PreConference Thursday

10:00 - 16:00
Stacy Stephens

Stacy Stephens

Systems and Structures to Personalize Student Learning (MS HS)

Personalized Learning, buzzword of the moment, yet stands on a deep research base and a long conceptual journey that has evolved far beyond insuring “voice and choice” for students. But how do we do this with laundry lists of standards and outcomes and content that we are expected to deliver?

We will explore systems and structures to shift ownership of outcomes from teachers to students and create learning environments that empower students to select subject matter, approach and pace of learning.  Tom Vander Ark defines student agency as, “…the capacity and the propensity to take purposeful action-the opposite of helplessness.” We can create opportunities to build student agency in the classroom through the personalization of learning and the direct involvement of students in their learning.

Key goals of the session will be for participants to understand the various phases and states of personalized learning and the skills and dispositions needed to support student directed learning in the secondary classroom.

Alfred Olivas and Maliha Iqbal


Building a Coaching Culture: It’s How You “Role!”

The relatively new interest in this collaborative approach to teaching and learning can support wonderful learning experiences for students and incredible growth for teachers.

Participants in this session will examine the many support functions, as well as the importance of trust, rapport and relationships in the role of a coach. Through role-playing scenarios and specific implementation examples, participants will apply a set of practical tools and protocols that are essential for the instructional coach.

Intended Audience : Teaching and Learning coaches, professional support staff, Teacher leader

Robert Bauer

Robert Bauer

Microsoft Teacher Academy: Ignite Learning and Collaboration for your Students

Office 365 offers an amazing suite of tools available for every teacher and student. Document collaboration is an important feature for students, but it justs scratches the surface of Office 365.  We keep the focus on how these tools allow persistent collaboration and productivity when and how it’s needed today. Web-based, platform-agnostic, shareable with distant audiences. A modern approach to communication & collaboration for all learners. Check out some of the highlights:

  • Take a deep dive into modern storytelling using Sway. Find out how why teachers say it saves time. Move into something that’s been designed just  for this decade, not the 90’s.
  • Forms for formative assessment & OneDrive for document sharing. See how Forms was custom made for education only.
  • OneNote Class Notebooks: find out why schools are turning to OneNote to liberate learning from a traditional learning management system
  • Microsoft Learning Tools to support EAL and dyslexic students on all devices. Don’t leave without watching the power of these special tools to support all students

Return home with examples that have had tremendous impact in other Office 365 schools. The tools come together to offer modern learning options for students and teachers.

We will connect all participants with the Microsoft Education Community, to make sure everyone has access to experts after the workshop ends, as well as connecting on Twitter.

Warren Apel

Warren Apel

Getting More out of Google’s G Suite

You’re at a “Google School,” sharing Docs and checking Gmail. But could you take that a step further? Together, we’ll do a deep dive into some lesser-known features of Google Drive. Everything you learn about Google’s tools will be immediately applicable to your classroom. You’ll find unexpected uses for Slides, powerful applications of Maps, and hidden features in Sheets. We’ll look at ways you can use Groups, Forms, and Sites with your students. And we’ll dig into YouTube and the Chrome browser to discover functions you never knew existed. You’ll learn some valuable software functions and technology skills, but it’s all framed in terms of classroom application for deep student thinking and meaningful learning.

Ben Sheridan

Ben Sheridan

Empowering Agency: A SeeSaw Pilot Case Study (ES)

A scalable pilot is a low stakes way to implement and receive feedback on potential new or improved programs or procedures. At NIST, we realized blogs weren’t meeting the needs of our Elementary teachers, students, and parents so we set out to find a solution that better met these needs as well as aligned with our school’s beliefs around learning. Specifically the belief that students should be empowered to seamlessly document and share their learning as well as to give and receive timely feedback on this learning. We felt a pilot would be the best way to test possible solutions in a low stakes non invasive manner.

The beauty of this session is the outcomes are twofold. Firstly, the participants will learn how to build and implement a successful pilot focusing on some essential elements aimed at empowering your staff. Secondly, participants will take a deep dive into SeeSaw learning journal to learn why we felt it met the needs of our students, teachers, and parents.

Larry Ehnert

Larry Ehnert

Learning Through Making: A Tinkering Exploration for the “Non-Design” Teacher (MS HS)

Is ‘making’ the new media for deeper learning? Maker tools allow students to engage in a type of learning where they identify their own problems and then create products and prototypes to solve the problem and build their own learning.

Come and find out more about the culture of making and why it is growing in classrooms around the world as MakerSpaces and FabLabs become part of the resources available to students. Spend the day playing, tinkering, making and exploring maker tools as provocations for how to find new, creative and innovative ways for learning?  You may come come away with the beginnings of an artefact and ideas for how you can use ‘making’ in your classrooms to deepen student learning.

This session will be an introduction to computer controlled machines that allow students and teachers to engage in learning through methods not possible a few short years ago.


  • We will have some short sessions on designing pieces using a range of manufacturing tools such as vinyl cutters, various 3D and UV printers, laser & plasma cutters and more. The processes for all these machines is very similar; so by the end of the day, you should have a basic comfort level with the tools.
  • You may get to explore our low-cost arduino microcontrollers to make simple programmable devices which can be integrated into a variety of student projects.
  • We will showcase many student projects from the first year of operation of the SAS Makerspace and discuss ideas to take back about what students could make in their own classrooms.

Amy Foley & James Linzel

Innovation Institute: Implementing Transdisciplinary Project-Based Learning (MS/HS/Admin)

Do you – or your students – ever wish that learning in school was more engaging and authentic? Do you question whether students are developing the skills they need to flourish in today’s world? This session will focus on one way to develop and implement a collaborative, transdisciplinary, project-based learning program that focuses on the 4 C’s (collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking) and design thinking. The session will take place in Shanghai American School’s Center for Innovation and Design, where participants will be able to observe and interact with students from the Innovation Institute (I2). During the second half of the session, participants will have the opportunity to differentiate their learning experience by choosing to either participate in a feedback protocol, further interact with I2 students, meet with subject specific Institute teachers, collaborate with other participants, or work with a team of colleagues.

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