Author Archives: project_tomorrow

Getting to Know the Project Tomorrow Team

Happy Friday!
We hope you all had a great week! It’s Friday, which means it’s time to meet another one of our wonderful team members. Today we would like to introduce you to Greg Nicholson, our Director of Advancement!

Greg Nicholson

Director of Advancement
Project Tomorrow
949-609-4660 x13 voice
Gregory Nicholson is Project Tomorrow’s Director of Advancement. He is committed to securing the resources needed to achieve our mission, through fund as well as partnership development.  Previously, he was Assistant Director at the Cotsen Foundation for the ART of TEACHING where he was responsible for the recruitment of districts, schools, and teachers into the ART of TEACHING, as well as communications and partnerships.  In that role, he co-founded the Mathematics Leadership Corps in Culver City to promote improved teaching and learning in mathematics throughout the K-12 district.  He 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.


In his free time, Greg enjoys time with family and friends, especially if it involves hiking or bar-be-que.

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!

Digital vs. print

As with anything new, digital reading has been met with hesitation. Mark Pennington, a reading specialist in Elk Grove, believes that digital reading can eventually be on the same level as reading print. He says that the trick to being a good reader is being an engaged reader, and that it does not matter whether students are reading digitally or through print. “It’s pretty clear that good readers are active readers engaged with the text,” he said.

While more and more schools adopt digital readers like iPads and Chromebooks, some research shows that students comprehend more from reading print. Even though digital readers allow students to interact with their text in new ways, a study done by West Chester University found that younger students may be overwhelmed by the multimedia environment that e-books provide (which can therefore overwhelm their limited working memory) and that older students find it difficult to take notes on digital readers.

Perhaps all it takes is a shift in perspective in order to alleviate these issues with digital reading. Hillview Middle’s principal, Erik Burmeister, says that annotating digital books is actually better than traditional note-taking, as annotating provides permanent notes whereas traditional annotating typically means throwing away the books at the end of the year. Despite these achievements with digital reading tools, more research still needs to be done about whether digital tools or pen and paper are more effective. In the meantime, schools like Elk Grove and Hillview Middle will continue to use digital tools to help students understand what they’re reading.

Interested in learning more? Check out the original article, “Can Students ‘Go Deep’ With Digital Reading?” and West Chester University’s study.

Every year we ask questions about how educators and administrators are successfully using digital tools in the classroom, or which tools they wish they used in the classroom. An example is:
Imagine you are designing the ultimate school. Which tools would have the greatest positive impact on your (the student’s) learning? 

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!

Free webinar: Engaging Students, Empowering Learning – New Roles for Digital Content and Games in the Classroom

What: Engaging Students, Empowering Learning – New Roles for Digital Content and Games in the Classroom
Who: Julie Evans, Robert Miller, and BrainPOP
When: Wednesday, September 17 at 3:30PM EST
Research tells us that engaging students in learning has the potential to improve achievement; teachers know that instinctively.  But how to increase student engagement is still often an elusive concept in many classrooms.  Promising new developments in the use of digital content, and specifically digital and online educational games, in elementary and middle school classrooms aim to make that connection between student engagement and empowered learning more explicit.  In this webinar, Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, will introduce 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.  And Robert Miller, 5th grade teacher from Daytona Beach, Florida, will share examples of how digital content and games are transforming his classroom today.  With a combination of research findings and classroom practices, this webinar will provide you with new strategies and ideas to use in your classrooms this year!

About BrainPOP: Founded in 1999, BrainPOP creates animated, curricular content that engages students, supports educators, and bolsters achievement. Their award-winning online educational resources include BrainPOP Jr. (K-3), BrainPOPBrainPOP Español, and, for English language learners, BrainPOP ESL. BrainPOP is also home to GameUp, an educational games portal for the classroom.

Flashback Friday: “Are Teachers of Tomorrow Prepared to Use Innovative Tech?”

Happy Flashback Friday! Every Friday we focus on Speak Up data, articles, and press releases from the past. This week we’re looking at MindShift’s article, “Are Teachers of Tomorrow Prepared to Use Innovative Tech?” from February 2013, which features data from a report we did with Blackboard Inc about the digital experiences and expectations of tomorrow’s teachers. Check out a recap of the article below:

With a new generation of teachers coming into the work force, it’s no surprise that there is a discrepancy between what principals expect of these teachers-to-be and what they’re actually learning in school.

Principals expect new teachers to be trained in educational technology.  They want new hires to incorporate social media into their classrooms as a way of communicating with students and parents; they also want new hires to already have experience with blended learning and teaching online classes. However, tomorrow’s teachers’ tech training focuses only on simple management tools. Despite this, 72% of pre-service teachers report they’re well-prepared to use technology in the classroom; however their knowledge of technology may be from growing up with it rather than learning how to use digital tools during their training.

Incoming teachers seem to be caught between generations: while they use technology in their own lives and to enhance their own education, they’re learning to teach in a system that’s behind the times. 68% of teachers-in-training learn about digital learning through field placements or by taking advice from their peers and professors. Despite these discrepancies between principals’ expectations and the realities of tomorrow’s teachers’ tech education, it is certain that new teachers are more accepting and more knowledgeable of using technology in the classroom.

To learn more about the topic, check out the original article, “Are Teachers of Tomorrow Prepared to Use Innovative Tech?” (MindShift) and our report with Blackboard Inc.

Are you a principal and have something to add to this conversation? Participate in Speak Up 2014! Speak Up provides an easy way for students, parents and educators to participate in local decisions about technology, as well as contribute to the state and national dialogue about educational technology. Data from the surveys – including data regarding online classes – will be released in February 2015. Click here to register for Speak Up 2014 and mark your calendars for the survey’s launch date on October 6!
Additionally, if you are a future teacher and want to leave your input, Speak Up for Higher Ed – Tomorrow’s Teachers Speak Up! is open until October 6. Click here to learn more about the program and sign up.

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!

Free webinar – Enabled, Engaged, Empowered: The New Student Vision for Digital Learning

What: Enabled, Engaged, Empowered: The New Student Vision for Digital Learning
When: Monday, September 15 at 3PM EST
Who: Julie Evans and Blackboard K-12


The dynamic profusion of emerging technologies, both in school and out of school, is propelling today’s K-12 students to make new demands on their schools for a dramatically different kind of educational experience. Enabled, empowered and engaged, our students have a unique vision for 21st century education that reflects their desires for social-based learning experiences that are un-tethered to the traditional classroom, and rich in digital media and content.  The annual Speak Up National Research Project provides an exclusive window into the views of students on personalized learning and new classroom models. In this webinar, we will share the latest Speak Up national findings from over 403,000 K-12 students, parents and educators with a special emphasis on the how today’s students want to be engaged with mobile learning, online and blended learning, and e-textbooks and digital content.  The discussion will provide 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.

 

About Blackboard: From their beginning as a small education technology company, Blackboard has been dedicated to improving every aspect of the education experience for millions of learners and educators around the world. They work with thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations, providing them with tomorrow’s education experience today.

Need help promoting Speak Up to your stakeholders?

Speak Up partners – need help promoting the survey to your stakeholders? Check out some of our ideas for inspiration! Don’t forget that Speak Up opens on October 6th until December 19th – participants can register here.

Promote participation in Speak Up:                                 

q  Encourage your stakeholders to participate in Speak Up through email blasts, newsletters, your blog or other online social media tools.
q  Highlight the Speak Up survey on your website using the Speak Up Partner logo (with a link to the survey).
q  Inform your stakeholders that you are actively promoting participation in Speak Up by issuing your own “customized” press release using the Speak Up press release template provided by Project Tomorrow.  Project Tomorrow will issue its Speak Up national press release on October 6th.
q  Distribute Speak Up Info flyers during your presentations at conferences or from your booth on the exhibit floor.
q  Host a “Speak Up” media event to encourage participation in Speak Up.
q  Use social media networks such as Facebook or Twitter to get the word out about Speak Up to your stakeholders.

Spotlight students’ views in the dialogue about K-12 education 

q  Include Speak Up data in your articles, promotional materials or presentations.
q  Share how the Speak Up results are important to your organization’s mission and work.
q  Use the Speak Up results to identify your stakeholders’ needs, secure funding or demonstrate the success of your initiatives.
q  Schedule Julie Evans, CEO- Project Tomorrow, to present the Speak Up findings to your team, at a conference or through a webinar.
q  Host a regional or state summit to share Speak Up data and develop an action plan for creating 21stcentury schools.

Strengthen the Speak Up network

q  Blog about how you are using Speak Up data to inform your decisions about curriculum or technology, programming, legislation, or services.
q  Share promising practices with staff from partnering organizations, schools and districts who are involved with Speak Up.  

Flashback Friday: “10 Major Technology Trends in Education”

Happy Flashback Friday! Every Friday we focus on Speak Up data, articles, and press releases from the past. This week we’re looking at THE Journal’s article, “10 Major Technology Trends in Education” from February of this year, which features data from Speak Up 2013. Check out some of the major trends below:

  1. Personal Access to Mobile Devices
    • Students overwhelmingly have access to personal mobile devices. 89% of high school students have access to Internet-connected smart phones, while 50% of students in grades 3-5 have access to the same type of devices.
  2. Internet Connectivity
    • In 2013, 64% of students surveyed identified 3G- or 4G- enabled devices as their primary means of connecting to the Internet, with another 23% saying they connect through an Internet-enabled TV or Wii console.
    • When asked why traditional broadband access wasn’t their primary means of connectivity, students said there was less contention for access with other members of the family through these non-traditional devices
  3. Use of Video for Classwork and Homework
    • Video is a tool that has been on the rise in recent years. 46% of teachers are using video i the classroom, while 1/3 of students are accessing video online – through their own initiative – to help with their homework (e.g. Khan Academy).
To view all the technology trends in education, read THE Journal’s article “10 Major Technology Trends in Education” and check out our official reports here.

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

Speak Up News – September 2014

Welcome back to school! We hope you all had a great summer!
In this newsletter, you will find information regarding…
* Speak Up 2014 launches next month! Registration now open, surveys will be available October 6th- December 19th, 2014
* Speak Up 2014 promotional materials are now available! Visit our website for a full list of our flyers and guides
* Vote for our panels for SXSWedu 2015: “Paying it Forward: Leveraging Today’s Female Voices” & “Learning My Way: Anytime, Anywhere, Anyplace”
* Speak Up on the Go! Check out this month’s presentations with our CEO, Julie Evans.
Happy Reading! Feel free to share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter, and our Blog.

-The Project Tomorrow team

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Collect valuable data for your school or district by participating in Speak Up

savethedate
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! Register as the primary contact of your school or district to manage your district profile and assign organizational passwords to access your data in Feb 2015. Learn more about the registration process on our website or contact Jenny Hostert on the Project Tomorrow Team at jhostert@tomorrow.org to learn more.
For additional information on the Speak Up surveys, including FAQs, promotional materials and more please visit www.tomorrow.org/speakup.
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Our Speak Up 2014 promotional materials are now available!

To see all of our helpful flyers and guides, visit our website here.
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Vote for Julie Evans’s panels for SXSWedu 2015

We need your help! Our CEO, Julie Evans, is featured in two proposals for SXSWedu 2015’s Panel Picker, where educators can cast their votes for the most compelling ideas and ultimately shape the conference line-up. Voting ends this Friday, September 5th so make sure to give our sessions a “thumbs up” before time is out – you’ll need to create a SXSW username and password if you don’t already have one, but the process is simple and free! Learn more about the sessions below:
1. Paying it Forward: Leveraging Today’s Female Voices
This panel brings together female change agents intentionally gathered from across the ed tech space to examine the unique role women play at this nexus of education and technology. Research has demonstrated that the today’s young girls and women need role models in technology fields to develop self-efficacy in these fields. Whether you are examining how to further your own voice, grow your PLN, or mentor the next great generation of female ed tech leaders, this is a “must attend” conversation.
Vote for “Paying it Forward: Leveraging Today’s Female Voices”” here
2. Learning My Way: Anytime, Anywhere, Anyplace
Giving students 24/7 access to learning materials can dramatically improve education outcomes as proven in 40+ pilot projects. However, data shows that up to 30% of U.S. households have no access to high-speed broadband at home, and in some districts it’s as high as 70%. This causes many students to power down after school. We need a viable solution to address the gaps for those students without access. Learn about new mobile-centric solutions to enable safe and affordable 24/7 learning.
Vote for “Learning My Way: Anytime, Anywhere, Anyplace” here
Don’t forget – voting ends this Friday on September 5th!
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Speak Up on the Go!

Our CEO Julie Evans has two free webinars this month! Check them out and sign up!

Enabled, Engaged, Empowered: The New Student Vision for Digital Learning
Date and time: Monday, September 15, 2014 3:30 pm EST
Sponsored by Blackboard K-12
Sign up here
The dynamic profusion of emerging technologies, both in school and out of school, is propelling today’s K-12 students to make new demands on their schools for a dramatically different kind of educational experience. Enabled, empowered and engaged, our students have a unique vision for 21st century education that reflects their desires for social-based learning experiences that are un-tethered to the traditional classroom, and rich in digital media and content. The annual Speak Up National Research Project provides an exclusive window into the views of students on personalized learning and new classroom models. In this webinar, we will share the latest Speak Up national findings from over 403,000 K-12 students, parents and educators with a special emphasis on how today’s students want to be engaged with mobile learning, online and blended learning, and e-textbooks and digital content. The discussion will provide 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.
Engaging Students, Empowering Learning – New Roles for Digital Content and Games in the Classroom
Date and time: September 17 @ 3:30 pm EST
Sponsored by BrainPOP
Sign up here
Research tells us that engaging students in learning has the potential to improve achievement; teachers know that instinctively. But how to increase student engagement is still often an elusive concept in many classrooms. Promising new developments in the use of digital content, and specifically digital and online educational games, in elementary and middle school classrooms aim to make that connection between student engagement and empowered learning more explicit. In this webinar, Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, will introduce 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. And Robert Miller, 5th grade teacher from Daytona Beach, Florida, will share examples of how digital content and games are transforming his classroom today. With a combination of research findings and classroom practices, this webinar will provide you with new strategies and ideas to use in your classrooms this year!
As always, be sure to take the conversation online by mentioning @ProjectTomorrow, @BrainPOP, and @BlackBoardK12 during on Twitter!
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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.