Author Archives: project_tomorrow

Kick off to Speak Up 2014!

Speak Up 2014 is now open!

This year’s Speak Up annual surveys continue to pave new ground in education technology research by polling K-12 students, educators, administrators and parents about the use of mobile devices, online classes, games and digital content within learning. We listened to last year’s participants and have added new topics to our surveys to spark more conversation, such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), data privacy, student interest in programming and computing, and online assessments.
This newsletter is specifically dedicated to the launch of Speak Up 2014! Below, you’ll find all the information you need on what’s new for 2014:
Happy reading, and remember to Speak Up now through December 19th!
Feel free to share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter, and our Blog.

-The Project Tomorrow team

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Speak Up 2014 is now open!

Help us collect valuable data by participating in Speak Up 2014

Join the conversation about the use of technology for learning through Speak Up, a National Research Project. Since 2003, over 3.4 million K-12 education stakeholders have participated in the annual online surveys. Data findings are shared each year with federal, state and local policymakers to inform education programs, policies and funding.
Surveys will be open for input October 6th – December 19th, 2014 at: www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2014.
Instructions for completing the Speak Up survey
1. Go to the survey website (above).
2. Click on the appropriate survey (Student, Educator, Parent, Community member).
3. Follow the given instructions to access the survey. Begin by entering your school zip or clicking on the drop down button and select your state, then go to the next line and type in your school name to find your school.
4. Students will choose their grade level and enter in their school specific password*
5. Parents and Educators will NOT need the password to access the survey.
To learn more about the project and how to get involved, visit www.tomorrow.org/speakup.
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Speak Up Loud and Clear: Recognizing the Top Participating Schools and Districts based on Speak Up 2013 Participation

With the launch of Speak Up 2014, we would like to take this time to recognize the schools and districts that went above and beyond in their promotion and encouragement of participation to their students, parents and educators during last year’s Speak Up surveys! Thank you for making last year’s surveys such a success!
Last year 403,292 Students, Parents, Educators and members of the community representing over 9,000 schools nationwide participated in Speak Up 2013. Out of those over 9,000 schools, we have nominated a group of 250 schools that have gone above and beyond with their promotion creativity, outreach and use of data. Many of the nominated schools exceed over 80% student participation, allowing for an extremely rich dataset for schools to use in their own local planning and research.
For a complete list of the top school and districts, visit http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/speakup-loud-clear.html.
Speak Up Loud and Clear, formally known as Speak Up 200, is our annual recognition program that 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.
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Get a look at this year’s survey questions!

We’ve made our survey questions available to view before Speak Up launches on October 6th. Click here to view the surveys, and be on the lookout for new topics and questions!

New topics include:

Blended learning
1:1 computing
BYOD
Coding
Data privacy
Student self-directed learning
Ideal school mobile app
College and career readiness skills
And more!
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Speak Up has a new participant badge!

Wear this badge proudly as you display it on your website, your e-mails, your social media sites, blog, and more! Enjoy, and remember to get the rest of your community to Speak Up through December 19th, 2014!
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Our Speak Up 2014 promotional materials are now available

Start spreading the word about Speak Up to your community! Check out our helpful flyers, guides, sample emails, and more at http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/promo.html.
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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 Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our Blog.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our Speak Up Operations Manager, Jenny Hostert, at jhostert@tomorrow.org or via phone at 949/609-4660 ext. 17.

Press release: Gregory Nicholson Hired as Project Tomorrow Director of Advancement


For Immediate Release:
October 1, 2014

Contact: 
Amber Taylor
703-201-4893
Gregory Nicholson Hired as
Project Tomorrow Director of Advancement
Irvine, Calif. Gregory Nicholson has been hired as Project Tomorrow’s new Director of Advancement. This is a new position at the national education nonprofit organization. In this role, Nicholson will be responsible for securing the resources to help Project Tomorrow achieve its mission through fund as well as partnership development. 
“Greg is a wonderful addition to our team at an exciting time of growth for our organization,” said Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow. “So much of our work is based on relationships and collaborations with schools, businesses, foundations and organizations across the country. We look forward to the new partnerships he will help cultivate as we continue our work as a leading STEM education and information source.”
Previously, Nicholson was Assistant Director at the Cotsen Foundation for the ART of TEACHING in Los Angeles (CA) where he was responsible for the recruitment of districts, schools, and teachers into the ART of TEACHING program, as well as communications and partnerships.  In that role, he co-founded the Mathematics Leadership Corps, an education reform collaborative in Southern California to promote improved teaching and learning in mathematics throughout the Culver City school district.   
“During my career, I have worked on both the foundation and nonprofit sides and have developed many successful collaborations in the education community,” said Nicholson. “I am thrilled to be joining an organization with such a successful track record, and I look forward to bringing my experience to support the mission of Project Tomorrow. Project Tomorrow understands that communities are more powerful when they work together to advance teaching and learning – and that such collaboration is essential to achieving our society’s goals for STEM education.”
Nicholson holds a doctorate in English Literature from Michigan State University, where he was a University Distinguished Fellow and the author of the university’s decennial re-accreditation report. Prior to graduate school he worked in non-profit management in social services and education. He was graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College.
About Project Tomorrow
Project Tomorrow® is the nation’s leading education nonprofit organization dedicated to the empowerment of student voices in education. We believe that by supporting the innovative uses of science, math and technology resources in our K-12 schools and communities, students will develop the critical thinking, problem solving and creativity skills needed to compete and thrive in the 21st century. We approach our mission through national research projects, the development of innovative career exploration projects in schools and communities, online tools and resources for students, teachers and parents, and national and regional advocacy efforts. Learn more at www.tomorrow.org

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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!


Speak Up 2014 launches next Monday! Make sure you register to have your voice heard before our launch date on October 6th!

Speak Up News, October 2014

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Speak Up 2014 launches next Monday!

PTSULogoURL
Join the conversation about the use of technology for learning through Speak Up, a National Research Project.
The Speak Up National Research project annually polls K-12 students, parents and educators about the role of technology for learning in and out of school and represents the largest collection of authentic, unfiltered stakeholder voice on digital learning. Since 2003, over 3.4 million K-12 students, parents, teachers, librarians, principals, technology leaders and district administrators have shared their views and ideas through Speak Up. Data findings are shared each year with federal, state and local policymakers to inform education programs, policies and funding.
Surveys are open for input October 6th – 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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Register as your school or district’s primary contact for Speak Up

As the primary contact for your district, school or organization you will be in charge of the promotion and encouragement of the survey at your selected organizational level. In return, you will receive free, online access to your aggregated results with state and national comparisons in February 2015.

Benefits of being the primary contact

▪ Gain administrative access by assigning your school or district an administrative login password, which allows you to update school or district contact information, assign individual student survey passwords to schools, and more.
▪ View your school/district survey counts at any time, and view your data once it becomes available (administrative password is required to view data results).
▪ Ensure confidentiality of your surveys with your students by assigning a survey “secret password” for students to use to take the survey.
▪ Keep up to date on important updates during the survey process, such as participation numbers.

Click here to sign up as your school or district’s primary contact! All we need are your name, email address, an administrative organization login password (to view weekly survey counts and other important updates during the survey period), and a student survey password (secret word students will use to access the survey).
If you have any additional questions regarding speak up registration, please contact the Speak Team at speakup@tomorrow.org.
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Get a sneak peek of this year’s student survey questions before they launch on October 6th!

We’ve made our student survey questions available to view before Speak Up launches on October 6th. Click here to view the surveys for grades K-12, and check the website throughout the week as we update it to include more survey questions.

New topics include:

▪ Blended learning
▪ 1:1 computing
▪ BYOD
▪ Coding
▪ Data privacy
▪ Student self-directed learning
▪ Ideal school mobile app
▪ 21st Century skills
▪ And more!

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Speak Up has a new look!

We are happy to announce our new and improved banner for this year’s Speak Up survey! Be on the lookout for this banner when taking the survey:
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Speak Up on the Go!

Check out Julie Evans’s webinars from last month by clicking the titles below:
Engaging Students, Empowering Learning – New Roles for Digital Content and Games in the Classroom (BrainPOP)
In this webinar, Julie introduces a new white paper that highlights Speak Up research findings around teacher and student use of digital content and games for learning, and how administrators are increasingly supporting those efforts.
Engaging Parents’ Support for Emerging Technologies in the Classroom: Data Review and Discussion (Blackboard K-12)
Learn about new insights into the digital disconnect between students and educators, and stimulate conversations about how to effectively leverage new classroom models of innovation to drive both increased student achievement and teacher productivity.
As always, don’t forget to take the conversation online by mentioning @SpeakUpEdand @ProjectTomorrow on Twitter! Be on the lookout for more discussions regarding educational technology this month.
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Thank you for your interest and continued support of Speak Up! 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.

Sample emails for students and parents

Use these emails to quickly get the word out to students and parents via email. We have two sample emails for you to use: one to encourage your students to participate and one to encourage parents to take the survey. We recommend add your own personal encouragement to the emails.

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Students Speak Up – Your ideas are important to us!
Open October 6th – December 19th, 2014

Your opinions matter to us!   We are participating in the online survey Speak Up, so that we can learn more about how you are using technology in class and for homework. We’d also like to know more about how you are using technology to learn and how you would like your teachers to use technology class.

The online survey is open to students, educators (including future educators) and parents; it’s quick and easy to get involved.   The survey will be open until December 19th, to take the survey visit: http://www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2014    
Your password is:
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Parents Speak Up – Your ideas are important to us!
Open October 6th– December 19th, 2014
Be a part of the conversation! Starting on Oct. 6thwe will be participating in the Speak Up national research project. Speak Up is the first survey designed to help parents share their ideas directly with schools and national policymakers. As key stakeholders, Speak Up provides parents with a mechanism for expressing their views to the administrators at their child(ren)’s school and district about key issues impacting their child(ren)’s education. Since 2003, Speak Up has collected and shared the views of over 3.4 million students, teachers, and parents from all 50 states, as well as internationally. By participating in Speak Up, parents are expressing their views to a wider audience of local, state, and national policy makers as well as the business community—and contributing to the national dialog about science, technology, and preparing students for the 21st century workforce.

The online survey is open to students, educators and parents; it’s quick and easy to get involved.  To take the survey visit: http://www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2014/ and click the blue parents enter here button!

Flashback Friday: “Apps and Games for STEM Learning”

Happy Flashback Friday! Every Friday we focus on Speak Up data, articles, and press releases from the past. This week we’re looking at National Environmental Education Week’s blog post, “Apps and Games for STEM Learning” from April 2014, which features data from one of our Speak Up 2013 reports. Check out a snippet of it below:

According to Project Tomorrow’s latest Speak Up report released this week, “girls and boys across all grade levels see digital games as having significant learning benefits if employed within a school environment, including greater engagement in learning and making it easier to understand difficult concepts.”

One-quarter of teachers said that they are integrating digital games into their classrooms, and students are playing games outside of school to support their own learning. “Approximately one-quarter of middle school students have played an online game outside of school on their own, specifically to learn something. The percentage jumps to almost 50 percent amongst boys and girls who consider their technology skills advanced.

Interestingly, the report also showed that nearly one-third of high school boys say that they are very interested in a job or career in a STEM field, but only 19 percent of girls share that same vision for themselves.

Be sure to check out National Environmental Education Week’s original post, “Apps and Games for STEM Learning,” their guide to the “Apps & Games for Environmental Engineering,” and last year’s Speak Up report The New Digital Learning Playbook: Understanding the Spectrum of Students’ Activities and Aspirations for more information.

Are you a teacher or student who uses apps and games for in the classroom? Let us know by participating 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 mark your calendars for the survey’s launch date on October 6!

Speak Up data featured in “From Cell Phone Bans to BYOD”

Last week, Christopher Piehler wrote an article for The Journal about Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies in schools. “From Cell Phone Bans to BYOD” focuses on the evolution of these policies, and how smartphones were banned in schools not too long ago. Furthermore, he notes that while iPads were the dominant devices in classrooms, that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore due to the Android and Microsoft tablets “boasting lower prices and easier enterprise management.” Check out a snippet of his article featuring data from Speak Up 2013 below:

The era of one device dominating classrooms is over. Notebooks face competition not only from tablets, but from new categories of devices such as convertible laptop/tablets and phablets, as well as a device that many districts once banned: the smartphone. As our cover story shows, an increasing number of administrators, teachers and parents are giving up on cell phone bans and coming out in support of BYOD. According to Project Tomorrow’s most recent Speak Up survey, 60 percent of parents said they would like their children to be in a class where BYOD was allowed. And perhaps more importantly, two-thirds of parents said they would purchase a mobile device for their child to use in class. The same survey shows that a large majority of students in sixth through 12th grades already have access to smartphones.

While BYOD helps districts control spending on devices, it leaves ed tech leaders to ask the question, “What do schools do for the students who don’t have devices?” Furthermore, “Does it ultimately help or hurt learning for students to do schoolwork on the same device they use for texting and games?”

Be sure to check out the original article, “From Cell Phone Bans to BYOD” by Christopher Piehler and let him know what you think about his two questions regarding BYOD in the article’s comments section.

Our Speak Up survey asks questions regarding BYOD policies in schools, and what parents think about BYOD as well. A question we asked last year is:
Some districts are considering adopting a Bring Your Own  Technology (BYOT) to School program which would enable  students to use their own mobile devices within instruction. What  is your current policy on the use of student owned mobile devices  (smartphones, tablet computers) within class? 

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

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!


Have you registered for Speak Up 2014 yet? Make sure you register to have your voice heard before our launch date on October 6th!

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

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

100Kin10: Why we need more STEM teachers

After President Obama challenged the United States to produce 100,000 excellent new science, technology, engineering, and math teachers by the year 2021, the organization 100Kin10 has rallied scores of universities, nonprofits, foundations, and other partners around the single shared mission. Check out their video about why we need more STEM teachers!

Project Tomorrow is proud to be a 100Kin10 partner organization. 100Kin10 is a networked approach to providing America’s classrooms with 100,000 excellent STEM teachers by 2021 while supporting tens of thousands more. Through unique, ambitious commitments, their 150+ partners (including Project Tomorrow) are together fueling the creation of the next generation of innovators and problem solvers. Click here to learn more about 100Kin10, and be sure to check out their Blow Minds. Teach STEM. campaign!