What works in education? The folks who know best are, of course, the folks doing the work- teachers, students, and school leaders. This session will focus on four big questions- What works? Why does it work? Wow does it work? and What if we had a platform from which to share what works?
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).
As Community College faculty members with backgrounds in K12 public education, we are looking to create opportunities for students to engage in meaningful Project Based Learning experiences in an internship setting, and we’d love you to help us design and dream.
What is a good job? Are we preparing ALL our students for access? We know that there are multiple pathways to high-demand careers - how do we discuss this with students and families? Let’s put our biases on the table and think through how we’re preparing all our graduates for the careers of their future.
The current method of identifying reading and math levels by grade association is archaic as compared to the levels used in ESOL. The WIDA scale identifies by ability and skill instead of grade level
Join a conversation about the benefits and challenges of a self-paced learning environment. We will begin with a case study,, identify the benefits and challenges inherent to this kind of teaching and learning, and brainstorm ways you can create and implement a self-paced unit of study in your own classroom.
How do we make learning environments more engaging for students? Answer: Put students first. We will explore seven proven engagement strategies that position students to contribute in profound and impactful ways throughout the design process. Together, we will identify tangible, real-world solutions that directly leverage student perspectives, experiences, and insight.
The process of igniting, sharing, and documenting public dreaming can lead to durable change and an increased sense of community. Hear about how this happened at SLA-MS and try it out for yourself.
What does true equity look like in advanced math courses? This conversation addresses two essential questions. How do we help every student achieve readiness for college-level math, regardless of their background? How do we use an inquiry approach and standards-based grading to support students once they are in these courses?
Join the co-authors of a high-school inNOVAtion Lab for Self-Determined Learning as they open their minimum viable curriculum up for observations, questions, and, hopefully, a bit of water (insights) from the audience.
Using inquiry-driven practices to identify the intersectionalities of Social-Emotional and Academic Development
The nation’s largest school system has implemented a system-wide SEL Screener, that provides powerful data to all 1,700 schools. Central to this work, schools are expected to engage in inquiry-driven routines to reflect on how their practices support the ongoing development of students’ social, emotional, and academic needs.
You’ve got ideas and classroom expertise. Why not share it with others? This session will help you think about publishing a book, including planning, platforms, and publishing strategies.
This interactive panel presentation will demonstrate the power of Asset Mapping to incubate school projects and sustainable educator and students side hustles. It will discuss how educators and students responded to the pandemic and racial unrest by developing cause-oriented businesses/side hustles. The presentation will focus on an entrepreneurial mindset and leadership development program based on design Connected Learning principles and the Arts and Business Council’s Creative Exchange program.
How a summer Design Camp that brought together members of local hospitals, private practices, artists, and universities to develop a network for children with mobility challenges can inspire real-world collaboration and professional development at your school all year round.
Challenging Traditional School Leader Pathways and PD: Growing and Sustaining Equity-Centered Leaders
In alignment with our districtwide equity framework, our vision of an equity-centered school leader is a leader who cultivates prosperity and liberation for students and staff, starting with historically marginalized populations, by increasing access and inclusion, building trusting relationships, removing barriers, and creating a shared culture of accountability. This vision reflects the transformative leadership orientation which focuses on equity, inclusion, and social justice. In this session, we will share the actualization of this vision, organized around three core drivers: increasing the accessibility of pathways to potential leaders committed to equity; sustaining aspiring and current principals with transformational coaching; professional learning that is responsive to equity considerations.
What if the spirit and nature of a learning community was grounded in codesign, not hierarchy? When young people construct experiences through codesign, the streetscapes of learning change, leading to unanticipated relationships, social connections, emerging strengths and talents, new expertise, and self-actuated learners. We’ll share codesign stories and explore codesign together.
How might we provide learners around the world opportunities to develop deeper concept understanding, dynamic communication skills, and agile problem-solving mindsets? In this interactive workshop, explore 40+ strategies for creative expression in any classroom, whether an ESL class in Egypt or a civics seminar in New England. Collaborate with colleagues as we practice and plan for applying these methods, designed to foster equity and accessibility for all learners and educators alike.
By using Project Zero’s Thinking Routines, teachers across all disciplines can integrate the arts into their classrooms to activate student curiosity, promote critical thinking, and develop a spirit of inquiry.
Let's Talk School Board - Crowdsourcing Examples of How To Do It Right (and a few examples of where it has been done wrong)
As the work of EduCon community has wide-spread ripple, let's create a resource focused on what School Boards can do to help, and how they fit into the bigger picture.
How do we assess students on what they know and can do instead of how they behave? This is the question we’ve been working through at Science Leadership Academy Middle School and are at the core of our new conference structure. We’ll discuss changes big and small that can center student knowledge in grading.
Today, our devices are set to notify us about everything from a "Like" on Instagram to breaking news about the world. Attention has become a commodity, and schools are struggling to help students deal. Join a conversation around how we can help students learn in the Attention Economy.
Just about everyone agrees that creativity is important in both school and life. This conversation is about where creativity comes from, how it relates to both inspiration and critical thinking, and how we can cultivate it in our learning spaces.
Coming out of a turbulent and traumatic school year, schools around the country were looking for ways to re-engage and reanimate students in the process of learning. In order to do this, South Bronx Community Charter High School formed authentic, community-based partnerships with local cultural institutions.
In this session, participants will get an overview of what is meant by the term "web3" and learn how schools and educators can begin to think about what it means to incorporate aspects of web3 and the next wave of technology innovations in their classroom and beyond.
Participants will consider how to use the design thinking model on a school wide level. Learn from our experiences as administrators from redesigning Back to School Night to reframing student support. Participants will explore how this model can center empathy, purpose, and a prototyping mindset to improve your school.
Are you interested in building a learning community where everyone is a teacher, students learn how to fail forward, and creativity is celebrated? Our middle school is in year two of operating six different Innovation Labs that 6th graders visit daily. Come reflect on our journey to challenge and plan your own.
Teacher and Students from a gradeless class discuss different ways they assess learning and how students are guided to take charge of and tell the stories of their learning journeys.
Join me in discussing the question that serves as the title to this workshop. Is one more important than the other? Can a classroom be a place where there is both meaningful work being produced and how can writing act as a cathartic outlet for social emotional rigor? How can our classes offer a chance to bring students' most authentic selves into the classroom?
EdTech has had its moment. Perhaps it’s over. Come let’s talk about what’s next and what never worked out.
How do you move beyond a narrow focus on college to preparing students for meaningful work? At South Bronx Community a 60-hour internship is a graduation requirement. Learn how to weave career skills across student experiences from the classroom, to the internship, to the student capstone experience.
Participants, after discussing the importance of staying connected to our purpose for remaining in the profession, will reflect on (and maybe rediscover) their why. We’ll culminate with the opportunity to create a short video exclaiming our “WHY”.
Join SLA teachers and students for an interactive workshop about the design of deeper school learning experiences. Collectively we will (re)read work from both widely known and frequently overlooked progressive and radical educators. Participants will then develop and share creative responses as we develop ideas about enacting a vision of deeper, democratic learning in the everyday reality of classrooms.
In this session, participants will engage with visible thinking strategies and note-making applications that support deeper learning and understandings across all disciplines.
We all fail. We all know it. But we are so afraid to talk about it. In this discussion we will talk about it...and see it as a superpower.
Join a provocative conversation about the role that wonder, curiosity and imagination plays in the design of a new learning journey for students. We’ll focus on understanding that journey, how it can emerge and be sustained, and how professional educators must challenge themselves to invent and lead a new experience worthy of serving our students' future.
An SBC leader, staff member and student will engage the audience in reflecting if the children they serve see themselves in their staff members, what are the benefits of community representation in staff hiring, and discuss what hiring practices can be implemented in order to create a school community reflective of the broader community.
Too often, Inquiry-Driven and Project-Based learning are left out of conversations about what benefits students of color. These pedagogies are often sacrificed in the name of either rote skill development or the dryness that passes for "rigor." We'll talk about it, and figure out how to ensure that students of color aren't locked out of progressive education.
How might we as educators think 'like futurists and foresight strategists' so that we can best help our students purposefully respond to their unique futures? This interactive session will use recognized foresight strategies used by professional futurists to guide research and clients. Most importantly, it will help us consider ways we might adopt foresight practices and tools to empower our students.
How can we create a multi-year, hands-on program to engage and educate middle school makers? What best practices in STEM, STEAM, Makerspaces, Engineering, and more can be used to create an engaging and educational experience for our students? What outcomes do we value when creating these programs?
Join us in the SLA Shop to discuss new ways of assessing what students learn and of encouraging academic growth. New approaches like having students make their own midterms have provided opportunities for deeper learning across the spectrum of students we serve. These approaches when coupled with engineering projects rich in making allow students to internalize concepts and skills. We will look at how non-linear grading methods have helped challenge a broader set of students in the SLA engineering program. Come prepared to share your own experiences in encouraging every student in your program to stay engaged and succeed.
The growing popularity of learner-centered approaches, like project-based learning, are susceptible to being hijacked, trivialized, and then dismissed as "ineffective" by cynical critics. This session offers a coherent progressive vision of PBL, that withstands scrutiny and produces more productive contexts for learning. Practical strategies and learning adventures will be shared.
Historically, traditional community engagement processes to have served to reproduce inequitable learning environments. Join us as we explore case studies rooted in critical race-spatial praxis and Liberatory Design principles to identify innovative institutional planning strategies that promote racial equity and social justice and amplify the voices of BIPOC communities.
The Secret Is Out: Recipes for Reinventing and Making a Difference in Your School with a Creative Credentialled Librarian
Discover how credentialed librarians are a recipe for low stress success as they partner with educators to enhance learning experiences through inquiry-based learning, instructional design, literacy, technology, SEL, and design thinking for every learner.
In our interdisciplinary lab for innovation where every voice matters, students implement their learning from multiple disciplines into new domains (Constructionism). Through their mastery based projects, students create digital portfolios, reflecting on their growth, product, and performance. Through digital escape rooms, participants of this session, based on their level of mastery, will try hands-on how to design a similar course/project.
Connect authentically with learners by assessing learning behaviors and cataloguing their metacognition. Join an interactive session exploring how self-awareness and personalized learning can be used as approaches to meet the challenges you face. Discover how a common vocabulary describing learning can make a measurable difference in instruction and student support!
Developing a Sense of Place, Peace, and Purpose: Using Urban Neighborhoods as Classrooms and Textbooks
The STRIPES program at Belmont Charter High School in the Parkside section of Philadelphia highlights how an urban neighborhood can become a powerful extension of the classroom. This conversation will discuss ways that teachers can connect with their neighborhoods in the service of inquiry-driven learning and culturally responsive teaching.
How Immediate and Meaningful Learning Data deepens student - teacher connections and Enhances Math Instruction
Formative data, in the hands of teachers and students puts the focus on learning rather than getting problems right or wrong. Attendees will role-play as teachers, students, and instructional coaches using data analytics scenarios from live classroom experiences with ASSISTments, a forever free math learning platform.
Students from SLA Beeber share their vision of what school could be and work with participants to design the ideal school.
With mental health resources overburdened, schools are increasingly finding themselves on the front lines of a larger mental health crisis. In this conversation, we will explore ways to meet the needs of our learners, support faculty and staff members, and continue to center joy.
In this session, author-educators Matthew Kay and Jennifer Orr will lead a discussion that tackles the biggest questions head-on: "Are students ever too young for race conversations?", "What does success in race conversations look like with our littlest learners?", and "Can I even do ANY of this without getting in trouble?"
Connecting Philadelphia students with the world: skill-building programs to empower global awareness.
The World Affairs Council will be discussing effective ways to engage Philadelphia students in educational opportunities fostering cross-cultural collaboration, core skills of diplomacy, STEM entrepreneurship, and social innovation towards well-informed citizenship and 21st-century competencies.
How can a school’s design and programming enhance learning, resiliency, and wellness for not only students and teachers, but the community as a whole? Exploring one promising strategy, this session will share on-going research into community school models and environments that offer a wider array of services than conventional schools.
What is the difference between DEI and Antiracist efforts in education? In this interactive workshop, participants will come together to support each other in furthering antiracist education and activism. Participants will work in groups and apply a Design Thinking framework to examine an issue related to Identity, Equity and Diversity. Groups will investigate persistent racist policies and practices in education and generate innovative solutions to mitigate these issues within schools and organizations. Additionally, data demonstrating inequity in education and practices that are yielding more equitable student outcomes will be shared and discussed. Participants will collaborate to set actionable goals and commit to holding themselves and their schools more accountable to antiracist education.
SLA Teacher and author Matthew Kay will lead educators in collectively breaking down film from two class conversations, one about the Confederate flag, and one about Colin Kaepernick. Both will force us to test what we *think* we believe about how (or if) such conversations should happen in our classrooms.
STEM Student-Teaching in Philadelphia: Observations & Insights on Pre-Service Work + Participatory Discourse Workshop
Recent student-teachers now working in Philadelphia will share their experience with pre-service teaching in an urban district. Their experiences will be shared in the form of an interview protocol which participants of this session will use to interview each other about their own experience as pre-service teachers or in leadership.
How can we ensure that educator voice is heard in critical conversations about teaching and learning and policy without adding yet another meeting?
Cynthia Solomon and Seymour Papert's 1971 paper "Twenty Things to Do with a Computer," predicted 1:1 personal computing, the maker movement, computational thinking, robotics, Computer Science for All, and computing across the curriculum. They not only predicted much of the educational technology to have emerged over the past fifty years, they demonstrated how it might amplify learning and democratize knowledge construction.
A recent article from the New York Times highlights how cross-class relationships are a key indicator of student mobility after high school. In particular the article pointed out: These cross-class friendships — what the researchers called economic connectedness — had a stronger impact than school quality, family structure, job availability or a community’s racial composition. The people you know, the study suggests, open up opportunities, and the growing class divide in the United States closes them off.