Building Learning Communities® 17

Boston Education Conference 2017

Pre-Conference Master Classes (took place):

JULY 23-25, 2017

Main Education Conference Sessions (took place):

JULY 26-28, 2017

Special Events

We have some truly special events taking place, from movies, to puzzles to discussions!

Scratch at the Education Conference 2017

Hosted by the world-renowned Scratch team!

Monday Morning – 8:00 a.m.


Opening Reception and Main Education Conference Registration

Tuesday Evening – 5:00 p.m.

fablevision will be at our Education Conference 2017

Reception at FableVision Studios

Wednesday Evening – 6:00 p.m.

education-conference-2017 bash

Annual BLC Bash

Thursday Evening – 9:00 p.m.


BLC17 Keynote Speakers



Zoran Popovic at BLC summer conference 2017



Professor, University of Washington Department of Computer Science & Engineering

Founder and Chief Scientist of, Enlearn

Zoran Popović is a Professor of Computer Science and the Director of the Center for Game Science at the University of Washington, as well as founder of Enlearn. Trained as a computer scientist, his research focuses on creating engaging environments for learning and scientific discovery. He is one of the leaders in the field of large-scale citizen science. His laboratory created Foldit, a biochemistry game that produced four Nature publications, and showed for the first time that novices can be developed into world-class experts in a science domain through game-based scientific discovery. His laboratory has produced award-winning math learning games played by over five million learners worldwide. He is currently focusing on engaging methods that can rapidly develop mastery and expertise in arbitrary domains with particular focus on scientific breakthroughs and revolutionizing K-12 math education. Zoran is known for conducting large-scale educational campaigns including Algebra Challenges conducted in Washington, Minnesota, and Norway with almost 100,000 students. To maximize the impact of his research, he founded Enlearn to develop the first platform that adapts all aspects of the learning ecosystem by specializing to each curriculum, student, classroom and teacher in realtime, towards maximizing learning outcomes. His contributions to the field of interactive computer experiences have been recognized by a number of awards including the NSF CAREER Award, Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and ACM SIGGRAPH Significant New Researcher Award.



Education Conference 2017 keynote



Autism Awareness Educator

Christy LaPaglia has been working in the field of special education as a teacher, consultant and an autism awareness educator for over 20 years.  Christy began her career when she was hired to teach in the first classroom in a public school in Northeast Ohio designed specifically for children with autism. Most recently she was charged with the design and development of the first public school designed to meet the needs of students on the autism spectrum. She is currently the director of the Cardinal Autism Resource and Education School in Mentor Ohio.

Over the years, Christy has developed a quality and highly respected program for students with autism. Since then she has been asked by surrounding districts to help recreate similar programs in their own districts. Christy has been trained in many methodologies of educating students with autism including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Greenspan’s DIR model, Carol Gray’s Social Stories, but her primary focus has been on the TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication Handicapped Children) methodology. Christy has twice been awarded the Franklin B. Walter Award for outstanding achievement in special education.

Christy has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Kent State University and a Masters in Curriculum and Design from Cleveland State University. Christy holds a permanent teaching certificate moderate/intense k-12 and an administration license k-12.

Education Conference 2017 keynote



Wisdom of a 9-year-old digital citizen

Audio Player

Olivia (aka as LivBit) is a 9-year old who is smart about all things shark and hopes to be a future ichthyologist.  She is an ambassador for the Gills Club, an organization promoting girls in science through inquiry-based experiences meant to grow enthusiasm and activism for sharks.  Olivia is also a passionate advocate for books and using social media to promote digital citizenship, voice and audience.  Wanting to promote a deeper understanding about kindness in social media posting, Olivia is working hard to be a mentor tech example for others. She loves to tweet out messages that help kids love authors, books, and big ideas about life.

Olivia is also an accomplished ballerina and spent several weeks this summer at American Ballet Theater’s Summer Intensive Program in NYC, where she connected with dancers for all over the world and found out that she is a city girl at heart.  She plays the violin, loves eating pizza, and has an incredible heart for all things Disney!

Olivia’s work on LivBits has been featured all over the world, including conferences in Taiwan, Singapore, and England.  She was so excited to be included as a keynote speaker and voice for kids and social media at the Twitter Headquarters this past October. She’s been honored to present with accomplished authors at national conferences across the country, including NCTE, ASCD, ISTE, and ILA, and looks forward to more opportunities working with authors and organizations who share her drive to promote digital citizenship for kids.

Connect with Olivia at @thelivbits

Eric Williams at the Boston Learning Conference 2017




Superintendent, Loudoun County Public Schools

Eric Williams has served as the superintendent of Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) in Virginia since July 2014. LCPS serves approximately 78,000 students in 90 schools.

Williams served previously as superintendent in York County, Virginia, as an assistant superintendent and principal in Naples, Florida, and as a teacher in Fairfax County, Virginia. He has also worked as a teacher and administrator in Massachusetts and Brazil.

Dr. Williams’ educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in education from the College of William and Mary, a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University and a doctorate of education from Boston University.

His Twitter username is @ewilliams65.



rob_evans keynote for Education Conference 2017



Clinical and Organizational Psychologist

Robert Evans is a clinical and organizational psychologist and the Executive Director of The Human Relations Service in Wellesley, Massachusetts. A former high school and pre-school teacher, and for many years a child and family therapist, he has consulted in more than 1,700 schools throughout the U.S. and internationally, working with teachers, administrators, and boards, and speaks widely at educational conferences.
Rob received his undergraduate degree from Princeton and his doctorate from Harvard. His interests have focussed on change and resistance to it in schools and organizations, on the challenges of leading innovation, and on changes in American families and their impact on schools. He is currently concentrating on ways to improve collegiality and candor among educators and to promote realistic dialogue about accountability.

Additional Presenters

The following presenters have sent in welcome videos for BLC17. Please enjoy!

Caitlin Krause

Janet Hale

John Gould


Susanna Clavello


Joy Kirr


Christy LaPaglia


Pana Asavavatana


Dr. Reshan Richards


Stacey Roshan


Carol Salva


Tuesday, July 25, 2017 – Opening Reception and Main Conference Registration

5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Don’t miss out! Join us in the Plaza Ballroom to kick off BLC17. Pick up your registration materials in the Statler Room, and then head to the ballroom across the hall to meet and mingle.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 – BLC Orientation

7:15 – 8:15 a.m.

We invite all newcomers to attend a session just for you! The November Learning team will answer your questions and provide tips for getting the most out of your time at BLC. The orientation session will be held in the Georgian Room.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 – Reception at FableVision

6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

BLC participants are invited to a Creativity Reception at FableVision Studios, located on the top floor of the Boston Children’s Museum with gorgeous views of the city. Come meet and be inspired by Peter H. Reynolds, his twin brother Paul, and their team of innovators in this fabulous creative workspace. Walk, hail a cab or take Uber.

The attached directions include two routes – one scenic route that is a jot longer but goes past the State House and other local attractions.  Meet in the Hotel Lobby at 5:30 for an escorted walk with BLC Staff!

FableVision to Faneuil Hall to Park Plaza Hotel

Location: 308 Congress Street, 6th Floor, Boston, Mass. (About 1 mile from the hotel)

Thursday, July 27, 2017 – Global Speed Networking

7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Join us in this fun-filled, action-packed speed networking event with educators from all over the world. Our global bell will go off every 3 minutes and you will meet another educator. Last year, many participants listed our Global Speed Networking event as one of the highlights of BLC due to the many personal connections they made with creative educators.


Thursday, July 27, 2017 – Annual BLC Bash

9:00 – 11:30 p.m.

The social highlight of the conference week! Your registration includes the Annual BLC Bash, held in the magnificent ballroom of the Park Plaza Hotel.

Pre-Conference & Main Conference Schedule

Main Conference Kick-off – Tuesday, July 25, 2017

5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Opening Reception and Main Conference Registration
7:00 – 9:30 p.m. Most Likely To Succeed Screening

Main Conference Day 1 – Wednesday, July 26, 2017

7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Check-in & BLC Information Center Open
7:00 – 8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast
7:15 – 8:15 a.m. BLC Orientation Session
8:30  – 10:00 a.m. BLC Welcome & Keynote
10:20 – 11:25 a.m. Session 1 Workshops
10:30 a.m. – 2:50 p.m. CUETip Sessions – Plaza Ballroom
11:45 a.m. – 12:50 p.m. Session 2 Workshops
1:10 – 2:15 p.m. Session 3 Workshops
2:35 – 3:40 p.m. Session 4 Workshops
4:00 – 5:05 p.m. Session 5 Workshops
6:00 – 7:30 p.m. FableVision Reception

Main Conference Day 2 – Thursday, July 27, 2017

7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. BLC Information Center Open
7:00 – 8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8:30 – 10:00 a.m. Announcements & Keynote
10:20 – 11:25 a.m. Session 6 Workshops
10:30 a.m. – 2:50 p.m. CUETip Sessions – Plaza Ballroom
11:45 a.m. – 12:50 p.m. Session 7 Workshops
1:10 – 2:15 p.m. Session 8 Workshops
2:35 – 3:40 p.m. Session 9 Workshops
4:00 – 5:05 p.m. Session 10 Workshops
7:30 – 9:00 p.m. Global Speed Networking – Imperial Ballroom
6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Dinner (on your own)
9:00 – 11:30 p.m. Annual BLC Bash

Main Conference Day 3 – Friday, July 28, 2017

7:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. BLC Information Center Open
7:00 – 8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8:30 – 10:00 a.m. Announcements & Keynote
10:20 – 11:25 a.m. Session 11 Workshops
10:30 a.m. – 1:50 p.m. CUETip Sessions – Plaza Ballroom
11:45 a.m. – 12:50 p.m. Session 12 Workshops
1:10 – 2:15 p.m. Session 13 Workshops
2:35 – 3:00 p.m. Closing by Alan November

“Alan, once again I am proud to say that our tiny school district (364 children grades k-12) will be sending 23 teachers and administrators to the education conference! We also have the honor of being selected again by US News Report as among the best HS in the USA. The impact of attending this important education conference and the work you have personally inspired me to advance are integral to the experiences our students and teachers receive. So much so that in our lineup coming to you in Boston is one of our music teachers and guidance counselors for the first time.”

Patrick Darfler-Sweeney



Education Conference 2017 Strands

BLC offers more than 100 pre-conference master classes and main education conference 2017 sessions, tailored by audience, to address six core themes:

  • Designing Rigorous and Motivating Assignments
  • Nurturing Creativity, Curiosity, Empathy and Courage
  • Teaching Global Communication Skills
  • Contributing to Professional Learning Communities
  • Crafting Vision and Managing Change
  • Infusing the Common Core Across the Curriculum

Countries Represented


Get Our Latest Professional Development Articles, Web Literacy Resources, and much more!

A resource no educator should be without!