Project Tomorrow’s Legacy Programs are part of our history and we want to recognize their contributions to education.
Social-Emotional Learning Projects (2020)
Project Tomorrow is dedicated to bringing Social Emotional Learning opportunities to K12 schools across the nation. These two partnerships were launched in 2020:
Project Tomorrow Social Emotional Learning for Early Learners Grant Program
In the fall of 2020, with support from a Los Angeles based philanthropist and EQtainment, our first implementation of this new grant program was in Los Angeles County. Project Tomorrow announced that 31 elementary schools were awarded the opportunity to participate in the program and comprised the first cohort group. The second cohort included up to an additional 30 schools. To be considered for the grant, a school principal or other administrator completed the program nomination form indicating their commitment to supporting students’ social and emotional well being through skills development and instruction.
Each school selected received 10 classroom sets of resources to support social-emotional learning in preK to 4th grade classrooms. Each classroom set included a grade level curriculum, lesson plans, engaging videos, and fun games and activities to help young students develop healthy social and emotional skills. Teachers received training on how to use the Q Wunder curriculum and resources and had access to an online professional learning community managed by Project Tomorrow. The curriculum and materials were adaptable for use in a physical classroom or a virtual classroom.
Raise Your Hand Campaign to Re-Engage Students in Learning During COVID Crisis
Project Tomorrow partnered with wethink, a company with a new approach to helping students develop workplace skills, to launch an innovative program to help re-engage, re-energize, re-connect students with learning using popular team-based video game environments. For too many kids, the COVID19 crisis resulted in severe feelings of disconnection, depression, and despair in addition to the extreme learning loss because of school closures. The effects of this national crisis could negatively impact the future lives of millions of our best and brightest young minds.
Per Speak Up research, students say that playing online and video games help them develop teamwork and collaboration skills, critical think and problem-solving skills and creativity skills. All key skills that students need to be successful in college and future jobs. Plus 62% of students say games should be part of any school experience today!
This innovative new program leaned into those realities by facilitating opportunities for students to learn future-ready skills through team-based gaming experiences through their school. Online from home during virtual learning or in a physical classroom, this process was designed to engage kids in learning collaboratively while at the same time breaking down those walls of isolation and disconnection.
The goals was to bring this program to 500 schools in the United States over the course of 90 days. The Raise Your Hand campaign aimed to generate sponsorships for prioritized regions based on the traumatic impact of COVID19 school closures and health/economic security concerns of kids in the following communities:
- Chicago, IL
- Houston, TX
- Los Angeles, CA
- Miami, FL
- New York, NY
- Oakland, CA
Transforming science and math teaching and learning through a career exploration class
YouthTEACH2Learn was developed as a career exploration program. During the course, students gained practical experience by observing elementary school classrooms, learning how to teach, developing and teaching standards-based lessons to younger students in neighboring elementary schools and participating in local community service projects.
By participating in the YouthTEACH2Learn Program, high school students, working in teams, deliver home-grown lessons to their assigned elementary classrooms 6-8 times during the school year. This increases the time that those elementary students normally have in authentic science or math instruction, and ignites a new spark of interest in science and math within these students.
The program empowers the high school students to test-drive their career interests and builds greater awareness of college and career choices. As one high school student remarked, “being in this program has truly shown me how to challenge myself personally and has shown me that hard work really does pay off. I have had to challenge myself every lesson, and have only grown more and more from each one. Without this class I do not think I would be in this position where I’m right on track toward my goals and do not plan on having anything get in my way.”
- Encourages career exploration and increases the number of students entering the teacher pipeline.
- Increases elementary students’ interest in science and math at an early age.
- Provides elementary school teachers with enhanced science or math lessons and encouragement to improve their own science or math lessons.
What will students do during the class?
- Work with a team of students to develop and teach science or math lessons to elementary school students.
- Obtain valuable public speaking and presentation skills.
- Learn to work on a team.
- Explore college opportunities as they attend career panels and visit local colleges, such as Santiago Canyon College or the University of California at Irvine.
- Meet other students who are interested in teaching.
- Develop relationships with future mentors.
Why would students take the class?
- Explore teaching as a career.
- Have the chance to help others learn gaining a sense of accomplishment
- Gain experience working with children
- Develop academic and professional skills such as leadership, teamwork, meeting deadlines, and public speaking.
- Great resume builder, college reference, and work experience.
School Wide Benefits
- Create an interest in science and math at feeder schools
- Develop future teachers from the community
- Create a culture of students able to speak in complete sentences
- On site resource that can track student interests and trends
- Adopt a teacher program-help grade papers, develop lesson plans, etc
- Give students a direction after they graduate and create a college going culture
- Increase the number of students playing a vital role in the community
What the program includes…
- Full year curriculum license
- Teacher guide and student workbooks
If you are interested in this project, the curriculum is available. Please contact the Speak Up team at Speakup@tomorrow.org and we can discuss your needs and provide you with testimonials and FAQs.
Speak Up International
Hosted by Project Tomorrow and BrainPOP in collaboration with ISTE
Speak Up International (SUI) was an easy way for international schools to learn what their students and staff are looking for when it comes to technology and learning. SUI is a part of the long-running Speak Up Research Initiative that offers this free service to schools across the U.S., and, increasingly, the globe. Participation in SUI is open to all international schools where instruction is primarily in English.
Speak Up International was a collaboration between BrainPOP, Project Tomorrow, and ISTE. Since 2003, Project Tomorrow has gathered the views of more than 5 million students, educators and parents via Speak Up. The Speak Up database represents the largest collection of feedback from these key stakeholders.
Speak Up International provided authentic feedback to participating schools from their students and staff on their experiences with and aspirations for using digital tools and resources for learning. It also gave students, educators and school administrators a voice in these important discussions on the future of learning around the world.
If you are interested in participating in a future run of Speak Up International, please contact the Speak Up team at Speakup@tomorrow.org.
A unique opportunity for America’s next generation of teachers
Tomorrow’s Teachers Speak Up was a unique opportunity for America’s next generation of teachers to “speak up” about their views on their career choice and share their ideas about how to leverage technology within learning. The national data findings were used to inform national policies on technology use in education, and to inform K-12 school and district leaders on the aspirations of tomorrow’s teachers. Institutions that helped to promote the survey, also received their data for free.
Colleges, universities and programs that would like to participate in a future Tomorrow’s Teachers Speak Up project and receive their own institution’s data for free, should contact the Speak Up Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Youth Leadership Summit
SIATech Empowering YOUth Conference
The Empowering YOUth Conference was an interactive half-day conference designed to empower students to explore careers in the science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) fields with a special focus on Advanced Transportation, Environmental Sciences, Healthcare, and Information/Communication and Entertainment Technologies/Digital Media. Project Tomorrow last sponsored this event in partnership with SIATech in 2018. The initial event took place in 2010.
SIATech Charter High Schools is a network of public charter high schools with campuses in Arkansas, California, and Florida. SIATech re-engages disconnected students through an innovative curriculum that integrates technology with academics to ensure students earn a high school diploma and are well-prepared for college and career.
The conference provided students with valuable information about workforce development trends and what they would need to be well prepared for the jobs of the future. A moderated panel of business leaders and entrepreneurs shared valuable information about workforce development trends and what students must do to be well prepared for the jobs of the future. Students had the opportunity to attend a college and career fair during the conference where they will speak one-on-one with college and university faculty and staff. The college/career fair also allowed them to network with attending local business leaders and entrepreneurs, ask questions and hear about current trends in the marketplace.
Innovation in Education Awards
Recognizing innovative uses of science, math, and technology in the classroom and community
The Project Tomorrow Innovation in Education Awards recognized educational leaders and students in Orange County, CA for their innovative uses of science, math, and technology in the classroom and community.
Project Tomorrow partnered with corporate sponsors, Emulex Corporation, Microsemi, Astronics, Avago Technologies, Orange County Department of Education and Haworth & IOS Inc,.to offer the Innovation in Education Awards program between 2006-2016.
Nominations for the award could be self-submitted or submitted by a district and/or school staff person, supporting organizations such as a PTA unit, parent advisory committee, or youth-based organization(s). There were three eligible categories:
Innovative Program School-Wide: Orange County public, private, or parochial school which demonstrates innovation in science, math, or technology through a school-wide program. (Awards presented to school principal)
High Impact Teacher: Orange County classroom teachers whose innovative uses of science, math, or technology have significantly impacted their students’ academic achievements.
Emerging Student Innovator: Current eighth grade or freshman, sophomore, and junior Orange County high school students who have used science, math, or technology resources to address a problem in their school or community.
Annual HighTech Innovation Awards finalists were celebrated in conjunction with OC Tech Alliance’s own corporate awards nights. Award recipients received regional and national recognition through both online and traditional media outlets. In addition, all finalists received funding to use to expand a science, math, or technology program in their classroom.
Innovation in Education Summit
The Innovation Summit has given me insight as to what I can do with science, math and technology. Sparking an interest is what will get students started in science and math courses and also will make them continue on.”
—STUDENT PARTICIPANT IN THE 2007 INNOVATION SUMMIT
About the Innovation in Education Summit
Co-hosted by Project Tomorrow and AeA Orange County/Inland Empire Council, this annual Summit brought together education, business, community, political, and parent leaders in Orange County to discuss and evaluate the challenges and opportunities for improving K-12 science, math, and technology education. The event was held annually from 2006-2008.
The goal of this half-day summit was for the participants to formulate key strategies they can work on together, to ensure that Orange County graduates are prepared for the 21st century.
The Innovation in Education Summit was unique because everyone’s voice was equal. Students, corporate representatives, parents, principals, teachers, and government officials brought their ideas to the table with the goal of increasing dialogue (and action!), for improving science, math and technology education for all students in Orange County.
NATIONAL SCIENCE DIGITAL LIBRARY
Project TestDrive was a national research study on the classroom effectiveness of the online K-12 science, technology, engineering and math resources from the National Science Digital Library. Project TestDrive was conducted in cooperation with the National Science Digital Library (NSDL.org) and the Digital Libraries Go to School Project at Utah State University who were supported by grants from the National Science Foundation. During the 2007-08 school year, teachers selected, used, and evaluated the online resources in their classroom.
“…easy to use, students can use independently and move at own pace, good for review..” Elementary School Teacher (San Francisco Unified SD, CA)
“…all subjects were spelled out clearly for student choice..”
Elementary School Teacher (Salt Lake City School District, UT)
- 80% of teachers reported they would use the NSDL resources again in their classroom or recommend it to other teachers.
- 85% of teachers reported students were more engaged in their own learning. The selected resources helped students understand the science content standards (92%) and apply their content knowledge (88%).
- 49% of students reported “often or always” remembered more after using the NSDL resources, would recommend the NSDL resource to friends and classmates (52%), and would like to use NSDL again (60%).
Presentation of Key Findings at NSDL Annual Meeting – 2008
BrainPOP provides online animated, curriculum content that supports educators and engages students. Subjects include: science, social studies, English, math, arts & music.
The Chem Collective
The Chemistry Collective is a collection of virtual labs, scenario-based learning activities, and concepts tests which can be incorporated into a variety of teaching approaches as pre-labs, alternatives to textbook homework, and in-class activities for individuals or teams.
The library includes digital media and digitized museum materials related to interactive exhibits and scientific phenomena, including images, educational activities in PDF and html formats, QuickTime movies, streaming media, and audio files.
NASA Site for Educators
Online library of educational resources from NASA.
Teachers’ Domain is an online library of more than 1,000 free media resources from NOVA, Frontline, Design Squad, American Experience, and other public broadcasting. Resources are correlated to state and national standards, and include video and audio segments, Flash interactives, images, documents, lesson plans for teachers, and student-oriented activities.
The TeachEngineering digital library provides teacher-tested, standards-based engineering content for K-12 teachers engineering content for K12 teachers to use in science and math classrooms. Mapped to educational content standards, TeachEngineering‘s comprehensive curricula are hands-on, inexpensive, and relevant to children’s daily lives.
Family Science Nights
Building family support for science through Family Science Nights
In 2011, through a partnership with Orange County schools and community organizations, Project Tomorrow compiled and published a list of recommendations and resources to support schools in hosting Family Science Nights. These fun-filled events provided a means to become familiar with science in an environment and structure where families could comfortably explore, experiment and talk about science.
Families learned the value of hands-on, inquiry based science and how science integrates the teaching of science processes, content, reading, math and critical thinking skills. Parents that participated in these evenings would have a greater understanding of the importance of science in their child’s life. Parents and teachers could then work together to improve attitudes towards science and encourage students to build a strong scientific foundation that would serve them well in upper grades and college.
NetDay Resource Centers (2001-2005)
NetDay Voice Features
Prior to becoming Project Tomorrow, NetDay was dedicated to helping the educational community promote and support the use of technology and science as key tools in the development of 21st century skills. As opportunities arose to consider the school policy and planning related to 21st century skills, NetDay aimed to build a national and local awareness of the importance of including student and teacher voices in the decision-making process. Part of that effort was curating a resource center highlighting publications on Teaching with Technology, Funding Technology, Leadership, and Technology Solutions.
A place for students to share their views and opinions about technology in education
Launched in 2005, the NetDay Student Voices Resource Center (SVRC) was a comprehensive research and collaboration space that provided resources to engage and involve students in technology-related decision-making. The program’s aim was to connect student voices with teachers, community members, government representatives, businesses, and others involved with technology in K-12 schools. The message to student members was “You have the power to inspire change. Not only in your school but across the nation!”
Some initial Success Stories that were published include:
- How a student advisory committee for technology impacted purchases at a school in Tennessee
- How students using technology tools such as IM and online newsletters to drove awareness amongst their peers on key education issues in Virginia
- How a high school student club in California used their technology know-how to help get computers for a school in a high poverty community
- How students in a school in New York not only provided technology support to their teachers but were also involved in raising national awareness about student tech support
A collection of How-To Guides were published to support student initiatives such as How to Support a Laptop Lending Program in Your School and How to Talk about the Problem of Online Bullying. Students could click on the issue framed as a problem to solve to see a list of proposals from students like themselves. The proposals were followed by step-by-step How-to Guides complete with research suggestions, presentation templates, and other helpful resources for sharing their voice with their school community.
AmeriCorps Bridge Program (NetDay 2001-2003)
The NetDay AmeriCorps Bridge Program
NetDay AmeriCorps Bridge Program helped K-12 schools in underserved communities increase opportunities for children, teachers and parents to access computers and provide effective use of technology for learning.
AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs that engage more than 50,000 Americans each year in intensive service to meet critical needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment.
NetDay managed the service of AmeriCorps recruits and developed local partnerships to achieve program goals. The program focused on building sustainable capacity for the effective use of technology for learning in communities with high needs.
NetDay began the program in 2001-2002 with 51 members in Detroit and Oakland reaching 13,000 students. During the 2002-2003 academic year, 95 NetDay AmeriCorps Associates supported 20 schools with 20,000 students. NetDay AmeriCorps Bridge focused on three key objectives: getting things done, member development, and community service.
A NetDay Project Coordinator administered the program in each community, and was responsible for supervising the NetDay AmeriCorps Associates. The Project Coordinator also managed NetDay’s partnership with school districts and helped develop relationships with local partners.
Funding and Support
NetDay received a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service to support AmeriCorps Associates in empowerment zone communities from 2001 – 2003. NetDay raised matching funds from school districts, corporate sponsors, and foundations. For a complete list, see NetDay Investors and Partners.
Technology Enhancing Student Success (1999-2003)
Mission of TESS Initiative
The TESS Initiative (Technology Enhancing Student Success) aimed to help select schools and school districts meet student achievement goals through teacher training focused on technology integration strategies as well as the use of technology for the assessment of school data. The purpose of the TESS Initiative was to help schools better leverage technology resources to enhance teaching and learning at all levels.
The TESS Initiative launched in the 2002-2003 school year. For its first program year, TESS was piloted with educators and students in the West Bolivar School District in Rosedale, MS, a community that is part of the Mississippi Delta Region Empowerment Zone and had been part of NetDay Teaching, Learning and Technology Initiative for 3 years.
As part of the TESS model, teachers in West Bolivar are participating in a mandatory, project-based teacher training through-out the school year, with customization based on the technology skills of the teacher as well as the teacher and student needs. The delivery of this teacher training includes mentoring, study groups, workshops, and independent learning included online tutorials and courses. Content components of the TESS Teacher Training include:
- The Technology and Learning Paradigm
- Hardware and Software Use
- Personal Productivity and Classroom Use
- Instructional Delivery
- Technology and Curriculum Standards
- The Internet and Learning
- Technology and the Home to School Connection
At the center of NetDay’s involvement with the schools is a NetDay Project Director who is recruited from the local community to be the project’s resource broker, information facilitator and relentless coach for effective technology usage. The NetDay Project Director is the link for the school or community to outside resources, partners and ideas on how to impact learning through technology. For the TESS Initiative, the NetDay Project Director, Audrey Pearson, is responsible for locating, scheduling, evaluating and finding funding sources for the TESS training sessions.
The TESS Initiative may be evaluated through assessment of school data, including:
- Teacher ability to successfully integrated technology into the curriculum
- The attitude of teachers, students and parents toward teaching, learning and the quality of education in the school district Student attitude toward learning
- Student behavior, including attitude toward learning, absenteeism, and behavior
- Curriculum test score comparisons
- Technology skills tests
- Number of student or teacher projects created by using technology
- Anecdotal stories of successes
Cyber Security Kit (2002)
About the NetDay Cyber Security Kit for Schools
The “NetDay Cyber Security Kit for Schools” featured tools and resources in English and Spanish to raise awareness among K-12 educators, students and families about online safety and computer security. NetDay encouraged education leaders to distribute these resources in schools across the country, to ensure that schools and homes — the places where children are most likely to access computers — are “cyber secure.” The kit was developed and published in 2002.
If you are interested in collaborating on a current version of the Cybersecurity Kit, please contact the Speak Up team at Speakup@tomorrow.org.
Leadership Summit (2001)
Starting a national dialogue around the need to support efforts by school site leaders to utilize technical tools to meet educational goals
On March 31, 2001, leaders from education, community, industry and government gathered at NetDay’s National Leadership Summit on Education and Technology to share experiences and expertise on the how to use technology effectively to achieve educational goals. Participants began to identify the challenges today’s school leaders face when integrating technology. NetDay’s initiatives developed, nurtured and promoted effective models of leadership for our K-12 schools on education technology.
Leadership Summit Goals
- To facilitate discussions at national, state and local levels on education technology leadership,
- To share good models of effective leadership that can be emulated,
- To provide opportunities for community stakeholders to collaborate in support of effective school leadership, and
- To bridge the “leadership divide” through the effective dissemination of information and knowledge so that all communities can benefit from the Leadership Campaign.
Educators – school site leaders who are searching for effective models on how to integrate technology to support educational results
Community Leaders – local government, business and community support leaders who understand the impact of a citizenry and a workforce that has received a high quality education that is rich in information literacy
National Business Partners – business organizations and corporations that are strong advocates of effective strong leadership for technology as a means to higher achievement and higher accountability within our schools
National Education Partners – education associations and organizations that can share success stories, lessons learned and effective models for leadership
State and National Government Leaders – elected representatives who understand that higher educational achievement demands strong local leadership in our schools.
NetDay 2001 Survey, “The Internet, Technology and Teachers” by Julie Evans, CEO, NetDay
Opening Summary: Ms. Evans presented the results of NetDay’s 2001 survey, “The Internet, Technology and Teachers.” The survey was conducted to gather information from teachers about how they are utilizing the Internet and computers in classroom activities and in curriculum development. Mrs. Evans presented three key findings from the survey:
- Teachers’ attitudes and viewpoints on the role of technology and the Internet in education have changed dramatically in the past couple of years.
- The Internet is primarily used by teachers as a research tool – a big electronic encyclopedia – and other uses of the Internet (communications, professional development, classroom projects) are not fully realized by teachers.
- Teachers face significant obstacles to using the Internet more regularly as an integrated education tool and resource.
Concluding Summary: NetDay CEO, Julie Evans, closed the Summit by announcing NetDay Leadership Campaign for Education Technology. This effort will roll into action in the fall of 2001 as a public service campaign to develop, nurture and promote effective models of education technology leadership for our K-12 schools. National activities and state-level summits will facilitate an exchange of knowledge and drive action on the development of models and a mentoring program for K-12 school leaders to support technology integration and management.
Cable and Wiring How To Guides (1996)
Early attempts to bring wiring infrastructure for networks to a large number of schools quickly
Project Tomorrow began as NetDay, a national, education technology nonprofit, whose mission was to connect every child to a brighter future. At the beginning of our work, NetDay’s direct services, volunteer opportunities and web-based initiatives helped students, teachers, administrators, parents, and community members develop capacity for effective technology use in learning environments. We began as a school wiring initiative and have grown to support Digital Divide communities and educational organizations with computers, Internet connections, and people.
Two of our legacy programs are directly tied to this effort of connecting students to the internet. The Wiring-How-To Guide was part of the NetDay effort in 1996. The organizers of the first NetDay meant to solve that infrastructure dilemma in the state of California. Modeled on the success of communities united in purpose throughout American history, California’s NetDay was the first attempt in the country to bring wiring infrastructure for networks to a large number of schools quickly. To make it happen, unions waived their rules; companies provided planning, materials, and training; and teachers, other school employees, and parents provided input on technology development. Before President Clinton announced plans for the first NetDay in September 1995, only about an eighth of California’s 13,000 schools had the wiring in place to link schoolrooms to the Internet. On a single day less than six months later, over 50,000 volunteers wired another quarter of the schools in the state.
The second hands-on project to connect students with the internet was the Cable Installation Guide. NetDay arranged for a number of cable installation companies to make available a low-cost cable installation kit. The kit contains enough materials to complete a basic NetDay installation (that is, to wire five classrooms and a library or computer lab). Before NetDay, schools worked with volunteers and businesses and designed cable runs for their site. On the day of the event, the volunteer teams used the Guide developed by NetDay in three parts. First, they ran the cables from a central point to the schoolrooms (five classrooms and library or computer lab). Second, they mounted wall jacks and wired the schoolroom ends of the cables into the jacks. Third, they wired one end of each cable to a kind of “switchboard” called a patch panel. After they installed the cable, a professional tested it.