A critical look at the standardization of public schools and especially the Common Core State Standards. How do the CCSS and the associated testing affect learning, motivation, and student passions? What things should be standardized in classrooms if anything?
During each of the six breakout sessions throughout the weekend, a large number of conversations will take place. This site will help you organize your plan for the weekend and provide the relevant information for each conversation. After signing in, search through the conversations below and mark the sessions you are interested in to populate your personal schedule on the right (or below if on your mobile phone).
This is not a proposal for a conversation. This is a proposal for an Educon remix experiment we would like to try during the course of the conference.
We need new thinking about what mathematics in high schools actually means. Does the mathematics teacher's role need to change? Does the structure of the curriculum need to radically change? How can we re-engage more students in genuine mathematics? Come and talk about what mathematics could be!
Meet four New York City Writing Project teachers who are part of a study group that has been sponsored by the NYCWP to foster and reflect on our use of Youth Voices. Amal Aboulhosn, Paul Allison, Tricia Clarke, and Jim Nordlinger will show student work that has resulted from their work together. We will also be joined in a Hangout by Youth Voices co-founder, Chris Sloan from Salt Lake City, Utah.
“Competency education” is increasingly taking center stage in policy, online and blended learning, and education redesign conversations. How might the trends, emerging issues, and recent research inform and impact the way we think about and engage with inquiry-based learning and how might we influence the national conversation?
This conversation immerses participants in the process of design thinking and what it means to approach problems with a design mind. Come prepared to form design teams with your Educon colleagues and take a deep dive into the process of design thinking.
Educating for Changemaking: How we can ensure students become empathic leaders who can work collaboratively to drive change, address shared problems, and generate innovative solutions to social problems.
Understanding that everyone needs to practice empathy, leadership, and teamwork skills to solve social problems, Ashoka has launched the Empathy Initiative to make these “changemaking skills” a priority in education. Join us in a conversation about pedagogy, curriculum, and evaluation strategies for fostering and evaluating changemaker skill development in students.
We want you to get as much as possible out of this weekend. If you're new to EduCon or the progressive/ed tech scene, join us for a crash course in EduCon, SLA, and all the latest ed tech tools.
What happens at the crossroads of hacking and schooling? How do these two seemingly disparate notions complement and inform one another? How can Candyland and HTML spark a learning revolution? Let’s find out together. Join us for the second annual EduCon Hack Jam and be ready to play!
A panel of parents, educators and lead learner at @KnappElementary School will share their collaborative efforts in "meeting parents where they are" using both tech & non-tech family engagement strategies to engage a diverse elementary school population in suburban Philadelphia.
With increasing technology and innovative educators, the World is getting smaller and our small isolated, school is "getting bigger!" Let us show you how an iPad & a caring, innovative teacher can make a student who doesn't have running water at home value their education and want to be "more." Technology + Relationships= Success
If you have ever wondered how or why someone would choose to start a non-profit organization - as opposed to a for-profit, or working for an existing company - this is the session for you.
A conversation involving educators and how we can involve students in planning, implementation, and assessment within the classroom. A practical approach for educators who would like more student investment and ownership in education.
With 24-hour news cycles and the constant presence of screens, text rushes past us at an astonishing rate. We must slow down, read closely, and uncover subtle messages in texts. This conversation focuses on studying, collaboratively with students, close reading skills and their transfer into media, culture, and daily life.
The ISTE Nets (tech standards) are approximately a decade old. They've produced endless meetings, cliché-laden documents and breathless rhetoric, but no perceptible increase in student computer fluency or teacher competence. Rather than standardizing, it’s time to amplify human potential with computers. A new diet of computing is required for learners.
What is CoderDojo? Is it important to the educational landscape? What resources are needed to support and encourage the creation of CoderDojos around the country?
Curation strategies for searching, teaching, and learning.
This conversation will focus on disruptive and sustaining innovation and their effects on education. What technology and educational innovations are revolutionary? Which are evolutionary? How do these innovations affect education and, ultimately, the future of our students?
One of the axioms of education is that we “teach the way we were taught.” How do we change how teachers are developed? What needs to change in Higher Education?
Bring the power of inventing to the classroom with new materials, digital fabrication, and computing by incorporating these new technologies across the curriculum. The making/tinkering/fabrication revolution is exploding outside of school. Now you can create a classroom makerspace regardless of budget or experience.
What do teachers and leaders do while we wait for policy makers to discover that the test culture they have created is a mistake?
It’s time educators to break down classroom walls, promote mindful disorder, leverage ALL of the environment for learning, and guarantee our young people access to contemporary materials. This conversation will cause you to question all that you have come to believe schooling is as we collectively imagine what learning can become.
Making the Impossible, Possible: A conversation for visionary educators, parents, students and policy-makers.
If YOU could change education, what would YOU do? Join this conversation about our collective commitment to revolutionize learning and what it looks like in our individual spaces. Tell us what you have done, are doing, or will do to transform education in your own sphere(s) of influence.
Want to get some ideas on how to get your students involved in the community and excited about it? Come join 5 students talk about their experiences in the Project SPACE Program and what got them started on it.
The human brain is built for stories. After a brief discussion of the science and theory, we will explore several aspects of story and digital storytelling and how they intersect with schools, curriculum, and learning. Small groups will collaboratively build a Learnist board to capture and share the ideas we generate.
In this panel conversation, SLA teachers from each discipline will discuss how they created standards language for their specific subject area, how they track student progress throughout the school year, and how they integrate the skills and reflection into their own classroom.
The important thing about the technology isn't the things that plug in but what we create with them. We'll investigate, design, create, and evaluate products in this prototyping workshop and discussion.
Participants will generate a joint list of challenges that schools face today. After engaging in a discussion on the issues where they’ll share their opinions, small groups will work together on ways to refocus the conversation on the issues to help bring about positive change in their own schools.
The nature of information access allows for a whole new way of working with content in our schools. Join us for a conversation deconstructing the concept of textbook and visioning what comes next.
As we move further into the Digital Age, the populous is being segmented into varying degrees of digital competencies. Join Mozilla and the National Writing Project to discuss how a fluent understanding of the web and the nuances of web culture is necessary in today's world.
You've seen Google Earth, and maybe even used it yourself; but have your students used it to develop empathy with world events they study? Together, we will learn how to make Google Earth place marks that students (and teachers) can use to make multi-disciplinary connections about the world.
At SLA, the Ethic of Care is central to the way we treat our students and each other. But what does that look like in practice?
Behind every scheduling conflict lies the assumption that academic scheduling is a zero-sum game. We reject that notion, and the tug of war mentality that pits science against humanities against arts. Join a group of educators committed to improving personal and academic learning through flexible structures and student choice.
While policies are an essential tool for managing technologies, effective leaders nurture school cultures that promote and exercise a vision for conscientious innovation with new learning technologies. Come discuss how to develop school cultures where stakeholders share a vision of meaningful technology integration to support 21st Century learning and examine U.S and Singaporean systems where school administrators provide structured support to develop institutional capacity for systemic reform.
Emerging technologies open new doors for teaching and learning. Too often, these tools are used to repackage traditional ways of doing things instead of transforming instructional approaches. This conversation focuses on emerging tools that leverage teachers' ability to meaningfully assess student understanding and help achieve learning goals.
On the whole, strong teachers tend to be reflective practitioners. There is research showing that reflecting is an important skill towards improving as a teacher. Accepting that, how do we become better at reflecting and how do we help new and pre-service teachers do the same?
Science Leadership Academy's Student Assistant Teaching program has grown exponentially over the last four years. Come to a student and teacher-led workshop on creating and implementing a similar program in your schools!
Stuffed Hamburgers and Trash Aquariums: Developing Creative Habits of Mind In and Out of the Classroom
Are you passionate about joyful learning? We believe creativity can be learned, practiced and applied to solve problems. Join us to participate in collaborative (and introvert-friendly) activities to amplify the joy in your classrooms using design thinking-inspired methods ... and Play-Doh!
This conversation looks at the intersection of technology and the development of human-centered classrooms.
I've oft wondered what "school" would look like if I were able to gather my PLN all in one spot and build from scratch. What would change and how would it affect all involved parties? There are no sacred cows here. Join me in this opportunity to design out loud.
In this workshop, we will explore the use of digital texts as teaching tools when students write. We’ll study texts that swirl across the digital landscape—TV, film, music, commercials, web content—and use them as teaching tools, finding ways to improve our students’ and our own writing.
This conversation will focus on the benefits of integrating social media into school film production programs. Examples of new media projects as well as simple tips for creating and sharing student films online will be included. We’ll also discuss how publishing student work online helps build essential media literacy skills.
I think we all agree that the Web is creating amazing new opportunities to learn for kids of all ages. But the challenges to "school" are profound. Now that much of what we used to come to school to learn is in a bajillion places online, what changes? What are the enduring values and experiences of this thing we call "school" now that content information and learning are everywhere? It the question for our times.
Seymour Papert, Clay Christensen, Salman Khan and others believe we can reach what Malcolm Gladwell calls a tipping point in education when emerging technologies make dramatic increases in teaching and learning achievement possible. This discussion session will focus on this possibility for math education.
Drawing from examples at the NYCiSchool and elsewhere, this session will provide school leaders with a framework and guidance for rethinking current practices and guide participants through a series of activities designed to help them develop a plan for, and create the conditions that will foster, whole school innovation.
In this conversation, we will examine what it means to interact with students in online environments, how that compares to physical face-to-face interactions, and the intersections of the two. How do we craft caring relations in digital spaces? How do we build culture and community? What are the ways in which feedback and commentary could or should be adjusted when leaving the physical world. Participants will be asked to share their own experiences as well as work together to draft ideas on new ways forward for deepening and broadening our practice.
Let's have a conversation about digital fabrication in schools. FabLabs and Makerspaces are putting the means of production (3D printers, laser cutters, milling machines, etc) into our student's hands. Let's talk about the benefits, challenges, and best practices of teaching kids to use machines that can make things!
Empathy is THE 21st century skill. It builds bonds, develops leadership skills, and brings self-awareness to seek out meaning and purpose in our lives. How can we discuss 21st century skills without first discussing empathy? How can our students understand purpose, be self-directed, and become betters learners by valuing empathy.
Participants in this two-session workshop will iterate, pitch, and develop digital stories capturing possible futures of public education. Participants will team up around compelling pitches and produce their works through forms like film, social media from the future, and time-travelling geocaches. We’ll develop a web resource to share our work.
No aspect of schooling is changing as fast as the school library. The disruption is still going on. Where do we want it to go, what do we want it to be able to do, and what will it look like?
Playing with the X-Ray Goggles, Thimble and Popcorn, participants will explore concepts of interest-based learning through tinkering with Mozilla Webmaking tools and learning projects. This workshop will build understanding around how embedding webmaking in project based curriculum will lead to innovative problem solving, creative thinking and a desire for tinkering.
As educational technology continues to evolve, so to do student attitudes regarding the desire and necessity for students to take a larger role in the ownership of their academic experience. The purpose for this “conversation” is to discuss this growing trend, and resources that aid teachers in capitalizing on it.
Harassment and bullying interfere with student learning. In some tragic instances, these behaviors interfere with life itself. Join us for a conversation on creating strategies for prevention, intervention, resolution, and restoration of the community after incidents of harassment or bullying.
Self-care is often an afterthought for educators, social justice activists, and ed reform advocates. This interactive workshop will explore the responsibility we have to connect self-care with leading change; how pop culture, race and gender shape our ideas about personal sustainability; and how to support each other in allyship.
Over the journey that has been SLA, I've become really deeply aware of how inquiry is a process. The five core values of Inquiry, Research, Collaboration, Presentation and Reflection are at the heart of the inquiry process for me. And it is an iterative process that we engage in. But also at the heart of the inquiry process is that the person engaging in the inquiry - the learner - actually cares about the questions they are asking.
We have moved beyond a world where we can simply be cheerleaders for education technology. It isn’t just that the stakes are high for pedagogy. They’re high politically and professionally. What are the connections between ed-tech and education reform, between technology, profits and the privatization of education?
In a conversation facilitated by the Philly Youth Poetry Movement, educators will discuss how they might use the performance arts, specifically spoken word poetry, to engage and inspire their students. Techniques from many different writing programs will be shared, and a dynamic writing workshop will be modeled and analyzed.
TAG Philly’s “Flipping the Script- Teachers’ Dispatches from Philadelphia” Media Empowerment workshop is an interactive roundtable empowering teachers, parents, and students to share narratives of the amazing tragedies and triumphs that take place in school communities.
Despite having been the subject of increased attention over the last several years, the mechanics of using open content and the advantages of using open content remain poorly understood. In this session, we will look at the roots of some of these misconceptions, and define ways in which these misconceptions can be addressed. Additionally, this session will also help participants looking to get involved in the use, creation, and distribution of open content.
There has been an emphasis on educating students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines. A growing movement to broaden the concept of STEM into STEAM (with the A representing arts) provides a broader framework for including creativity, innovation, and to some extent collaboration into these fields. This session will be about creating content and will be fun!
Teaching design thinking in schools trains students, teachers, and administrators to think outside the box and intertwine their knowledge to conceive innovative solutions towards the future of education. We'd like to share some examples of how our community collaborated to define, research, ideate, prototype, and implement their ideas.
There’s no shortage of educational innovators. The challenge is figuring out how best to bring their approaches to scale. Participants in this session will discuss what supporting disruptive talent – at the district, school, classroom, and community level – would look like and how we can better connect innovators across cities.
This panel-led discussion will feature three SLA teachers at different phases in their teaching careers. They will discuss their experiences navigating a technology driven environment and working in a setting that esteems the ethic of care.
We have a vision for effective, student-centered next generation schools, but that's very different from the realities in our classrooms. How do we bridge the chasm between what schools are and what they ought to be? This session will collaboratively explore catalysts for effective change.
Many schools are adopting visionary goals for student learning, including higher order thinking skills and creative problem-solving, and are seeking to evaluate student learning in more engaging and authentic ways. Performance Task Assessments and the exemplary CWRA offer a potentially subversive way to change the way we assess, which we will explore and discuss in this session.
Rough Cut Media is a non-profit devoted to supporting, creating, and advocating for production-based media education programs in schools. Our mission is to help schools create and sustain comprehensive, cross-curricular media education.
We have our students for about 6 hours a day. How do the other 18 hours impact their ability to learn, and our ability to teach?
To create an engaging learning community we must first engage all members of that community. This Conversation focuses on using Appreciative Inquiry to better understand how to reflect and harness the community’s energy in a positive manner to create our ideal learning community.
People travel all over the world to look at beautiful buildings; we are proposing that schools should fit that category too! Looking for a conversation on inspiring learning spaces from around the world.
To break down the walls of our classrooms we need to consider how to blend online and face to face learning. This conversation will focus on how open learning can transform education by giving students and educators the confidence and tools to think and learn for themselves.
Honoring Our Learning Philosophy Through Our Learning Reports: Is it about learning and progress or is it about grades?
In 2013, how do schools report learning and growth? Is it through test scores, a “report card,” a “progress report,” a portfolio, or __________? Are we modeling 21st century communication and collaboration as we offer formal feedback and document student growth and progress?
Have you ever experienced the Web 2.0 in a classroom 1.0? Have you had trouble using 21st century technology in a 20th century space? This hands-on, interactive conversation is seeking innovative learners and teachers who are ready to take on an extreme makeover that impacts teaching and learning.
Are we moving towards a Surrogates society? Are online PLNs taking the place of face-to-face PLNs? Let’s debate between the use of online and offline interactions to develop and advance our professional and personal learning.
At SLA, we view acceptance of students with special needs as vital to our culture of diversity. Supporting all students in the general education curriculum requires communication and cooperation amongst all members of a school community. We are always working to develop and build upon systems to support a wide range learners, with the end goal of moving them towards independence beyond the walls of our school.
How do we incorporate teacher voices into the debate over assessing teacher performance? I want to start the conversation by asking various education professionals their opinions, then pose my ideas about using inquiry to help teachers create a more formative and democratic approach.
We want our students to be collaborative solution-finders, but group work alone doesn’t get there. Students need frames for creative leadership – and practice to grow into leaders who foster collaborative, creative teams. In this session, we’ll practice using tools from Leadership+Design Studio and explore how they develop young creative leaders.
Google's Fusion Tables enable the connection of data to locations on Google Maps. Come and see maps showing how student performance and poverty compare geographically. Add teacher pay onto the map to see how that factors in. Have some data you want mapped? Come and share.