Conversation Descriptions and Information

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2.0 for Struggling Learners

• High School
Session Facilitator(s): Tonia Johnson
Affiliation: Adams 14 --Global Learners

It is a daunting task to implement web 2.0 tools into your classroom let alone focus on students who live in "language poverty." I will focus on implementing the Google Applications with students who are historically under served when it comes to technology. Technology as a learning tool not just an extension.

Conversation Website: http://achsjohnson.pbwiki.com



An Examination of the Development and Implementation of a Project Based Mathematics Curriculum


Session Facilitator(s): Brad Latimer, Kenny Rochester, Caitlin Thompson
Affiliation: Science Leadership Academy

How do teachers create a curriculum based in projects for a subject grounded in discrete skills? What does project based mathematics look like? How can meaningful projects serve to not only demonstrate student comprehension of key concepts, but also provide an opportunity for students to apply skills and knowledge to practical situations? What role do traditional assessments play in a project-based math curriculum?

It is often challenging to design meaningful and engaging projects that serve to assess true understanding. Additionally, projects often take longer for teachers to design and for students to complete. In this session, three SLA math teachers will reflect on implementing meaningful projects into the design of a high school math curriculum while simultaneously incorporating traditional assessments. The session will begin with an in-depth examination of projects that have been used at SLA, reflecting on both success and failures. The group will then brainstorm subject specific ideas and discuss strategies for the design and implementation of meaningful math projects. We will be using MindMeister, a mind mapping tool, and wikispaces to document our learning. The
conversation will conclude with a sharing out of ideas and planning for future applications.

Conversation Website:



An Interactionist Perspective: Creating an On-line College Counseling System

• High School
Session Facilitator(s): Christine Heine
Affiliation: Springside School

There are a plethora of on-line college admissions resources for students and counselors. All too often, the information is scattered and can cause information overload. By creating an on-line web site with (high) school specific resources, landing pages, student work, forms, and student/counselor forums, the process becomes more transparent and more organized for students/families.

Conversation Website: http://collegecounseling20.wikispaces.com/




Assessment and Evaluation in the 21st-Century Classroom

• Classroom Reform
• Professional Development
• All School Levels

Session Facilitator(s): Konrad Glogowski
Affiliation: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto

The goal of this session is to facilitate a series of conversations about the role of the teacher in the new, participatory, and student-centred spaces of Classroom 2.0. Specifically, the session aims to address the development of assessment and evaluation tools and mechanisms that complement the interactive and learner-centric environments afforded by the read/write web. The session will also focus on the development of “conversational assessment” – an ongoing process of engagement that supports students as independent researchers and helps teachers focus on and assess evidence of learning. The presenter will share examples of assessment and development tools and mechanisms developed to support project-based learning, student blogging, and student use of wikis and other online technologies. Specific rubrics and samples of student work will be shared during this session.

Conversation Website:



Awakening Global Consciousness in our Schools


• School-Level Reform
• Classroom Reform
• Learning Reform
• Systemic Change
• Professional Development
• High School
• Middle School
• Elementary School
• All School Levels

Session Facilitator(s): Brent Loken and Sheryl Gruber
Affiliation: Hsinchu International School

How do schools help students become globally conscious citizens? We hear about 21st century skills, but how about global consciousness? This session will begin by discussing the term “globally conscious” and the importance of embedding this concept into our schools. We will move on to explore the implications for schools, teachers and students. Examples will be provided of how we are awakening global consciousness at Hsinchu International School. These will include: our mandatory two year Global Ethics course, our Senior Project, our Social Sculpture art course as well as our transformative curriculum. We will also set up a discussion where others can share how they are awakening global consciousness in their own schools and what implications it has for each of us.

Conversation Website:



Beyond the Web 2.0 Hype


• School-Level Reform
• Professional Development

Session Facilitator(s): Ryan Bretag, David Jakes
Affiliation: Glenbrook North High School, Glenbrook South High School

The past few years have seen an explosion of disruptive technologies that challenge the way we think, the way we operate, and the status quo of educational practice. Understandably, critical questions have emerged regarding the use of these Web 2.0 technologies in education: What does it mean to be well-educated in the 21st Century? Are there new literacies or are there new ways to attain existing ones? What impact is web 2.0 really having on students and schools? Can one be an excellent teacher without using today's technology? Come prepared to discuss these and other critical questions.

Conversation Website:



Catalytic Designs for Learning


• Systemic Change
• Professional Development
• All School Levels

Session Facilitator: Dennis Richards
Affiliation: Superintendent Emeritus; President, MA Affiliate ASCD; ASCD Leadership Council; MA STEM Initiative; WG for Educator Excellence; Independent

Catalyst ~ somebody who makes a change happen; Design ~ a plan made in a skillful or artistic way; Inspire ~ to encourage people into greater efforts or greater enthusiasm or creativity. Not guides or facilitators; not instructors. What are the skills teachers and students need? Why are college professors and CEOs challenging schools to teach skills they say we are not teaching? Can we admit what we are not teaching? What questions will our students have to answer to give shape their future? Will they be ready? What role should technology play in helping them to get ready? Let’s get together to watch some videos, consider some web resources and think and talk about learning as it is, as it should be, as it can be. The essential question ~ how can we design learning experiences that ignite, engage, challenge and inspire students?

Conversation Website: see wiki page here



Connecting Learners with Chronic Health Conditions Through Video Conferencing Technology

• School-Level Reform
• Systemic Change
• Professional Development
• All School Levels

Session Facilitator(s): Chris Lawrence Senior Manager of Digital Learning at the New York Hall of Science; David Gordon, Executive Director of the Living Through Learning Foundation
Affiliation: New York Hall of Science; The Living Through Learning Foundation

Combating isolation is a leading challenge for learners with chronic health conditions (CHC) and the educators who work with them. Approximately 15% of students in the United States are diagnosed with chronic health conditions and approximately 7% of youths in the US report that their chronic health condition hampers their daily activates (Perrin 2007). For children with more severe health conditions, it is not unusual for these learners to miss weeks, months, or even entire school years causing social and academic isolation. Therefore, the primary focus of this session is to demonstrate a proven solution that effectively combats this type of isolation and provide students with chronic health conditions with innovative learning opportunities using video conferencing to engage their mind. Participants will have the opportunity to view a number of session recordings from successful virtual field trips as well as video conference science lessons that connected students with chronic health conditions to the New York Hall of Science. Snapshot of lessons that include science topics such as: Exploring the world of microbes, Cow’s eye dissections, and virtual tours of floor exhibits will be demonstrated and discussed. During this presentation, a live connection to a hospital based educator and to the New York Hall of Science will also be made to demonstrate and discuss the significance of this learning opportunity as well as ease of replication. Video clips as well as additional written feedback from learners with chronic health conditions and their parents will also be provided.

Conversation Website:



Constructivism and Inquiry in the Science Classroom


• All School Levels

Session Facilitator(s): Tim Best, Rosalind Echols, Gamal Sherif, Matthew N. VanKouwenberg.
Affiliation: Science Leadership Academy

"Constructivism" and "Inquiry" are sure to win you a few squares in Buzzword Bingo, but what do they really mean? How do you differentiate between the two and how do they apply to your classroom? Discussion will center around the use of these techniques in the science classroom and how they affect student learning. Bring examples of inquiry/constructivist-based projects to share.

Conversation Website:



Curriculum Mapping in the Web 2.0 World

• Classroom Reform
Session Facilitator(s): Erik Dreisbach, Kristin Trueblood, Timothy Johnson
Affiliation: Springside School
What is curriculum mapping and how has technology reinvented curriculum mapping for the 21st century? This conversation will discuss the benefits of curriculum mapping and display, through active participation, how technology is making curriculum mapping a dynamic part of 21st century curriculum enrichment.

Conversation Website: http://curriculummapping20. wikispaces.com/



Curriculum Re-Design: Where Does Bottom Up Meet Top Down?

• Systemic Change
• Professional Development
• High School
• Middle School

Session Facilitator(s): Patrick Higgins, Jr. and Daniel Sutherland
Affiliation: Sparta Township Public Schools, Sparta NJ

Essential Questions: Where does the change in curriculum come from: top-down or bottom-up? Traditionally, change comes solely from the top, but is that the best model? Where should the meeting place lie between student- and teacher-driven curriculum creation and administrator-led curriculum creation? This conversation will revolve around the essential types of input stakeholders have into curriculum, the changing nature of professional development, the addition of disruptive technologies to the process of course creation, and the direction that curriculum development will take in the future. The two presenters, Daniel Sutherland and Patrick Higgins, have created programs within their district that leveraged the specific elements mentioned above to alter longstanding practices of developing curriculum. Dan has worked with students, teachers, and administrators to carve out a three-strand approach to Technology, Career, and Consumer Science curriculum that features classes in Web Programming and Design, Video and Audio Production, Robotics, Engineering, Business, Fashion, and Cuisine, and in doing so, shifted the manner in which students move through this department. Patrick has worked on creating “Connections,” a multi-disciplinary writing and thinking class focused on the analysis of content area reading through various forms of written expression. These two projects represent what we feel is a shift in how curriculum is created. We’d like to engage the audience in discussions centering on the three essential questions as well as offer our examples as a step toward a new model.

Conversation Website: http://redesigncurriculum.wikispaces.com/



Cyber-Mentoring: A Case-Study in Action

  • School2.0

Conversation Facilitator(s): Peter Brown / Alison Campbell/Robert Yemola
Affiliation: The School Collaborative / Science Leadership Academy


A continuation of last years conversation about understanding and developing tools for an effective mentorship. This conversation begins with an update of a case-study of a 2 year mentorship currently in progress: A Philadelphia high school student working on strategies to convert a school building into a sustainable/zero carbon environment reached out to an architect and international school planner located in Dallas last year. This year another high school student has joined them, and together they are developing process strategies for an effective educational experience that will result in real solutions for real issues. This conversation looks to expand traditional boundaries to allow a learning experience the benefit of resources offered through a greater geographic area. After setting the stage for the conversation of Cross-Country Mentoring, those involved in this session will share ideas and tools to get the most out of similar experiences. We will explore both challenges and opportunities associated with long distance mentoring, and look at web-based tools, communication tools, and viability and or necessity of face-to-face meetings. Participants in this conversation will walk away with first hand knowledge of interactive mentoring processes, as well as tips and tools for an effective mentoring process in a 2.0 world. To get a full picture, this conversation is facilitated by both students and mentor.

Conversation Website:



Developing Digital Learning Spaces: From Vision to Reality

• Systemic Change
• Professional Development

Session Facilitator(s): Ryan Bretag, David Jakes
Affiliation: Glenbrook North High School, Glenbrook South High School

Yes, emerging technologies have great potential. But how do we make them work in our schools today? This session explores the implementation of a multi-dimensional digital space with three components—a course space, a student-content creation space, and a knowledge commons that supports both—and examines how they support the development of learning literacies. Come prepared to evaluate these three spaces and discuss the organizational readiness required to take them from conversation to implementation.

Conversation Website:




Digital Authoring – Students Creating Content

• Classroom Reform
• Learning Reform
• Systemic Change
• High School
• Middle School
• Elementary School
• All School Levels

Session Facilitator(s): Samantha Morra
Affiliation: Montclair Public Schools

Students who create digital multimedia content are focused and highly motivated. In 2005, I started a Digital Authoring Initiative at Glenfield Middle School in Montclair, New Jersey. The purpose of this initiative was to have the students become creators of multimedia content not just consumers. The goal was to take them beyond traditional assignments and learn 21st century skills including: research, collaboration, problem solving and presentation skills. The focus was on two major areas: Digital Storytelling and Podcasting. Digital stories are multimedia presentations which students create by weaving images, music, and voice together. They are able to express understanding, and present situations, experiences, and insights. Stories can be created on a variety of topics including science, social studies and personal or social issues. They revolve around a theme and often contain a particular viewpoint. Podcasts are a powerful communication tools that we are harnessing to improve communication with students, their families and the community. As they are researching information and creating and editing their projects, they are spending a great deal of time with the information: analyzing it, synthesizing it and communicating it. Teachers have embraced this initiative and have noted a significant increase in student engagement, retention and knowledge transfer. This initiative was recently recognized by the New Jersey Department of Education and showcased at "Kid Tech Day 2008". This conversation will focus on best practices, assessment and how the role of the teacher and the student change.

Conversation Website: http://sites.google.com/site/digitalauthoringsamanthamorra/



EdTech Connect, Tapping Into the Power of the Network

• Professional Development

Session Facilitator(s): Liz Davis / Lisa Thumann
Affiliation: Belmont Hill School in Belmont, MA / CMSCE, Rutgers University in NJ

This workshop will focus on defining and refining your professional aspirations. Do you want to connect with schools around the world? Do you envision a classroom of podcasters sharing their stories with a global audience? We will envision a future where you've accomplished your goal and work backwards to layout the steps necessary to fulfill them. We will tap into the collective intelligence of the group to find information and support both online and off. Whether your PLN is overflowing or just starting to grow, this workshop will help you to mine your network to best suit your needs. Bring your big ideas, your hopes and your dreams and be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

Conversation Website: http://www.classroom20.com/group/connect



Equity Issues in the Edublogosphere

• Systemic Change
• Professional Development
• All School Levels

Session Facilitator(s): Lisa Thumann / Liz Davis
Affiliation: CMSCE, Rutgers University, NJ / Belmont Hill School in Belmont, MA

Does the face of the edublogosphere reflect the face of education? How can we empower all members of the edublogosphere to find their voice? In this facilitated conversation we will consider the place of equity within the realm of online communities. We will kick off the discussion using Scott McLeod's 2008 Edublogosphere Survey . We will use the World Cafe model to facilitate the discussion focusing on 3 essential questions: Is any group noticeably absent? Is any group over represented? What does/would equity look like? We will follow up our World Cafe with a full group discussion of our findings and consider an action plan for moving forward. We will publish the discussion notes online.

Conversation Website:



Exploring the Relevance of Science Education

• School-Level Reform
• Classroom Reform
• High School
• Middle School

Session Facilitator(s): Eric Brunsell, Sean Schuff
Affiliation: University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh, Tesla Engineering Charter School

Over the past 60 years, science and technology have become increasingly important to society. For our students to fully participate in the opportunities presented in today's world, they will need to be scientifically and technologically literate. Yet, many of our students do not see the relevance of "school science" to their lives. This presentation will introduce the highlights from the U.S. pilot study of the International Relevance of Science survey study. This study adds the voice of nearly 900 adolescents in the U.S. to students from more than 40 other countries. Students were surveyed about their scientific and technological interests, perceptions of the relevance of science and technology to society, and feelings about "school science." Participants will use this data as a launch point for discussing school-level and classroom-level reforms that can lead to increasing the relevancy of "school science." Additionally, faculty from Tesla Engineering Charter School in Appleton, WI will discuss how their engineering charter school increases relevancy through strong industry connections and a problem-based curriculum. Much of the content and the projects that make up the school revolve around two simple questions: “So what?” and “Prove it!”

Conversation Website: http://stemnow.wikispaces.com



Flat Classroom Debates

• School-Level Reform
• Classroom Reform
• Learning Reform
• All School Levels

Session Facilitator(s): Julie Lindsay and Vicki Davis and team at the Flat Classroom Conference, Qatar Academy
Affiliation: Flat Classroom Projects

This session is a virtual link-up with the Flat Classroom Conference happening simultaneously as Educon, in Doha, Qatar. The debate is the inaugural Flat Classroom Debates and follows the style of the successful Doha Debates, organised by Qatar Foundation and broadcast by the BBC. There will an opportunity for audience members from both sides of the world to interact with the teams and ask questions. There will also be a final poll to determine a winning team of the debate.

Debate Topic:
"Education Systems successfully prepare students for flat world global challenges"

Moderator/Chair
- Dr Jock Schorger, ICT Specialist, Education Institute, Qatar and
- Julie Lindsay, Head of Information Technology and E-Learning, Qatar Academy
Backchannel - Vicki Davis, Technology Director and teacher, Westwood Schools, Camilla, Georgia, USA
Team for the Affirmative:
Dr Don Knezek, CEO ISTE, USA
Dr John Turner, Flat classroom teacher and digital educator, Melbourne, Australia
Jess Nelmes, Student at Qatar Academy, Flat Classroom Project participant
Team for the Negative:
Chris Jager, E-Learning Leader, Multi Serve Cognition, Qatar
Jeff Utecht, Educational Technology Consultant, ISB, Thailand
Yaqsan Al-Waily, Student from Osama Bin Zaid School, Oman, Flat Classroom Project participant

Conversation Website: http://flatclassroomconference.ning.com/



Forging Links between Casual Information Practices and Formal Learning Procedures

• Learning Reform

Session Facilitator(s): David Warlick
Affiliation: The Landmark Project

There are distinct qualities of our students’ casual outside-the-classroom information experiences that are unique to the networked, digital, and info-abundant information landscape that defines much of their culture. This culture is foreign to many educators and not easily understood for its learning application by neither immigrant nor natives. This conversation-style session will suggest eight of these qualities for consideration by participants (including SLA students). A graphical representation of the list will also demonstrate connections between these out-school experiences and three principles of learning (Donovan & Bransford, 2005).

The objective of this conversation is to better understand the instructional potentials of our students native information experiences and record them, utilizing a closed Twitter-style tool called Knitter. In addition, conversations will be structured to generate a list of formal instructional practices and lesson components that leverage these qualities for learning.

Two conversations will be structured, each running in two layers, 1) online, using the Knitter tool, and the other 2) above-line in oral discussion. The first conversation will identify and describe examples of outside-the-classroom information experiences that align with one or more of the eight qualities. Input from students and younger teachers will be especially noted. The other conversation will identify and/or invent instructional practices or lesson components that utilize these qualities, using the identified out-school activities as springboards.
The ending product will be a concept map or data table that reports the findings. The online transcript will also be posted on the web site, a wiki, for further review and commenting.

Donovan, Suzanne, and John Bransford. How Students Learn: History, Mathematics, and Science in the Classroom By National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on How People Learn, A Targeted Report for Teachers. National Academies Press, 2005.

Conversation Website: http://landmark-project.com/native/




Forging Student/Teacher Relationships in an Era of Shared Learning

Session Facilitator(s): Marcie Hull, Tyrone Kidd and Jeff Kessler
Affiliation: Science Leadership Academy

Two SLA students, Tyrone Kidd and Jeff Kessler, with their teacher Marcie Hull, will discuss the evolution of shared learning in a classroom setting. We will explore the successes (and challenges) SLA has had as students and teachers work towards the same goal.





From Flicker to Flame: Igniting a Student’s Interaction with Content through Empowerment


Session Facilitator(s): Sunil Reddy
Affiliation: Science Leadership Academy

“I don’t get this!” It’s something that teachers hear far too often from our students that unfortunately leads to despondence, apathy, or a mitigation of effort. Hopefully we are also witnesses to occasional light-bulb moments, a spark in a pupil’s eyes that signals achieved learning. The trick to increasing the frequency of the latter, drawing students in to any subject or lesson, is to invite them into a discussion from which they ordinarily feel excluded.

We tell students math is cyclic in nature, that topics build on themselves and form a spiral staircase of knowledge, but often we settle for teaching students “age-appropriate content.” We tell them they need to wait to learn something more advanced and settle with “age-appropriate content.” A student must feel empowered with content in order to desire for themselves greater understanding and continued interest. With proper design, a good math teacher can follow a subject specific scope and sequence while also incorporating enough related content from other advanced areas of mathematics to make a student feel like a master of the trade. The goal is not for a pupil to feel like an Algebra or Geometry student but rather that they self-identify as a math student.

In this session we will discuss ways to empower students in a math classroom by exposing them to “tricks of the trade.” We will also examine pitfalls in this strategy of teaching and how you can avoid them. Samples of student work will be shared and discussed and we will conclude with a
conversation about how this strategy of teaching can extend outside of the math classroom.

Conversation Website:



Games in Education

• School-Level Reform
• Classroom Reform
• Learning Reform
• Systemic Change
• All School Levels

Session Facilitator(s): Sylvia Martinez
Affiliation: Generation YES

It sounds like a simple idea– kids don’t like school… kids like games, so if we sneak some educational content into games, won’t everyone benefit? This session will explore what’s right and wrong about this idea, and how to tell the difference between hype and promise. I believe that although some of the promise has been oversold, there is much to learn from exploring the educational promise of games in the classroom. It seems to me that the key distinction is "games for learning" vs. "games for schooling" -- and we need to make sure that we aren't mistaking one for the other.

Conversation Website:



Inquiry-Based Learning and Student-Centered Classrooms in World Languages


Session Facilitator(s): Mark Bey, Jillian Gierke, Melanie Manuel
Affiliation: Science Leadership Academy

In a traditionally teacher-centered discipline, what does a student-centered world language class look like? How does it include meaningful and personalized inquiry? Discussion will include the implementation of these practices in three Spanish classrooms and how you have integrated them into your own. Bring examples of unit plans as well as inquiry-based and student-centered activities to share with our group!

Conversation Website:



Introduction to Teachers Without Borders - Canada

• Systemic Change
• Professional Development

Session Facilitator(s): Konrad Glogowski and Sharon Peters
Affiliation: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto and The Study in Montreal

The aim of this session is to introduce the participants to the work of Teachers Without Borders - Canada, a non-profit NGO devoted to closing the education divide through teacher professional development and community education in developing nations. The presenters will share their experiences as Team Leaders for TWB-Canada projects in South Africa and Kenya, discuss TWB-Canada's current work, describe preparations for upcoming teacher development workshops in Africa, and outline potential ways for North American teachers to get involved in the development and delivery of workshops in Africa. Sustainability over time and collaboration with existing NGOs are keys to success that will be highlighted. Specifically, the presentation will address the recent launch of School2School, a TWB-Canada initiative to connect North American and African classrooms through technology and collaborative projects. It will also highlight TWB-Canada's online community. The remaining part of the session will be devoted to discussing the importance of bringing global education issues into our classrooms.

Conversation Website:



Implementing 21st Century Skills: Steps to Build Momentum

• School-Level Reform
• Learning Reform
• Systemic Change
• Professional Development

Session Facilitator(s): Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach
Affiliation: 21st Century Collaborative, LLC & Powerful Learning Practice, LLC

If using technology is so easy, why is implementation so difficult? Preparing students for the 21st Century calls for collective action of all stakeholders and this workshop looks at the steps needed to build momentum and garner buy-in from the entire school community. Participants will discuss ways to plan collectively and strategically for the future, develop a professional development plan for 21st Century skill building, and make sure all students have equitable access to a 21st century education.

Conversation Website: http://21stcenturylearning.wikispaces.com/educon21



It’s all about design: Designing an Expeditionary Learning Environment

• School-Level Reform
• Classroom Reform
• Learning Reform
• Systemic Change
• Professional Development
• High School
• Middle School

Session Facilitator(s): Brent Loken
Affiliation: Hsinchu International School

How do schools design curriculum that is both engaging as well as academically rigorous? How can we design our curriculum to help our students become experts of information, not just novice consumers of facts? During this session, we will use an original amalgamation of Understanding by Design (UBD) and Expeditionary Learning models to develop units that are thoughtful, engaging and rigorous. These peer reviewed expeditions clump “concepts” into big ideas and challenge students to dig deep to uncover the essential understanding of the expedition. The design of these expeditions epitomizes the CES principles of “Less is More, depth over coverage” and “Learning to use one’s mind well”. Bring ideas and come ready to design expeditions which will change the way you teach and the way your students learn. It’s all about design.

Conversation Website:




Knock Down the Walls: Towards a Model of Open Pedagogy


• School-Level Reform
• Classroom Reform
• Learning Reform
• Systemic Change
• All School Levels
• Professional Development

Session Facilitator(s): Alec Couros
Affiliation: Faculty of Education, University of Regina

Open source software communities have come to typify examples of high performance collaboration and community building ecologies. Open philosophies have slowly penetrated educational communities in recent years as there has been an increased demand and acceptance of free and open source software, open content, and even conversations moving toward open assessment and accreditation. Yet, other than teachers having access to a few free tools and some content, most classrooms have remained largely uninfluenced by the potentially transformative philosophies inherent within this movement. This conversation will engage participants in discussing the most important questions regarding openness: what is open education, and what will it mean for teaching and learning? As a result of this conversation, it is my hope that participants will engage in long-term explorations of the concept of openness and what it means as a societal shift and as a catalyst for pedagogical transformation.

Conversation Website: http://educon21.wikispaces.com/OpenTeaching



Knowledge@Wharton High School for Your School

• Classroom Reform
• Learning Reform
• High School

Session Facilitator(s): Rebecca Alig, Mukul Pandya, Robbie Shell, Sanjay Modi
Affiliation: Knowledge@Wharton staff members

In February 2009, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is launching a high school version of its popular online journal Knowledge@Wharton, which reaches 1.25 million subscribers worldwide. Knowledge@Wharton High School (KWHS) is a free biweekly site offering articles, videos, podcasts, business-related learning simulations and interactive tools targeted to high school students as well as teachers. The goal is to help the coming generation understand business concepts and the role that business plays in realizing their dreams as well as driving innovation and social change. Let us show you how this new tool can help you in the classroom. The mission of KWHS is to attract a broad audience of students with different academic interests and help them understand and learn the ways in which business knowledge underpins almost every aspect of their lives. KWHS will be uniquely positioned to bring leading-edge, yet accessible, economic and business knowledge to students around the world. Each issue will feature articles on important global business trends and people, and will explore such topics as starting a business, managing money, running a sports team, playing the stock market, going green, finding an internship, becoming a fashion buyer and volunteering for a non-profit, to name a few. KWHS hopes to encourage business literacy in the next generation and spark the interest of students who might never have considered the ways in which business is at the core of solving the world’s problems. KWHS can also be a classroom/learning resource for teachers and other high school educators.

Conversation Website: http://kwhs.wharton.upenn.edu



Leadership 2.0: Transforming Schooling in and for the 21st Century

• Learning Reform
• Systemic Change
• All School Levels

Session Facilitator(s): Jonathan Becker, J.D., Ph.D.
Affiliation: Virginia Commonwealth University

A 2003 Department of Commerce study ranked 55 industries with respect to information technology (IT)-intensity; education ranked dead last. Furthermore, the amount or frequency of computer use in schools is, on average, very low. Based on a survey of over 3,000 K-12 teachers, Norris et al. (2003) wrote “fully 14%...make no use whatsoever of computers for instructional purposes, and nearly half (45%) use it with their students less than 15 minutes per week—equivalent to just 3 minutes per day!” (pp. 17-18). These data about the limited access to and use of technology in the schooling endeavor potentially render our public schools irrelevant to the digitally-inclined youth they serve, and imperil our position in a “flat” world. Remedying this problem is very much a leadership challenge. That is, decades of research point to the centrality of leadership to school change/reform/improvement. Yet, increasing empirical evidence suggests that leadership in and for technology in education is diffuse and ill-defined. This presentation is designed as an opportunity to explore how school leaders can position themselves to lead the change towards 21st Century teaching and learning.

Conversation Website: http://educon21.wikispaces.com/311-1



Learning that Sticks: Make It Memorable with Projects that Matter

• School-Level Reform
• Classroom Reform
• Learning Reform

Session Facilitator(s): Suzie Boss, Jane Krauss (with others on Skype)
Affiliation: Co-authors of Reinventing Project-Based Learning: Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in the Digital Age (ISTE)

What do you hope students will remember—years from now—about what they learned with you? This conversation is about real-world projects that push beyond traditional PBL practices to engage students as community leaders and change agents. We plan to use a variety of media to share powerful examples and facilitate a discussion that will include students as well as teachers. For example: What happened when students in South Central Los Angeles took on the role of citizen scientists to investigate—and publicize—local pollution levels in their own neighborhood? Why do students in rural Kentucky care so much about preserving the memories of their coal-mining families? What’s changed in the lives of Seattle teens since they collaborated with youth from South Africa to make videos about the meaning of compassion? After participants hear about these projects, we will invite them to talk about: --Why are projects like these still the exception? --What barriers stand in the way of real-world learning? --How can we maximize technology to overcome challenges and leverage opportunities? --What can we do collectively to make sure every student has opportunities for this kind of engaged, meaningful learning?

Conversation Website: http://educon21.wikispaces.com/208-3



Learning to Teach: Transition to Teaching in a Progressive School

• Classroom Reform
• Learning Reform

Session Facilitator(s): Rosalind Echols
Affiliation: Science Leadership Academy

This presentation will deal with how to support first-year teachers in this environment. We'll discuss what type of learning takes place for a young teacher in a progressive school. Participants will be rotated through four stations, each manned by a teacher who'll lead a mini-discussion on a different challenge/triumph that young SLA teachers have experienced. Examining the experiences of young teachers, learning the craft of teaching in a progressive environment can, we hope, provide insight not just for looking at new teacher learning, but what structures and systems can help all teachers adapt their craft.

Participants will then get a chance to practice designing an authentic project-based assessment. The teachers will then show participants what they did in the same scenarios, with the same goals, and then there'll be a recap. Participants will leave with a copy of example unit plans from all of the presenters.

Conversation Website:



Models for Asynchronous Online Learning & Support

• Classroom Reform
• Learning Reform
• Professional Development
• High School
• Middle School

Session Facilitator(s): Tom Daccord
Affiliation: EdTechTeacher

How best to engender 21st century collaborative learning in asynchronous online environments? The conversation will focus on models for asynchronous online classroom instruction and professional development using wikis, online social networks, group audio blogging, voice-to-text technologies, and more. Examples include “The Great Debate of 2008,” an online project that connects students around the country via a wiki and online social network to share information and ideas related to the presidential election. Also featured will be online asynchronous professional development in technology integration. We will explore both opportunities and challenges in asynchronous online learning and blend conceptual frameworks with practical demonstrations.

Conversation Website: http://asynchronousonlinelearning.wikispaces.com




Museum + Students

Learning= • Classroom Reform
• Learning Reform
• All School Levels

Session Facilitator(s): Ali Rogers
Affiliation: The Franklin

What does it mean when we say “Learning is the product of the activity of learners”? Free choice learning is the basis upon which the Franklin provides support, to not only Science Leadership Academy, but schools in the Delaware Valley and beyond. Through our uniquely designed partnership programs, we explore inquiry to it’s fullest and use free-choice as the basis upon which we build relationships and a life-long learning arena for the students of SLA. Come explore with us the concept of free choice learning, the role museums and museum partnerships play in this process, and take an inside look at the signature program specially designed for Science Leadership Academy students called Wednesdays @ The Franklin. Experience free choice learning in motion as you participate in developing a one-of-a-kind exhibit!

Conversation Website:



Network Globally ~ Act Locally: bringing global learning to local learning networks

• Professional Development
• All School Levels

Session Facilitator(s): Kevin Jarrett / Kristen Hokanson
Affiliation: Northfield Community School / Upper Merion Area High School

The proliferation of participatory social media tools like Twitter, Skype, Nings and Blogs has helped a growing number of educators build global personal learning networks. Curiously, despite the fact that these powerful networks can consist of hundreds (even thousands) of followers / contacts / friends / commenters, sometimes only a few (if any) of the educator’s own local colleagues participate. We think this is a problem – and an opportunity. Why do educators seek support from these global networks? Often, it is because they feel they can get better, faster, and more relevant information – particularly when it comes to use and application of 21st century learning tools – than they can from traditional district channels. We believe educators must bring this information back to their local networks (schools and communities) via personal, informal initiatives, outside of established district professional development programs. The question is, how? Participants in this conversation will discuss this premise, and more importantly, identify and evaluate models of knowledge exchange that can work in their own communities. Action plans will be developed. The goal: bridge online and face to face networks in a way that maximizes learning for all involved.

Conversation Website: http://educon21.wikispaces.com/209-5



New Possibilities: Reaching Every Learner

Session Facilitator(s): Karen Jankowski
Affiliation: Assistive & Educational Technology Consultant, Instructor, Simmons College, Graduate School of Education

Traditional methods of curriculum delivery and instruction fall far short for many students in our classrooms. Lecture and textbook based, teacher-centric instructional methods present barriers to learning. Worksheets and other print-based methods students currently use to demonstrate what they know, also obstruct independent, successful learning. New strategies exist which incorporate "Toolbelt Theory" and Universal Design for Learning principles. Bring your innovative ideas which will change learned helplessness and passivity into engaged learning for all students, including struggling learners as we create a resource for all educators.
Conversation Website:



PreK-3 Learning 2.0:The Central Front of Literacy, 21st Century Skills, and Web 2.0

(Especially in Urban Schools)?

• Classroom Reform
• Learning Reform
• Professional Development
• Middle School
• Elementary School

Session Facilitator(s): Edwin Wargo
Affiliation: Bridgeton Public Schools/Quarter Mile Lane Elementary

The balancing act of technology's ubiquity in a PreK-3 environment can be challenging especially in urban schools. In upper grades, technology can be more transparent as fundamental literacy skills sharpen. But in the lower grades where students are still working on learning site words, blends, and letters, technology can be a huge stumbling block to learning. Finding the words "play", "edit", "record", or "ok" in even the easiest to use web 2.0 tools can itself become the lesson. The content (subject area) understanding of that lesson can be obscured. Add a slow computer or a sluggish internet connection and content can become easily secondary leaving little time for it. This conversation will use Clayton Christensen’s Disrupting Class, This American’s Life Going Big story on the Harlem Children’s Zone, Chris Lehmann’s blog post Sunday Morning Thoughts--Sustainability, and attendees’ perspectives and experiences as the primary texts. Some questions that will frame our conversation are: Do most of our educational technology conversations miss the PreK-3 group? Do we unintentionally focus too much on certain demographics when talking about web 2.0 and 21st century skills? Is the PreK-3 age group where the digital divide is most impacted? What is literacy’s role in technology? What is technology’s role in literacy? What is literacy in the PreK-3 level in the 21st century? Is a home environment rich in technology akin to a home rich in language and conversation? What strategies can be used to ensure “content” and technology understanding?

Conversation Website:http://qml.wikispaces.com/prek3literacy



Problem Solving, Communication, and Online Tools

Session Facilitator(s): Steve Weimar and Mai Sidawi
Affiliation: The Math Forum @ Drexel

A look at different ways in which students and teachers are learning math together online. We will think about the unique opportunities in the online environment to expand the walls of the mathematics classroom and to use communication and technology tools to provide different points of access to challenging mathematics and higher order thinking skills. The contexts to be explored and discussed include mentoring programs, software-facilitated inquiry, and collaborative real-time problem solving.

Conversation Website:



Project-Based Learning: Meeting the Moroccan Challenge

• Classroom Reform
• Learning Reform
• All School Levels

Session Facilitator(s): Bouchra Arrif
Affiliation: Ministry of National Education-Morocco

This workshop addresses how project-based learning (PBL) is used in Moroccan schools and how teachers attempt to meet the learners' needs and aspirations. Challenges include inadequate professional development, rigid curriculum constraints, and large classes.

In the Moroccan educational context, project work is viewed as a product rather than as a learning process. Teachers have rarely been trained to implement PBL appropriately. Students are also left alone without guidance from teachers. Consequently, students' projects are neither published nor shared with their peers. Projects are evaluated only by their teachers, neglecting the potentials for peer assessment and collaboration.

The presenter will first discuss her personal experience with PBL implementation in the Moroccan classroom context. She will use authentic pictures and videos that profile a Moroccan educational setting. Participants will collaborate to 1) ponder the challenges to effective PBL, and 2) recommend strategies for effective PBL. Participants will also receive an outside-in look at another country's educational system.

Conversation Website: http://edlynx.wikispaces.com/



Putting an End to Copyright Confusion & Developing Media Literacy with your students

• Classroom Reform
• Learning Reform
• All School Levels

Session Facilitator(s): Kristin Hokanson with Renee Hobbs & Katie Donnelly
Affiliation: UMASD / Temple Media Education Lab

Did you ever feel guilty about using images you found on Google images, or a snippet of video, or song because someone told you that it was stealing other people’s copyrighted work? Well, it’s not just owners who have rights under copyright ~ users have rights, too. With the rise of digital media tools for creating messages, learning and sharing, it is critical for students and educators to understand their rights under copyright law and the Doctrine of Fair Use which allows people to incorporate copyrighted materials into their own creative work, especially when their new work adds value or re-purposes the existing materials. This conversation is designed to show that, when it comes to the use of copyrighted material for teaching and learning, the overall message is “YES, YOU CAN”. This is quite a different message from the “guidelines” of which many educators are familiar. After a brief introduction of the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education (a national-level consensus among media literacy educators in K-12, university and after-school programs about how copyright and fair use applies to specific instructional practices involving uses and sharing of copyrighted materials) we’ll talk about why fair use matters to ensure that copyright law fulfills its purpose, under the U.S. Constitution, to help promote creativity and the spread of knowledge. We will examine some situations and have conversations to help understand the process of understanding transformative use, and create an action plan for sharing with others.

Conversation Website: http://copyrightconfusion.wikispaces.com/



Reflections on Personal Paths of Change

• School-Level Reform
• Classroom Reform
• Learning Reform
• Systemic Change
• Professional Development
• All School Levels

Session Facilitator(s): Linda V. Nitsche
Affiliation: Owen J. Roberts School District

As I listened to Konrad Glogowski’s presentation about Blogging Communities in the Classroom at NECC 2008 and his unfolding understanding and change in perspective in the roles of teacher and learner, I was drawn to question the experiences over time that had brought him and others, including myself to change our views of teaching and learning. I wondered, what were the formative experiences, which had set others on a path toward a commitment to the development of an inquiry approach to learning? What were the rudimentary experiences, which had led others to away from their own personal, authoritative school experiences toward the implementation of one, which is empowering for all members? As we have grown in our ability to use technology and web2.0 tools, how was it that we understood that the child, learning, and pedagogy where the driving forces, not technology? What is it that has caused us to embrace networked learning while others remain behind their closed doors, alone in their domain, rejecting entreaties to expand their learning? Through this discussion I would like to explore whether there have been critical and essential experiences that have lead others on their own paths toward changing views of understanding. Would similar critical experiences emerge? Would there be commonalities that we could synthesize? Most importantly, how could we use our reflections and synthesis as a foundation for real action that would help to scaffold others toward these essential understandings?

Conversation Website:



Rethinking At-Risk Education: Successful Learner-Centered Alternatives to Conventional Practice

• School-Level Reform
• Classroom Reform
• Learning Reform
• Systemic Change
• Professional Development
• High School
• Middle School

Session Facilitator(s): Gary S. Stager Ph.D.
Affiliation: Pepperdine University

Imagine a joyful research-based environment where teenage students, previously sorted by pathology, become engineers, poets, composers, computer scientists, broadcasters, astronomers or luthiers. Constructionist learning theory, ubiquitous computing and strategies associated with the Reggio Emilia approach guided the creation a multi-age environment in which severely at-risk learners developed sophisticated habits of mind by engaging in the construction of long-term personally meaningful projects. Research and video examples provide remarkable evidence of sophisticated student learning and three years without a discipline incident. Session Outline This presentation includes riveting video case studies, analysis of student learning and the imperative for thinking differently about our approach to educating non-traditional students. From 1999 to 2002, the author was the principal investigator and one of three architects of an alternative learning environment operated inside The Maine Youth Center, the state’s troubled juvenile detention facility. Guided by the learning theory of constructionism, a multi-age, interdisciplinary technology-rich learning environment was created to support the development of personally meaningful projects based on student interest, talent and experience. Students in the Constructionist Learning Laboratory (CLL) often classified as learning disabled, engaged in rigorous learning adventures and developed positive personal behaviors in a context free from traditional curricula, behaviorism or other aspects of coercion. Personal and collaborative long-range student projects incorporated powerful ideas from mathematics, science, computer science, engineering and the arts. Sophisticated projects resulted from a more expansive view of technology that included programming, robotics, woodworking and communications via a variety of media. Completed projects and detailed explanations of both product and process demonstrate evidence of the construction of knowledge. Unlike many school projects, CLL students had to contend with what Seymour Papert calls the “resistance of reality.” In other words, their projects had to work, not just pass. The intrinsic motivation and rigorous engagement at the heart of this process is of critical importance. Technology played an enormous role in not just improving self-esteem, but in affording students the opportunity to be mathematicians, scientists, poets, composers, film-makers and engineers. This is also the inspirational story of the role computing can play in the intellectual development of severely at-risk learners. This high-tech learning environment emphasized the construction of personally meaningful long-term projects. Computer access, high expectations and a variety of constructive materials were instrumental in the ways habitually unsuccessful students embraced learning. The examples of student work offers models for what all students might do in more imaginative settings. This research suggests the viability of Papert’s constructionism as a foundation for designing productive learning environments, not only for a transient population of at-risk teens, but the broader learning community. This presentation will also document new constructionist approaches to teaching and learning with computational materials. Future research might investigate if similar approaches to teaching and learning not only reverses the effects of school on at-risk learners, but may be used to design learning environments that place fewer students at-risk in the first place.

Conversation Website: http://www.stager.org



School 2.0 - Creating Participatory School Culture for the 21st Century

• School-Level Reform
• Classroom Reform
• Systemic Change
• High School
• Middle School

Session Facilitator(s): Laura Webber
Affiliation: Roland Park Country School

The rise of Web 2.0 technologies has imparted fundamental and wide-sweeping shifts in how people interact with our culture. As opposed to “consumer culture,” where citizens are cast as beings who ingest information and knowledge, “participatory culture” elevates their role to that of producers. With such advances as YouTube, blogging, wikis, and social networking, we have seen an unprecedented rise in the number of participants in the creation of media and communications. What has this shift done to the mindset of our students? Well, it has become clear that students are eager for their coursework in school to reflect these changes. They expect and thrive in an environment that fosters a higher level of creative and intellectual involvement. But what of school culture as a whole? How do trends in participatory culture shape our students’ expectations for involvement in the community life of the school? Can we jump-start the evolution to a “give and take” culture that permeates school community, citizenship, discipline, attitudes, and relationships? A “Read/Write” style of relating and interacting within school walls? Though these questions do not necessitate an exploration of current technology tools, doing so might yield some interesting and auspicious ideas: What if school handbooks were co-created by the students via wiki collaboration with administrators and teachers? What if students designed and administered climate surveys via SurveyMonkey and posted the results on a student-maintained blog? What if—instead of shamefully posting their feedback on RateMyProfessor—students were given regular opportunities to co-create the “teaching” that takes place? In this conversation, we will explore the philosophical ramifications of participatory culture as well as generate ideas for how we might implement concrete strategies and projects in our schools.

Conversation Website: http://school20.pbwiki.com



School Newspaper 2.0: Students Using Participatory Media to Build Community

• Learning Reform
• Middle School

Session Facilitator(s): Kevin Jarrett
Affiliation: Northfield Community School

We live in world immersed in technology and information. Though the Digital Divide still exists, Internet access is becoming increasingly ubiquitous, as evidenced by (among other things) the hundreds of thousands of videos uploaded to YouTube every day. Today's students constantly create content using multiple media on their own time. "What if," we thought, "we provided students with the opportunity to express themselves using state-of-the-art tools, guiding them as they create compelling content [hypertext, audio, video and more] describing events at their school - the most important structural organization in their lives other than their own families?" That is the vision of The T-Bird Times , a middle school newspaper powered by the Ning social networking platform. Who better to share the story of life in middle school than our own kids? Where else will our children learn about responsible use of electronic media, particularly in social network contexts? When will students get the opportunity to leverage Web 2.0 tools in a productive, fun, cutting-edge way, to communicate with our community and the world about the things important to them? Our after-school club meets virtually and face-to-face to design, plan, draft, revise/edit, direct, produce and publish content in a variety of forms [hypertext, audio, video and more] at The T-Bird Times . Students use Google Docs to collaborate online; software on Microsoft Windows PCs and Apple Macintosh computers to create; and the Ning.com online platform to publish it all. To our knowledge, this is the first time a Ning has been used in this fashion by middle school students (and we are diligently managing COPPA/CIPA compliance along the way).

Conversation Website: http://educon21.wikispaces.com/301-1




Structuring collaborative inquiry: an oxymoron?

• Classroom Reform
• Learning Reform
• High School

Session Facilitator(s): Jennifer L. Geller
Affiliation: Feinstein High School, Providence, RI

In what ways can we structure the inquiry process to guide students to deeper and more meaningful understanding without destroying the very definition of inquiry itself? How can we best convey to our students that inquiry means more than cutting and pasting a passage from their first Google hit? How can we insure that the results of collaborative inquiry are truly the synthesis of many individual’s contributions, and not merely the sum of its parts? Throughout the conversation we will alternate between participating as “students” completing portions of interdisciplinary structured inquiry assignments, and debriefing these assignments as teachers. The assignments to be presented are those completed by juniors and seniors at Feinstein High School in Providence, RI, as part of their requirement to meet the New Standards applied learning standards for graduation.

Conversation Website:



Student Centered Learning in the Real World

• School-Level Reform
• Classroom Reform
• Learning Reform
• High School
• Middle School

Session Facilitator(s): David Bromley, Tim Jenkins, Jen Ghidui, Paul Turkot, Keinan Thompson and Big Picture Students
Affiliation: Big Picture Philadelphia dn MetEast High School (a Big Picture school in Camden, NJ)

Our proposed conversation would be grounded in the essential distinguishers of the Big Picture educational design: student-centered, inquiry-based learning in the context of the real world. Before diving into the project-process, participants will get an understanding of how the schedule, advisories, staff development and community partnerships all are essential ingredients in creating student-centered educational opportunities. The bulk of the conversation will provide participants with the opportunity to develop a student centered learning plan / project, and include Q & A with administration, staff and students from Big Picture schools.

Conversation Website:



Sustainable & Emerging Technologies

• Learning Reform
• High School

Session Facilitator(s): Rohan Keert & Chris Blackburn
Affiliation: Warrnambool College, Australia

We are new to this and have come to SLA to get some answers by leading a conversation based on the following question:

What subject matter underpins the study of nano-technology, bio-technology, sustainable and emerging technologies and what technologies are appropriate (ethics?) for students 15-16 years old to prepare for a science and technology career?

Below is a summary of where we are to date:
  • Chris and Rohan are part of a team of teachers at Warrnambool College Australia that will work throughout 2009 to develop a new vocational study in Sustainable and Emerging Technologies for senior secondary students.
  • It is our intention to develop flexible, transferable and adaptive skills that will enable our students to succeed in careers in sustainable and emerging technologies.
  • This new study (and it's year 10 science entree nanotechnology) will be a pilot for our region.
  • The new subject will incorporate and develop research based opportunities with industry via project based work with local and (potentially) global industries.
  • It will be informed by data indicated initially by student selection and growth in VCE science enrolments at our school and a higher level of student numbers entering post secondary courses of study in sciences and sustainable and emerging technologies.

The likely structure of the Sustainable & Emerging Technologies course is as follows:
Year One (4 Units)
Year Two (4 Units)
1. Sustainability
1. Bio-diversity
2. Lab Skills
2. Environmental design
3. Nano-technology
3. Architecture
4. Bio-technology
4. Technology for Engineering

Given we have come a long way to attend we would also like to share a little bit about where we're from, what our school and education system is like and give a brief overview of the guiding documents and data that inform our school strategic planning. All going well, we will link with our colleague Greg Twitt back home in Warrnambool (via Skype) and he will give a guided tour of part of our school, focussing on our open learning centre and the use of technology in our learning environment.

If you feel you have something to add to our conversation we would love to see you at our session. We might even be able to arrange some Aussie give-aways if we can get stuff through customs.

Conversation Website: http://sus-em-tech.wikispaces.com



Teaching Goodness - A Conversation on the Purpose of Education (and the language used within that conversation).


Session Facilitator: Mica Baum-Tuccillo and Ashley Brichter
Affiliation: Haverford College

As seen here, at EduCon 2.1, there are myriad ways of addressing the question, "how can we improve the education system?" As students of Education at Haverford College, Mica Baum-Tuccillo and Ashley Brichter are developing a new language to use in discussions of the purpose of education and therefore a new framework in which to envision reform. Teaching goodness is a philosophical and pedagogical approach to education that interweaves ethical, moral, and virtue education, with democratic ideals and progressive schooling. Please come participate in an exciting, energetic, interactive presentation of their work and discussion about the language we use to discuss education. This conversation simultaneously aims to reignite passions and reconfirm convictions about education and schooling that are too often diminished in our day to day work.

Conversation Website:



Tech In 20: Technology Professional Development in 20 Minutes

• Professional Development

Session Facilitator(s): David Bill
Affiliation: Worcester Academy

One of the ways I am tackling professional development at my school is through the use of a workshop series called Tech In 20. The idea behind Tech in 20 is to introduce a technology in 20 minutes. We cover topics ranging from using You Tube in the classroom to effective presentation design. The focus is on technologies that will support teachers in their efforts to develop creative and collaborative curriculum that supports student learning. In order to reach the most faculty, the workshops are filmed and posted on the Tech in 20 site. Along with the video, links to resources and a lesson plan that can be used with the technology are put on the site to provide ideas and support. The first set of workshops have been introducing these technologies and showing how they can support classroom teaching. The second series of workshops, to be held later this school year, will focus on an intermediate level of integration. They will highlight curriculum development that builds upon the technologies we introduced in the first series of workshops. The purpose of the conference session is to highlight how Tech In 20 has been able to provide technology professional development to my faculty both on campus and at their leisure and in turn has improved how the teachers engage the students within their curriculum.

Conversation Website: http://sites.google.com/a/worcesteracademy.org/techin20/Home
Presentation on SlideShare: http://tinyurl.com/d9em8m
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Technology Literacy at the K-8 Level: Conversation About the Learning, Pedagogy, and the 5W’s

Classroom Reform
• Learning Reform
• Professional Development
• Middle School
• Elementary School

Session Facilitator(s): Edwin Wargo & Joe Bires
Affiliation: Bridgeton Public Schools & Haddonfiels School District

Many K-8 students in rural, suburban, and urban schools take a Technology Literacy class. The overarching learning goal is for students to assimilate their nuts and bolts technology proficiency into other academic subjects – Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies – to construct knowledge and create content. On the assessment side, Technology Literacy will be under increased scrutiny through publishing the proficiency levels on school report cards in 2012 and a nationwide exam in Technology Literacy developed by WestEd. This is sure to have an impact on the pedagogy, delivery, and content of Technology Literacy. This will be both a broad and specific conversation on Technology Literacy. This conversation will use these questions as guides: 1. What is proficiency in Technology Literacy? 2. How does pedagogy influence Technology Literacy proficiency? 3. What frameworks/standards should be use in constructing our idea of proficiency? 4. Is Technology Literacy part of the new literacy? 5. How can technology serve pedagogy in language instruction for students who are learning the basics of language and math? 6. How does this affect urban students, teachers, and schools? 7. What can classroom teachers learn from the pedagogy and content of Technology Literacy? 8. How do we assess Technology Literacy? 9. How do our beliefs and values of learning impact our notion of Technology Literacy? 10. How does traditional literacy impact Technology Literacy? 11. What do school leaders need to know about Technology Literacy? 12. Can K-8 Technology Literacy be constructivist? 13. Can Technology Literacy Teachers serve as model for non Technology Literacy teachers?

Conversation Website: http://qml.wikispaces.com/technologyliteracy



Text-Based Discussion on Dewey in the Age of Social Software

• Learning Reform

Session Facilitator(s): Tom Hoffman
Affiliation: SchoolTool


"I believe that the school, as an institution, should simplify existing social life; should reduce it, as it were, to an embryonic form. Existing life is so complex that the child cannot be brought into contact with it without either confusion or distraction; he is either overwhelmed by the multiplicity of activities which are going on, so that he loses his own power of orderly reaction, or he is so stimulated by these various activities that his powers are prematurely called into play and he becomes either unduly specialized or else disintegrated. I believe that as such simplified social life, the school life should grow gradually out of the home life; that it should take up and continue the activities with which the child is already familiar in the home. I believe that it should exhibit these activities to the child, and reproduce them in such ways that the child will gradually learn the meaning of them, and be capable of playing his own part in relation to them. I believe that this is a psychological necessity, because it is the only way of securing continuity in the child's growth, the only way of giving a back-ground of past experience to the new ideas given in school. I believe that it is also a social necessity because the home is the form of social life in which the child has been nurtured and in connection with which he has had his moral training. It is the business of the school to deepen and extend his sense of the values bound up in his home life." Dewey, John (1897) 'My pedagogic creed', The School Journal, Volume LIV, Number 3 (January 16, 1897), pages 77-80. Also available in the informal education archives, . Discuss vis a vis social software in schools.

Conversation Website:



The Best Educational Ideas in the World

• School-Level Reform
• Classroom Reform
• Learning Reform
• Systemic Change
• Professional Development
• All School Levels

Session Facilitator(s): Gary S. Stager, Ph.D.
Affiliation: Constructivist Consortium


Join veteran educator, speaker and writer, Dr. Gary Stager, on a tour of the best educational ideas in the world. The lessons learned create productive contexts for learning in which students construct the modern knowledge required for a rewarding life. Regardless of subject area or grade level, this is a voyage you won’t want to miss. Session Description Schooling has always been shaped by contemporary technology. Digital technology creates opportunities to learn what we have always expected of children, perhaps with greater efficacy, efficiency or comprehension. However, the real power lies in using the computers to learn new things in new ways that may have never been possible. The challenge for even the most imaginative schools is to sustain innovation. While the technology may catalyze changes in practice, ideas bigger than the technology create a productive context for sustaining innovative practice. This presentation will explore some of the best educational ideas in the world and demonstrate how they may support, sustain or require transformational computing activities.

Conversation Website:



The Exchange: Linking Learning and Learners on Internet2

• High School

Session Facilitator(s): Jason Allen & Eli Lesser
Affiliation: National Constitution Center

The conversation will focus on ways of engaging students who are dispersed over diverse geographic locations in learning activities with other students in real time.

Conversation Website: http://studentexchange.ning.com/
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The Networked Learning Manifesto: Welcoming Parents into the Conversation

• Learning Reform
• Systemic Change
• All School Levels

Session Facilitator(s): John Pederson
Affiliation: WiscNet – Wisconsin’s Research and Education Network

Our own networked learning is enabling powerful new forms of social organization and knowledge to emerge. While celebrating Web 2.0 tools around these parts will get you ridiculed, it was the developers of these tools that brought us the idea that the aggregate of these tools constituted a “conversation”. Participating in this “conversation” over time changes individuals fundamentally. Can it change systems? Many of the sharpest nodes on our learning network are speaking from the perspective of parents grappling with reforming our schools. In 2005 I took The Cluetrain Manifesto, the seminal work of how social media moves markets, and mashed it into a message about how I saw Web 2.0 influencing education. It’s admittedly the only useful thing I’ve contributed outside a few lolcats and snarky Twitter memes. This session will pull this Networked Learning Manifesto out and smack it around among friends. See what roads it leads us down.

Conversation Website: http://shiftedlearning.org/wiki/Networked_Learning_Manifesto is a remixed Networked Learning Manifesto that will serve as the text for the exercise. If there’s significant online participation we’ll mix the chat room input with the face-to-face discussion.



The On Button: Instant and Always-On Collaboration

• Classroom Reform
• Learning Reform
• Systemic Change
• Professional Development
• All School Levels

Session Facilitator(s): Ben Wilkoff
Affiliation: Douglas County School District

The barriers to collaboration are both abundant and defeating. They cause teachers to be frustrated with technology and time constraints and they cause students to work simply for their individual grades and completely ignore the value of networked learning. More than anything, though, these barriers are totally unnecessary. Collaboration must be instant and always-on. This means that learning spaces must not follow the rules of most blogs and wikis, with over-complex login and submissions hoops to jump through. Collaboration spaces now must be constructed to allow for instant video, audio, and text communication. They must be constructed to aggregate information from everywhere and store it as an archive of learning and professional development. They must work directly into a student and teachers' current workflow, taking both e-mail contributions (the “only tool” for many teachers) and facebook statuses (the “only tool” for many students). Collaboration should never be something extra, added on to already overstuffed curriculums and PD. It must be as easy as pressing the on button. And yes, it is possible. By using Tokbox embedded video conferences, skrbl graffiti whiteboards, the FeedWordpress plugin for aggregation, Posterous for true e-mail collaboration, tag aggregation from all major multimedia sites for instant learning object inclusion and Textmarks for full SMS integration (all of which require no logins to remember). This presentation will show how to plan, create, and implement such a space in less than 1 hour, allowing one place that for collaboration in less than 1 minute.

Conversation Website: http://educon21.learningischange.com



The Principal Said No: Ways to Manage "Up" While Leading From Below

• School-Level Reform
• Classroom Reform
• All School Levels

Session Facilitator(s): Jason Levy, David Prinstein, Daniel Ackerman and Abby Lovett
Affiliation: Principal, CIS 339, NYCDOE District 9 (Bronx)

Teachers and technology coordinators often see their initiatives and ideas fall by the wayside because of school leaders who are either fearful or unaware of technology. While leadership is critical, this conversation will focus on how it's possible to create sustainable change from all corners of an educational organization. Participants will share best practices and contemplate ways they can continue to approach their professional roles in creative ways. Everyone will leave with concrete next steps as they attempt to "workaround" resistant/disinterested colleagues and school leaders.

Conversation Website: http://educon21.wikispaces.com/307-5



Transforming Student Presentations

• Classroom Reform
• Systemic Change
• All School Levels

Session Facilitator(s): Ken Rodoff
Affiliation: School District of Springfield Township

Student presentations emphasize collaboration and the use of copyright-friendly images more than ever. Guiding students in the delivery of meaningful and powerful presentations This conversation will serve as a platform for discussing new models of instruction that work best for improving student's understanding of course content in rich, meaningful ways that demonstrate competent understanding

Conversation Website:



Transparency Through Teams and Technology: A Rapidly Improving 2.0 Middle School

• School-Level Reform
• Systemic Change
• Professional Development
• Middle School
Session Facilitator(s): Daniel Ackerman, Jennifer Bentley, Nisha Dass, Blair Heiser, Elizabeth Horan, Christina Jenkins, Jason Levy, Abby Lovett, Chrissy Sa, Jana Schmeiding, Dena Wolk

Contact Email: levy339@gmail.com
Affiliation: CIS 339, NYCDOE (District 9, The Bronx)
Featuring high-functioning teams and integrating state-of-the-art technology, CIS 339 has become a highly collaborative professional learning community. CIS 339 is an 840-student Bronx middle school with a 1-to-1 laptop program. Through innovative use of Google Apps and highly innovative work structures, CIS 339 has been able to quickly build capacity and spread quality practice throughout all levels of teaching, learning and school operations.

Conversation Website: Will be developed ahead of conference.



Using Digital Cameras, Voice Thread, and Video to teach Concept Mapping

• Classroom Reform
• Learning Reform
• Professional Development
• High School
• Middle School
• Elementary School

Session Facilitator(s): Alexis Morgan
Affiliation: Camden City School District

Participants will explore topics and various subjects using digital cameras, VoiceThread, and video in concept mappping applications as a framework for organizing ideas across the curriculum.

Conversation Website:



Using Social Media to Define the New Humanities Classroom

• Classroom Reform

Session Facilitator(s): Antonio Viva
Affiliation: Worcester Academy

Can we harness the power of social media to provide students with a vehicle for exploring and creating original content? WA Mash (Worcester Academy Mashup) is an online magazine where the power of social media is captured to provide creative writing students with a platform for exploring ideas and fostering and contributing to the larger global conversation. By exploring the possibilities offered by the use of social media tools, we explore how one teacher is defining the New Humanities at the secondary school level. Built off the work of Richard E. Miller at Rutgers University, students blog in a timely fashion about a wide variety of cultural, political and economic issues. Most importantly, it is about creating original content and redefining the role of student and teacher. They compliment their work with audio, video, photos and micro-blogging by integrating social media tools like YouTube and Vimeo, Twitter and Flickr. Think Slate or Salon for high school. The conversation will explore the nature and role of the New Humanities in education. How do we define it? What does it look it? What role does it play? And how do we move forward with implementation?

Conversation Website: http://wamash.com



Values-Driven Education: What Do We Believe?

• School-Level Reform
• Classroom Reform
• Learning Reform
• Systemic Change
• Professional Development
• All School Levels

Session Facilitator(s): Joshua Block/Gamal Sherif
Affiliation: Science Leadership Academy

How can we be truer to our values in our classrooms and in our decision-making? Participants describe ideal schools, profile "what's important," and become more aware of the values that influence our decisions within schools and classrooms. Participants will also review colleagues' examples of student projects and then discuss correlations to their values. Presenters will integrate elements of Deweyan-Progressive education as well as the more contemporary aspects of Wiggins’ and McTighe’s Understanding by Design.

Conversation Website: http://educon21.wikispaces.com/307-2



What is Student Voice?

• School-Level Reform
• Classroom Reform
• Learning Reform
• Systemic Change
• Professional Development
• High School
• Middle School
• Elementary School
• All School Levels

Session Facilitator(s): Sylvia Martinez
Affiliation: Generation YES

Conversation Starters * What are the components of student voice? * Is it necessarily related to being a “change agent”? * How does/can technology enable it? * How can this happen in today's classrooms and schools? * What are examples of it working (or not working)? * What is the impact of enabling student voice in educational practices such as assessment (self/peer), teaching (peer/reverse mentoring), school administration (students sitting on committees, boards, teacher review, or other feedback systems), and are there other models we should be looking at? * Are student-only/student-led groups effective? Why and when?

Conversation Website:



What Will Classroom Learning Look Like?


Session Facilitator(s): Will Richardson
Affiliation: Connected Learning
• Classroom Reform

Inspired by recent studies and reflections on the evolution of online social media and its uses by teens, we'll spend some time attempting to paint a picture (in some broad strokes) around what effective classroom learning might look like in schools that have chosen to evolve their models. We'll frame the conversation around the questions posed in the conclusion of the "Living and Learning with New Media" study released in November by the MacArthur Foundation.

Conversation Website: What Will Classroom Learning Look Like Google Notebook



Where Does It Live: Building Systems And Structures Around What You Believe

• School-Level Reform
• Classroom Reform
• Systemic Change

Session Facilitator(s): Chris Lehmann
Affiliation: Science Leadership Academy

The myth of the single teacher, bucking the odds to be that one great teacher in a school may make for a great Hollywood movie, but it rarely -- if ever -- leads to lasting, effective change. We must examine the manner in which our schools and classrooms are set up so that the greatest number of students, teachers and even principals can thrive and learn and feel valued. This session is focused on looking at institutional change, so that attendees can explore what they value and then examine the systems in their districts, schools and classrooms that must change to reflect those values.

Conversation Wiki: Where Does It Live






Why Is It So Hard to Get Schools to Integrate Technology?...and 10 Things You Can Do About It!

• Systemic Change

Session Facilitator(s): James Lerman
Affiliation: Kean University

Why is it so hard to get schools to integrate technology?...and 10 things you can do about it! Sometimes it seems that the difficulty of getting school people to take advantage of the benefits of technology completely defies understanding. In fact, this same situation seems to exist in relation to many attempts at educational innovation. A definite logic does demonstrate why traditional approaches to schooling persist despite the greatest of efforts. Understanding the interconnected structures of current school cultures that drive them forcefully toward standardization and resistance to change serves as a critical step in making real progress and possibly reducing professional frustration. In the first part of this session, we will explore the related thinking reflected in Clayton Christensen’s Disrupting Class and Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail to unpack the mysteries of why schools are so resistant to change. Using the same frameworks, we will then address concrete, strategic steps you can take to both enhance student learning and your own sense of professional effectiveness. In the second part, we will use a modified version of the Feedback Carousel protocol from the National School Reform Faculty combined with Edward de Bono’s 6 Thinking Hats for audience members to engage in systematic exploration of these ideas and contribute their own thoughts.

Conversation Website:



Writing 1.0: How the Web Changes Nothing. And Everything. Is All.

• School-Level Reform
• Classroom Reform
• Learning Reform
• Professional Development

Session Facilitator(s): Bud Hunt
Affiliation: St. Vrain Valley School District, Longmont, Colorado

The Internet as a medium, or way of communicating, is dynamic, complex, exciting, amazingly diverse, and, in plenty of substantive ways, pretty much nothing new. We have made connections through printed texts and oral stories for generations, other media have filled the gaps between peoples and cultures. There is, to quote a rather old text, “nothing new under the sun.” And yet there’s something about the nature of the Internet, and how it functions, that helps to flesh out a vital component of the writing process that was never quite visible before. Call it connective writing, or hypertext, or what you will, but the almost tactile connections we can make between texts and folks online are dynamic and significant. There’s nothing new about making text to text connections, but there’s sure something powerful in the representation of those links as semi-tangible things.
As we move forward into the new read/write web, I think it's of value to reconsider both the "reading" and "writing" sides of the equation. We’ll save the reading for another conversation. Come to a session where we will revel in, and experiment with, writing and the power of language, thought, diction and connection to create and discover the world and ourselves. We’ll use some very 1.0 methodologies and some very 2.0 basic tools to think about how we write, what we write, and what we do and don’t do when we write and when we ask students to write for school.

Conversation Website: http://budtheteacher.com/educon



“Writing the World:” Developing a Collaborative and Meaningful High School Writing Center

• Learning Reform
• High School

Session Facilitator(s): Stacey Carlough, Ted Domers, and the Freire Student Writing Fellows
Affiliation: Freire Charter School

Every Thursday afternoon in the basement of Freire Charter School, a small urban high school located in the heart of Philadelphia, two teachers and a group of students come together to write on, talk about, and refine the values and practices of the innovative Freire Writing Center. Opened in Fall 2007, the Writing Center strives to create meaningful ways for students to become teachers under the tenets of Paulo Freire. The self-selected Freire Writing Fellows serve in the Writing Center as peer writing tutors each day during lunch and after school. During our Thursday meetings, we challenge traditional models of learning, empowering our students to meet their peers "where they're at" and to help them build ideas from within. Together, we journal, discuss education theory, and construct ways we can support the school community. Fellows are guided through an inquiry-based pedagogy; they communicate and collaborate to authentically develop their own best tutoring practices. Our model challenges a teacher-driven approach to teaching and pushes students to take advantage of their own learning by providing a space to teach their classmates. Our presentation conversation, which will be led by our student Fellows, is modeled after a typical Thursday Fellows meeting. The goal is to encourage others to reconsider not only how we train and support peer tutors, but also how we interact with all learners. Our purpose is to inspire our students--and this conference's participants--to “write the world” as they interact with and create a lasting change through their work.

Conversation Website