Develop your own strategies for supporting student movements through a mixture of authentic experiences and practice scenarios across classroom and community. (Additional focus on students of color and high need students)
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).
We know that students learn best when they seek answers to their own questions, but what happens when they aren’t sure what those questions are? How might we empower students not only to follow their passions but to discover them as well? Let's discuss.
What is the legacy of the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) and the educators who are most closely associated with it, including but not limited to Ted Sizer and Deborah Meier? This conversation is for those who want to add their voices to the effort to understand CES’s powerful impact.
Teaching in transformative ways requires a robust support network for teachers and a new vision of leadership. At the Workshop School, we call on teachers to shape the school’s mission, curriculum, assessment system, PD, and more. Our model presents challenges as well as exciting opportunities for growth and innovation.
What would it look like to use engineering as a catalyst to change your school’s physical environment and culture? This conversation will be moderated by SLA's resident engineers who have recently rebuilt the SLA engineering program as a centerpiece to school wide tinkering, making, and creative solution-finding.
Over the last few years, awareness of student data privacy and information security within educational technology has grown. While significant improvements have been made, no one feels that the job is done, or that the issue will recede into the background. This session pulls together four distinct perspectives on best practice and experiences ensuring that good educational technology use is grounded in an awareness of student privacy needs.
How can we ensure our school culture welcomes our students’ racial, ethnic, and cultural identities?
This conversation will center on environmental cues in our school cultures that trigger, perpetuate, and rely upon stereotypes of the identities of our culturally and linguistically students. We will dialogue how we can combat stereotypes and negative value messaging by intentionally fostering inclusive cultures for all of our students.
Participants will discuss the online lives of teens and how schools can help students navigate this world. Students from SLA Beeber will be present to give their perspective.
Talk with the new Chief Academic Officer of Philadelphia about the challenges and opportunities facing Philadelphia education. This session is both an opportunity to listen to Mr. Hackney's ideas and give critical feedback as Mr. Hackney begins his tenure as CAO of this city.
Teachers from SLA@Beeber will share their real experiences developing and implementing project-based learning experiences with students. Students will be present to discuss their perspective with these experiences.
The Course of True Mastery Never Did Run Smooth: What Measuring It Looks Like in Humanities Classrooms
In humanities courses, teaching skills with an eye toward student mastery can be a tricky endeavor. What does it mean to measure mastery in reading and writing, when these skills overlap to such a degree that they can’t be isolated from each other? How can the measuring ever be authentic?
Have you ever wondered, "What is going on inside their heads? Why do they put themselves at risk when they understand and know the consequences involved? Why aren't they focused? How can I motivate them?" This conversation will explore brain research to understand how changes in the adolescent brain impact their decisions and what interventions can be taken to help teens develop a healthy mind while and boost their learning.
Language is messy and imperfect, perhaps especially so in education. In this conversation, we'll explore words that are commonly used in educational circles. Where do they come from? What assumptions do we make about their meaning that might not be shared by others? How does their use impact students?
How is a conversation about your education a conversation without you? What are the benefits of having a student led IEP meeting where the students actually ask for what they need and what they want? How will this change compliance and implementation?
Everyone is a math person, until we train it out of them in school. In this session, we will debunk 4 dangerous math myths and explore ways to build a school culture of problem solving and innovative thinking through the common language of math.
A conversation about healthy advisory programs in functioning school communities
This session will explore the underlying beliefs that have made Edcamp such a phenomenon and highlight ways to embrace participatory leadership, solve tough problems, and ultimately, change school from a community of learners to a community that learns.
an investigative conversation centered on an interdisciplinary project between English 3, US. History and Intermediate Media Studies to develop topic driven new media resources. Students and teachers will discuss the process and experience of the project and share existing artifacts.
If extended, self-propelled, challenging learning experiences are critical preparation for life, what do we mean by "preparation"? How can we know whether students have learned how to learn--enough to thrive in the next stage of their education? How can we help them document and demonstrate their readiness?
Presenters will discuss the writing of original high school curricula grounded in inquiry and PBL. Participants will learn effective project design and assessment and view examples of student work created in high school subjects. Students from Philadelphia Performing Arts… will participate in the conversation. Participants can contribute ideas and practices.
When it comes to teaching, being able to quickly understand whether or not students are learning—and then adjusting practice accordingly—is crucial to the profession. So how can educators co-opt “Lean Startup” methods, with series of rapid testing processes designed to test and scale businesses popularized by Eric Ries—to design the best possible classroom? This conversation will follow a step-by-step process to demonstrate how educators can turn classrooms into hotbeds of experimentation.
New initiatives can inspire and burden teachers. When we try to do what’s best for students, do we lose sight of what’s best for teachers? We will introduce our district’s Innovation Incubator group, explain how it empowers teachers, and pose questions about what’s next.
Students, educators, and partners from The U School, a Philadelphia high school in its 2nd year, will share work we have done to design our spaces, systems, and curriculum to support students in an asynchronous, competency-based learning model. Participants will engage in a discussion of the implications of our design.
Creating a pop-up book is a STEAM project that allows students to think spatially, engineer complex paper mechanisms, and express their own creativity! In this conversation we will discuss the student experience in Pop Up Design, a maker education course offered at the NYC iSchool and help participants make their own pop up cards!
Join Chris Lehmann and Zac Chase in an examination of key theses from their book - Building School 2.0: Creating the Schools We Need. The discussion will center around how participants can return to their places of learning to begin the shift to a more modern education.
What happens when learning at school is more like working at a startup? Let's get together, talk about, and build out ideas around how to leverage the creativity and the experiences of young people to help them solve problems they are genuinely connected to and passionate about.
During the session, participants will investigate street art's potential as a viable and powerful teaching and learning tool. The presenter will model activities and a SCRATCH game using street art that increase engagement, integrate the arts and move students to experience the 5C's particularly Communities, Culture and Connections. The purpose of the session is: - to provide authentic material and instructional strategies using street art - to share lessons designed collaboratively with Chilean educators and artists - to promote arts integration in the world language classroom - to elevate appreciation of street art not only for its aesthetics, but its cultural value
Join us for a conversation about the #GoOpen initiative with the US Department of Education. More information here: tech.ed.gov/open-education
Join some of the founders--staff and students--of a pioneering public school that has been celebrated by President Obama for a discussion on the value of school culture. We will discuss the unique impact of the 9-14 public-private partnership school model that raises expectations for underrepresented youth by preparing them for careers in the tech industry. Also, we will share ideas for how to improve school culture through external partnerships.
We'll use participant’s conference experiences as a jumping off point to explore current mission-driven successes and challenges in their own schools. Using "How might we" and "What if" questions and peer-to-peer feedback, participants will uncover new possibilities for better addressing Educon themes in their schools.
Inquiry requires students to consult sources, but those sources often assume that audiences have background knowledge that not all students possess. This session will help educators be conscious of the tools that they use to fill in background knowledge and plan strategies to help students build those tools for themselves.
How about an Educon for university educators? Educon mainly serves the K-12 community, but its educational principles apply at all levels. Let's consider making an "Educon U." for university educators and if it makes sense to plan one (next year?).
In a follow-up to "Empowering Critical Relationships with Media" (Educon '14, '15), this conversation opens up a dialogue with a diverse panel of students from SLA regarding the media they consume and find influential. Hearing from this group of active media consumers will help teachers develop engaging educational approaches and materials with, rather than, for their students.
Generation Z: Born after the late 90s. Today’s K-12 learners. Do we really know this generation and their learning needs and preferences? What are our adult assumptions regarding their identity, privacy, social media addiction, online danger, bullying, digital inequity and digital literacy? Let’s have a conversation about today’s generation.
When visitors come to SLA, our tools of the trade get lots of attention, from our school-wide rubric to our peer observation forms to our student surveys. Come learn about our design process and workshop your own ideas to create effective tools for both classroom and administrative purposes. Conversation participates will be invited (but not required) to actually build an online tool that they will take back to their school. Copious examples will also be shared during the session for reference.
With many years of hype behind us around the value of personal networks/networking, this conservations aims to uncover the realities of social networking in teaching, learning, and professional development. Is the PLN dead? Or, do we need to reimagine the role of networks in education?
These days, many agree that it's time to talk about Race with our students; however, professionals rarely learn how to effectively do so. In this session, teachers will not only learn time-tested dialogic techniques, but will discuss how to navigate the minefield of Race when things go "wrong."
We are in the middle of a Design Year for Science Leadership Academy Middle School. What makes Middle Schools great? What makes SLA great?
How can we include students in conversations about using technology to transform our teaching and learning? At UMW, the new Digital Knowledge Center was designed to provide peer-based student support for digital projects, and, through this mission, to help place student voices squarely in conversations about transforming our scholarly digital practices.
Research has shown that good teachers are leaving schools, particularly in urban settings, at alarming rates. Mentorship and coaching could work to retain our best teachers, help push their practices forward, and also engage school administrators in meaningfully aiding the growth of these educators. The DEEP Practitioners Program in the School District of Philadelphia is a specialized coaching program designed to reach talented educators. Come here what we do and collaborate with us on how to take a coaching program like this back to your school or district!
The award winning PYPM (Philly Youth Poetry Movement) creates safe spaces for young people to expand their critical thinking and enhance creative expression with a focus on literacy, youth development, life skills, using poetry, and spoken word.
Each school year we begin with high hopes and plans to make our job and our lives easier or better. By the end of January, however, we as teachers are maxed out in what we can do because there are too many things pulling us in various directions. This conversation is an attempt to gain some traction in our teaching lives by reflecting upon the question of where can we make the most difference and how.
SLA students and teachers will lead an interactive workshop on inquiry and project based learning. Examples from SLA will be used to spark larger discussions about pedagogical strategies and challenges.
How do you bring the most innovative teachers in a school district together to network with experts in education, industry, and technology to shift instructional practice? You Create Something Great! Join the conversation about a think tank that ignited passion and enthusiasm for innovation with teaching and learning.
The easy part is recognizing 21st century schools need to change. The hard part is convincing people to give up familiar routines and practices. In this conversation, we will explore ways of enhancing the positive elements of a school culture needed to encourage risk taking and outside the box thinking.
A focus on STEM has helped push making into schools. However, learning by making is not limited to one subset of academic fields. Extending the acronym to include arts and/or humanities is not enough. This conversation will focus on situating making in schools using cross-curricular values rather than disciplines.
The relevancy of social studies education has been justified in terms of its specific content and its role in promoting literacy skills. However, as schools embrace STEM focuses, what challenges and opportunities are presented for practitioners of social studies education?
We are on a mission to upend traditional education from teacher driven instruction to student driven learning. Potent evidence has exposed the former model as a failure, yet most public and independent schools still cling to it. Working within the current paradigm, we attempt to influence one heart at a time.
We all want our classrooms to be safe havens where imaginative risks are celebrated. We all want our students to be deeply invested in their peers. We all want to build confident writers and speakers. Join Cait Miner, Philly Youth Poetry Movement Program Director and Philadelphia Educator, for a conversation about using creative writing as a powerful tool for fostering a caring classroom community.
Learners are empowered to innovate when authentic, relevant and complex challenges give them the space of creativity. Let's have a conversation about how we can transform and elevate our classrooms by creating community partnerships to encourage the innovation we want to inspire in our learners.
This conversation will focus on understanding and teaching students in utilizing technology in classrooms. Hear from a panel of SLA sophomores speak about the use of technology, digital citizenship, trusting students, and communicating and collaborating with each other. Learn about youth views and challenge your creativity by creating a project.
Using the X-Men as a metaphorical lens for reflection on diverse leadership styles in service to a central vision, we will explore how to utilize the strengths and styles of various members of our teams in leading "missions" that accomplish the goals of the community.
Whose voices are heard in education (education reform, education technology) circles? While it might be easy to identify (and lambast) the "corporate" voices, are we truly offering and supporting diverse voices in response? Who gets to speak "for" students, for teachers, for change? How can we do better?
In this conversation we will discuss what happens when the innovations don’t succeed in the way you thought they would. Join Erin Klein and Brett Clark as we discuss the ups and downs of innovation. During the down times how do you retain buy-in, rebuild trust, and move forward?
The Workshop School takes a unique approach to education by focusing on project-based learning, real world application, and compassion for students. In this conversation, students in their second year at The Workshop School explore why this approach works.
What's the real "Ferguson Effect" on schools? Are we any better at creating learning opportunities for racial justice now than we were before Black Lives Matter? What have we added to the curriculum? Join us to consider how a focus on racial justice is changing what and how we teach.
What does it mean to educate the WHOLE child? How do we empower students to grow up with purpose, empathy, and agency? What collaborations and partnerships are critical for success? School leaders from three Ashoka Changemaker Schools will share how they are empowering whole children and whole communities, and equip participants to do the same.
Math can be a polarizing subject for students. By the time they reach middle and high school courses, many students, particularly students of marginalized populations, have decided that they “just aren’t good at math”. Shifting the emphasis from product to process and exploring the value of wrongness in the classroom can encourage students to bring their existing understandings into the classroom to provide a richer experience for all students. We see this shift in mindset as crucial to any math classroom, and we bring perspectives from SLA and Masterman to explore this concept.This conversation will focus on the learning processes of student teachers and their mentor teachers, utilizing projects to emphasize both process and final product, and being able to adjust the trajectory of curricula based on the varying comprehensions that students bring into the classroom.
What is it about filtering that instantly raises blood pressure? The law is clear, or is it. Everyone has an opinion, few have solutions. I prefer teaching consequences of actions over blocking globally. Is there a happy (reasonable) medium. Come be part of THAT conversation.
Creativity, ownership, collaboration, craftsmanship, problem solving, persistence, communication, citizenship, purpose. These qualities are critical to our students’ long-term success. And they are completely ignored in policy conversations about school quality. How can we develop tools, routines, and technologies that address this disconnect?
As more women prepare to graduate college with degrees in STEM fields, there is an increased need for career mentorship and leadership for women. This conversation will address ways to nurture confidence and leadership in girls interested in STEM as early as elementary school to maintain and motivate their interests.
Ed/EdTech revolutions are starting in many ways and places, but are challenging to sustain. We'll share victories and challenges from one K12 battlefield and discuss ideas and strategies for maintaining forward progress and your own sanity.
Reforming, reimagining, re-visioning, recreating and refreshing schools are difficult work. There are no short cuts, there are no switches to flip it is just a long term commitment to fundamentally shift the focus of a community of learners. At times this can feel like winning the championship game and at times it can feel like a building full of people all trying to quit smoking all at once. This is not work for the faint of heart. Join me to talk about all the possibilities for long-term, sustainable and modern approaches to educational reform.
What do you believe is the purpose of school? Your role as an educator? We believe a significant piece of both revolves around social justice teaching and learning. Preparing students to be active and engaged citizens requires having difficult conversations and exploring challenging topics. Together we’ll explore the possibilities across K-12.
The Student Assistant Teaching (SAT) Program is a chance for Senior SLA students to work with 9th and 10th (and sometimes 11th) grade students in SLA classrooms. SLA teachers serve as co-operating teachers. Seniors have elected into this program and presumably have an interest in teaching and learning. This is a great way for Seniors to take leadership, serve as role models to, and connect with underclassmen in myriad ways and to enrich and support their classroom experiences.
What if we didn’t measure student success in grades, but rather the depth and duration of good they create in the world? What if we placed “impact” at the forefront of conversations about students’ abilities and potential? This conversation is for anyone who is tired of pretending, playacting, and performing safe solutions. For anyone who is ready to give up the security of classroom-based projects, experiments, and simulations in pursuit of deeper purposes. This is a conversation for anyone who believes in our students’ capacity to shape our world for the better, and our ability to assess impact, not abstractions.