Attendees often tell us that the pre-conference sessions at BLC offer them the chance to slow down and dig deeper into the big ideas that permeate throughout the conference. BLC13 was no different, as these sessions received rave reviews. Stay tuned for the announcement about our BLC14 pre-conference offerings.

Learn more and be a part of our 2014 event!

Educators Workshops that Inspiring Hands-on Experiences

Pre-conference educators workshops run from Sunday, July 21 – Tuesday, July 23, 2013. These workshops provide intensive, hands-on opportunities for exploring leading-edge teaching and learning skills and strategies. Prices include either breakfast or an afternoon snack. Space is limited, so book early! Participants may register for educators workshops without registering for the main conference session, excluding the two-day pre-conference workshop led by Marco Torres.

Two Day Session (Sunday & Monday)

Presenters: Marco Torres, Teacher, Creative Director, Media Coach, Sylmar, CA and Alas Media, San Fernando, CA

Learners need to DO, CREATE, PRODUCE, and SHARE their learning experience with not only one teacher, but with a MUCH BIGGER community. This two day event will be a practical, hands-on session that’s fun and informal and will teach you how to incorporate movie making, social media, and mobile learning technology into your classroom. Whether you’re at the elementary, middle or high school level, see how movies have a place in your idea marketing and collecting evidence of learning for the school, parents and students. This is the best way to collect evidence of learning while covering the national curriculum.

This framework will help revolutionize your classroom; it can transform it into the most important space of your school– if not the community. Get ready to create and walk away with a valuable movie making process and a cool project to share! This is the best way to showcase what learning looks like in the classroom today. A lesson, an iPad, social media tools– what an exciting time for teachers and learners!

Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers

Attendee Requirements: Attendees are encouraged to bring their own laptop or iPad with either iMovie or Photo Story, and a video or photo camera (if you have one).

Price: $500 | Capacity: 25 | Audience: All | Suggested Level: Beginner

Sunday Afternoon Sessions

Presenters: Brian Mull, Director of Innovation, November Learning, Slidell, LA

In a series of recent articles, Alan November and Brian Mull explain that Web literacy now expands beyond understanding how to effectively use a search engine for research. Now, it is vital for teachers and students to understand the three pillars of Web literacy to maximize the critical thinking process.

First, there must be an understanding of effective search and validation strategies when using search engines like Google. Secondly, there needs to be an organizational method for effectively harnessing this content. Finally, there is a need for students to connect and collaborate with others around the world to gain further insight into the knowledge they find.

This session will look at how effective search and validation techniques combined with tools like Diigo and Twitter can build better researchers.

Read more at http://nlrng.us/PxIADT, http://nlrng.us/R3kGPg and http://nlrng.us/TNGq60

Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers

Attendee Requirements: Laptop and/or iPad (it's possible that some techniques might differ if using an iPad), accounts in Google, Twitter and Diigo

Price: $225 | Capacity: 30 | Audience: Middle (6-8) , Secondary (9-12), Post Secondary, Technology and Curriculum Coordinators | Suggested Level: Beginner

Presenters: Sara WilkieLearner, Teacher, Test-Driver, Instructional Design Coach, BalancEdTech, Beverly Hills, MI & Jordy Whitmer, Learner, Teacher, Facilitator, BalancEdTech, Bloomfield Twp, MI

Apps Task-onomy: Digging Deeper Into the Application of APPS.

The iPad (or iPod touch or iPhone) with its apps opens many new opportunities for learning. At the same time, it offers a slightly different wrapper for older learning opportunities. Both can be worthwhile, but it would be a shame if teachers missed the former for the latter. And, if past experience and research is any indication, educators are much more likely to co-opt the new technology to accomplish the status quo.

This workshop is designed to help teachers think through both opportunities and to categorize those apps that lend themselves to either or both. Participants will start by exploring a variety of apps, some that lend themselves to learning content such as math facts or spelling words and others that can be used in open ended content creation such as storytelling or photography. Then, participants will examine a set of lessons that use these apps. Finally, we will use a “taxonomy” such as Bloom’s Taxonomy, SAMR, LoTi, ETaP, Prensky, etc. and attempt to classify/categorize where the apps fall. Most likely, participants will need to contextualize the app to a particular use/activity. Ideally, teachers will realize that in most cases it is not the app itself, but the context and way in which it is used that determines where it falls and that the apps belong in multiple places.

Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers

Attendee Requirements: iPad (or other App device)

Price: $225 | Capacity: 30 | Audience: General (all audiences) | Suggested Level: Beginner

Monday Morning Sessions

Presenters: Ewan McIntosh, CEO, NoTosh Ltd, UK & Tom Barrett, Senior Consultant, NoTosh Ltd, UK

Project-based learning has been let down in too many instances with “fake”, academic, theoretical problems that need solving. The learning processes involved are at best fuzzy for most educators: what is “collaboration”, “student-designed” and “student-led” learning?

NEW and IMPROVED session for BLC13

  • Learn from the creative practices of some of the best media and tech companies in the world.
  • Find out what the independent and collaborative learning skills and processes these growing creative industries, and other business, require.
  • Hear inspiring mini-talks, stories from schools around the world and participate in a series of highly engaging discussions and exercises.

Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers

Attendee Requirements: Laptop/tablets

Price: $225 | Capacity: 60 | Audience: General (all audiences) | Suggested Level: All

Presenters: Julia Leong, Technology Consultant, November Learning, Vancouver, BC

So you just got some iPads. Now what? How will you manage a set? Will students be able to download apps or will the teacher? How do you control who buys what if you share an iTunes account? Should you get volume licensing and apps at 50% off?

Come to this hands on session to build lesson and unit ideas. Learn how to wirelessly project any iPad onto a screen. Learn how to transfer files from an iPad. Learn how to find reviews of apps and lesson ideas for using apps.

Use iPads for creation vs. consumption to do things like create books, portfolios, digital stories, dialogs in a different language and more.

We will look at the work flow that puts students in control of their own learning. We will send you a list of apps to download prior to coming to the session. You MUST know your apple ID and password PRIOR to coming. Bring your charging cable and, IF POSSIBLE, bring a laptop but don’t worry if you don’t have one. Bring your iPad (laptop if possible, cables to connect iPad, Apple ID) and join Julia for this hands-on, popular session that fills quickly.

Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers

Attendee Requirements: You MUST know your apple ID and password PRIOR to coming. Bring your charging cable and IF POSSIBLE, bring a laptop, but don’t worry if you don’t have one. Bring your iPad (laptop if possible, cables to connect iPad, Apple ID)

Price: $225 | Capacity: 30 | Audience: Middle (6-8) , Secondary (9-12), General (all audiences) | Suggested Level: Beginner

Monday Afternoon Sessions

Presenters: Brian Mull, Director of Innovation, November Learning, Slidell, LA

There is a significant opportunity in the first five days of school to set the tone concerning powerful, engaging and self-directed learning. By giving students ownership of their learning and having them develop tools and networks that will support them throughout the school year, we better prepare them for the global economy. In this session, participants will consider the broad opportunities that await in the first five days of school, including information literacy, student roles, global collaboration and more. They will then select a theme for the first five days of their year, break into smaller groups by theme and design the appropriate elements needed to bring this theme to life, just in time to return to school this Fall.

Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers

Attendee Requirements: Laptop and/or iPad (it's possible that some tools won't work on the iPad). Accounts with Google, Twitter and Diigo. Install Jing.

Price: $225 | Capacity: 40 | Audience: Elementary (1-5), Middle (6-8) , Secondary (9-12) | Suggested Level: Beginner

Presenters: Ewan McIntosh, CEO, NoTosh Ltd, UK & Tom Barrett, Senior Consultant, NoTosh Ltd, UK

Unpacking the broad assessment agenda we face in schools today and exploring new insights and solutions for the challenges we face.

Let’s face it, the assessment agenda is fraught with mixed metaphors, blind alleys and confusing vocabulary! We need to get to grips with this powerful part of learning. We need to put assessment back on to our own daily agenda and not just for a grade at the end of the course. Let’s re-establish assessment in it’s rightful place as an integral part of any learning.

  • It is all about the grade at the end of the day. How can I break this everlasting cycle?
  • I want my students to be more central in their learning, how do I take steps towards this?
  • I think I am doing OK with assessment in my classroom, but how does this compare with elsewhere in the world? Do others face the same challenge?

Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers

Attendee Requirements: Tablets/laptops

Price: $225 | Capacity: 65 | Audience: General (all audiences) | Suggested Level: All

Presenters: Sara WilkieLearner, Teacher, Test-Driver, Instructional Design Coach, BalancEdTech, Beverly Hills, MI & Jordy Whitmer, Learner, Teacher, Facilitator, BalancEdTech, Bloomfield Twp, MI

How often do you leave a workshop brimming with ideas and anxious to put them into action? Following our first session, Apps Task-onomy, we will dig even further as we investigate ways to implement recommended apps into YOUR practice. Join this “make session”, where participants will create lessons and app-tivities for immediate use in their class(es).

Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers

Attendee Requirements: iPad (or other app device)

Price: $225 | Capacity: 40 | Audience: General (all audiences) | Suggested Level: All

Monday Evening Sessions

Presenters: Julia Leong, Technology Consultant, November Learning, Vancouver, BC

Bring your digital camera, a small flashlight (and tripod if possible), and join us on a walking tour of downtown Boston to explore night photography. Learn how to control light and use flashlights to paint with light and create imaginative images as a starting point for creative and point of view writing. If you have a camera with some manual settings bring it, but if you don’t we will use what ever camera you have or you can download the Slow Shutter iPhone app.

Engage students to paint their city, home and themselves in a different light using photography. We will investigate how we frame our photos (what we focus on, what we edit out) as a starting point for reflective practice, for writing, art and critical thinking in the classroom. Use photography to ignite imagination and create highly dramatic photos to render the familiar a little strange. Use these photos as a starting point for points of viewing writing.

This is a sample book that we created with our students on paint with light: 
http://www.blurb.com/books/1372522

Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers

Attendee Requirements: If you have a camera with some manual settings bring it, but if you don't we will use whatever camera you have or you can download Slow Shutter iPhone app. IF you have an iPad, iPhone, laptop or tripod bring it (optional). Bring the cables to connect your camera to your laptop or a card readers so you can offload photos to computer. Bring a small flashlight and battery charger for your camera. Come with your camera fully charged and comfortable shoes.

Price: $225 | Capacity: 30 | Audience: General (all audiences) | Suggested Level: All

Tuesday Morning Sessions

Presenters:  Eric Mazur, Area Dean of Applied Physics, Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics, Harvard University; Co-founder, Learning Catalytics, Cambridge, MA & Brian Lukoff, Postdoctoral Fellow in Technology and Education, Harvard University; Co-founder and CEO, Learning Catalytics, Boston, MA

Most — if not all — of the important skills in our lives are acquired outside the traditional classroom. Peer construction is a research-based pedagogy that introduces rigorous problem solving while providing teachers with invaluable real time data. The process has been shown to dramatically improve conceptual understanding and personalize instruction, even in large classes. While successfully implementing Peer Instruction doesn’t require any technology, using the right technology can improve student engagement, and dramatically increase learning.

In this workshop you will learn how to use Learning Catalytics — a web-based technology — to empower your students to develop critical thinking skills across the curriculum. You will get hands-on experience designing effective questions — not just multiple-choice but also open-ended questions where students produce textual, numerical, or graphical responses. You will also see how to use Learning Catalytics to manage the discussions students have during class and promote engagement and conceptual understanding. Applies across upper elementary, secondary, and higher ed and across all subjects.

Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers

Attendee Requirements: Laptop or iPad/tablet

Price: $225 | Capacity: 40 | Audience: Elementary (1-5), Middle (6-8) , Secondary (9-12), Post secondary, Technology and Curriculum Coordinators | Suggested Level: Beginner

Presenters: Lainie Rowell, Professional Developer and Consultant, November Learning, Huntington Beach, CA

Are you new to iPads for learning? This pre-conference workshop will be a rich source of ideas, resources, and information about learning with the iPad in the elementary classroom. This hands-on workshop will start off with the basics of how to use an iPad so you and your students are as efficient as possible in order to maximize instructional time.

This includes tips and tricks to get even more out of your Internet communication device. With the iPad, learners can perform research, collaborate, interact with experts, and produce creative works! We will examine the iPad’s iOS platform, unique features that support student learning, and applications and activities that support mobile learning. Participants need to bring their own iPad to fully participate in this hands-on session. Do not miss out on this innovative workshop! Teachers, administrators, IT professionals and technology coordinators are welcome.

Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers

Attendee Requirements: Participants need to bring their own iPad and install free apps emailed by me the week prior to our workshop to fully participate in this hands-on session.

Price: $225 | Capacity: 30 | Audience: General (all audiences) | Suggested Level: Beginner

Presenters: Ewan McIntosh, CEO, NoTosh Ltd, UK & Tom Barrett, Senior Consultant, NoTosh Ltd, UK

Whether you’re an innovator who’s seeking to break a new idea to colleagues and community, or a leader trying to manage the expectations of an engaged active team, finding space to innovate is tough. Leaders face the challenge of managing priorities and planning in advance for the unplannable innovations that might come around the corner. Innovators face the hurdle of seeing their initial ideas grow, become accepted and flourish into a widely adopted way of thinking, working or learning.

Our expertise grows from nearly a decade working in technology, fashion, TV and film media, leading projects to be on budget, on time and on top of the competition, coupled with a background in classroom, government advisory and technology leadership roles.

We will bring both these worlds together to help provoke your own team’s response to managing creativity and creating space for more innovation in your schools and your education department. We will share compelling stories, discuss the learning from these, and introduce your team to tools for reuse in your innovation strategy.

Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers

Attendee Requirements: Laptop/tablets

Price: $225 | Capacity: 35 | Audience: General (all audiences) | Suggested Level: All

Presenters: Aaron Sams, Director of Digital Learning and Admissions, Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh, PA & Brian E. Bennett, Academic Team Customer Solutions Engineer

This workshop is designed for teachers that interested in the flipped classroom concept but do not know where to start. We will start with the basics of how to get started with screencasting. With hands-on guidance and demonstrations, participants will learn how easy it is to record, edit and share their flipped lessons using Camtasia (a free copy of Camtasia Studio will be provided to each attendee). Participants will learn to create, organize and present crisp, professionally-pleasing screencasts. Other topics to be covered include:

  • Overview of the flipped class approach and when it should (and should not) be used
  • Flipped classroom myths
  • How to manage a flipped class
  • Pen-based input tools (Tablet PC, Electronic Whiteboard, USB Tablets, etc.)
  • Tips on microphones and recording high quality audio

Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers

Attendee Requirements: Bring your own laptop - Windows required, (not just an iPad or tablet). A free copy of Camtasia will be given to all attendees ahead of time and we would prefer that they install ahead of time to save class time.

Price: $225 | Capacity: 40 | Audience: Middle (6-8) , Secondary (9-12), Post secondary, Administration, Technicians/IT Directors/Network Engineers, Technology and Curriculum Coordinators | Suggested Level: Beginner

Tuesday Afternoon Sessions

Presenters: Aaron Sams, Director of Digital Learning and Admissions, Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh, PA & Brian E. Bennett, Academic Team Customer Solutions Engineer

This workshop is designed for teachers that interested in the flipped classroom concept but do not know where to start. We will start with the basics of how to get started with screencasting. With hands-on guidance and demonstrations, participants will learn how easy it is to record, edit and share their flipped lessons using Camtasia (a free copy of Camtasia for Mac will be provided to each attendee). Participants will learn to create, organize and present crisp, professionally-pleasing screencasts. Other topics to be covered include:

  • Overview of the flipped class approach and when it should (and should not) be used
  • Flipped classroom myths
  • How to manage a flipped class
  • Pen-based input tools (Tablet PC, Electronic Whiteboard, USB Tablets, etc.)
  • Tips on microphones and recording high quality audio

Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers

Attendee Requirements: Bring your own laptop - Mac OS required (not just an iPad or tablet). A free copy of Camtasia will be given to all attendees ahead of time and we would prefer that they install ahead of time to save class time.

Price: $225 | Capacity: 40 | Audience: Middle (6-8) , Secondary (9-12), Post secondary, Administration, Technicians/IT Directors/Network Engineers, Technology and Curriculum Coordinators | Suggested Level: Beginner

Presenters: Karen Yager, Dean of Studies, Knox Grammar School, Sydney, Australia

Technology inspires students to be innovative and to confidently realize the potential of their imagination and literary expression. Creating texts using technology focuses students on the craft and artistry of writing, and taps into their creativity. This practical workshop will foster a deep understanding of how to use technology and explicit literacy strategies with students to motivate them to become confident and effective writers. A plethora of resources, practical strategies and student work samples will be shared.

Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers

Attendee Requirements: Laptop or iPad

Price: $225 | Capacity: 40 | Audience: Middle (6-8) , Secondary (9-12) | Suggested Level: All

Presenters: Lainie Rowell, Professional Developer and Consultant, November Learning, Huntington Beach, CA

Are you already using iPads in the classroom? Are you participating in the iPads for learning? It’s Elementary! (Part 1: Getting Started) pre-conference? Either way, this workshop will be a rich source of ideas, resources, and information for those who already know the basics of iPads for learning in the elementary classroom.

This hands-on workshop will explore productivity tools, educational activities and more, using built-in and freely available applications for Apple’s iPad. With the iPad, learners can perform research, collaborate, interact with experts, and produce creative works! We will examine using this mobile device to transform learning. This workshop includes time to collaboratively designing an activity that redefines learning. Do not miss out on this innovative workshop! Teachers, administrators, IT professionals and technology coordinators are welcome.

Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers

Attendee Requirements: Participants need to bring their own iPad and install free apps emailed by me the week prior to our workshop to fully participate in this hands-on session.

Price: $225 | Capacity: 40 | Audience: General (all audiences) | Suggested Level: Intermediate

Presenters: Kern Kelley, Educational Technologist, RSU #19, Newport, ME

Google Apps for Education provides a free cross platform set of tools for educators. You can create Web sites, collect homework, manage student portfolios and much more. If your district has adopted Google Apps for Education or is thinking about it, then this session is for you. We will walk through real examples and best practices of how to utilize these tools in an educational setting. You do not have to have Google Apps for Education to join this session, but are curious about what it has to offer.

Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers

Attendee Requirements: None

Price: $225 | Capacity: 30 | Audience: General (all audiences) | Suggested Level: Intermediate

Presenters: Julia Leong, Technology Consultant, November Learning, Vancouver, BC

What real questions do you need to consider in implementing mobile technologies into a school culture? How does teaching and learning change when you have access to a mobile device and an over abundance of information? What is the work flow for students to own their learning? Learn how to personalize learning with mobile devices, how to manage sets of iPads, how to use it for creation rather than just consumption to do things like create books, portfolios, digital stories, dialogs in a different language and more.

See practical examples of using iPads for grades 5-12. This is not a session showing yet another list of the latest apps. We will look at the work flow that puts students in control of their own learning. Bring your iPad and be prepared to share an idea of how you are using iPads to change the structures of learning. Join Julia for this hands on popular session that fills quickly. Bring you Apple ID and password. Download the recommended apps prior to coming to the session. For more experienced users.

Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers

Attendee Requirements: Bring you Apple ID and password. Download the recommended apps prior to coming to the session. Bring your charging cables and if possible, a laptop (optional).

Price: $225 | Capacity: 40 | Audience: Middle (6-8) , Secondary (9-12), Administration, Technology and Curriculum Coordinators | Suggested Level: Intermediate, Advanced

Presenters: Sara WilkieLearner, Teacher, Test-Driver, Instructional Design Coach, BalancEdTech, Beverly Hills, MI & Jordy Whitmer, Learner, Teacher, Facilitator, BalancEdTech, Bloomfield Twp, MI

We thought about titling this session, “Stop Giving Them The Answer: Let Them Figure It Out Themselves!”, but thought that sounded a little too edgy. Join us for a strategy-building session on how to foster student-owned learning in the classroom (and live!). Don’t expect one size fits all answers – but questions, strategies, possibilities, examples, and maybe a few awkward silences…

Join us as we explore ways to:

  • Engage and empower students as critical thinkers, questioners, connectors and creators of content
  • Build student repertoire of problem-solving strategies
  • Promote and develop student capacity for finding the right information, right relationships and right resources, all at the right time
  • Challenge learners to mine mistakes, wrong turns and “failures” for the richer learning opportunities embedded within

Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers

Attendee Requirements: Laptop or other device with internet connectivity, open mind, willingness to share, offer feedback, reflect, connect and grow!

Price: $225 | Capacity: 40 | Audience: Elementary (1-5), Middle (6-8) , Secondary (9-12), Post secondary, Administration | Suggested Level: Beginner

Presenters: Darren Kuropatwa, Curriculum Coordinator for Digital Learning, St. James-Assiniboia School Division, Winnipeg, Canada

 

We learn by doing. In this workshop, we’ll create together and then discuss effective ways to make our classrooms active learning environments. This workshop will also outfit teachers with the tools, skills and pedagogical perspectives necessary to be successful in a 1-to-1, iPad or BYOD class. We’ll share valuable educational apps for iPods and iPads across various content areas with some attention paid to mathematics. We will design an integrated suite of tools that help students learn and show what they know to the world. Learn how to design effective learning experiences by “mashing up” different apps to create your own app-tivities. Even if you don’t teach a 1-to-1 or BYOD class, you’ll walk away from this session with a strong understanding of the fundamentals of using technology in the classroom.

Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers

Attendee Requirements:

Price: $225 | Capacity: 30 | Audience: | Suggested Level:

Presenters: Kathy Cassidy, Grade One Teacher, Westmount Elementary, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada

The benefit of having technology in our classroom is not that we can do things better, but that it allows us to do things that were formerly impossible! Technology allows primary students to create in new ways, to connect with people and classrooms outside of their building and to share their work with and to learn from the world. We’ll explore new tools, student examples, and classroom management techniques that will help make this shift in literacy and math possible in your classroom. We’ll investigate:

  • Keeping our young learners safe online
  • Tools and apps that are appropriate for this age level
  • How to leverage Skype and Twitter in your classroom
  • Connecting your classroom with others from around the world

Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers

Attendee Requirements: iPad

Price: $225 | Capacity: 30 | Audience: K-4 | Suggested Level: Beginner

Presenters: Alan November, Senior Partner, November Learning, Marblehead, MA

How can leaders maximize student engagement and academic achievement? How can leaders encourage teachers and students to collaborate with peers and professionals around the world?

The goal of this session is to provide you with maximum capacity for effective leadership in the 21st Century. This session will outline essential skills for leaders and offer practical guidelines and creative solutions for building accountability into the planning process. Articulating vision and managing change will be emphasized, along with the following:

  • Alignment of curriculum to standards
  • Designing more rigorous, demanding and globally connected assignments
  • Building capacity for family and community involvement
  • Addressing issues related to equity
  • Developing critical thinking skills
  • Designing staff development programs
  • Defining new roles for students

Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers

Attendee Requirements: None

Price: $225 | Capacity: 70 | Audience: Administrators | Suggested Level: All