

Other ideas:
-Image of the front of your school with the Speak Up America Badge
-Photo from back of the room of students completing the survey
-Group photo of teachers or school office staff who have completed the survey


Check back later to see today for the announcement of Monday’s Photo Challenge winner!

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 2013 (www.tomorrow.org/speakup), 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 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. 20th!

Learn more at www.tomorrow.org/speakup.  

Announcing the “Speak Up America 2013” Campaign!

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Since 2003, the annual Speak Up survey has collected data from students, parents, educators and the local community about technology, learning, and schools. This year over 300,000 Students, Parents and Educators representing over 5,500 schools nationwide have already participated in Speak Up. In honor of the superb survey period this year, on Monday Dec. 16th Project Tomorrow will kick off “Speak Up America 2013” a weeklong event to celebrate Speak Up participants, past, present and new! During this event there will be a daily release of Speak Up 2013 preliminary data snapshots, recognition of top participants and best of all opportunities to win free ISTE Conference registrations and a daily $500 classroom or school grant! Now’s the time to participate, Speak Up closes on December 20th!
Speak Up today and all next week at http://www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2013/.

Below you will find all the great promotions and happenings taking place during Speak Up America 2013:

  • National Speak Up Day – Wednesday December 18th
  • $500 classroom or school grant Photo Challenge – Daily
  • Free ISTE Conference registration – 2 chances to win throughout the week
  • Speak Up 2013 Preliminary data snapshots– Daily
  • How does your state compare? View the “Are you Speaking Up” state participant map to see where your state falls. – Daily
Click here to view promotions and happenings on our website.
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Donate 15 minutes of your time today for the future of education! Have a voice, participate in National Speak Up Day on Wednesday, December 18, 2013!

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The highlight of the Speak Up America 2013 Campaign will take place onWednesday, December 18, 2013 with the launch of our first ever National Speak Up Day! National Speak Up Day is the day to encourage your community to participate. 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/speakup2013 with your 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.
The more surveys you get in the more opportunities you have to win a FREE ISTE CONFERENCE REGISTRATION! Every survey submitted on this date will be entered into a special drawing for not only a free ISTE conference registration for your district, but once in Atlanta, dinner is on us. Here’s your chance to pick our CEO Julie Evans’ brain on all things digital learning by joining Julie for some real Southern Cooking at Pitty Pat Porch.
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Educators, have your students participate in Speak Up for a chance to win a $500 grant for your classroom or school! 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 America Photo Challenge.
To celebrate technology and all our wonderful Speak Up participants we will be offering a daily $500 grant to one lucky Speak Up participating classroom or school during the week of December 16. All you need to do is take a picture with the Speak Up America 2013 Badge and post to either our FacebookTwitter, orInstagram account with the hashtag #speakupsnapshot or by sending us an email at speakup@tomorrow.org with your photo to be entered to win. Please include an estimated number of Speak Up participants and the hashtag #speakupsnapshot in your comments!
We are very sensitive to student and participants’ privacy and with that no faces are required to be in the photo. We just ask that you incorporate our special Speak Up America badge into a photo of your classroom or school, the more creative the better! See below for some examples:
photo 1
photo 2
photo 3
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Other ideas:
-Image of the front of your school with the Speak Up for America Badge
-Photo from back of the room of students completing the survey
-Group photo of teachers or school office staff who have completed the survey

Challenge Rules:

  • There must be record of survey completion in our system, i.e. surveys taken at your school.
  • Winners will be announced the following day
  • You may only submit one picture per teacher or school per day (a school and multiple teachers from that school may enter on the same day, increase your chances!)
  • A teacher or school may only win once during the photo challenge
  • At least 25 submissions must be present for daily selection to occur, be sure to encourage others to participate.
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Free ISTE Conference Registrations

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Thanks to our good friends at 
ISTE, we have received two 2014 ISTE conference registrations (A $269 value) to gift to two of our Speak Up districts! The great thing is every district has an opportunity to win, all you need to do is encourage your K-12 community to participate in the survey during the Speak Up America 2013 campaign. This is a great way to reach out to different audiences that may have a lower participation number than you would like, for example a target of your K-12 parents, teachers or local community members! The more surveys you get in, the more opportunities you have to win! Your district will have two chances to snag a free registration:
1.) Get in any last minute surveys, any survey that comes in during Speak Up America 2013 campaign beginning Monday December 16, 2013 through the close of the survey on Friday, December 20, 2013 will be entered to win. We will be pulling a randomly selected survey during this timeframe and will award the free ISTE conference registration to the district the survey belongs to.
2.) Encourage participation in National Speak Up Day (12-18-13)! Every survey submitted on this date will be entered into a separate drawing for a free ISTE conference registration for your district.
In addition to your free ISTE conference registration, the selected recipient attending the conference will also have the opportunity to join our CEO Julie Evans for some real Southern Cooking at Pitty Pat Porch in downtown Atlanta. Here’s your chance to pick our CEO Julie Evans’ brain on all things digital learning!
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In celebration of our first annual Speak Up America campaign, we have pulled a special snapshot of preliminary data for students, parents, teachers, administrators and community members. Each day we will release a special infographic on NEW Speak Up findings. This is also the first time we’ve ever pulled a sampling of the Speak Up data before completion! Check below to see when we will be releasing each snapshot of data:
Monday, December 16, 2013—Educators
Tuesday, December 17, 2013—Parents
Wednesday, December 18, 2013—Students
Thursday, December 19, 2013—Administrators
Friday, December 20, 2013—Community Members
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Is your state one of the top Speak Up states? Can your state do better? Check our Project Tomorrow Homepage (www.tomorrow.org) throughout the week to find out and track your state’s progress.
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Thank you for your interest and continued support in Speak Up! We look forward to your participation in Speak Up 2013! Be sure to stay updated on all things Speak Up by following us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and our Blog.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at jhostert@tomorrow.org or via phone at 949/609-4660 ext. 17.
Jenny Hostert
Speak Up Operations Manager
Project Tomorrow

See what this year’s Speak Up 200 schools and districts had to say about why they participate in Speak Up, and learn how they utilized their school/district’s data!

There’s still time to get involved! Check back tomorrow to learn out “Speak Up, America”, a week long event beginning next week to celebrate Speak Up participants, past, present and new! 

To take the survey today visit: www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2013
“We use the data to help us write our school’s technology plan.” 

— Jennifer Whitt, Madison County, Alabama.


 “The data from the report gives insight into the perception of technology and its importance in life, not just education.” 
— Vincent Scheivert, Albemarle County Public Schools, Virginia
 “To give the students a voice in the direction we take in implementing more technology-based opportunities.” 
— Amy Whitener, Kearney R-1 Schools, Missouri
  “The survey gives us a clear picture of where we are at in our implementation of technology and 21st Century Skills in our teaching and the effect on student learning. This is a work in progress and every year we can see how we have progressed and see where the weak links are and take steps to make positive changes.” 
— Maureen Koenig, Yorba Linda Middle School, California 

“The South Carolina Virtual School Program looks forward to reviewing our Speak-Up survey responses every year, because it allows us to put a finger on the pulse of our students’ learning experiences. We are able to identify ways to expand and grow our program based on student feedback. The South Carolina Virtual School Program always focuses on the students’ open, written comments in the Speak-Up surveys, because this present students with the opportunity to openly express their thoughts, opinions, and suggestions about how we can adjust our program and adapt it to stay at the cutting edge in the growing field of online education.” 

— Vicki Williams, South Carolina Virtual School Program, South Carolina

  
 “[To] help improve communication with our stakeholders.” 

— Joanne Hammond, Shawnee Local School District, Ohio 


 “It was wonderful to see that each year students and parents are understanding the importance of integrating technology with learning experiences in the classroom.” 

— Patricia Smith, Apache Junction Unified, Arizona

 “We want to better understand our students and to help identify what engages and motivates them.” 

— Rob Residori, City of Chicago School District #299, Illinois

 “We certainly value the data…but we truly put a high value on the opportunity for our students and staff to contribute to the national conversation around the role of technology in education.” 

— Ann McMullan, Klein Independent School District, Texas
“The Speak Up data are useful to us as we develop various action plans and strategies. We also like being part of a national conversation; it’s interesting to see how our responses compare to those from our peer districts in the state and around the country.” 

— Matt Frey, Brevard Public Schools, Florida

  
“I was impressed with the honesty of the students, their very specific ideas of what they wanted for themselves and classmates, and their astuteness. I felt that the students had a good grasp of what would help them educationally and that their suggestions were reasonable and doable.” 

— Linda Ficsher, St. Mark’s High School, Delaware

“I wanted to make sure we were on the same level with the nation. I wanted our students to be able to compete with other students. Technology can level the playing field.” 

— Rosie Bailey, Surgoinsville Middle School, Tennessee

“We believe it is important to know how our students feel about technology at school. The Indiana Dept. of Education highly recommends school corporations to participate.” 

— Janice Curtis, Plymouth Community School Corporation, Indiana

Speak Up Newsletter December 2013

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About
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Speak Up 2013 | There’s only two weeks left to participate. Surveys close next Friday, December 20th!

Thank you to all the participants that have already taken part in the Speak Up surveys! Since the launch of the survey over 240,000 Students, Educators, Parents and Community Members have shared their ideas about the use of technology in education. Be sure to take the survey today and pass along to your network of friends and family, remember the survey is open to ANYONE interested in sharing their thoughts on critical 21st century education and technology issues.
In this e-newsletter, find new ways to get involved with Speak Up this year:
  • Speak Up 2013, Have you submitted your survey? Surveys available for Educators, Students, Parents and Members of the Community
  • Last minute Promotional Ideas There’s still plenty of time to get involved in Speak Up, find new ideas here.
  • New to Speak Up, watch our 45 minute introductory webinar! Learn how you too could get a free webinar with CEO Julie Evans next school year!
  • Help us reach 1,500 community member surveys! You don’t have to be an educator or student to take the survey. The voices of your community members are important too!
  • Speak Up Survey Instructions
Happy Reading! Feel free to share your thoughts with us on FacebookTwitter and our Blog.
–The Project Tomorrow team
Click here to read online.
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Speak Up 2013, be sure to get your survey in by 12/20!

Together, let’s work towards leveraging technology to promote enhanced learning in our K-12 schools! Thank you to all our participating schools, districts, followers and to all our partners for your encouragement and support of this year’s surveys! Without you Speak Up would not be possible!
Surveys Submitted as of December 7, 2013 at 7PM ET:
Students: 194,609
Teachers & librarians: 25,668
Parents: 22,251
Administrators: 3,086
Community Members: 841
Top 5 School Districts, based on total participation:
Welsaco ISD, TX
McAllen ISD, TX
Brevard County School District, FL
Fairfax County Schools, VA
Madison County School District, AL
Top 5 states, based on total participation:
Texas, 36,287
California, 31,672
Alabama, 24,602
Indiana, 20,118
North Carolina, 16,110
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Last minute Promotional Ideas

There’s still two weeks to get involved! If you just registered your district or are looking for new ways to promote the survey, how about trying one of these ideas:

Host a Speak Up Day: Pick a day in December to have your K-12 community complete the Speak Up Surveys! San Marcos Unified School District in California collected 1,500 surveys during their 1st Annual Speak Up Day during the Speak Up 2012 survey period. SMUSD promoted their event via email, website, phone calls & social media!
Post a notice to your local community newspaper or blog: Post a message inviting your community to participate in Speak Up to your local newspaper or patch.com! Barrington Schools in RI and San Bruno Park School District in CA posted to their local patch.com, check it out! For sample text, please contact the Speak Up Team at speakup@tomorrow.org or use one of the follow sample texts found on our promotional materials page.
Focus on one survey type: Each survey receives their own data set with national comparisons (k-2, 3-5, 6-8,9-12, parent, teacher etc.) a focus on teachers, parents and/or administrators is an easy push and a great way to receive a meaningful dataset. Some recommendations would be to send an email or phone recording to parents or email blast to your teachers. Click here for a variety of sample emails.
Highlight the Speak Up survey on your website using one of our Speak Up logos (with a link to the survey). Click here for the code to embed on your website. Make sure to include your survey password!
Do your teachers need an activity before the winter break? Or an idea for sub plans? Download one of our Speak Up Lesson Plans, created by our ownMeredith Kohl, who holds a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction and a previous elementary teacher. Lesson Plans for K-23-5 and 6-12 are available for download. * Group survey options are available for K-2 students.
Use social media networks such as facebook or twitter to get the word out about Speak Up to your stakeholders. Try retweeting one of our @speakuped tweets or searching #speakupsurveys.
For additional promotional material to spread awareness, please visit our promotional material page at: http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/promo.html.
Not part of a school or district- help get the word out with our Partner Promotional Material Tools. If your organization is interested in partnering with Project Tomorrow this year to assist with outreach to your contacts, please contact Jenny Hostert at jhostert@tomorrow.org. For a list of Speak Up partners and sponsors please visit our website.
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Recorded Webinar: Planning for Speak Up 2013

Interested in participating in this year’s Speak Up surveys but want to learn more about it? Now’s your chance! Watch our Speak Up Introductory webinar recording hosted by our CEO, Julie Evans. This 45 minute recorded webinar includes background information on Speak Up, benefits of participation, key Speak Up findings from last year’s survey as well as how their school can participate in Speak Up this year.
The recorded webinar can be accessed via Blackboard Collaborate here:Speak Up 2013 Planning.
As a special incentive for participation this year, all districts with surveys from at least 25% of their student population will receive a free webinar with Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow using your specific district and state data results in spring or fall 2014. Contact Jenny Hostert on the Project Tomorrow Team for additional information: jhostert@tomorrow.org.
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Expand the scope of your Speak Up outreach and bring in the voices of your community members

You don’t have to be an educator or student to take the survey. The voices of your community members are important too!

This year, for the first time, we are providing a special online survey for community members. Local employers, after school providers, school board members, homeowners without children in the local schools or anyone with an interest in promoting better learning in our schools can now provide their views on the role of technology in preparing students for the jobs and careers of the 21st century. This new set of data will provide valuable insights for schools and districts as well as state and federal policymakers on the importance of digital tools and resources for college and career readiness.
All community members will access the survey through a school in their local community. Look up a school via zip or state and school name. Surveys will take about 15 minutes to complete.

Community members: Take the survey todaywww.speakup4schools.org/speakup2013.

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Instructions on How to Take the Survey

It’s quick and easy to get involved in Speak Up, to take the survey follow these 5 simple steps:
  1. Go to this link: www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2013
  2. Click on the appropriate survey button
  3. Follow the given instructions to access the survey. Begin by clicking on the drop down button and select your state, then go to the next line and type in your school name (community members select a school within your local community)
  4. Students will be required to enter in a survey password “secret word”. Educators, parents and community members are not required to enter in a survey password.
  5. Complete the survey by December 20th, 2013
Not sure which survey to take? Visit our Tips on Deciding which Survey to Take, to help you select the survey that best meets your needs.http://www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2013/TipsDeciding.aspx
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Thank you for your interest and continued support in Speak Up! We look forward to your participation in Speak Up 2013! Be sure to stay updated on all things Speak Up by following us on FacebookTwitter and our Blog.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at jhostert@tomorrow.org or via phone at 949/609-4660 ext. 17.
Jenny Hostert
Speak Up Operations Manager
Project Tomorrow
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PISA Results

According to the latest data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), an international survey which aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by testing the knowledge of 15-year-old students through mathematics, reading, and science, students from the United States have hardly made progress in the past nine years; among thirty-four developed countries, the US ranked 26th in math, 21st in science, and 17th in reading. In comparison, Shanghai scored the highest overall, leading educators and administrators to question the quality of the US’s education standards.
“The systems that are making the most progress have embraced rigorous curriculums for their kids, and we need to do the same thing,” said Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach for America. “It’s very hard to make progress without adopting globally benchmarked standards for our kids.” While most educators believe the Common Core Standards will help place the United States higher on the PISA results, others believe that more can be done: Kris Perry, the executive director of the First Five Years Fund, believes the US needs better access to high-quality preschools, while Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, says that the US should learn from high-performing nations (i.e. Japan, Finland, and Switzerland) and have greater respect for public education.
PISA is given every three years in order to assess to what extent students at the end of their compulsory education can apply their knowledge to real-life situations; the tests are not directly linked to school curriculum. Given the results of PISA 2012 were just released, it is unsure of what measures the United States will take to improve its students’ education and knowledge. However, we can be sure that educators all over the nation will use the next three years to help the United States get out of its stagnant placement.

Read more at: U.S. Students Get Stuck in Middle of the Pack on OECD Test– Bloomberg.com and American Students Fall in International Academic Test, Chinese Lead the Pack – US News.

Have you participated in Speak Up?! There’s two more weeks to get your survey in, take and pass on at: www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2013.

We hope you have a great week!

-The Project Tomorrow Team

Written by Lisa Chu, Project Tomorrow Fall Intern

Getting to Know the Project Tomorrow Team

Happy Friday!

We hope you all had a fantastic week! It’s Friday which means it’s time to meet another one of our fabulous team members. Today we would like to introduce you to Marianne Miller, our Grants Manager!

Marianne Miller
Grants Manager
Project Tomorrow
949-609-4660 x13 voice
 Marianne joined the team in 2009, and oversees the funding priorities of the organization, with a focus on corporate and private foundation grants to support the YouthTEACH2Learn Program, Youth Leadership Summit for Math and Science, and the California Future Educators Association (CFEA).  With a background in education non-profit program management, and student counseling, she understands both the funding and the program operation sides of Project Tomorrow’s projects and events.  Marianne holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from California State University, Long Beach.

In her spare time, Marianne enjoys any kind of travel, Pilates, watching sporting events, and experimenting in the kitchen (or in a restaurant) with cuisine of all types. 
Please be sure to check back next week to meet Lisa Chu, Fall 2013 Project Tomorrow intern!

Thanks for reading!

-The Project Tomorrow Team