Project Tomorrow, a national education nonprofit group, announced the selection of several schools from Salisbury Township School District as Speak Up 200 schools. Speak Up 200 schools are a collection of top K-12 schools in the country that encourage and involve authentic student, parent, and teacher ideas and views in the education planning and decision-making.
The following schools were selected to receive this national distinction from the 30,000 schools nationwide that have participated in the annual Speak Up surveys since 2003:
SALISBURY HIGH SCHOOL
SALISBURY MIDDLE SCHOOL
More than 379,000 K-12 students, teachers, administrators and parents, representing 6,541 public, private and charter schools from all around the country participated in the Speak Up 2010 surveys which were open for participation in fall 2010.
In making the announcement, Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, noted, “We are very encouraged to know that some of the most innovative districts in our country are using the ideas of students as well as parents and teachers as input into their decision-making. By empowering student voices, the 2011 Speak Up 200 schools provide the education community with powerful examples of the value of including stakeholders in these important discussions around education transformation and school improvement.”
Director of Data and Technology, Dr. Randy Ziegenfuss said, “The Speak Up survey provides important data about students, parents, teachers and administrators that other surveys do not capture. The Speak Up responses provide us with an extra dimension of data that helps us think, plan and act for an exciting but unpredictable future in education. Our Speak Up survey data from 2010 reinforced the belief that we need to provide our students with increased learning opportunities while reducing budgetary costs – the driving force behind Teaching and Learning 2014 (TL2014).” TL2014 is the District’s learning initiative that includes providing each student in grade 6-12 with a laptop computer, professional development for teachers and administrators and education workshops for parents.
Speak Up 200 schools will be prominently featured on the Project Tomorrow website. Additionally, Project Tomorrow will promote our distinction to Representative Charlie Dent and Governor Tom Corbett to demonstrate the power of educational innovation at the local level. Visit this link to learn how to take the Speak Up 2011 survey.
About Project Tomorrow
Project Tomorrow is the nation’s leading education nonprofit organization dedicated to the empowerment of student voices in education. With 15 years experience in the K-12 education sector, Project Tomorrow regularly provides consulting and research support about key trends in K-12 science, math and technology education to school districts, government agencies, business and higher education. For additional information, visit: www.tomorrow.org.
About the Speak Up National Research Project
The Speak Up National Research project annually polls K-12 students, parents and educators about the role of technology for learning in and out of school and represents the largest collection of authentic, unfiltered stakeholder voice on digital learning. Since 2003, over 2.2 million K-12 students, parents, teachers, librarians, principals, technology leaders and district administrators have shared their views and ideas through Speak Up. Education, business and policy leaders use the data regularly to inform federal, state and local education programs.
Students in Mrs. Young’s fourth grade classroom at Harry S Truman Elementary School are using Falcon Apps to enhance their learning. As part of the fourth grade curriculum, students study the different kingdoms of living things. Mrs. Young’s students each researched an animal to determine the animal’s kingdom and whether it was a vertebrate or invertebrate. Students used the Destiny catalog to access websites for information. As students found information and pictures they shared their findings in Falcon Apps, creating a shared presentation.
In the past, students have researched topics and prepared presentations using Keynote and PowerPoint. However, Falcon Apps allows the students to take their learning to the next level. The students were able to work collaboratively online to create a shared document and compile findings in one location. Students developed technology skills, collaboration skills and research skills including media literacy and information literacy while learning important content.
View the presentation online.
Digital Aces is a program that started with the 2009-10 school year, building the leadership capacity of students (grades 4-12) to promote creative technology use among their peers and teachers. Over the past two years, students learned about the Macintosh applications Keynote, Pages and Garage Band as well as the web applications Animoto, Glogster and Toon Doo. Students learned how to use an electronic portfolio tool called Student Jotter to share digital storytelling projects and educational computer games they created using Gamestar Mechanic.
During the first two year of Digital Aces, students in grades 9-12 served as lead presenters. High school students guided the younger students in acquiring technology knowledge and skills. The computer technicians, library media teachers and instructional coaches served as facilitators and worked with all Digital Aces to determine the best ways to share their knowledge with other students and teachers in their school.
Digital Aces will continue to function at the middle school and elementary schools this school year. Middle school students have met twice this year. Instructional Support Teacher, Mrs. Lynn Fuini-Hetten, and Library Media Teacher, Mrs. Barbara Jaindl, facilitated the learning and sharing. At the most recent meeting of the middle school Digital Aces, students developed their own learning agenda, sharing what they have learned about their laptops during the first marking period. Students have become experts with keyboard shortcuts, using Spotlight and track pad gestures. With students having their own personal computers, they now have more passwords and logins to manage. Students shared how they are tracking passwords using Falcon Apps, Pages and dashboard widgets. The session concluded with students learning how one of the Digital Aces used Geek Tool 3.0 to customize his laptop computer desktop. Another student (who is clearly an iMovie expert!) demonstrated how to utilize more advanced features of iMovie. Students then had time to explore the topics that most interested them for the remainder of the 2-hour session.
The best part… Digital Aces, selected yearly by classroom teachers, commit to sharing what they’ve learned with their peers and teachers. Here are some ideas students shared on a Falcon Apps document.
I will teach some friends how to use more advanced iMovie features. I will show it to Mrs. Prokesch and ask to teach the class.
I will share with my friends how to use the iMovie features, and I will show my teachers how to use it, too. I will also show my teachers and friends how to use Geek Tool and how to customize their Mac, including changing the desktop icons.
I will share how to personalize folders and use iMovie tricks with my friends, classmates, and teachers (Mrs. Basile and Mr. Sawicki) as ideas for projects in Flex period. Right now, we are learning about storms so we could make a video about storms and share it with both classes.
I will show my friends and teachers how to change folder colors/pictures. In my opinion, organizing folders with pictures is much easier because you just have to look at the picture. The picture/color coordination is really helpful for people that have organization issues.
TL2014 is designed to bring our schools into the 21st century, best preparing our students and staff to function as citizens and workers in an information age. Digital Aces is one way we are working to scale our efforts while engaging our students in this important work.