Speak Up logo

Speak Up Hero Awards

10 years of Speak Up Surveys 2003-2013

These special recognitions applaud the extraordinary support for Project Tomorrow’s Speak Up surveys provided by a few companies and organizations over the past 10 years.

The awards were announced at the Celebration of 10 Years of Student Voices about Digital Learning event at Haworth Inc. in Washington, D.C. on September 19th, 2013.

For the past ten years, the Speak Up National Research Project has collected and reported on the authentic, unfiltered ideas of over 2.5 million K-12 students nationwide on the importance of digital learning. On this tenth anniversary, Project Tomorrow recognizes all of the students who have contributed their voices to the Speak Up Project and the extraordinary partners who have supported this important national initiative.

Congratulations to all members of our inaugural class of Speak Up Heroes! 


Speak Up Hero Award Recipients:

Richard Culatta

Richard Culatta & Julie Evans

Richard Culatta, Director of the US Department of Education’s Office of Education Technology, received the award on behalf of the US Department of Education’s Office of Education Technology on September 19th, 2013 at the Celebration of 10 Years of Student Voices about Digital Learning event.

Speak Up started with a very small grant from the US Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology.  At that time in 2003, the Office was involved in the writing of a new education technology plan, and had the desire to have the input of some students into that plan. The Department gave Project Tomorrow a goal, which seemed lofty at the time, to collect the ideas of 5,000 students.  That very first Speak Up in fall 2012, 210,000 K-12 students answered the call through their schools and provided their input via the first online Speak Up surveys.

Doug Levin

Jennifer Fritschi, Doug Levin,
Julie Evans & Christine Fox

Doug Levin, SETDA’s Executive Director, received the award on behalf of SETDA on September 19th, 2013 Celebration of 10 Years of Student Voices about Digital Learning event.

For the past ten years, the State Education Technology Directors’ Association has been a key partner in spreading the word about Speak Up to schools and districts across the nation. They have assisted in helping Project Tomorrow connect with their members, providing opportunities’ for Project Tomorrow to get input from their members for the survey questions, and showcasing Project Tomorrow’s data results and reports on their website and through various different events, both at the national and state level. 

Mark Belles

Mark Belles & Julie Evans

Mark Belles, Senior VP for K12 from Blackboard Inc. received the award on behalf of Blackboard Inc. on September 19th, 2013 at the Celebration of 10 Years of Student Voices about Digital Learning event.

For the past seven years, Blackboard has been so much more than just a Speak Up sponsor. In addition to the national reports Project Tomorrow releases each year on the data findings, since 2006, Project Tomorrow has also developed an online learning trends report each year that catalogs the emerging perceptions, values and activities in the online learning space.  This past year, that report done with the support of Blackboard, looked at the intersections of virtual, blended and flipped learning.  Each year, Blackboard hosts a breakfast event at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference to release this report and a subsequent webinar.  The findings are also shared at various conferences. In some years, we have even done other special reports with Blackboard such as a mobile learning report, a report on the return on investment and value on investment of online learning, and our special report last year on how pre-service teachers are learning to use digital tools within instruction.  Altogether, Blackboard Inc. and Project Tomorrow have created more than 12 special, targeted reports based upon the Speak Up data.  

Kimberleigh Doyle

Kimberleigh Doyle & Julie Evans

Kimberleigh Doyle, Manager of Education Policy & Practice, received the award on behalf of SMART Technologies at the Celebration of 10 Years of Student Voices about Digital Learning event.

One of the primary ways that Project Tomorrow shares the national findings each year is through an annual series of Congressional Briefings each spring on the data. Since our very first Congressional Briefing in March 2004, Project Tomorrow has held a total of 15 such events so far to ensure that the voices of students, parents and educators on digital learning have a place in federal policy discussions.  Since 2007, our good friends at SMART Technologies have ensured that the delivery of the Speak Up data findings is an interactive learning experience on its own.  By sharing with us some of their technology over the years, interactive white boards, student response systems, presentation tools and teacher support tools, our Congressional Briefings have provided a unique way for our audience to not only learn about the ideas of students but to see how real classroom digital tools can be used to engage and enable learning. 

Jon Bernstein

Jon Bernstein & Julie Evans

Jon Bernstein, Founder and President of The Jon Bernstein Strategy Group, received the award on behalf of The Jon Bernstein Strategy Group at the Celebration of 10 Years of Student Voices about Digital Learning event.

Project Tomorrow has worked hard to provide policy makers, associations, think tanks, research organizations, and other agencies (as well as the school and district leaders nationwide) with Speak Up data to inform important educational decisions. The Jon Bernstein Strategy Group has provided Project Tomorrow with invaluable advice and guidance on how to do this effectively, efficiently and elegantly.  Jon has been a tireless promoter of the value of the Speak Up data within policy discussions both in Washington DC and at education conferences nationwide.  Project Tomorrow will be forever thankful for The Jon Bernstein Strategy Group’s support of Speak Up and Project Tomorrow. 

Congratulations to our 2013 Speak Up Heroes!

Speak Up Surveys open this year on October 2nd, and will run through December 20th, 2013. Registration is live, and your school and/or district may register here. Speak Up 2013 will have surveys for K-12 students, their parents, teachers, principals, district administrators, librarians, technology leaders, and for the first time, a new Speak Up survey for community members. 

Sponsors