THE Journal - Speak Up

About Speak Up Custom Webinars

Each one-hour Speak Up webinar follows the same basic format:

  • Presentation of data findings by Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow
  • Facilitated panel discussion with educators on the webinar theme
  • Question and answer time

Available Webinar Topics

Select one of these 16 webinar topics for exclusive sponsorship:

21st Century Skills*

Beyond the discussion of high achievement in core curriculum areas, the conversation about helping students develop 21st century skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, communication, teamwork and technology literacy has gained momentum in the past two years. But schools and districts are still struggling with how to appropriately incorporate these “soft skills” into instruction. Equally confusing is the value and importance of these skills in job preparedness. For the past two years, the Speak Up surveys has polled students, teachers and parents about these 21st century skills – and we have learned that each of these groups has a different take on the value of these skills. Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, the nation’s leading education nonprofit organization that facilitates the annual Speak Up surveys, will present the data findings and moderate a panel discussion with students, parents or teachers from a variety of school districts.

Back to top

Broadband Access

Teeing off of the national call for greater broadband access for all homes, schools and business in the next few years, this year’s Speak Up surveys polled parents about their satisfaction with their current Internet access (if they have it), their aspirations for how they would use high speed Internet resources, and how they believe that kind of national initiative should be funded. We additionally surveyed administrators on their perspectives on this subject and how the lack of broadband access may be impacting educational opportunities for their students. Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, the nation’s leading education nonprofit organization that facilitates the annual Speak Up surveys, will present the data findings and moderate a panel discussion with students, parents or administrators from a variety of school districts.

Back to top

Designing the 21st Century School

Each year for the past 6 years, the Speak Up surveys have asked education stakeholders to envision the ultimate 21st century school and to identify the technology tools and services that would have the greatest impact on student achievement. These findings from K-12 students, teachers, parents and administrators are more important this year than ever before with the upcoming federal stimulus package providing new funding for education technology. In this important new webinar, we will review the recommendations and desires from each stakeholder group and compare their responses against each other and over the past 6 years. Julie Evans, Project Tomorrow’s CEO will also facilitate a panel discussion with administrators discussing how they are planning on effectively leveraging this new stimulus funding to close the student achievement gap.

Back to top

Digital Content

With all of the national discussion around the emerging use of digital content in the classroom, the Speak Up data is the first research project to collect and report on the authentic views of students, teachers and parents on this timely subject. Included in the Speak Up question deck is the opportunity for the students and the parents to “design” the ultimate online textbook. This groundbreaking data will help companies and districts alike as they negotiate their way through the un-chartered waters of how to effective leverage digital resources within learning on a regular basis. Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, the nation’s leading education nonprofit organization that facilitates the annual Speak Up surveys, will present the data findings and moderate a panel discussion with students, parents or teachers from a variety of school districts.

Back to top

Educational Gaming*

Even though students have been calling for the infusion of gaming technologies into instruction for several years, educators has been reluctant to heed the call. Speak Up in 2007 collected landmark data on the student point of view on why serious or educational gaming within instruction would be beneficial to their education. Additionally, the Speak Up data gathered feedback from teachers and administrators about their interest in gaming and their concerns. In this webinar, we will explore the latest findings from the Speak Up surveys for K-12 students, teachers and administrators about their views on educational gaming. Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, the nation’s leading education nonprofit organization that facilitates the annual Speak Up surveys, will present the data findings and moderate a panel discussion with students or teachers from a variety of school districts.

Back to top

Home-School Connections*

Many schools and districts are investing in sophisticated school portals, district websites and learning management systems that provide parental access. But what do parents really want in terms of communications capabilities and information about their child’s education? In this webinar, we will explore the latest findings from the Speak Up parent surveys to learn about what features and functionalities of these online devices parents consider essential and the benefits of such electronic home – school connections from the parents’ point of view. Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, the nation’s leading education nonprofit organization that facilitates the annual Speak Up surveys, will present the data findings and moderate a panel discussion with three parents from a variety of school districts.

Back to top

Information and Media Literacy Skills

Over the past few years, the Speak Up data has broken new national ground by collecting data on the attitudes of students, teachers and parents regarding 21st century skill development. With Speak Up 2008 we focused on a particular subset of the 21st century skill suite – information and media literacy skills. This year’s questions ask students, teachers and parents to prioritize the specific skills within this general heading and evaluate the way that students authenticate online resources. This data is critical foundational information as the schools and districts struggle with how to meet the 8th grade technology literacy requirement of NCLB. Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, the nation’s leading education nonprofit organization that facilitates the annual Speak Up surveys, will present the data findings and moderate a panel discussion with students, parents or teachers from a variety of school districts.

Back to top

Mobile Devices Within Instruction

Today’s students are increasingly carrying a wide variety of “computers in their backpacks” including laptops, cell phones, MP3 players and smartphones. Many innovative districts are brainstorming today how to better leverage those devices within instruction. In this webinar, we will explore the latest findings from the Speak Up surveys for K-12 students, teachers and administrators about their views on mobile devices within instruction. Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, the nation’s leading education nonprofit organization that facilitates the annual Speak Up surveys, will present the data findings and moderate a panel discussion with students, teachers or administrators from a variety of school districts.

Back to top

Obstacles or Protection – Internet Safety and School Filters and Firewalls

The debate over Internet safety is still a vigorous conversation with parents and teachers advocating for more restrictions at home and in school, and students complaining that the filters and firewalls are limiting their technology use and negatively impacting their ability to learn. In this webinar, we will explore the latest findings from the Speak Up surveys for K-12 students, teachers, parents and administrators about their views on Internet safety and the obstacles that students face in using technology for learning. Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, the nation’s leading education nonprofit organization that facilitates the annual Speak Up surveys, will present the data findings and moderate a panel discussion with students or teachers from a variety of school districts.

Back to top

Online Learning

The conventional wisdom is that online classes work best for students who want to earn college credit or take a class that is either not offered at their school or cannot fit into a busy schedule. However, the recent Speak Up data uncovered that middle school students are also interested in online learning but for very different reasons. In this webinar, we will explore the latest findings from the Speak Up surveys for students from grades 3-12, teachers, parents and administrators about their views on online learning. Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, the nation’s leading education nonprofit organization that facilitates the annual Speak Up surveys, will present the data findings and moderate a panel discussion with students, teachers or administrators from a variety of school districts.

Back to top

Professional Learning Communities

Increasingly teachers are seeking to enhance their professional skills and knowledge without leaving their school or classroom – online learning opportunities have greatly expanded those options. At the same time, schools and districts are very interested in collaborative learning and are putting in place professional learning communities to provide support to their teachers on a daily basis. With Speak Up 2008, we explored teacher attitudes and aspirations for online professional learning communities in addition to our questions about teacher training vehicles and online learning. This interesting new data set will provide illuminating information for districts trying to marry the benefits of both new concepts – online learning and professional learning communities – in a cohesive manner that impacts both teaching and learning. Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, the nation’s leading education nonprofit organization that facilitates the annual Speak Up surveys, will present the data findings and moderate a panel discussion with teachers and administrators from a variety of school districts.

Back to top

Science Instruction and Technology / STEM Careers

The critical discussion about increasing national economic competitiveness usually ends up with a conversation about improving science instruction and stimulating more student interest in careers in the science, technology, engineering and math fields. For the past three years, the Speak Up surveys have asked questions about how science is being taught in our schools, what students would do to improve science instruction, student and parent interest in STEM careers and what would be effective in creating new student interest in those careers . The data findings from students, teachers, administrators and parents provides illuminating insights into how to improve K-12 education and create a new leverage point between education and business competitiveness. Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, the nation’s leading education nonprofit organization that facilitates the annual Speak Up surveys, will present the data findings and moderate a panel discussion with students, parents, teachers or administrators from a variety of school districts.

Back to top

Students in Rural Schools and their Use of Technology for Learning

The conventional wisdom is that students in our nation’s challenged rural schools probably have a different perspective on using technology for learning due to their general lack of home computer access. In this webinar, we will put a spotlight on the Speak Up responses from students in rural schools and evaluate their responses against suburban and urban students. Additionally, we will evaluate the comparative teacher data to better understand the rural environment for teaching and learning with technology. Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, the nation’s leading education nonprofit organization that facilitates the annual Speak Up surveys, will present the data findings and moderate a panel discussion with students, parents or teachers from a variety of rural school districts.

Back to top

Students in Urban Schools and their Use of Technology for Learning

The conventional wisdom is that students in our nation’s challenged urban schools probably have a different perspective on using technology for learning due to their general lack of home computer access. In this webinar, we will put a spotlight on the Speak Up responses from students in urban schools and evaluate their responses against suburban and rural students. Additionally, we will evaluate the comparative teacher data to better understand the urban environment for teaching and learning with technology. Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, the nation’s leading education nonprofit organization that facilitates the annual Speak Up surveys, will present the data findings and moderate a panel discussion with students or teachers from a variety of urban school districts.

Back to top

Top 10 Trends in Student Learning with Technology

Today’s students approach learning in a vastly different way as a result of their ubiquitous technology use. Leveraging the findings from the Speak Up surveys, we will discuss the Top 10 Trends that every school and district administrator should be aware of, and thinking about in terms of addressing the instructional needs of today’s students. The webinar will include a presentation of the trends by Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, the nation’s leading education nonprofit organization that facilitates the annual Speak Up surveys, and a panel discussion with three district administrators.

Back to top

Web 2.0 and Education

There has been a lot of media coverage this year about innovative teachers using social networking sites, blogs and wikis within instruction. Yet, the personal use of such tools by teachers and administrators is still relatively small. In Speak Up 2008, we polled students, teachers, parents and administrators about their use of Web 2.0 tools outside of school to get a new fresh perspective on their likelihood to use these tools professionally. In addition, we explored with educators some of their attitudes about using such tools in the classroom. In this webinar, we will dive deeply into the Speak Up findings about Web 2.0 behavior and discuss the linkages between personal use of these tools and the rate of inclusion of those tools into instruction. Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, the nation’s leading education nonprofit organization that facilitates the annual Speak Up surveys, will present the data findings and moderate a panel discussion with students, parents or administrators from a variety of school districts.

Back to top