Virtual School Meanderings

October 6, 2016

Speak Up News – October 2016

Also from Wednesday’s inbox…

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Speak Up News – October 2016

Happy October! Next Wednesday, October 12 marks the start of Speak Up 2016! If you haven’t registered your school(s) and/or district for the survey yet, we’ve included information on how to get started. We’ve also included information about our upcoming Speak Up Intro & Tips webinar, speaking engagements, and more.

We look forward to working with you in this fall!

Quick links:

Speak Up 2016: Speak Up 2016: Sign up to take part in our annual survey from October 12 – December 16, 2016. We’ve added a new feature for main contacts!
Speak Up Introduction & Tips Webinar: Get ready for this year’s survey through our second webinar on October 6.
Trends in K-12 communications according to communications officers: We teamed up with Blackboard to report our Speak Up 2015 communications officers data.
2016 California STEM Symposium: Plan to attend Julie’s session next week to learn about the impact of the homework gap on STEM education.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter, and our Blog.


Register your school and/or district for Speak Up 2016!

Surveys run from October 12 – December 16, 2016

Speak Up 2016 is almost here! Register your school or district for the 2016 surveys at Remember, registration and participation is FREE! Contribute to our national research project and inform your work at the same time!

Registration also includes access to free promotional materials and helpfulwebinars in the beginning of the school year.

If you are a returning school or district contact, you can automatically register for Speak Up 2016 by logging in with last year’s contact information. Click here to visit the administrator log in page.

NEW feature for main contacts

We’ve added a brand new feature for our Speak Up district main contacts. Once you’ve logged in to your administrator account, you can now add and delete schools to your district list. To view your list of schools, please log in to your account at


Speak Up 2016: Introduction & Tips

Thursday, October 6 at 10am PT/1pm ET

Join Julie Evans (and some special guests) for our second webinar for anyone new to Speak Up, anyone still considering getting involved and anyone who just needs a refresher ahead of this fall’s surveys.

Julie and Speak Up pros from school districts in California, Virginia and Alabama will cover the following topics:
* Overview of Speak Up 2016
* What’s new for 2016
* Why schools and districts participate
* How to get started
* How to promote and boost participation
* How schools will access data
* And, more!

We’ll be live and we welcome your questions during the webinar! Tweet your questions using the #speakupintro hashtag or email them to Amber


Trends in K-12 communications according to communications officers

In collaboration with Blackboard Inc.

We’ve teamed up with Blackboard to deliver the Trends in Digital Communications Priorities and Challenges: The Front Line Views of District Communications Officers report, featuring our Speak Up 2015 communications officers data. In addition to the report, Blackboard also released an infographic (and text alternative), highlighting data from the report. Both were released during a specialwebinar on Thursday, September 29.

Click on the links below to download the report, view the infographic, and watch a recording of the webinar. Check out some key facts from the report:

73% of communications officers say that at least three-quarters or more of their outbound communications require internet connectivity.
93% say parents are their primary audience.
40% cite establishing connections with community groups as a key strategy for engagement.
43% say they are lacking funding to support communication initiatives.


The Impact of the Homework Gap on STEM Education

2016 California STEM Symposium

Monday, October 11 at 11am PT
Room 204 C, Anaheim Convention Center

Calling all Californians! Join Julie Evans at the 2016 California STEM Symposiumin Anaheim, CA as she discusses the impact of the homework gap on STEM education. Check out the details below:

Let’s get real and discuss research-based implications of the homework gap on student learning and teacher effectiveness, especially in science classrooms. Students’ access to safe and consistent Internet connectivity outside of school is the new education equity issue. In this session, we will share the latest California and national level Speak Up data on the extent of the “homework gap” where students do not regular access to safe and consistent to technology and the Internet when they are beyond the boundaries of their school. Of special note will be how today’s students are increasingly using digital tools to self-direct learning in science and the impact of the disparity in home connectivity on students’ interests in STEM education and careers.

Audience members will leave this session with a clarified vision on the extent of the homework gap issue in CA, and especially how this trend is impacting science instruction in California classrooms right now.

To learn more about the session and the symposium, please visit the link below. We look forward to seeing you there!


Thank you for your interest and continued support of Speak Up! Be sure to stay updated on all things Speak Up by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our Blog.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at or via phone at (949) 609-4660 ext. 12.

Many thanks to our sponsors and partners for the support of Speak Up: Apex Learning, Blackboard, Inc., BrainPOP, CDW, DreamBox Learning, Qualcomm Wireless Reach, Scholastic Education, American Association of School Administrators, CETPA, Consortium for School Networking, CUE, Digital Learning Day, ICE (Indiana Connected Educators), iNACOL, International Society for Technology in Education, National School Boards Association, National School Public Relations Association, National Science Teachers Association, National Secondary School Principals Association, NCCE (Northwest Council for Computer Education), NETA (Nebraska Educational Technology Association), State Education Technology Directors’ Association and TCEA (Texas Computer Education Association).

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