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Researchers' Frequently Asked Questions

About Speak Up

What is Speak Up?
Speak Up is a national K-12 research project facilitated by Project Tomorrow, the nation’s leading education nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering student voices in education. Each year, we facilitate the online surveys and ask K-12 students:

  • how they are using and would like to use technology for learning in and out of school
  • the benefits of using technology for learning
  • their attitudes and interest in math and science, as well as career aspirations
  • how they self-assess their 21st century skills competencies

To help schools and districts, as well as education and policy leaders gain a deeper understanding about the opportunities, challenges and potential outcomes of integrating technology into our nation’s classrooms, Speak Up also surveys teachers, administrators, librarians and parents. 

The Speak Up data represents the largest collection of authentic, unfiltered stakeholder voices regarding digital learning. Since fall 2003, over 3.9 million K-12 students, parents, teachers, librarians, principals, technology leaders and district administrators have shared their views and ideas through Speak Up. 

The Speak Up data is a convenience sample; schools and districts self-select to participate in project and facilitate the survey-taking process for their students, educators and parents. In preparation for data analysis, the survey results are matched with school level demographic information, such as Title I, school locale (urban, rural and suburban), and ethnicity selected from the Core of Common Data compiled by the National Center for Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/). The data is analyzed using standard cross-tab analysis and key variables, such as internet and device access are tested for statistical significance. 

To minimize bias in the survey results, Project Tomorrow conducts significant outreach to ensure adequate regional, socio-economic and racial/ethnic/cultural distribution. Additionally, Project Tomorrow staff verifies the national data through a series of focus groups and interviews with representative groups of students, educators and parents.

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When is Speak Up open?
The Speak Up surveys are open each fall from October through December. Results will be available to participating schools and districts the following February.

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Who is eligible to participate in Speak Up?
Any school, district or organization that serves K-12 students in the U.S. and internationally can participate in the Speak Up surveys free-of-charge. Survey results with national benchmarks are available to any organization that participates in Speak Up.

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What types of surveys are available?
The Speak Up surveys are available for students, teachers, librarians, principals, district administrators, parents and the general public via our community member survey.  Student surveys are grade and reading level appropriate and are available for grades Kindergarten through 2nd, 3rd through 5th, 6th through 8th and 9th through 12th. The surveys are designed to take into consideration each group’s unique perspectives. Surveys for students and educators are currently available in English only. The parents' survey is currently available in English and Spanish.   

Each survey contains 15 to 25 questions, with one or two open-ended responses. 60% are legacy questions; carried over from year to year in order to track changes in attitude over time. 40% are created each year in an effort to gain insight into emerging technologies and innovations in the classroom. 

Complete surveys can be viewed online only during each survey period during the months of October and December. Click here to view sample questions.

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Access to the surveys and results

When will Speak Up data results be available
Survey results will be available to participating schools and districts, online, free-of-charge, beginning in February of next year. Speak Up national findings will be released in the beginning of next Spring through a variety of venues, including: Congressional Briefings in Washington, DC, national and regional conferences, and our website.

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Can anyone view Speak Up data results?
Schools and districts that participate in Speak Up have free online access via a password protected link to their specific Speak Up results with national benchmarks on our website.  If you would like to view your school or districts Speak Up results and you are not sure how to access them, email the Speak Up team for assistance. 

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Where can I find Speak Up reports from previous years?
During the year, the national findings are released through a series of reports and presentations and can be found on the Speak Up website, click here to view the presentations or reports.

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I would like to use Speak Up data in my research, what steps do I need to take?
We encourage you to use, discuss and write about the Speak Up national findings. If you would like to include the Speak Up data published in our national reports and presentations in your own research, please email the completed Speak Up permissions document to the Speak Up team.

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Can I use the surveys for my own research?
The Speak Up surveys and findings are the intellectual property of Project Tomorrow and only the participating schools and districts have access to the surveys during the survey period.

Rights to Data
Project Tomorrow retains all legal rights to the data gathered as part of Speak Up and prohibits the use of the data for commercial or unauthorized purposes by any entity. For more information about appropriate use, please contact the Speak Up Team.


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