Pre-conference Master Classes with Inspiring Hands-on Experiences

Pre-conference Master Classes run from Sunday, July 12 – Tuesday, July 14, 2015. These workshops provide intensive, hands-on opportunities for exploring leading-edge teaching and learning skills and strategies. Space is limited, so book early! Participants may register for these workshops without registering for the main conference session.

Sunday Afternoon Sessions

Presenter: Amy Burvall, EdgeMakers, San Francisco

Video Intro:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYNQ2hzbeQI

From cave walls to Facebook walls we have always embraced visual communication. Dual coding theory of cognition (Paivio, 1971), reiterates the importance of visual imagery in respect to our thinking processes – that in fact we need visual language in addition to  verbal or text-based  coding of stimuli.  With the changing media landscape, our streams, memes, and zines have exploded with imagery, ushering in a need for visual literacy skills. We are quickly moving from images as decoration and augmentation to images as sole content and communication tool. We have some false beliefs about visual language – that it is equated with “art”, requiring “talent” from “creative types” – and therefore it is unfortunately often not overtly taught and practiced in schools. Technology has affected knowledge in such a way as to diminish the value of “raw” information and increase the value of sense-making, as well as chip away at attention spans, sparking a need for distillation of complex ideas. Images can essentialize the cumbersome in beautiful ways. They have a “stickiness” for the viewer and challenge the critical thinking of the creator.

This hands-on session will explore the “Whys” of visual literacy and offer participants an opportunity to tinker and play with:

  • iconography and metaphorical thinking
  • pictograms, “Shortology”, emoji, meme stories, and gifs
  • graphic design, graphic facilitation, infographics and sketchnotes
  • photography, cinemagrams (moving photos)
  • icon-based annotations and marginalia
  • using images to leverage CVs, social media, and presentations

We’ll experiment with ways to use visual language for personal knowledge management, amplification of knowledge and creative work, critical thinking, social interaction (conversation), and other forms of creative and intellectual expression.

Location: White Hill Room, Boston Park Plaza 4th Floor

Attendee Requirements: Laptop

Price: $245.00 | Capacity: 30 | Audience: General | Suggested Level: All

Full Day Session (Monday)

Presenter: Amy Burvall, EdgeMakers, San Francisco

Mozilla’s Doug Belshaw says that the “heart” of “digital literacies” is the Remix. Kirby Ferguson eloquently encouraged us in his TED talk to “Embrace the Remix”, because, as his enlightening documentary series reminds us, “everything is a remix”. Newspaper blackout artist and award-winning author Austin Kleon’s advice to budding creatives is to “Steal Like an Artist”, because “you are a mashup of what you let into your life”. Our students are engrossed in remix culture – they are the appropriation and recontextualization generation. Remix calls for knowledge and understanding, critical, higher-order, and design thinking, a variety of tech skills, and, frequently, collaboration and navigation in the greater media landscape. Most importantly a remix task offers students a chance to truly transform a work and create something unique – something that will contribute to their digital presence and legacy. This  session is part pedagogical/philosophical and part participatory. Attendees will leave with a “goodie-bag” of resources and ideas as well as have the opportunity to develop, practice, and share  several types of remix projects.

For this workshop I have developed an ever-growing G+ community to organize resources, and serve as a space for sharing participant work and continuing the conversation long after the conference has ended. The slide show offers a glimpse into the history of remix in the art world and its significance in our present media landscape. We’ll explore how different techniques of remix and mashup lend themselves to collaborative creativity and differentiation in the classroom. We’ll also look into the distinctions between “remix” and “rip-off” and discuss the ways in which to help work become transformative rather than mere copies. There will be some discussion of copyright reform, fair use, and creative commons as well.  Philosophically we’ll look at the work of William Burroughs, Grandmaster Flash, and Andy Warhol as well as the more recent efforts of writer Austin Kleon, media theorist Henry Jenkins, MIT Media Lab Lifelong Kindergartener Mitch Resnick, documentary filmmaker Kirby Ferguson, and the online course DS106.

The workshop is peppered with a variety of hands-on activities, where we will use both digital and analogue tools and materials to create individual and collaborative projects. We will also play a version of “Disruptus”, a divergent thinking game that sharpens design-thinking skills. We’ll explore how social media in particular inspires recontextualization and re-imagining. And, in an era of ever-abbreviated communication, we’ll look at various ways to essentialize and synthesize into more minimalist, visual interpretations.

Location: Beacon Hill Room, Boston Park Plaza, 4th Floor

Attendee Requirements: All participants should bring their own device and ideally have created a G+ profile as well as YouTube channel. It would also be extremely helpful to have a camera on one’s phone or the ability to take and upload images easily.

Price: $425.00 | Capacity: 30 | Audience: General | Suggested Level: All

Presenter: Daniel Wendel and the StarLogo Team

Computational Thinking and Modeling are important practices emphasized in the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. However, integrating these practices into the classroom remains difficult, as few tools and curricula exist to make modeling accessible. This is where StarLogo Nova comes in. StarLogo Nova is a 3D, blocks-based programming environment for novices that lets you and your students create games and simulations that explore a wide range of subjects. In this workshop, we will cover the basics of StarLogo Nova and its guiding principles, and then jump into three case studies: studying angles in shapes, programming a 3D game, and examining ways to slow the spread of disease through a population. We will also be able to tailor the session to the attendees, adjusting the schedule and content depending on interest and prior experience.

Topics Covered:

– StarLogo Nova basics
– Geometry (interior and exterior angles)
– Life Science (spread of a disease)
– Programming (conditionals, loops, and procedures)

Other Possible Topics (depending on attendees)

– Statistics (polling/sampling)
– Calculus/Pre-Calc/Geometry (estimating pi by Monte Carlo integration)
– Biology (natural selection and genetic drift)
– Discrete Math (fractals)
– Physics (projectile motion in 3D)

Location: M.I.T. Media Lab, M.I.T., Cambridge, MA

Attendee Requirements: Prerequisites:

- Willingness to attempt programming (no prior experience required)
- Bring a laptop with a browser running the latest version of Flash Player. Chromebooks will work, iPads will not.

Price: $425.00 | Capacity: 30 | Audience: General | Suggested Level: All

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

What does it mean to be the lead learner in your school(s)?

What concrete actions can a school leader take that directly improve student learning outcomes?

Risk and effort, rather than revealing inadequacies, are the key ingredients for growth. How does a school leader concretely model that?

This practical hands-on workshop will walk school & district leaders through many different ways they can throw a global spotlight on the excellent teaching & learning happening in their schools. We will also showcase & practice lightweight ways you can share your own professional growth as the lead learner in your school in ways that lead to improved student learning.

The belief that cherished ideas can be developed creates a passion for learning. What cherished ideas do we have about learning that we want to develop in our schools?

Before you come to the conference, take a picture of “people learning” in your school. No faces: hands only or an over the shoulder shot or faces that cannot be discerned. Bring that picture with you. The magic begins with you. 😉

Location: Cambridge Room, Boston Park Plaza, 4th Floor

Attendee Requirements: Bring your own laptop and/or tablet with you.

Price: $425.00 | Capacity: 30 | Audience: Administration | Suggested Level: All

Full Day Session (Tuesday)

Presenter: Amy Burvall, EdgeMakers, San Francisco

“There is no win, there is no fail, there is only make” (John Cage). One of the greatest challenges is developing ideas, finding time, and offering opportunities for students work on creative projects. More importantly, how do we move beyond the “assignment” stage and encourage students to be intrinsically motivated to make beautiful things on a regular basis? How do we foster the shift from consumption to production? Even if you don’t have the luxury of  offering a project-based curriculum, you can still develop a steady diet of ongoing, “back-burner” projects that gets student to “dare to make and share”. This session will explore ways to instill a creative culture in your classroom, with everything from low-entry point crowdsourced uses of social media to the #showyourwork movement which asks students to be overt about their design thinking, creative process, and troubleshooting and contribute to collective knowledge. At the heart of personalized learning is creative freedom, but students often need a spark of inspiration, a design brief, or mentorship to get them on the road to making. In this workshop we will get our creative juices flowing and explore trends in combinatorial and crowdsourced creativity facilitated by social media, as well as the role of analogue elements in digital makery. You will have the opportunity to create and perform, as well as develop projects for future use. We’ll look at teacher-as-creator and the importance of transparency and curation in facilitating creativity in the classroom. All participants will leave with a “goodie bag”- a membership to an ever-growing digital community of resources and dialogue centering around creativity in the classroom.

Location: Beacon Hill Room, Boston Park Plaza, 4th Floor

Attendee Requirements: Laptop

Price: $425.00 | Capacity: 30 | Audience: General | Suggested Level: All

Monday Afternoon Sessions

Presenter: Lainie Rowell, Consultant and Trainer, November Learning

Fast and easy collaboration is what makes Google tools an ideal learning environment. Gain knowledge as well as practical strategies to make collaboration a natural way of learning in your Google Classroom.

Attendees will:

-Learn about specific Google tools that provide an easy-to-use, integrated way for teachers and students to collaborate
-Explore practical workflow models for sharing and collecting assignments
-Participate in a collaborative activity that can be replicated in classrooms
-Discover how real-time collaboration, powerful sharing controls and seamless compatibility make learning more engaging and a teacher’s life easierIf you are ready to move from content consumption to content creation and community building while developing more self-directed learners, this session is for you.

Note: Google Apps for Education account is required to use Google Classroom, but not required to participate in this session.

Location: St. James Room, Boston Park Plaza, 4th Floor

Attendee Requirements: iPad

Price: $245.00 | Capacity: 30 | Audience: General | Suggested Level: All

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

Monday, July 13, 2015
1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The first five days of school can prepare students to “learn how to learn” and yield achievement dividends all year.   By preparing students to own  their learning and to manage tools and networks that will support them throughout the school year, we better prepare them for academic success.   Web literacy, student as tutorial designer, self assessment, peer to peer support and more will be  covered. A culture of empowered learning can help save teachers valuable time and inspire students.

Location: Boston Park Plaza
Stuart Room, 4th Floor

Attendee Requirements:

Price: $245.00 | Capacity: 50 | Audience: General, All Audiences | Suggested Level:

Tuesday Morning Sessions

Presenter: Lainie Rowell, Consultant and Trainer, November Learning

Explore a variety of FREE student response services/tools that work on any device and give teachers the power to make informed instructional decisions. This session will be a rich source of ideas, resources and information for effectively using technology for formative and summative assessment.

Attendees will:

-Learn about specific free services/tools that transform assessment (and make teachers’ lives easier)
-Examine the advantages of each tool and how to use these resources effectively to engage students and personalize learning
-Discover how these services/tools can give all students a voice and make thinking visible
-Participate in an activity that can be replicated with staff and students

Be sure to bring a device to fully participate in this interactive session!

Location: White Hill Room, Boston Park Plaza, 4th Floor

Attendee Requirements: Laptop or Tablet

Price: $245.00 | Capacity: 30 | Audience: General | Suggested Level: All

Presenter: Joy Kirr, Thomas Middle School, Arlington Heights, IL

Why take time out for students to own the learning? You’ll have time during this workshop to explore resources and plan for time in your classroom or school for students to pursue their passions. We’ll figure out specific ways to tackle any obstacles together.

Participants will gain:

  • Ways to communicate to parents and administration reasons for trying Genius Hour
  • How to create time in the schedule
  • Resources to begin passion-based learning with students
  • How to assist students in choosing topics
  • How to keep track of student progress
  • Reflections and assessments for students
  • How to scaffold for reluctant learners

Location: Cambridge Room, Boston Park Plaza, 4th Floor

Attendee Requirements: Laptop or Tablet

Price: $245.00 | Capacity: 30 | Audience: General | Suggested Level: Beginner

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

In this session we’ll explore different lightweight ideas/activities you can implement in your classes tomorrow to leverage mobile (and stationary) technology to document student learning and foster reflective ways for students to share what they’re learning. We won’t just talk about them, we’ll do them. Then we’ll discuss how each of us might practically adapt these ideas in our own classrooms. Each practical activity will model ways in which the hard work involved is the thinking engendered in students while the technology is elegantly simple and easy to manage for teachers.

Basically, we’ll have fun, play with practical ideas that allow teachers to easily incorporate technology in their classroom daily, and leverage some of the mobile technologies that are increasingly found in students’ pockets. This session will be an accessible introduction to the fundamentals of using technology in the classroom.

Location: Whittier Room, Boston Park Plaza, 4th Floor

Attendee Requirements: You’ll need to know your username & password to install new apps.
Your device has to be able to send email using the native email app it came with.
Nice to have a laptop with you too.

Price: $245.00 | Capacity: 30 | Audience: General - All Audiences | Suggested Level: All

Presenter: Kern Kelley, Apple Distinguished Educator

Your school or district has gone Google, now what? This session is for teachers and administrators covering practical implementation of Google Apps for Education. The session will go beyond use of individual tools and provide a systemic look at how students and teachers can use all the tools within an educational framework. Participants will leave with templates, resources and best practices and we will also discuss the new service Google Classroom and how it integrates within Google Apps for Education.

Location: Newbury Room, Boston Park Plaza, 4th Floor

Attendee Requirements: None - a laptop or tablet would be useful.

Price: $245.00 | Capacity: 30 | Audience: General - All Audiences | Suggested Level: All

Tuesday Afternoon Sessions

Presenter: Alan November, Senior Partner, November Learning

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: Cambridge Room, Boston Park Plaza, 4th Floor

Attendee Requirements:

Price: $245.00 | Capacity: 30 | Audience: Administration | Suggested Level: All

Presenter: Kern Kelley, Apple Distinguished Educator

Google Apps for Education provides a free cross platform set of tools for educators. In this session we will examine how to have students digitize their work, create digital portfolios and have teachers manage the whole process. Examples, best practices and templates for each step will be included in the session. We will specifically look at how the new Google Classroom service interacts within the entire framework.

Location: Newbury Room, Boston Park Plaza, 4th Floor

Attendee Requirements:

Price: $245.00 | Capacity: 30 | Audience: General - All Audiences | Suggested Level: All

Presenter: Shannon McClintock Miller, Trainer and Consultant

Makerspaces are popping up everywhere. They are bringing creativity, tinkering, exploring, fun, and a new voice to our young people and communities. With this maker movement, it also brings lots of questions, curiosity, and making of our own.

In this workshop, Shannon McClintock Miller will explore Makerspaces by looking at the what, why, where, and how of these amazing additions to any library, classroom and school. And the best part! We will transform our workshop room into a giant Makerspace for the afternoon to fully embrace what our students experience within these rich spaces.

Location: Boston Park Plaza, Whittier Room, 4th Floor

Attendee Requirements:

Price: $245.00 | Capacity: 30 | Audience: General - All Audiences | Suggested Level: All

Presenter: Lainie Rowell, Consultant and Trainer, November Learning

Are you new to iPads for learning? Are you already using iPads in the classroom? Either way, this pre-conference workshop will be a rich source of ideas, resources, and information about learning with the iPad.

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 collaborate, interact with experts, perform research 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: White Hill Room, Boston Park Plaza, 4th Floor

Attendee Requirements: iPad

Price: $245.00 | Capacity: 30 | Audience: General - All Audiences | Suggested Level: All