Virtual School Meanderings

July 21, 2016

Register for the iNACOL Symposium | Session Highlights

From the neo-liberals…

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Dear Colleagues,

The iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium this October 2016 will provide  260 workshops and sessions exploring trends and developments in personalized learning. There are session strands focused on the leading-edge school designs for competency-based education as well as blended and online learning. Experts and practitioners share the latest research, promising practices and tools for creating powerful, personalized learning experiences for all students and building understanding to catalyze the transformation of K-12 education.

The iNACOL Symposium is October 25-28, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas.Register here for the iNACOL Symposium with the early-bird registration discounted rate.

Below, are highlights of a few of the 260+ sessions presentations offered at the conference:

Rethinking Educator Learning to Move Toward Competency-Based Learning

How does a state or district reimagine professional learning, pre-service and in-service, to accelerate the transition to competency-based learning? Come join us for both a discussion of our work in New Hampshire from the perspective of pre-service higher education partners, district leadership and state leadership AND a design session to help you get started.

  • Paul Leather, New Hampshire Department of Education
  • Adam Rubin, 2Revolutions
  • Jonathan Vander Els, Sanborn School District
  • Raymond McNulty, Southern New Hampshire University

Proving Ground: Using Evidence to Drive Change
Proving Ground, a Center for Education Policy Research initiative at Harvard University, is developing a new research infrastructure to allow districts & CMOs to quickly learn about the relationship between their interventions and student outcomes in order to improve implementation, assess impact, and inform decision-making. Session participants will learn about this infrastructure, the relationship between specific education software usage and student outcomes, review sample reports and engage in a discussion about how data can help inform change.

  • Bi Vuong, Center for Education Policy Research, Harvard University
  • John Rice, District of Columbia Public Schools
  • Elena Salina, Aspire Public Schools
  • Stacey Wang, Oakland Unified School District

Transforming Education with Learners at the Center
How do we realize a new future of learning in which every child fulfills their boundless potential? Join us to explore the learner-centered universe. Play with and expand your notions of where, how, when and with whom learning happens. Engage with pioneers and learn from their transformational journeys to reimagine and create learning environments that work for all. Join a conversation with pioneers to develop new and further existing ideas to redesign learning in your own community.

  • Kelly Young, Convergence
  • Trace Pickering, Iowa BIG
  • Margaret Black, Big Thought
  • Virgel Hammonds, KnowledgeWorks  

Strategies to Support Educators in Creating Personalized, Learner-Centered Environments
Panelists will share the steps they took to empower teachers to implement personalized, learner-centered teaching in their schools. They will share strategies on how they support teachers on a daily basis. We will include discussions on the Educator Competencies for Personalized Learner-Centered Teaching and Micro-credentials to guide teachers as they build the skills they need to teach in learner-centered environments. The panel is moderated by Kathleen McClaskey from Personalize Learning, LLC.

  • Kathleen McClaskey, Personalize Learning, LLC
  • Barbara Bray, Personalize Learning, LLC
  • Betty Wottreng, Verona Area School District
  • Tuesday Rammuni, Liberty Elementary School
  • Dennis Russo, Pinellas County Schools

Amplifying Teacher Voice to Uncover & Address EdTech Market Gaps

The NewSchools Ignite team will engage the audience to participate in a market research focus group on instructional pain points they have in the classroom and how edtech can play a role in addressing them. We’ll share what we’ve learned as we’ve invested in edtech market gaps and our ventures have undergone usability and/or feasibility testing with students and teachers. We’ll invite educators to help us influence the edtech market to best meet the needs of students and their teachers.

  • Esther Trioche, NewSchools Venture Fund
  • Tonika Cheek Clayton, NewSchools Venture Fund
  • Cameron White, NewSchools Venture Fund
  • John Terada, NewSchools Venture Fund
  • Eva Gonda Green, NewSchools Venture Fund

Bottom Up Strategy to Implement ESSA in New Mexico
The session will address the actions that communities in New Mexico have taken to harness the demand for change in public education. The strategy to implement the ESSA was done through an assets lens by incorporating community voice, cutting-edge practice, and policy expertise to develop the blueprint. The presenters will describe the process and methods used to engage a wide variety of community members and policy experts to shape a new direction for the state.

  • Tony Monfiletto, New Mexico Center for School Leadership
  • Angelo Gonzales, Mission Graduate
  • Javier Martinez, Partnership for Community Action (PCA)

Blended Learning for Secondary Students: How Four Districts are Increasing Student Outcomes
Join us for a panel discussion, moderated by blended learning expert Michael Horn, featuring four districts who have implemented successful blended learning programs for middle school and high school. Learn about implementation successes and failures, and what has and hasn’t worked through real-life examples. Districts looking to launch a new blended learning program or those taking it to the next level will hear new ideas and approaches with proven efficacy on how to maximize student outcomes.

  • Michael Horn, Author of Disrupting Class and Blended
  • Kim Loomis, Clark County School District
  • Janice Manfred, Boston Public Schools
  • Leeann Schubert, Baltimore County Public Schools
  • Ryan Imbriale, Baltimore County Public Schools
  • Betsy Hardy, Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES

Diffusing Innovation: Beyond Pockets of Excellence
How might we accelerate the spread of promising practices in our classrooms and school communities? While innovative research, policies and technologies have the potential to transform learning for all students and close the achievement gap, many of these are not sticking or spreading beyond a few pockets of excellence. In this session, participants will learn about emerging approaches that engage educators in translating promising ideas into meaningful action. 

  • Zoe Stemm-Calderon, Raikes Foundation
  • Helayne Jones, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Katherine Casey, Denver Public Schools
  • Michelle King, The Environmental Charter School
  • Masa Uzicanin, Sevenzo

T5-A Teen’s Totally Techy Teacher Tools
Want to hear from a middle school student about Web 2.0 tools that kids love? Then this session is for you! Come hear about the latest and greatest tech tools and specifics on how to embed them into your lessons. Bring your laptop and questions, and I’ll walk you through over 25 applications plus even more instructional examples. Examples range from project-based learning, flipped and blended lesson inclusions, passion projects, and some of the most awesome and crazy good tech tools in the world!

  • Brooke Berry, Eminence Independent Schools (Student)
  • Buddy Berry, Eminence Independent Schools 

The Future of Curriculum and Instructional Tools
Members of the Gates Foundation will share some of the key work happening in the field to increase the availability of high-quality, Common Core-aligned curriculum materials, and increase the reliable market information about the quality of curriculum offerings. In a lively panel discussion, we’ll discuss the future vision of curriculum.

  • Henry Hipps, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

We hope to see you at the iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium held in San Antonio, Texas on October 25-28, 2016Register here today, and please contact us with any questions.

Other Useful Links:

About the iNACOL Symposium


The iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium is the premier learning conference for those advancing powerful, personalized, learner-centered experiences and shaping the future of K-12 competency-based, blended and online learning. On October 25-28, iNACOL’s annual conference will bring together more than 3,400 experts and educational leaders exploring the leading edge of powerful, personalized learning in K-12 education from across the United States and around the world, including leading practitioners and educators, policymakers, researchers and innovators from throughout the field. Attendees will find invaluable networking opportunities; access to expertise, analysis, the latest trends and research; and thought-provoking interactive sessions for leaders shaping the future of education. The Symposium includes more than 200 engaging interactive sessions, with tags to guide attendees toward highly relevant professional learning opportunities. Learn more on the iNACOL Symposium website.

About iNACOL

The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to catalyze the transformation of K-12 education policy and practice to advance powerful, personalized, learner-centered experiences through competency-based, blended and online learning. iNACOL is a non-profit organization focusing on research, developing policy for student-centered education to ensure equity and access, developing quality standards for emerging learning models using competency-based, blended and online education, and supporting the ongoing professional development of classroom, school, and district leaders for new learning models.  Visit our website, like us on Facebookconnect with us on LinkedIn and follow us on Twitter.

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