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One-Hour Workshops: The Classroom Experience Track

Designed for all educators and academic leaders, these workshops focus on design and implementation of academic programs.​​​​​​​​​

  • Block 1 (Thursday, February 25, 8:00 - 9:00 AM)
    • Instructional Rounds and Pedagography: Designs for a Learning Map Revolution

      2008

      Three instructional leaders and educational designers from Mount Vernon Presbyterian School (MVPS) facilitate a session about ways to build collaborative teaching capacity and map a school’s pedagogical and learning ecosystem. At MVPS they are innovating instructional rounds processes and inventing pedagography - a new strategic practice for mapping and enhancing one’s own school.
      Presented ByBo Adams, Shelley Clifford, and Chip Houston, Mount Vernon Presbyterian School (GA)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      Explore How might we create a school culture hungry for feedback, immersed in the growth mindset, and engaged as networked cohorts of learning teams using observation, feedback, and coaching to enhance pedagogical practices for the ultimate benefit of improved student learning? How might we use design thinking and systems thinking to innovate professional learning practices in school? How might we systemically map and visualize our school’s pedagogical ecosystem like Lewis and Clark mapped the Louisiana purchase or like Google is mapping the Earth?
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    • Is Neurodiversity in Your Diversity Plan? Don’t Turn Away the Next da Vinci or Charles Schwab.

      2009

      While it is nearly undisputed that schools benefit from having racial, cultural, and ethnic diversity, there is little discussion of the value added with neurodiversity. Unfortunately, the negative labels associated with learning-disabled students overshadow the unique contributions they can make in their schools if given the opportunity. Remediation and accommodation are the keys to unlocking their talent.
      Presented ByRachel Whilby, John Russell, and Jonathan Rosenshine, The Windward School (NY)
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      LevelIntroductory
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      ExploreWhat research-based teaching strategies are effective in supporting learning-disabled students? What is neurodiversity? How do learning-disabled students add to the richness of their school community? How do properly remediated learning-disabled students fare in the mainstream as compared to their “neurotypical” peers? What lasting impact do research-based strategies have on future learning?
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    • Reading, Collaborating, and Innovating for Sustainability

      2018

      Two middle school English teachers introducing nonfiction reading with Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma are joined by two social studies colleagues in piloting an interdisciplinary approach to the most pressing problem of our time: the sustainability of our planet.
      Presented BySusan Davis, Cate Waidyatilleka, Kimi Frith, and R. Bonning, Iolani School (HI)
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      LevelIntroductory
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      ExploreHow can teachers who embrace innovation spark new approaches at their schools? What are the lessons learned from crossing subject-area boundaries at a traditional independent school to embrace the problems of the future? How can small steps made for students on the ground build towards a bigger impact for our schools, our communities, and our world?
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    • Strategies for Sustaining Innovation When Hype Turns to Gripe

      2022

      Despite organizational inertia and competing priorities, how can meaningful, lasting innovation be realized? Learn from The Urban School of San Francisco’s recent innovations in advancing blended learning, adopting a new LMS and developing an engineering and design program. Assess your school’s relationship to disruptive innovation and strategize for when enthusiasm for a new idea gives way to skepticism and disillusionment.
      Presented ByKelsey Vrooman, Riley Maddox, and Geoff Ruth, The Urban School of San Francisco (CA)
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      LevelIntroductory
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      Explore What are the major disruptive forces of innovation in independent schools today? How can school leaders help grow and sustain innovative practices or programs in their school?  How have other institutions responded to challenges in implementation of new programs?
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  • Block 2 (Thursday, February 25, 12:00 - 1:00 PM)
    • Bridging the Synaptic Gap: A School/Neuroscience Partnership for Innovation in Education

      2002

      The future of learning will involve schools transformed by science, just as medical practice was transformed by science a century ago. Independent schools, free to create innovative partnerships, need to act now. Learn how one school dedicated to educating change makers embarked on a partnership with a neuroscientist in order to serve all students and boldly actualize its mission.
      Presented ByJim Eagen, Synapse School (CA), Fumiko Hoeft, University of California, San Francisco
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      LevelIntermediate
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      Explore How does a school benefit by partnering with a neuroscientist?  How does a neuroscientist benefit by partnering with a school? What works and what doesn't in this partnership?
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    • Hawken’s Journey to an Alternative, Problem Based, High School Model

      2008

      Hawken School has developed a model for experiential and problem-based learning in its entrepreneurial studies program and is planning an alternative high school program based on this model. Hear about Hawken’s journey creating a new approach for learning core academics through an immersive, cross-disciplinary program where the priority is deep mastery of essential skills.
      Presented ByDoris Korda and D. Scott Looney, Hawken School (OH)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      Explore What exactly has led Hawken to develop this very different approach to learning and school? How has Hawken developed its program thus far and what are the results? What can like-minded schools/educators gain from Hawken’s journey?
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    • Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow: Practical Thoughts About Our Students' Futures

      3003

      In 2025 what stories will our students tell as adults about how their education prepared them for their lives? What will matter most? What stuck, and what didn't? In this session, you'll imagine the skills our students will need to thrive in their tomorrow of 2025; you'll also take away practical skills for tomorrow your students can learn today. By imagining our students' tomorrows we can help them build the stories of their future lives.
      Presented ByLarry Kahn, The Bay School of San Francisco (CA); Susan Davis, Iolani School (HI)
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      LevelIntroductory
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      ExploreWhat will the world of 2025 be like, and which skills will students need to thrive in that world? Which strategies and tools for tomorrow can teachers share with their students today? How can we work together to redefine learning environments that are relevant for our students for the tomorrow that will be the setting for their own stories?
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    • Understanding the K-12 International Student Landscape in US Independent Schools

      2016

      This session identifies matters of principle and practice schools should consider when choosing to enroll international students. The presentation will provide a holistic view of the community and institution as well as the student and it will showcase trends and challenges for both day and boarding schools so that the audience will gain a better understanding about the international students’ landscape in K-12 independent schools in the US.  The presenters will share data and findings from various surveys and research projects as well as best practice information and will examine institutional opportunities, costs, risks, and legal aspects.
      Presented ByIoana Wheeler and Debra Wilson, NAIS; Pete Upham, The Association of Boarding Schools; and Chantal Duke, The Awty International School (TX)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      ExploreWhat are new trends and data in international student recruitment, admissions, enrollment? What are some challenges schools face with enrolling international students? What are some best practices for schools considering increasing their international student population?
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  • Block 3 (Thursday, February 25, 2:45 - 3:45 PM)
    • Begin at the Beginning: Implementing Design Thinking

      2001

      Most schools have approached design thinking by building a lab and then creating a program. Francis Parker School took a different approach: we crafted a design thinking vision, and then implemented the vision via lesson development. Now we are building physical lab spaces that support our vision. We will share the highs and lows of our journey and share how you can replicate a vision-oriented design thinking paradigm at your school. See more at www.francisparker.org/designthinking
      Presented ByLaurynn Evans, Sergina Bach, and Laurie Brae, Francis Parker School (CA)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      ExploreWhat are some specific, tangible ways that we can deliver design thinking lessons in all curricular areas at all grade levels (lesson plan ideas)? How might we better connect classroom learning with our design lab? What other possibilities are out there to implement design thinking besides spending money on a lab space?
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    • Global Issues Network (GIN)

      2011

      Join us for this workshop to learn about how your students can engage with GIN projects and conferences.  A GIN project is focused on working to address global issues in each school's direct community and it can focus on issues that need to be worked on in the school community. Attendees will also learn about attending and hosting a GIN conference and engaging students on work related to global problem-solving.
      Presented ByIoana Wheeler, NAIS; Linda Sills and Ashley Sills, Global Issues Network; Sophia Clark and Lily Mansfield, International High School, San Francisco (CA); Robert Landau, HAIS
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      LevelIntermediate
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      ExploreHow can students become global problem solvers and agents of change? How can students engage in events related to global issues? How can teachers support students interested in taking on a leadership role in global problem-solving?
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    • Maker Magic: Middle School “Maker” History Projects Inspire Lifelong Curiosity

      2022

      Learn what you need to start effective hands-on making projects in the history classroom. “Maker projects” inspire budding historians and foster life-long learners. Leave with clear understanding of how projects work, specific ideas for the classroom teacher with or without a dedicated makerspace, and a keen understanding of how “making” in history develops curiosity.
      Presented ByHeather Pang, Eugenie Paick, and Laura Docter, Castilleja School (CA)
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      LevelIntroductory
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      ExploreHow does “making” enhance the (history) curriculum, inspire students (especially girls) to think across disciplines, and promote students’ intellectual growth? How do we develop, iterate, and coordinate our maker projects within a collaborative teaching environment? What are resources and specific projects for getting started in the classroom, even if you don’t have a dedicated maker space?
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    • The AltSchool Story: Super Powering Educators To Transform Education

      3000

      AltSchool was founded in 2013 by educators, technologists, entrepreneurs, and parents who believe technology coupled with empathy has the power to transform education. In this panel discussion and audience Q&A, a teacher, a parent, an engineer, and a student will join AltSchool’s founder to describe how startup culture nurtures innovation and rapid iteration in our 17 classrooms in San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Brooklyn.
      Presented ByCarolyn Wilson and Max Ventilla, AltSchool, Inc (CA)
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      LevelIntroductory
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      Explore Why did engineers, entrepreneurs, designers, parents, and educators come together to found AltSchool, a network of micro-schools? How do educators, parents, engineers, designers, and product managers work together to build products and design practices which improve the school experience for students, parents, and educators? How can technology and start-up culture empower educators  to deliver personalized education in diverse learning communities?
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  • Block 4 (Friday, February 26, 8:00 - 9:00 AM)
    • Become a Guided Math Guru: Differentiating Math Instruction

      3024

      Do you love teaching math every day?  Or are you overwhelmed by standards, curricular changes and technology in your math program? Unlock the power of small group guided math instruction!  In this workshop, participants will learn how to introduce, set-up, and develop guided math groups as a way to engage all learners. Our goal is to give ideas that you can use in your classroom tomorrow to make math fun again!
      Presented ByKerry Plitnick and Emily Shortridge, Charleston Day School (SC)
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      LevelIntroductory
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      Explore Math centers are overwhelming, where do I start?  How do I continually assess my students?  Will this model close the gap between struggling and advanced learners?
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    • Create CODE (Coding Opportunities Delivered in Education)

      2001

      Coding is a digital literacy that is needed in K-12 education. Learning the fundamentals of coding provides students with skills for the future.  It teaches many 21st century skill such as problem solving and critical thinking. Be part of a worldwide movement and learn the benefits of implementing a coding program as part of your school culture.
      Presented ByDean Haratsaris and Sharon Deighton, Detroit Country Day School (MI)
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      LevelIntroductory
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      Explore What is coding and why is it so important in K-12 education? What are some best practices for incorporating coding into your school culture and curriculum? What resources are available to assist in creating coding opportunities in K-12 education?
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  • Block 5 (Friday, February 26, 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM)
    • “Third Culture Stories”: What Do Our International Students Need in Order to Thrive?

      3020

      This seminar will feature uplifting stories peppered with cautionary tales. We will address the myriad benefits and the significant challenges of welcoming increasing numbers of “third culture” and international students to independent schools. We will be reflecting critically on why these kids matter. Specifically: who are they, why they’re here, and what do they need?
      Presented ByMelinda Bihn and Andrew Brown, French American International School (CA)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      ExploreWho are “third culture" kids and international students? What unique attributes do they bring and how can they enrich our school communities? What can we learn from the real-life experiences of international students thrown into boarding or homestay situations far from home? Students hailing from the economic elite of their home country may face significant adjustments when they come to study in the US and Canada. What are the challenges they face and how can schools address these?
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    • Prepping for Success (and Failure) in Online Learning

      2018

      Think your school is ready for an online learning component? Think your students are prepared for online experiences where independent learning, problem solving, time management, and self-advocacy skills are essential? Think again! Learn how Berkshire School is leveraging lessons learned while preparing and implementing year two initiatives.
      Presented ByJim Dachos, Virtual High School Global Consortium (MA) and Clay Splawn, Berkshire School (MA)
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      LevelIntroductory
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      Explore How can your school prepare for a productive digital learning experience for students? What skills are critical for student success in online learning and how can The Virtual High School’s course delivery methodology support key skill acquisition and development? How will Berkshire School leverage lessons learned into a strategic online/blended learning program as it prepares for year two and beyond?
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    • What can the HSSSE do for me?

      3022

      Participating in the High School Survey of Student Engagement (HSSSE), or the forthcoming Middle Grades Survey of Student Engagement, brings schools a dauntingly large informational report.  This session will share stories and strategies about and for the most effective ways to translate student engagement data into action for educational improvement.
      Presented ByKevin Breen, Marshall School (MN); Chris Bigenho, Greenhill School (TX); Jonathan Martin, Secondary School Admission Test Board (SSATB); Amada Torres, National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
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      LevelIntroductory
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      ExploreWhy do schools choose to participate in the HSSSE? What are the most effective ways to interpret HSSSE data reports? What are examples of, and strategies for, school using HSSSE data to drive school improvement?  
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  • Block 6 (Friday, February 26, 1:30 - 2:30 PM)
    • Modeling Your Thinking: Helping Students Tell Their Stories as Mathematicians

      2009

      How do students tell a story of their math thinking? Whether with the ratio table, bar model, or number line, visual modeling is a key skill of all mathematicians. Teachers play a critical role in helping students develop these powerful representations. Engage in math problem solving, watch video of students working on rich problems, and discuss the work created by these students.
      Presented ByJulie Broderick, The School At Columbia University (NY)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      Explore How do you design rich contextual problems that engage students in meaningful math investigation? What are effective ways to help students document their math thinking with visual models? What is the teacher's role in helping students to develop clear, detailed, and accurate representations of their math thinking?
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    • Task-Centered Assistive Technology

      2016

      Explore task-centered academic goals, supporting assistive tech tools, and assessment ideas while focusing on tasks that middle and high school students face. Too often we try to fix the tool for the student instead of understanding each student and finding the right series of tools that work best for her or him. Continue to think outside the box!
      Presented ByJackie Hersh, Jackie Hersh, Sally Garza, and Jason Sepsi, Lawrence School (OH)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      ExploreWhat does a task-centered activity look like? How can I advocate for myself/ students in using a tool in a task centered activity? What should I consider? When picking out an assistive technology tools and resources, what should I focus on?
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    • The Interactive Constitution: Non-Partisan Civics Education for 21st Century Classrooms

      2020

      This presentation of classroom applications of the National Constitution Center's new, interactive Constitution guides secondary social studies and English teachers through an exploration of how this powerful tool makes the Constitution approachable and meaningful to learners in 21st century classrooms.  The session is of particular value to AP US history and government teachers and teachers whose students will take the SAT.
      Presented ByKerry Sautner, National Constitution Center
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      LevelIntermediate
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      Explore How can teachers and students approach the Constitution on a non-partisan basis? How can technology be utilized to reverse trends of declining civic education? How does the Interactive Constitution prepare students for AP exams and the SAT?
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    • The Power of Teacher Language

      2022

      Learn how teachers can use language — words, tone, and pace — to increase student engagement, build a positive classroom community, create a growth mindset, and teach prosocial behavior by helping children develop confidence, competence, and self-control. Gain many practical tips and samples of effective teacher language to take back to school.
      Presented BySarah Fillion, Responsive Classroom; Earl Hunter, Echo Horizon School (CA)
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      LevelIntroductory
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      ExploreHow is teacher language defined and how does it shape students’ thoughts, feelings, and experiences? What are the tools to help teachers use language to increase student engagement, build a positive classroom community, create a growth mindset, and teach pro-social behavior? What are some examples of strategies and practices teachers can use to support students’ learning and positive behavior with reinforcing language?
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  • Three-Hour Workshops (Wednesday, Feburary 24, 1:00 - 4:00 PM)
    • W02. Building a High-Quality Public-Private PD Model: Harvard Project Zero in Washington, DC

      2002

      Optional Three-Hour Workshop

      Explore an ongoing professional development model in DC involving 1,000 educators and a variety of schools, museums, and educational institutions. Engage with pedagogical tools and frameworks that help you create a culture of thinking, educate for global competence, and document student/teacher learning — all steeped in research-based practices developed at Harvard's Project Zero.
      Presented ByJames Reese, Carole Geneix, Richard Anderson, and Vaijayanti Wagle, Washington International School (DC)
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      LevelIntroductory
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      ExploreHow do we use a focused professional development model to foster effective teaching practices in teacher leaders and spread them around a city or region? How do we ensure that this model is inclusive & accessible to all educators? How do we build partnerships around a city or region to sustain this work?
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    • W04. Design Sprint: Create a Maker Project in Three Hours

      2004

      Optional Three-Hour Workshop

      Digital fabrication, making, and physical computing projects are swiftly becoming an integral part of daily life in a K-12 school. Work interactively in teams to identify, ideate, prototype, assess, and promote a hands-on project relevant to your classroom, curriculum, and school.
      Presented ByMartha Erskine and Concepcion Alvar, Marymount School of New York (NY); Don Buckley, Tools at Schools; Angi Chau, Castilleja School (CA)
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      LevelIntroductory
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      ExploreWhat are examples of exemplary makerspaces and interdisciplinary maker education projects? In what ways can maker education projects connect learning objectives and learning outcomes in all disciplines?  What are best practices in developing, implementing, and assessing these projects?
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    • W05. Design Thinking as a Catalyst for Meaningful Learning and Engagement

      2005

      Optional Three-Hour Workshop

      How can a creative problem-solving process transform your learning community? Delve into Notre Dame Academy’s (Georgia) journey to better engage teachers, students, and community partners in meaningful learning through design thinking. Depart armed with resources to get started and a story to share, feeling inspired and ready to take action at your school.
      Presented ByDeborah Parizek, Henry Ford Learning Institute (MI); Cheryl Beshke, Debbie Orr, and Lynne Bombard, Notre Dame Academy (GA)
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      LevelIntroductory
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      ExploreWhat is design thinking? How can I use design thinking to better engage teachers, students, and community partners in meaningful learning projects? How can I apply design thinking at my own school?
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    • W19. Successful STEM through Blended Learning and Community Based Public-Private Partnerships

      2018

      Optional Three-Hour Workshop

      St. Andrew's Episcopal Academy (Florida) launched a new upper school in 2014-15, focusing on STEM and water-based activities. Hear about scuba diving, underwater research, digital photography, college credit science classes, wet labs in the Indian River Lagoon, online instruction, more than 25 authentic partnerships, and a downtown redevelopment partnership that make this blended learning model unique.
      Presented ByCaterina Angelone, Zane Barrus, Curry Krasulak, and Anastasia Legakus, St. Andrew's Episcopal Academy (FL)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      ExploreWhat is blended learning and what does it look like on a daily basis for students and staff? What does an authentic public-private partnership really look like in the independent school? Can we partner with you in this?
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    • W20. Taming the Tech Effect: Rethink and Reboot the Integration of Technology at Your School

      2020

      Optional Three-Hour Workshop

      Join two internationally acclaimed experts and trailblazers in education technology and child development to refresh your understanding of the current massive impact of technology on education and child development. Hear stories and research to help you reboot tech integration at your school. Learn innovative approaches to online, blended, and f2f environments, along with sustainable models for student, faculty, and parent well-being.
      Presented ByCatherine Steiner-Adair, Clinical Psychologist; Erin McCloskey, Phillips Academy (MA)
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      LevelIntermediate
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      ExploreHow should we reimagine and redefine student wellbeing and teaching excellence in light of massive transformations in education due to technology? How do we think through and make the best possible decisions about using technologies, given their real and potential effects, both negative and positive? What are some effective strategies for adolescent learners that promote learning, wellbeing, and engagement in f2f, online and blended environments?
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    • W21. A Truly Mission-Driven Academic Program: Leaders Show How to Get There

      2000

      Optional Three-Hour Workshop

      To move beyond standardized curricula or familiar practice takes courage, strategic motivation, a process, and — above all — a compelling case. Learn how to develop your own case and process to create programs and practices that serve your students in the context of your mission and values from leaders of schools that have embraced this novel practice.
      Presented ByElise London, St. Mark's School (MA); Peter Gow, The Independent Curriculum Group; Josie Holford, Poughkeepsie Day School (NY); and Sean Raymond, York School (CA)
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      LevelIntroductory
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      ExploreHow have schools embraced innovative practices that fit their unique missions, cultures, and strategic priorities? What protocols, steps, and processes facilitate the incorporation of school-created, mission-informed teaching and learning? What are effective ways to communicate the purpose and value of innovative practice to key audiences - trustees, parents, colleges, prospective students, and alumni?
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