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Teacher/Librarian’s Frequently Asked Questions

About Speak Up

What is Speak Up?
The Speak Up Research Project for Digital Learning, an initiative of Project Tomorrow, is both a national research project and a free service to schools and districts everywhere. Since fall 2003, Speak Up has helped education leaders include the voices of their students, parents, community members, teachers and staff in annual and long-term planning. Each year, the Speak Up Project asks students, parents and educators about the role of technology in education both in and out of the classroom, as well as their views and aspirations for how technology should be used in the future. The Speak Up findings represent the largest collection of authentic, unfiltered feedback from key K-12 stakeholders on the use of technology within education. These highly respected findings are used each year to inform policies, programs and plans for schools at every level of governance. 

The top three reasons schools and districts participate in Speak Up are to:

  • Collect unique data from their stakeholders.
  • Create a vision to support college and career ready skill development for all students 
  • Use the data to create inform technology initiatives or create strategic plans.

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When is Speak Up open?
The Speak Up online data collection process is open each fall from October through January. Results will be available to participating schools and districts the following February.

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Why should my school participate?
As a Speak Up participant you are part of a growing movement that values and uses their stakeholders’ opinions to inform K-12 educational decisions. The top five reasons schools participate in Speak Up are to:

  • Collect unique data from their stakeholders.
  • Conduct a needs assessment and create a vision for 21st century learning.
  • Use the data to create inform technology initiatives or create strategic plans.
  • Communicate our technology needs to our stakeholders.
  • Measure the success of their technology initiatives.

Almost one-half Speak Up students tell us they would like to vote on decisions that affect them and one-third agree they would like to be more involved in decisions at their school through online data collections, such as Speak Up (Project Tomorrow, 2011). Speak Up provides you a mechanism to further engage your students in the decision-making process at your school. Best of all the online data collection process and reports are available to you for free!

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How long does it take to complete Speak Up?
In general, Speak Up consists of a series of multiple-choice questions plus one or two open-ended type questions (depending on the audience) at the end where you can write in your response. Speak Up should only take you about 20 minutes to complete. In addition, the parent and educator options include several demographic questions that are optional. We use these responses during our data analysis to provide additional context to our national data findings.

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What is your privacy policy?
We acknowledge that privacy is a concern for visitors to our website. We treat any information that you provide through our web site with respect and confidentiality.

  • Speak Up does not use any permanent cookies for tracking, content analysis or any other purpose. (The Speak Up registration process does use temporary cookies.)
  • We do not collect any personally identifiable information from students or anyone who takes Speak Up.
  • We do not exchange or sell any of the email addresses provided during the registration process.
  • Click here to view our privacy policy

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Getting Started

How do I register my school for Speak Up?
All districts and schools, in the current NCES database, are automatically registered to participate in Speak Up. To manage your school or district information and obtain free, online access to your school or district’s aggregated results, your registration must be activated with a primary contact each year by registering on our website. As always, registration is not required, but recommended as you will be kept up to date with important Speak Up information. To learn more about the benefits of designating a primary contact, please go to https://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/registration.html.

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I think my district might be interested in participating, what should I do next?
If your district has not participated in the past, now is the time to get your district involved! Our registration system allows a district point-person to register all schools in a district with only a few clicks! Start by getting the word out to your district administrators. Use this sample email or the Superintendent Guide to share information about Speak Up with your district.

If your district has participated in Speak Up during previous years, send a quick reminder to your Speak Up contact that Speak Up is open. To obtain the name and email address of the Speak Up contact for your district, send an email with the name of your district and state to the Speak Up Team and will connect you virtually via email with your district’s Speak Up contact within one business day.

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How do I promote Speak Up?
We provide a variety of tools to help you facilitate participation. The Speak Up promo material page offers convenient tools for helping make Speak Up a success in your school. You can find promotion flyers for posting at your school, lesson plans, copies of the questions, a banner ad to place on your school’s website, sample emails for encouraging participation and more.
Encouraging participation on a regular and consistent basis will ensure high participation for the online data collection process and more representative data from your school. Promote early and often throughout the collection period. Here are just a few ideas that Speak Up districts use to encourage participation:
To register your school, follow these quick and easy steps:

  • Review our Speak Up Resource Guide for tips and best practices from other Speak Up districts before creating an outreach plan.
  • Post a message on your district listserv.
  • Assign a primary contact responsible for facilitating Speak Up in your district.
  • Send an email to your school principals, technology coordinators, or media specialists encouraging them to promote Speak Up.
  • Utilize our custom district landing page or custom direct start links on your website or online communications to simplify the login process.
  • Put a link to Speak Up on your district web page (Use our clickable banner: https://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/speak_up_banner.html)
  • Encourage your partners (school board members, PTA liaisons, community groups) to get the word out about the importance of participating in Speak Up.
  • Issue a press release about your district’s involvement in the Speak Up Research Project for Digital Learning.
  • Publicize Speak Up on your school district's calendar.
  • Designate a day or a week as Speak Up Day/Week and encourage as many people as possible to participate.
  • Encourage your principals to include Speak Up in their back-to-school activities.
  • Offer prizes to the school with the highest participation.
  • Post posters around the school with the Speak Up URL. Speak Up School Flyer.
  • Post an announcement on your school and district website. Post our clickable banner on your website!
  • Announce Speak Up on your school's daily broadcast announcements, on your school portal or learning management system.
  • Consider promoting Speak Up at your Back-to-School night, parent-teacher conferences, or Open house.
  • Send flyers home with students so they can participate from home.
  • Get parents involved
    • Ask your PTA to start an email contact tree or host a contest for the class with the greatest participation numbers.
    • Ask your PTA, parents groups or site councils to include the Speak Up data in their discussions and planning process.
  • Send a press release to your local paper about your school's participation in this national event.
  • Community Events
    • Pick a day or week during the Speak Up collection period to designate as your school or town's Speak Up Day/week.

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How do I get my students involved?
A great way to encourage Speak Up is with our Lesson plans. Through the lessons, you can teach students about the importance of getting involved in local change or contributing their views to the national education dialogue.
You can use these sample lessons to encourage students to reflect on their use of technology for learning, their involvement with school or career exploration:

  • Lesson Plan for Grades K-2 (will be available in early September)
  • Lesson Plan for Grades 3-5 (will be available in early September)
  • Lesson Plan for Grades 6-12 (will be available in early September)

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What are the step-by-step instructions for participating?
Speak Up. Below we have provided instructions for Educators and Students just in case you or your students get stuck while trying to navigate through the process:

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Where do I go to access Speak Up?
Speak Up can be accessed at speakup.tomorrow.org. Speak Up can also be accessed through direct start links that are school and audience specific. These links bypass school look and audience selection and instead drop participants off right at the start of their appropriate question set. Please contact your district primary contact for your school links or the Speak Up team at speakup@tomorrow.org. Additionally, some districts may opt to use a customized district landing page with select Speak Up question decks, please check with your district primary contact for your district specific landing page link.

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Speak Up Data Results

When will Speak Up data results be available
Data 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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How do I access my school's Speak Up data?
We will notify the Speak Up contact via email when the data results are available online and include the link to view the results. To view Speak Up Data from a previous year please visit our View Speak Up Data page.

To ensure confidentiality, the Speak Up results are password protected. To view your reports, you will be required to enter your state, school and the Speak Up admin password assigned to your school. To obtain your admin password, please click here to access the admin login page. Click on “I forgot my password” and enter your email address. If your email address is on file, you will be sent your password.

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Where can I find past Speak Up reports?
All previous Speak Up reports are available for download on our Reports page. For further inquiries regarding the Speak Up reports, contact the Speak Up Team via email or via phone at 949 609-4660 ext 17.

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Technical Support

How do I retrieve my Speak Up password?
IIf you have lost your Speak Up password and are the Main Contact for your school, please click here to access the admin login page. Click on “I forgot my password” and enter your email address. If your email address is on file, you will be sent your password.

For confidentiality reasons, we provide passwords to the Speak Up contact of record only. If you would like us to connect you with your Speak Up contact, send us an email and we will make a virtual introduction via email. Please include your name, the name of your district or school and the state in your email.

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A participant at our school did not finish their session, can we retrieve it?
Speak Up is designed to be completed in one 20+ minute online session. We have designed Speak Up to automatically save your answers, each time that you click the next button on the bottom of each page. Unfortunately, once you exit you will not be able to log back in to your original session.

If you would like to complete your submission, you can: 1). Re-enter Speak Up and click on the next button until you reach the question that you want to start answering or 2). Request that we delete your submission so that you can resubmit it. If you would like your submission deleted, send us an email with the taken id number (which can be found on the top left hand side of the screen in red, the name of the school, district and state).

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I'm not receiving weekly participation emails. How do I ensure I will receive Speak Up participation emails?
Participation emails are sent to Speak Up contacts that have designated “Opt-In” for the participation email. Here are a couple of quick steps to verify that your status is set up correctly:

  • Contact your district tech coordinator to verify that tomorrow.org is in your district’s safe/white list.
  • Check your spam folder and add speakup@tomorrow.org to your contacts list.
  • Log into your admin profile to ensure your profile has been activated. To do this log into your school profile here. If you are unsure if you have a profile, click on “I forgot my password” and enter your email address. If your email address is on file, you will be sent your password. Once you have logged in your profile will have been activated in our system. If your email is not in the system, please contact the Speak Up team at speakup@tomorrow.org.
  • If you have any problems or questions, send us an email.

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Why am I receiving multiple participation emails?
It's possible that your contact information is included in one or more Speak Up records. We can easily correct this situation, forward the participation emails to speakup@tomorrow.org or send us an email name, the name of the school and state and we remove the duplicates. If there are multiple records for a single school we will merge the data results together.

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