Learning Institutes

Hands-On Learning Institutes
(Friday and Saturday morning – 8:00 am to 12:00 pm)

Leadership for the next half-decade

Dr. Scott McLeod

What’s going on outside of schools? Just how far ahead do leaders need to be looking? Is there even a future for the institution we know as ‘school?’ Be prepared for a morning of lively discussion about the moral, ethical, and professional obligations of administrators to upend their own thinking as well as that of their fellow educators. Also be ready for some serious pushing on your leadership models, internal policies, and pedagogical paradigms. Along the way we’ll go through some concrete activities that you can use with educators and community members back home that will help you shift thinking and begin the process of creating effective learning environments for the next, rather than the last, half-century.

Creativity, Innovation, and Building the Right Brain Student

Scott Klososky

In this workshop Scott Klososky will be presenting his unique concepts concerning what it means to be innovative and creative in this technology infused world. The Internet, and a flood of new software tools, is enabling students to approach the world in completely new ways. Creativity is not limited to art class at this point, and innovation is not just a “nice to have” skill set. The world our students will face when they enter their careers will be racing towards right brain skills as many of the left brain tasks will be taken over by intelligent software. Creativity and innovation are uniquely human skills that cannot be duplicated by technology, hence we must learn to develop these talents in our students if they are to prosper in the future. However, technology can be used as a great accelerator of innovative and creative thinking in humans because it gives us tools we have never had before, and allows us to stand on the shoulders of our predecessors in completely new ways. Through his roles as a technology entrepreneur, father, and businessman, he brings a viewpoint on these life skills that is bound to be different than the traditional educational viewpoint. At times practical, and in some cases off the wall, this session is guaranteed to help you see the world through new eyes.

***Note, Scott will be leading by example as he uses creative and innovative ideas for teaching these skills. You have been warned ;-)

Participants will take away new viewpoints on how technology can be used to teach students creativity and innovation and why those are important skills in the future workplace. Participants will also learn exercises that can be used to instill creative and innovative thinking by using laptops and the Internet. This will include leveraging concepts like Mashups, crowdsourcing, speed searching for solutions, and idea harvesting.

Your Digital Self: Web 2.0 as Personal Learning Environment (PLE)

Dr. Helen Barrett

Web 2.0 tools facilitate self-expression, reflection, online interaction and feedback. This hands-on workshop will focus on Web 2.0 tools that can be used to construct a PLE for a variety of purposes, and provide a broader look at using these tools within the context of ePortfolios and Digital Identity: Web Aggregators/AJAX Start Pages, Blogs & RSS Feeds, Social Networks, and Interactive Productivity Tools.

This workshop is about lifelong, life-wide portfolios, within the framework of digital identity.

Designing Research Projects that Kids (and Teachers) Love

Doug Johnson

Good student research projects should not only teach important information literacy skills, but they should also

  • make school more meaningful and relevant for all students,
  • help students develop higher level thinking processes and exercise creativity,
  • reduce the temptation for students to plagiarize (and download papers),
  • allow teachers to improve delivery of the content area curriculum, and
  • use new technologies in meaningful ways

This workshop offers strategies for teachers to determine the best places in the curriculum to integrate resource-based research projects, and provide examples of how technology (wikis, form creators, and digital photo sharing sites) can be a motivating factor in learning.

The workshop allows time for participants to practice revising traditional student research projects and create and use authentic assessment tools.

 Project-Based Learning

Andrew Churches

This institute will focus on project based learning and effective formative and summative assessment.

21st Century learners are different - fundamentally different, neurologically and behaviorally different. They like to learn contextually. They like to work collaboratively. They use higher order thinking skills and are deeply engaged with technology. They learn best when their learning activities are based around real time, real world tasks. They value assessments that are transparent and fair; timely and appropriate; qualitative not just quantitative; formative not just summative. 

This workshop shows how to engage 21st Century Learners using the 4 D’s approach to project based learning:

  1. Define
  2. Design
  3. Do
  4. Debrief

Using exemplars from commonly available Web 2.0 tools like wikis, social bookmarking and online presentation tools like Voicethread and Animoto, we will develop straightforward engaging units of work. Participants need to bring with them their own unit of learning to base this process on.

Andrew Churches developed the Bloom's Digital Taxonomy and will use it as a framework for unit development, higher order thinking skills and the development of assessment tools that provide simple and appropriate feedback for student growth and development.


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