Virtual Congressional Briefing

San Marcos High School Student Participates in Virtual Congressional Briefing
Kellen Bynes

Kellen Bynes shares first-hand experience with education technology through Speak Up Research conducted by Project Tomorrow

San Marcos, CA (Oct. 21, 2020)San Marcos High School student Kellen Bynes participated in a virtual Congressional Briefing this week revealing the results of the annual Speak Up Research Project presented by the nation’s leading education nonprofit Project Tomorrow. San Marcos Unified is one of only five school districts selected to participate in this national event. This year’s results indicate an increased usage of digital tools by teachers and students, as well as other digital learning trends.

The Speak Up Research Project is a national research project and free service to schools and districts. Since fall 2003, Speak Up has helped education leaders include the voices of their stakeholders in annual and long-term planning.

“We’re especially grateful for participation from students like Kellen because they offer a truly unique perspective when it comes to the learning experience,” said Dr. Julie A. Evans, researcher and CEO of Project Tomorrow. “By hearing directly from students, teachers, parents and community members, education leaders can make informed decisions that improve education. Congratulations to Kellen and to the San Marcos Unified School District for your partnership with Project Tomorrow on the Speak Up Research Project.”  

Key takeaways from this year’s survey include:

·      Increased usage of digital tools by teachers and students due to the COVID-19 pandemic brings new opportunities to discuss what constitutes rigor and quality in digital resources for classroom use, and new ways to articulate the value proposition of digital learning more comprehensively.

·      As a result of the sudden shift to digital learning, parents developed a stronger appreciation for the value of technology as a learning vehicle and their role in supporting their child’s education from home.

·      Students continue to value how technology supports learning. The realization of the value of digital learning by the adults in their lives resulted in an improved learning environment for many students. The use of digital, online and video games provide an excellent example of this new impact. 

"I am so proud of Kellen for representing students not only at SMUSD, but across the state of California, and nationally as well. Our students' future learning, living, and leading will depend on their digital literacy. Our lives have changed due to the pandemic and many of the learning tools we are currently using will only grow in usage in the future."
Adam Dawson, Principal of San Marcos High School

About Project Tomorrow & Speak Up
The Speak Up Research Project is a national initiative of Project Tomorrow, an internationally recognized education nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that all students are prepared to become tomorrow’s leaders, innovators and engaged citizens of the world. Each year, the Speak Up Project polls K-12 students, parents, and educators about the role of technology for learning in and out of school, and the impact of new learning models on student outcomes and teacher effectiveness. The Speak Up dataset represents the largest collection of authentic, unfiltered stakeholder voices on digital learning. Since fall 2003, almost 6 million K-12 students, parents, teachers, librarians, principals, technology leaders, district administrators, communications officers, and members of the community have shared their views and ideas through Speak Up. Education, business, and policy leaders report that they regularly use the Speak Up data to inform federal, state, and local education programs, policies, and initiatives. Learn more at

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