Tag Archives: Project Tomorrow

Invest in tomorrow – donate to Project Tomorrow!

By 2020, half of all jobs in Orange County will be science, technology, engineering and math based. Your donation helps us provide programs and events that support the next great generation of STEM-career ready students and teachers.
  • $20 sends one student to a Project Tomorrow Youth Leadership Summit or Future Teachers Conference
  • $50 helps fund scholarships and support for Emerging Student Innovators, High Impact Teachers, and Innovative School Programs
  • $125 sponsors a Future Teacher’s Club at a local high school
  • A donation of your choice provides general support for student programs and events
  • Please contact us regarding a corporate donation or my company match
Click here to learn more

Case study: Poudre School District Global Academy

Project Tomorrow has teamed up with Fuel Education to bring you a case study on Poudre School District (PSD) Global Academy in Fort Collins, Colorado.  This innovative online/hybrid school for students in K–12 grade is ranked among the highest in the state of Colorado for student growth across all grades for the 2013–2014 school year. This achievement marks the first time an innovative school using blended and online learning has ranked in the top 95 percent of all Colorado schools – including traditional brick and mortar schools, charter schools, and other online schools.

In this document, we outline:

  • Proof of Program Results – The school’s desired student outcomes, Northwest Evaluaion Association’s Measures of Academic Porogress (MAP®) assessment results, Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) assessements, and Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) results.
  • The PSD Global Academy Approach – The five unique approaches that the school believes is intetral to their positive results.
  • Lessons Learned – The three takeaways for education leaders who want to implment successful blended learing programs.

Download a PDF of the case study: Online, Virtual, and Blended Learning in Action

To read a summary of a recent District Administration webinar featuring PSD Global Academy, click here.
Fuel Education’s mission is to partner with schools and districts to personalize and transform the education experience inside and outside the classroom by leveraging the power of technology-enabled learning. Unlike legacy publishers and other online providers, Fuel Education offers a comprehensive, integrated approach to online learning based on their experience partnering with more than 2,000 school districts in all 50 states and D.C. To learn more about Fuel Education, visit http://www.getfueled.com/

Press release: Study Concludes Access to Technology—In & Outside the Classroom—Increases Student Engagement

Contact Information:
Linda Kerr
Study Concludes Access to Technology—In & Outside the Classroom—Increases Student Engagement
Project Tomorrow & Kajeet Announce Results of Two-Year Study with Chicago Public Schools
MCLEAN, Virginia—Jan. 21, 2015—Kajeet®(www.kajeet.com/education), the only wireless service provider dedicated to kids and education, and Project Tomorrow®, a national education nonprofit, announce the results of a two-year-long study on the impact of mobile devices on teaching and learning.  The Making Learning Mobile 2.0 study continues taking an in-depth look at the impact of 1-to-1 tablet implementation, including Internet access outside the classroom, with Chicago Public Schools students.
Results from the Making Learning Mobile study included:  
  • The school-issued tablet increased at-home Internet access for this cohort of students by 53 percent.  This is especially significant given the persistence of the digital divide in home Internet access within our communities.
  • The teachers felt more comfortable and assigned more reading and writing homework because the students had home Internet access. This resulted in increased reading and writing fluency, which is especially important for English Language Learners.
  • 60 percent of the students agreed their reading increased because of their personal access to the tablet and the Internet; 60 percent noted they did more writing this school year than in previous years and that the tablet helped them improve their writing skills. 
The project was sponsored by Kajeet with funding from Qualcomm Incorporated, through its Qualcomm® Wireless Reach™ initiative. Kajeet and Project Tomorrow will host a webinar on Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 4 pm EST to discuss the results, including how the tablets transformed teaching and learning for both students and teachers from one year to the next.
As part of the Making Learning Mobile 2.0 study, 127 Chicago 5th grade students and their four teachers were provided with Android tablets using Kajeet Education Broadband to connect kids in school and at home. The objectives were to evaluate how the students used the devices, in and outside the classroom, to support their schoolwork and extend learning beyond the classroom, focusing on increased literacy. Ninety three percent of the students in the Chicago focus school were considered low income and 45 percent were qualified as English Language Learners. Just over one-third of the students noted they did not have Internet access at home. 
“We wanted to evaluate how access to these devices for communication with teachers and classmates increases comfort with technology, extends the learning day, and allows students to develop digital citizenship skills within a safe and secure learning environment,” said Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow. “During the second year of the study, we were interested in learning how the teachers would integrate the devices into instruction and how that integration would help the students develop stronger research skills.”
“As technology spreads through schools, students are proving eager to embrace it. But that same technology increasingly demands mobile Internet connectivity — preferably broadband —to be fully effective as a tool,” said Daniel Neal, CEO and founder of Kajeet. “There are still many schools without adequate wireless Internet connectivity to allow mobile devices to function to their full capability. Studies like this one show teachers, students, parents and administrators the value of not only the technology, but the necessity for connectivity as well.”
The Making Learning Mobile study is continuing this school year within Chicago Public Schools. Register for the webinar at info.kajeet.com/webinar-mlmreport and download the complete report from both school districts info.kajeet.com/downloadmlmreport.
About Kajeet® 
Kajeet, the only wireless solution provider dedicated to kids and education, is bridging the digital divide in school districts across the country. Kajeet provides a safe, affordable, mobile broadband solution that connects disadvantaged students to the resources they need to complete required assignments and projects outside of school. The Kajeet SmartSpot solution, a portable Wi-Fi hotspot combined with the innovative Sentinel® cloud portal, enables administrators and teachers to provide CIPA-compliant, customizable filtered Internet access that keeps students focused on school work and provides off-campus Internet connectivity without worry of data abuse. The Kajeet service platform, which operates on both the Sprint and Verizon network, is protected by the following patents 8,774,755; 8,774,754; 8,755,768; 8,731,517; 8,725,109; 8,712,371; 8,706,079; 8,667,559; 8,644,796; 8,639,216; 8,634,803; 8,634,802; 8,634,801; 8,630,612; 8,611,885; 8,600,348; 8,594,619; 8,588,735; 8,285,249; 8,078,140; 7,945,238; 7,899,438; 7,881,697. Other patents are pending.For more information, please visit us at kajeet.com/education. 
About Project Tomorrow
Project Tomorrow®, the national education nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering student voices in education discussions, designed and implemented this program evaluation for Kajeet for Education.  Project Tomorrow has 17 years of experience in the K-12 and higher education sector and regularly provides consulting and research support to school districts, government agencies, business and higher education institutions about key trends and research in science, math and technology education.



Press release: North Carolina Educators Get Support for Digital Transition

For Immediate Release:
January 21, 2015
Download PDF of Press Release 
Blythe Tyrone,
Amber Taylor

Professional Development Model Being Implemented to Support State’s Schools

Raleigh, N.C. — On Jan. 8 and 9, over 50 instructional technologists and coaches, mentor teachers, and media coordinators came together at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation for the first event of the yearlong North Carolina Digital Leaders Coaches Network (DLCN): Building Change Agents in Education program.
The Friday Institute has collaborated with Project Tomorrow, a national education nonprofit organization, and North Carolina Technology in Education Society (NCTIES) to develop the DLCN to assist schools and districts in the process of digital learning transitions, and to cultivate local capacity by providing support to those in coaching roles, as coaches are essential to leading and supporting student-centered digital learning and teaching.
“Project Tomorrow is partnering with the Friday Institute to extend what we learned from our National Science Foundation funded Teachers’ Readiness to Adopt and Adapt Digital Content grant to more education leaders in North Carolina,” said Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow. “This research demonstrates the importance and value of instructional coaches to help teachers leverage technology effectively to enhance student learning experiences.”  
Based on research on effective professional learning, the DLCN will provide ongoing, job-embedded and peer-supported professional development that is grounded in relevant and rigorous curriculum and instruction. This program seeks to ensure that participants have access to personalized and sustainable opportunities centered around pedagogy and digital learning with a significant emphasis on strategies that allow them to apply that knowledge to build capacity among educators, administrators, and students in the school.
Throughout the year, the cohort of educators will reconvene and interact with education experts through monthly face-to-face reunions and in an online environment. This structure will provide participants opportunities for professional networking and collaboration within a blended and sustainable community for the sharing of ideas and strategies. They will also acquire strategies and knowledge related to best practices in leadership and supporting stakeholders in their schools and districts.
“In giving these coaches an opportunity to learn and network with other educators who are in similar roles, we are helping to build a support structure that will ultimately have a positive impact on student learning experiences,” said Nancy Mangum, a research scholar at the Friday Institute and a project lead for DLCN.
This blended learning experience, built on the North Carolina Media Coordinator, Instructional Technology Facilitator & Coaching Evaluation Instruments, will help participants grow as educators, coaches and leaders while assisting them in building strong professional learning networks. The core components of Leadership and Culture, Content and Curriculum, Sustainability and Evaluation, and Being a Connected Educator are woven throughout all components of the DLCN experience.
More information about the program can be found at http://go.ncsu.edu/dlcn
About Project Tomorrow
Project Tomorrow (www.tomorrow.org), a national education nonprofit organization headquartered in Irvine, California, supports the innovative uses of research-based science, math and technology resources to develop critical thinking, problem solving and creativity in K-12 students. Project Tomorrow addresses the challenges of developing schools for the 21st century through national research projects, community and school-based programs, online tools and resources, and advocacy efforts to ensure that all students are prepared to be tomorrow’s leaders, innovators and engaged citizens of the world.
About the Friday Institute
The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation (fi.ncsu.edu) at the North Carolina State University’s College of Education conducts research, develops educational resources, provides professional development programs for educators, advocates to improve teaching and learning, and helps inform policy-makers, all centered on innovations that will help prepare K–12 students for college, a career, and citizenship in the global information age.

Throwback Thursday

Happy Throwback Thursday! Each Throwback Thursday will feature past Project Tomorrow news, events, data reports, and more. This week we’re focusing on our YouthTEACH2Learn program, with a testimonial from past participant Shelly Becerra, class of 2011 from Trabuco Hills High School. Check out her experience below:

YouthTEACH2Learn was an exciting and unique opportunity for me. Throughout high school I was consistently split between teaching and computer engineering as my preferred career choices. I had always loved kids, but also math and technology. My sophomore year I took Honors physics with Mrs. Fliegler, one of the YouthTEACH2Learn teachers at Trabuco. She always talked about how fun and exciting the class was. My junior year I took Honors Chemistry with Mr. Camilling, the other YouthTEACH2Learn teacher at our school. He also expressed his love of the class. My senior year I finally enrolled in YouthTEACH2Learn. I had an amazing experience. Our school team, Melinda Heights, was so great. Our kids were awesome, and really enjoyed us teaching them.

There are a few key moments really stand out in my mind. One was the fire alarm. Right in the middle of one of our lessons, the fire alarm went off. It was a little stressful trying to figure out what to do, but in the end we thought everything through and finished teaching our lesson. The next experience I will always remember was a time when a cute little girl, Regan gave us a thank you note. It was extremely touching. The final moment that stands out was our last lesson. We were saying good-bye to Mrs. Cline’s class, walking them out to recess, when one by one, the elementary kids came up and hugged us all. It was so unexpected, but amazing! Our team left that day a little sad, but happy that we touched those kids’ lives like that.

I can remember learning from high school students in the YouthTEACH2Learn program when I was little, and after being in the program, I truly understand how great the class is. This program was the key factor in my choosing teaching as my career path. I am beginning school at Cal State Fullerton as a Math major, in hopes of becoming a high school math teacher.

The YouthTEACH2Learn program is a career exploration program where students explore teaching as a career. During the course, the students gain practical experience by observing elementary school classrooms, learning how to teach, developing and teaching standards-based lessons to younger students in neighboring elementary schools and participating in local community service projects. In addition, students also have the opportunity to meet local educators, attend career panels and visit local college campuses in order to determine if the teaching is a “good-fit” for their professional goals.

Interested in YouthTEACH2Learn? Click here to see it in action, and click here to learn more about the program. 

Happy Holidays from Project Tomorrow!

Happy Holidays from the Project Tomorrow Team! This is a special post written by Project Tomorrow CEO, Julie Evans.
Dear Friend of Project Tomorrow,
As I write this letter, Speak Up, Project Tomorrow’s survey of education stakeholders about the role of technology for learning in and out of school, has passed 400,000 participants – a full week ahead of that milestone last year.  In preparing our end of year newsletter, I realized that 2014 has been a banner year for Project Tomorrow in many ways, including:
  • Selection and inclusion in 100Kin10 and Orange County Teacher Preparation Pathway for our Tomorrow’s Teachers Initiative
  •  Research and evaluation projects for the National Science Foundation, Chicago Public Schools, and many more
  • Record participation at our Youth Leadership Summit and Future Educators Conference
Of course, none of this would be possible without the support and participation of the students, educators, business, and community partners who work with us every day to ensure that today’s students are prepared to be tomorrow’s innovators, leaders, and engaged citizens.  Thank you – and please take a moment to read more about our efforts this year and our plans for next year in our newsletter.
Finally, please consider an end of year donation to Project Tomorrow; together we can make 2015 an even greater success for students across the country.
Happy Holidays,


Julie Evans

Speak Up 2014 Snapshot for Parents

This is a special blog posting by Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, to share some selected , preliminary data findings from Speak Up 2014 (data collected from November 25th from 16,200 parents of school aged children nationwide). The final data results will be published in a series of national reports in spring 2015.
Mobiles for learning?  Parents say yes!
Over the past 12 years, some of the most significant data findings from the Speak Up surveys have revolved around mobile devices and their use within the classroom.  While we continue each year to uncover new findings about how teachers and students are using laptops, tablets and smartphones to support learning, both in school and at home, I think the data from parents about their opinions on mobile learning, and their willingness to support this trend should be of equal importance to school and district leaders.  Parents not only mobilists themselves (users of mobile devices) but increasingly they also see these devices as essential learning tools for their children.
When asked to identify the benefits of student use of mobile devices within instruction, parents’ top responses in this year’s Speak Up surveys reflect a triad of core advantages associated with digital learning.
First, parents see mobile devices as providing their students with a gateway to increased access to learning content, most notably online textbooks (71 percent).   Parents place a high value on the role of digital content within learning today – and laptops, tablets, digital readers and even smartphones are an easy and convenient way for students to use that content anytime, anywhere.  The component of “anywhere learning” is further facilitated by the second core advantage of mobile devices.  Parents like the idea that their children could use a mobile to review class materials afterschool (67 percent), thus extending the learning day beyond the traditional 3 pm school bell.   This extension of the classroom experience, enabled by the mobile devices, also appears to yield an additional benefit of improving school to home communications for many parents as well (59 percent).  Finally, the third core advantage of mobile learning is the idea that these compelling, always on devices can increase student engagement in learning.  Almost 6 out of 10 parents say that increasing student engagement is a significant benefit of incorporating laptops and tablets within classroom instruction; teachers and administrators agree!
Parents’ perceptions about the benefits of mobile devices are more than a hypothetical discussion however.  Half of all parents of school aged children who completed a Speak Up survey  this year said they would like their child to be in a class where he/she could use their own mobile device to support learning.   While administrators’ views on BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies is changing, this vote of approval for that kind of policy change should be a wakeup call for many school districts today.  Equally compelling for district leaders, parents appear to be willing to support that aspiration with a financial investment.  While 14 percent of parents say that they have already purchased a mobile device for their child to use specifically in school for academic purposes, an additional 44 percent say they would be willing to purchase a device for their child to use in class   if school policy allowed for that.  
Want to understand how supportive your school parents are for mobile learning?  Every school and district that participates in Speak Up and promotes the surveys to their parents, students and staff, receives a free report with both local and national data findings.  Speak Up 2014 surveys are open for input until December 19.  Local reports will be available February 5.  Here is your link to the surveys:  http://www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2014/

Speak Up 2014 Snapshots for Educators

This is a special blog posting by Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, to share some selected , preliminary data findings from Speak Up 2014 (data collected from October 6 – November 24 from 17,913 teachers nationwide). The final data results will be published in a series of national reports in spring 2015.

Wishing upon a professional development dream —
what teachers say they really need to be more effective!

Both teachers and administrators agree that the value of the use of digital tools and resources can be enhanced if teachers receive appropriate professional development that builds both tangible skills and capacity for future learning. But what do teachers say they need this year specifically to increase their effectiveness in their classroom? This “Teacher PD Wish List” may surprise you!
In terms of building their own capacity to use a wide range of digital tools and resources, a majority of classroom teachers (51 percent) identify that they need training on how to effectively leverage technology specifically to differentiate instruction. The heightened interest in personalizing learning for every student is a great motivator for learning how to use various emerging digital tools to accomplish that goal. Correspondingly, approximately one-third of teachers say they are particularly interested in learning how to use educational games and tablets this year in their classrooms. Students will be glad to hear that – both games and tablets show up prominently on students’ wish list for their dream school also!
Online assessments are also on the minds of many teachers these days. Depending upon their school, they may have already implemented online state tests with their students last year or they are preparing to do so this spring. It makes sense therefore that teachers also indicate interest in learning how to use technology for formative assessments as well as how to prepare their students for the standardized summative online assessments.
When asked about their preferred method or approach for PD, the teachers’ responses this year show some consistency with the data findings over the past few years. Face-to-face events such as attending a conference or participating in a school or district based training are still the most popular forms of training or PD for teachers. In those cases, learning from outside experts is the strong appeal. But teachers also highly value learning that is collaborative with colleagues and they place a high premium on the experiences and expertise of their peers. Consequently, teachers this year also indicate that they would like their PD experiences to include observing other teachers to get new ideas, being part of a school study team, and having the opportunity to be mentored by a master teacher.
As school and district leaders prepare agendas and recruit speakers for spring in-service training days or summer institutes, keeping in mind the teachers’ PD wish list is both wise and prudent. With time as a teacher’s most precious commodity, let’s make sure that we are using that asset effectively to help teachers enhance skills and capacities around topics that they are most interested in. The results will most certainly be evident in the classroom – both in terms of teachers’ use of technology and the satisfaction they will feel from having their voices heard.
Want to understand the PD needs of your teachers? Every school and district that participates in Speak Up and promotes the surveys to their staff, students and parents, receives a free report with both local and national data findings. Speak Up 2014 surveys are open for input until December 19. Local reports will be available February 5. Here is your link to the surveys: http://www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2014/

Happy Thanksgiving!

We hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Look for big Speak Up news coming your way next week!
Mark your calendars for Speak Up America, which will take place from December 8th to December 12th. This week long celebration of Speak Up participants features our social media contest, with opportunities to win school and classroom grants. Click here to learn more about Speak Up America. Additionally we will be releasing a special announcement on December 3rd at 3PM ET regarding our popular Speak Up social media contests. Check the Speak Up America page and be on the lookout for a special email with the challenge information and contest rules!
Finally, thank you to everyone who has taken the Speak Up survey! Surveys are open through December 19th on our official survey page. Let’s take a look at our survey counts:

Survey counts as of November 24

233,701 (and counting!) overall surveys taken.
Students: 193,844
Teachers: 18,974
Administrators: 2,093
Parents: 16,098
Community Members: 2,692

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

Top Schools:
North Carolina Virtual School, NC
Hamilton Southeastern High School, IN
Fishers High School, IN
Klein Forest High School, TX
Buhach Colony High, CA
Top Districts:
Hamilton Southeastern Schools, IN
Klein ISD, TX
Weslaco ISD, TX
Wake County Schools, NC
Anaheim City Public Schools, CA
Top States:
Indiana with 39,886
California with 37,693
Texas with 35,733
North Carolina with 30,512
Maryland with 9,399
As always, don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and our Blog. Have a great Thanksgiving!

– The Project Tomorrow team