Netday Sponsors National Campaign To Capture Input From

October 10, 2003

Irvine, CA — October 1, 2003. NetDay announced that it will host the first ever, large scale national event where students of all ages and grades, from communities and schools across the country will go online from their classrooms and share their opinions, ideas and thoughts about how technology should be used in schools. NetDay Student Voices’ Speak Up Day on October 29 will engage the voices of 500,000 students from the small, rural elementary school to the large inner city high school in this national discussion.

“From our work in communities, our research and our web initiatives, NetDay has learned that students have very distinct ideas on how technology should be used both in and out of schools,” noted Julie Evans, CEO, NetDay. “Today’s students do not “learn” technology – they use technology. It is, therefore, essential as we discuss how technology can be used effectively to enhance education, that the ideas of our nation’s students be heard loud and clear.”

Speak Up Day is being held as the US Department of Education works on the development of the National Education Technology Plan, which explicitly calls for student input. “I applaud NetDay’s efforts to launch this national dialogue between students and educators through Speak Up Day. Today’s students are entering schools with assumptions and expectations about their education as a result of having grown up with technology. These attitudes and beliefs have tremendous implications for schools and the way instruction is provided, “ commented Secretary of Education Rod Paige.

A broad range of education, technology and community groups are helping NetDay reach every school in the country with information about Speak Up Day. The goal is for students from all 50 states to participate in Speak Up Day. Schools can register to participate in Speak Up Day by going to NetDay provides lesson guides and discussion facilitation tips to help teachers and students prepare for their online entries on Speak Up Day. NetDay has also convened a Student Advisory Council to provide guidance to the development and implementation of the survey process.

After Speak Up Day, NetDay will summarize student comments into a written report that will be submitted for the National Education Technology Plan and will be available online for public discussion. This report will also be a call to action for national, state and local education leaders to recognize the importance of student input in discussions about how schools and instruction impact their educational experiences. Speak Up Day will be a real life lesson for students in civic engagement and the role that they can play when empowered.

NetDay’s mission is to connect every child to a brighter future by helping educators meet educational goals through the effective use of technology. NetDay (, a national non-profit organization known for its successful school wiring programs, today manages community and web-based programs that promote enhanced student achievement through the effective use of technology. Speak Up Day is NetDay’s latest initiative and will focus awareness on the importance of student voices in the national dialogue on education and technology.

The following nonprofit groups are partnering with NetDay on the outreach efforts for Speak Up Day: Alliance for Excellent Education, American Association of School Administrators, American Electronics Association, Benton Foundation, Cable in the Classroom, College Board, Consortium for School Networking, ExplorNet, Florida Virtual School, George Lucas Educational Foundation, Great Lafayette (LA) Chamber of Commerce,, International Society for Technology in Education, MOUSE, National Association for College Admissions Counseling, National Council for Community and Education Partnerships, National Education Association, National Education Knowledge Industry Association, National Rural Education Association, National School Boards Association, North American Council for Online Learning, Points of Light Foundation, Public Education Network, Software & Information Industry Association, State Educational Technology Directors Association, TECH CORPS, TechNet, Technology Information Center for Administrative Leadership, The Children’s Partnership,, US Conference of Mayors and Virtual High Schools, Inc.

The following corporations are providing support to NetDay for Speak Up Day: Bell South Foundation, Google and Sun Microsystems.

The NetDay Student Advisory Council is comprised of middle and high school students from communities all over the United States. The role of the Student Advisory Council is to provide feedback and guidance to the NetDay Student Voices team in the development and implementation of the Speak Up Day survey and supporting materials.

The No Child Left Behind Act charges the Secretary of Education with developing the nation’s third National Education Technology Plan. The Plan will establish a national strategy supporting the effective use of technology to improve student academic achievement and to prepare students for the 21st century. The revised National Education Technology Plan provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made, identify the areas that need to be further addressed, and consider what transformed learning may look like.

Julie Evans, 949.609.4660,

Irene Spero
Director, External Relations
301 529 2731