NetDay Logo

NetDay Press Releases

Bell South logo NetDay logo
Video of Congressional Briefing
CONTACTS: Karen Pace, BellSouth Corporation, 404-249-2504,
Julie Evans, NetDay, 949-609-4660,



WASHINGTON, D.C., March 24, 2004 – NetDay will release today the results of Speak Up Day 2003, at a Capitol Hill briefing hosted by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Representative Johnny Isakson (R-GA). Together with BellSouth, NetDay also will announce plans to initiate a Speak Up Day 2004 that will focus on how teachers use and view technology.

In October 2003, NetDay, with support from BellSouth, hosted Speak Up Day – a unique national Internet event in which more than 210,000 students (K-12) went online from their classrooms to share with policy-makers their opinions and ideas on technology use in their schools. The students’ input has been compiled in a report, “Voices and Views of Today’s Tech-Savvy Students,” that will be shared with the U.S. Department of Education to inform the drafting of the new National Education Technology Plan. The report represents a call to action for national, state and local education leaders to heed the voices of students in the policymaking process.

“ This report leaves no doubt that technology has become an indispensable tool in the education of today’s students,” said Julie Evans, CEO of NetDay. “Ninety-seven percent of Speak Up Day respondents in grades 7-12 recognize the importance of technology in their education. Even our youngest students, in grades K-3, use technology to learn the basics, like reading and spelling. As this report so clearly highlights, students want greater access to technology not only as a way to communicate but also as an essential component of learning.”

“ Technology is a big part of my everyday life and I was thrilled with the opportunity offered by Speak Up Day to discuss how important technology is to my education,” noted Efrata Yitbarek, an 11th grade student at Annandale High School in Virginia and a participant at today’s event. “In fact, I wonder what took adults so long to ask me and other students for our opinion.”

Topline results:

  • Today’s students are very technology-savvy, feel strongly about the positive value of technology and consider technology applications essential and preferred components of every aspect of their lives.
  • Students are not just using technology differently today, but are approaching their lives and their daily activities differently because of technology.
  • As students get older, their use of technology becomes more sophisticated, but, comparatively, younger students are on a fast track to becoming greater technology users and advocates.
  • The access point for technology use is home-focused, not school-focused.
  • A new digital disconnect in attitude and use is emerging between students that consider themselves tech-savvy and those that assess their tech knowledge at a beginner level.
  • A significant gap in technology adeptness exists along gender lines, with far fewer females considering themselves advanced users of technology.

By The Numbers:

  • 29 percent of students in grades K-3 have email addresses.
  • More than half (54 percent) of students in grades 7-12 know more of their friends' IM screen names than home phone numbers.
  • 67 percent of students in grades 7-12 turned first to technology when assigned to write a report.
  • Students in all grades have access to a wide range of technology devices. The most frequently cited devices (in order of student response strength) are desktop computers, cell phones and CD burners.
  • 97 percent of students in grades 7-12 recognize the importance of technology in their education, 95% in grades 4-6 and 82% in grades K-3.

“ We are proud that, through our efforts, a new national awareness has been developed about the importance of student input into education issues,” said Kim Mulkey, technology director, BellSouth Foundation. “Students today recognize the opportunities that technology offers them as learners and Speak Up Day gave us the chance to see their innovative vision for technology use in schools. Their input will be critical to the national dialogue on education and technology.”

Building on the success of Speak Up Day, NetDay will host Speak Up Day for Teachers on April 29, 2004. The goal is for 10,000 teachers from all 50 states to complete an online survey about their personal and professional use of technology and the Internet. NetDay will share the results with participating schools and the educational community to further local and national discussions about effective use of technology for learning. Schools can register to participate at beginning March 29, 2004 and the survey will be available from April 14-May 7.

To view all findings from Speak Up Day, visit

About NetDay
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.

About BellSouth Corporation
BellSouth Corporation is a Fortune 100 communications services company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. BellSouth serves nearly 50 million local, long distance, Internet and wireless customers in the United States and 12 other countries.

Consistently recognized for customer satisfaction, BellSouth provides complete communications solutions to the residential and business markets. In the residential market, BellSouth offers DSL high-speed Internet access and long distance, advanced voice features and other services. The company’s BellSouth AnswersSM package combines local and long distance service with an array of calling features; wireless data, voice and e-mail services; and high-speed DSL or dial-up Internet service and Cingular Wireless.

In the business market, BellSouth serves small, medium and large businesses providing secure, reliable local and long distance voice and data networking solutions. BellSouth also provides online and directory advertising services through BellSouth® RealPages.comSM and The Real Yellow Pages®.

BellSouth owns 40 percent of Cingular Wireless, the nation's second largest wireless company, which provides innovative wireless voice and data services.

About the National Education Technology Plan
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.