December 16, 2020

Dear Speak Up friends:

With winter breaks, holiday celebrations and the hopeful dawn of 2021 right around the corner, your friends at Project Tomorrow would like to take a moment to let you know how much we appreciate you and your unwavering commitment to the promise of education to create a better tomorrow for everyone. While we all experienced many stormy clouds and new awakenings over the past year, your dedication and hard work on behalf of students continues to inspire us to strive harder and reach higher in our programs and initiatives to ensure that they are the best they can be to support your work. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to be your partner. Please let me know how we can help you in 2021.

Wishing you all the best for now and in 2021,

Julie A. Evans, Ed.D.
Chief Executive Officer, Project Tomorrow
jevans@tomorrow.org

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Headline News!

Speak Up Research Project

Planning for 2020-21 school year:
▪ View Speak Up surveys!
▪ Register to participate!

New reports and resources

▪ 90 Days that Changed K-12 Teaching and Learning series: All four reports available now!
▪ Speak Up data featured in edFocus December Stat of the Month
▪ eSchools News- Speak Up 2020: A look at digital learning and transformation

Upcoming Events

▪ ESA Foundation "Say Goodbye to 2020 for Good" with Video game Streaming Event- Thursday, December 17, 2020
▪ NCTET A Virtual Convening: Student Learning in Online and Hybrid Environments- Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Research opportunities with Project Tomorrow

▪ Computational thinking integration within elementary classroom
▪ Social-emotional learning for elementary students during the pandemic
▪ Re-engaging students in learning using team-based video game play in schools
▪ Voice-enabled assistants in the classroom – impact on student learning and classroom management

-The Project Tomorrow Team

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Speak Up Research Project

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In preparation for the next semester, we want to remind you that Speak Up 2020-21 is now OPEN!

Please have yourself or a point of contact register your school or district to participate now at speakup.tomorrow.org!

By participating today, you are ensuring your voice is heard not only by your school and district but at the state and national level as findings are summarized and shared with national and state policy makers every year.

You can currently view our survey questions here!

We have also made promotional materials available for you to help you with your outreach efforts:
General Speak Up Flyers
Audience Specific Flyers
Sample Outreach Text
Social Media Outreach
and much more...

Visit our website or log into your our Admin Portal to learn more!

Please feel free to set up a call with the Speak Up team with any questions or to review survey opportunities.

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New reports and resources

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90 Days that Changed K-12 Teaching and Learning series – a collaborative project with Blackboard. All four reports available now!

90 Days That Changed K-12 Teaching and Learning: The Shift to Digital Learning
The cavalcade of school closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the sudden and unplanned shift in the delivery mechanism for instruction, from primarily face-to-face, in-classroom instruction to digital learning facilitated over the Internet from home. Almost overnight, technology tools became the principal instrument for enabling the continuity of learning for students across the country. It also goes without saying that the roughly 90 days of school closures most likely forever changed our expectations for teaching and learning in K-12 education, and most certainly has shone a new spotlight on the role of digital tools, content and resources within the learning experience.

90 Days That Changed K-12 Teaching and Learning: Spotlight on Equity in Learning
The sudden and unplanned move to remote e-learning resulted in a spotlight on the challenges to ensure that every student has appropriate, safe and consistent access to digital tools and resources to support learning outside of school. But creating equity in learning environments is about more than provisioning a Chromebook and a Wifi hotspot to a family. Equity in access to quality teaching and learning matters too.

90 Days That Changed K-12 Teaching and Learning: Strengthening the Bonds of Communications While schools have long championed the importance of school-to-home communications and encouraged family engagement with local schools, the remote e-learning environment has promoted effective communications from important to absolutely imperative. But what does effective communications mean in this new era, especially relative to the dialogue between teacher and student?

90 Days That Changed K-12 Teaching and Learning: Sponsoring Student Ownership of Learning
School closures and remote e-learning has presented an unprecedented opportunity for education leaders to think constructively about the purpose of school and the role of the student in the learning process. These critical discussions have the potential to lead to new discoveries around student engagement, how to create contextually relevant learning experiences, and empowering greater student ownership of the learning process.

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edFocus December Stat of the Month

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Stat of the Month | Students say the use of online, digital, and video games with learning helps them develop future-ready skills

Project Tomorrow has created a report on Digital Learning during the Pandemic: Emerging Evidence of an Education Transformation, providing key research findings to support how students, teachers, and parents are thinking differently about teaching and learning as a result of distance learning in spring 2020. According to the report, students say the use of online, digital, and video games with learning helps them develop future-ready skills including creativity (68%), collaboration (67%), decision-making (61%), and problem solving (60%).
Download the Report

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eSchool News

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For the last seven months of 2020, school districts have gone through extreme changes regarding how learning is happening in pandemic-induced hybrid and digital learning environments.

In a recent edWeb edLeader Panel sponsored by Project Tomorrow, Dr. Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, and Christina Fleming, Vice President of Blackboard K12, presented the Speak Up 2019-2020 National Findings titled Digital Learning During the Pandemic: Emerging Evidence of an Education Transformation.

The research surveyed more than 136,000 K-12 students, teachers, and parents, focused on what digital learning looked like during the pandemic, and revealed potential emerging transformation evidence.

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Upcoming Events

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ESA Foundation "Say Goodbye to 2020 for Good" with Video game Streaming Event

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Foundation is rallying the video game community to “Say Goodbye to 2020 For Good” by hosting a week-long streaming event featuring influencers and esports teams raising money for important causes. The event is supported by Google Play, as well as Twitch, which will match funds across its platform. The event runs from Monday, Dec. 14 through Friday, Dec. 18 and will be streamed live on Twitch and YouTube.

“The goal of next week’s charity livestream is to bring the video game community together to support those who need it most during these difficult times,” says Anastasia Staten, executive director of the ESA Foundation. “We are joining together with well-known streamers and esports personalities to say goodbye to 2020 in a way that will help so many in 2021. With the support of our sponsors and partners, we hope to make a dramatic impact on some very important causes.”

Big name streamers will raise money playing their favorite games for a variety of charities serving the needs of various communities. Among those charities are Black Girls Code, No Kid Hungry, Project Tomorrow, Rise Above the Disorder, The Trevor Project and Warfighter Engaged. View full schedule

On Thursday, December 17 & Friday, December 18 at 3PM EST/12PM PST - Gamer LaurenzSide will be raising funds for Project Tomorrow's Raise Your Hand Campaign to Re-Engage Students in Learning During COVID Crisis

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A Virtual Convening: Student Learning in Online and Hybrid Environments

Wednesday, January 12, 2021
noon-1pm PT/ 3-4pm ET

Since last spring, when K-12 schools abruptly closed nationwide due to the outbreak of COVID-19, educators have worked hard to transition in-person instruction to fully online or hybrid in-person/online environments. Educators have learned many lessons about engaging students online, including different teaching styles, new apps, and new modes of personal communication.

This webinar discussion will provide an in-depth look, through the eyes of a parent leader, an district leader and two current high school students on the following topics:
▪ Students’ experiential perspectives on the learning today across different school formats
▪ The latest data on student engagement in different learning environments

▪ Parents’ roles in supporting and advocating for their children during the pandemic
▪ Best practices for educators to better engage and communicate with parents and students
▪ State and federal government roles in improving student engagement in online and hybrid learning environments

This discussion will be moderated by our own Dr. Julie A. Evans!

For more information about NCTET, please visit: www.nctet.org

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Research opportunities with Project Tomorrow

Thinking about 2021? Project Tomorrow will be introducing several new research projects. We are currently seeking schools and districts to participate in these studies:

▪ Use of voice-enabled assistants for learning purposes in fully face-to-face or hybrid learning classrooms: study involves piloting use of devices in the classroom (January thru March 2021 implementation period)

Infusing computational thinking concepts and strategies within elementary education: professional learning program for teachers during the 2021-22 school year

Social-emotional learning for elementary students during the pandemic

Re-engaging students in learning using team-based video game play in schools

If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please contact Dr. Julie Evans directly at jevans@tomorrow.org.

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The Project Tomorrow offices will be closed for winter break from Monday December 21, 2020- January 1, 2021! We will be reconnecting with you all Monday January 3, 2021!

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 the Speak Up team at speakup@tomorrow.org or via phone at (949) 609-4660.

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