iNACOL Symposium 2018: Driving the Transformation of Learning

The Getting Smart team is headed to Nashville—but not just because it’s the home of country music. We will be joining experts, practitioners, educators, policymakers, and researchers from all over for the iNACOL Symposium 2018. This year’s theme is “Driving the Transformation of Learning” and attendees will have access to expertise, analysis, and trends in personalized, competency-based learning.

Registration for the symposium is still open and we hope to see you there! Below is a list of sessions, workshops, and events we will be participating in:

October 21, 2018

Transforming Learning with Micro-credentials & Badges
When: 1:00 pm – 4:00 PM
Where: Room 205A

  • Jennifer Kabaker, Director of Educator Micro-credentials, Digital Promise
  • Caroline Vander Ark, President, Getting Smart
  • Megan Madel, VP of Product Management, LRNG
  • Mary Ryerse, Director of Strategic Advisory, Getting Smart
  • Tom Vander Ark, CEO, Getting Smart

What: During this interactive micro-credential and badging workshop, we’ll begin by providing an overview of personalized, competency-based learning, including highlighting schools, districts and organizations around the country as resources. We’ll be joined by organization leaders who will share how micro-credentials and badges are transforming both professional and student learning by demonstrating mastery instead of seat time.

Better Together Book Signing
When: 5:00 – 6:00 PM, during iNACOL President’s Welcome Reception
Where: Davidson Ballroom/Innovation Corner
Who: Lydia Dobyns and Tom Vander Ark

What: While you’re at the iNACOL President’s Welcome Reception grab your copy of Better Together: How to Leverage School Networks For Smarter Personalized and Project Based Learning and get it freshly signed by the authors, Lydia Dobyns and Tom Vander Ark.

October 22, 2018

Why Innovate Alone: How to Leverage School Networks for Smarter Personalized and Project Based Learning
When: 10:00 – 11:00 AM
Where: Room 106B

  • Erin Mote, Executive Director, InnovateEDU
  • Lydia Dobyns, President and CEO, New Tech Network
  • Tom Vander Ark, CEO, Getting Smart

What: Changing education is complicated. Working in networks reduces complexity, increases effectiveness and expands impact. By providing design principles, learning models, tools, and professional learning, networks play a key role in scaling high-quality learning. From informal collaborations to managed systems, networks support the transformation of a single school or an entire system. Hear from network leaders and learn how your school can leverage the power of networks to transform learning.

Scaling Competency-Based Education: Equity-Focused Strategies for Policy and Practice
When: 2:15 – 3:15 PM
Where: Room 209B

  • David Ruff, Executive Director, Great Schools Partnership
  • Michele Cahill, Managing Director and Chief Education Content & Practice Officer, XQ Institute
  • Shatoya Ward, Principal, Purdue Polytechnic High School
  • Tom Vander Ark, CEO, Getting Smart
  • Mary Ryerse, Director of Strategic Advisory, Getting Smart

What: How do we realize the promise of CBE for all students? While the field has advanced significantly in the past few years, findings from a CBE landscape analysis indicate there is still much to be done. This expert panel will focus on forward-looking opportunities for equity-focused policy for-and practice of-CBE. We will look specifically at promising school models, learning processes, student supports, teacher prep, policy, and technology developments (including the impact of AI, machine learning, and blockchain).

What’s In It For Me? Personalizing Through High-Quality Project-Based Learning
When: 4:00 – 5:00 PM
Where: Room 208B

  • Bob Lenz, Executive Director, Buck Institute for Education
  • Emily Liebtag, Director of Advocacy, Getting Smart
  • Students from The Met School

What: More and more educators around the world are engaging students in project-based learning (PBL), but not all PBL is created equal. Debate over how to design great projects has reigned supreme; however, the more important discussion is about what the student experience and outcomes as a result of PBL ought to include to be high quality. Regardless of how the educator chooses to design and facilitate a project-based experience, students ought to experience six key criteria. Therefore, a committee of over 100 educators designed the Framework for High-Quality PBL and are eager to share what they have created. This panel will feature committee members and educators already using the Framework and unpack the six criteria.

How I Know: A Data-Driven Approach to Designing Formative Assessment Practice and  Advancing Learning in Urban Districts
When: 4:00 – 5:00 PM
Where: Room 104D

  • Mary Ryerse, Director of Strategic Advisory, Getting Smart
  • Cheryl Niehaus, Program Manager, Data Driven Education, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
  • Martin Green, Director of Academic Services & Impact, Tulsa Public Schools
  • Arlena Gaynor, Director of Reading Language Arts, Dallas Independent School District
  • Katy Escandell, Administrative Supervisor of Academics, Austin Independent School District
  • Lisa Goodnow, Associate Superintendent of Academics and Social and Emotional Learning, Tulsa Public Schools

What: How are urban districts using data regarding formative assessment practice to move learning forward on a daily basis? They are designing professional learning based on current data regarding the ten dimensions of formative assessment and are committed to deep student and teacher engagement. In this interactive session, learn from practitioners about how teacher expertise data is driving personalized professional development plans that are part of a systemic approach to formative assessment.

October 23, 2018

Featured Session: Connected Cities: Creating Powerful Learning Experiences
When: 10:00 – 11:00 AM
Where: Room 104ABC

  • Phyllis Lockett, CEO, LEAP Innovations
  • Nate McClennen, Vice President of Education and Innovation, Teton Science Schools
  • Connie Yowell, CEO, LRNG
  • Tom Vander Ark, CEO, Getting Smart

What: Some of the most powerful youth learning experiences today are happening outside the classroom walls. Project-based learning, digital content, work-based learning and community partnerships are bridging home, school, work, and community to form new learning ecosystems where your city becomes the school. Facilitators will discuss how any city can become a learning ecosystem and share examples from around the country in a virtual field trip.

Network in Nashville Book Party
When: 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Where: Sambuca (601 12th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203)
What: Spend an evening in Nashville with some of the top authors in education! Tom Vander Ark, Lydia Dobyns, Julia Freeland Fisher, and Anthony Kim will come together to share their books that launched this year. Note: Registration is required to attend. You can register here.

If you can’t make it Nashville then make sure to follow along on Twitter using #iNACOL18. You can also follow us on Twitter at @Getting_Smart and Instagram at @Getting_Smart for live updates from the conference!

For more, see:

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Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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