Extended Sessions

Select one for Friday & one for Saturday
Tanya LeClair- The New Mixtape:Classroom Curation in the Age of Unlimited Information

Tanya LeClair- The New Mixtape:Classroom Curation in the Age of Unlimited Information

Upper Elementary, Middle & High School

“If you read the Internet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it would take you 57,000 years to reach the end. You could bind the pages in a 10,000-foot-tall book weighing 1.2 billion pounds.

If the Ancient Babylonians had started printing the Internet in 1800 BC, they’d be done right about now.” – OpenColleges

In today’s media landscape, people have access to more information than ever before. Mitchell Kapor once stated that “getting information from the internet is like taking a drink from a firehose.”

Due to this abundance of information, and the tools we have at our disposal, we are all curators in some way. We curate to share our identity with others online, and we curate to support our interests. It’s important to talk about how we curate, why we curate, and how we can take those skills and transfer them to the classroom.

In this session, we will:

  • Explore how we curate in our personal and professional lives
  • Learn how we can encourage students to become better evaluators, researchers, organizers, and story-tellers with the information they find online
  • Participate in several small curation activities designed to get you thinking about the process of curation for different purposes
  • Develop some practical curation strategies
  • Take away some awesome tools for the classroom that you can use right away

Louisa Radford – The Art of Teaching Humans: Pioneering a personal and social education

Middle and High School Audience

Students in an international setting are both blessed with extraordinary opportunities, but also face unique challenges which require specific support. In a multicultural environment with a diverse student body, that support will look different for each student. How can we make sure we are meeting the needs of each individual, and not alienating them with a broad spectrum possibly irrelevant programme?

More and more we are seeing social proficiencies cropping up as the skills and qualities that the job market and universities are looking for, above and beyond academic achievement. However teaching and nurturing these qualities does not always take priority within a school’s busy programme.

On top of this, the type and level of stress that our teenagers are experiencing is changing. The teen experience today involves coexisting in two places simultaneously: the real world and their extensive virtual online networks. As educators we need to be asking how can we support them in managing this duality, especially considering that a large proportion of their online world is not visible to us. And secondly, in a world where we tell our students that their jobs for tomorrow are unknown, we need to ask ourselves ‘what are we doing today to help them cope with ambiguity’?

This session will look beyond the general culture of the school and focus on transforming Personal and Social Education into an effective and invaluable part of the learning programme.

Learning outcomes:

To identify and prioritise leverage points where change will have the biggest impact on student wellbeing and resilience.

To adapt a range of strategies and protocols for supporting personal and social learning for students so that they are applicable to your context.

To analyze the skills necessary for staff delivering a ‘future-ready’ PSE program.

Geoff Derry - Create your own reality : (Students) Creating AR and VR in the classroom

Geoff Derry - Create your own reality : (Students) Creating AR and VR in the classroom

Whole School

AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) are some of the latest buzzwords in IT and education. Who doesn’t love 360 videos, Google Cardboard and playing Pokemon Go? In this session I want to move the learning paradigm from consumption to creation. Consumption is great, Google expeditions are fantastic, but I want to take these tools to the next level in the classroom. I want my students creating their own VR and AR experiences and sharing their learning in new and innovative ways. This session will be hands-on, exploring ways to use AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) in any classroom.

Session participants will have plenty of time to explore AR and VR experiences while creating their own VR or AR experiences that they can use straight away or even better, return to their classrooms on Monday and get their students creating.

This session will be hands-on, exploring ways to use AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) in any classroom. This session will include activities for students (and adults) of all ages.

Sonya terBorg - Prioritize Play

Sonya terBorg - Prioritize Play

Elementary, Middle & High School Audience

Play is work. If you watch children play you will see they are born inquirers and have a thirst for play. How does it work? What is inside? How can I fix it? Can I take it apart? The learning that occurs through play and the skills that develop are the currency of the future: the innovation, iteration, ideas, collaboration, and creations which will create an impact. While this has long been known and embraced by early childhood educators, opportunities exist for play to permeate all levels of education. The focus of this session is the idea that schools need to build a culture of experimentation and play, coupled with a finely tuned sense of documenting and guiding student learning. That it is possible for students to learn through play and the job of the teacher is to observe, support and challenge the students to move them from where they are at in authentic contexts. This session will involve: lego, Scratch, design thinking, play, documenting learning, scaffolds for learning, rethinking learning structures and environments. You should join this session if you are interested in making room for play and are looking to develop ideas and tools for incorporating and prioritizing play into your learning space.

  • Map a means to develop a culture of experimentation
  • Trial protocols and frame your understanding of ways to maximize the use of play
  • Audit the skills involved in play-based learning
Mike Bycraft - Makerspace Nuts & Bolts: How to create, maintain and build a great design program

Mike Bycraft - Makerspace Nuts & Bolts: How to create, maintain and build a great design program

Elementary, Middle & High School Audience

You’ve heard the words makerspace. You want to help create one at your school. You’re a design expert looking to fine tune a few project based units in your classes? You want to make your good program even better. If you fit any of these descriptions, or are just curious about design, tinkering and the maker movement this is the session for you.

This session’s aim is to explore how to best utilize a makerspace K-12. We will discuss how to create a program that fosters innovation, grow and expand an existing program, and how to collaborate with other disciplines. I will present the types of classes we’ve developed, staffing needs, curriculum and standards, good tools, bad tools, safety tips, and consumables that I’ve been successful with. Our discussion will focus on using a Project Based Learning style in your makerspace to create engaging and involved lessons.

However, you can’t just talk about design. This session will feature a hands-on design challenge which will demonstrate the iterative process.  We will also build some fun starter design projects you can take back to your school and begin tinkering.

In this session participants will:

  • Discuss what are some good tools, equipment, and projects to use in a makerspace. What best helps a makerspace create safe, effective projects
  • Examine curriculum and standards to help guide instruction in your space.
  • Discuss and examine the reasoning and philosophy that guides the project based learning (PBL) mindset. We will also discuss how to use PBL to create a unit.
  • Work with a microcontroller (arduino, raspberry pi, makeymakey) to learn better how to integrate it into your design program.
Jordan Benedict - Student Curated Learning Data: putting #EdData in the hands of students to inspire their own personal learning journey

Jordan Benedict - Student Curated Learning Data: putting #EdData in the hands of students to inspire their own personal learning journey

Middle and High School Audience

When students take ownership over their own data, they have the power to shape their path.  They can witness how each step on their learning journey yields new results.  Students owning their own data can be empowered to make new data.

Participants will see how data has revolutionized the way we feel motivated and inspired to promote change in our own lives

Participants will learn about student-curated data and the potential strengths and pitfalls of following this practice

Participants will learn strategies to make the shift towards student-curated data and what components/apps support student centered learning with data


  • Understand how personalized data informs and inspires individuals in the 21st century
  • See examples of how student-curated data can have a positive effect on student learning journeys
  • Collaborate with peers and create a custom student data portfolio that they can take back and use/build with their own students
Nicki Hambleton - Unlocking the secret strengths of learners: creating the space and conditions so everyone can shine

Nicki Hambleton - Unlocking the secret strengths of learners: creating the space and conditions so everyone can shine

Elementary, Middle & High School Audience

Tap into the hidden potential of all learners to create ongoing, caring and collaborative spaces for all to be included and heard. This session puts the “person” back into personalising learning to redefine participation through active learning.

Drawing from Susan Cain’s Quiet Revolution and Spencer and Juliani’s “Empower” we will:

  • Identify and respect the multiple ways learners feel comfortable expressing themselves in a variety of settings.
  • Build a practical toolkit of strategies to include and encourage all learners in the process of learning
  • Develop an action plan to support inclusion and empowerment of all learners schoolwide
Emily Sliman: Desmos! Explore, Do and Design Mathematics Experiences

Emily Sliman: Desmos! Explore, Do and Design Mathematics Experiences

"MS & HS instructional coaches, tech coaches, and math teachers"

Mathematics classrooms remain traditionally the most resistant to change. While other disciplines are successfully incorporating the skills of creativity, critical thinking and communication, into their classes, math lessons often continue to focus on having students learn algorithms to solve pre-defined questions. Too often, we hear math teachers say, “I don’t have enough time for my students to think” or “I can’t get through my curriculum and have students explore.”  

Enough is enough.  It is time to flip mathematics pedagogy to give students voice and choice in the classroom. Math should be fun and engaging. It should give students opportunities to explore and think creatively. In this session, we will examine ways to overcome the traditional roadblocks to changing mathematics education. As a learner in this session, you will be doing mathematics throughout.  We will engage in different math tasks from a student perspective. To help us achieve our goals, we will be using Desmos, a powerful online graphing tool.  There will be individual activities for learning, some for data collection, others for collaboration. You will design your own activities and return to your school energized and excited to teach math.

These strategies create classroom experiences where students work as individuals or in pairs to explore mathematics.  Teachers can monitor individual student responses, control the pacing and offer live feedback. In this extended session, teachers will be able to explore using Desmos along with a variety of thinking routines and innovative pedagogy to create modern, relevant, engaging math classrooms.

Gary Gray - Keeping it Real with an Authentic Audience

Gary Gray - Keeping it Real with an Authentic Audience

How often have we introduced an assignment with “What I want you to do for me is…”? I know I’m certainly guilty! This language conveys that the student should do for the teacher. In a world where authentic experiences are more accessible than ever, students have a chance to take advantage of this easy access, and teachers can make this happen by being the facilitator.

This session will help teachers renevision their roles in the classroom. Rather than act as the sole audience and assessor, teachers can become a facilitator that helps students identify their own purpose and most relevant audience. To accomplish this, we will examine how to ensure that the audience is a driving force of motivation for the ultimate outcome and the questions asked during our students’ learning process. In this quest to identify and target a specific audience, teachers will learn how to help students answer key questions at the onset of every unit. These include: who is the audience that needs to hear about my learning; what information can I collect; and how can I best share my learning?

Participants will also experiment with using various platforms for this work, including everything from podcasts and youtube, performance theater and hosting events, such as live museums, exhibitions and TED-inspired talks.

Session participants will need to bring a laptop or tablet, and have access to class photos, videos or student work from their classroom that they are willing to share. Participants will engage in activities as the student and the teacher. This session is for any educator looking to find purpose in their units of study, and willing to jump way outside the box to help students to develop the relevancy of their own learning

Nathaniel Atherton: Spaces to Enhance Learning

Nathaniel Atherton: Spaces to Enhance Learning

Whole School Audience

We stand upon an apex of educational change and our spaces are due to be redesigned. For the past forty years, we have seen incredible technological innovations transform the way in which we teach. Pushing learning to a digital platform has increased accessibility, provided alternatives for pacing and given students new ways to share their voice. Despite the changes in our virtual environments the past 500 years the physical environment has remained largely unchanged.

The spaces we live and learn in act upon all our senses and affect us subconsciously. We need to better understand our physical environments and their impacts so they can be leveraged for deeper learning.

Return to your school armed with a designers eye prepared to look at your teaching space through a new lens that will allow you to invigorate learning.

Angela Iagaru - Same, Same, but Different: Creating standardized courses with flexible content driven by student interest

Angela Iagaru - Same, Same, but Different: Creating standardized courses with flexible content driven by student interest

Middle and High School Audience

In our quest to offer students skill-based and common experiences across classes, we might feel like we’ve sacrificed what is engaging for what is efficient. As we collaborate to incorporate standards, analyze data, assess and reassess a skill, we might fear that the uniqueness of our course content threatens to be collapsed into the vacuum of sameness. How can we ensure that our skill-based courses are diverse enough for individual students to pursue their personal passions? And is there space for teachers to explore, create and rewrite the direction of their classes to inspire each student and ourselves?

For the last three years our English department has been working on a content-flexible framework that ensured consistency in our use of the standards and at the same time permitted teachers to introduce new exciting topics driven by student interest each year.

In this session, participants will:

  • use the 11/12 English Framework at The American School in Japan as a case-study to explore the possibilities and limitations of building flexible curriculum based on student interest.
  • get inspired! Planning dream courses, developing a vision for our own departments, and thinking about ways to achieve the same skills in different ways.
  • learn new protocols that will support curriculum planning,  discussion and implementation with your colleagues.
Tricia Friedman - The Innovation Strand: Curate for your community

Tricia Friedman - The Innovation Strand: Curate for your community


For years we’ve encouraged students to take ownership of their learning, to host their own online learning spaces, and to see creativity as a crucial component of their skills toolkit.  So what now?

Has your school helped students see online spaces as a place to spark action? Have you created learning experiences which authentically allow students to flex their fluency of ideas?

Curation with a Cause will provide time and provocations to help you dust off your digital curation tools for change. We will engage with curation as a means for facilitating action.  Come with a cause in mind, or come open-minded: this year’s Innovation Strand is for those who see education as a change-making catalyst and are looking to construct an online event for their school community. In the Spirit of Blog Action Day, or John Spencer’s famous Maker Challenges, or The Podcast Challenge 2018 we will explore approaches to curate for a cause.

Learning Objectives

Construct a learning event empowering your students and or teachers through the use of digital curation.
Investigate approaches creating powerful and memorable learning events online.
Compose an invitation to ignite creativity and inquiry across your community.

Dave Caleb - The Power of Personalized Coaching

Dave Caleb - The Power of Personalized Coaching

Whole School Audience

We often talk about personalised learning for our students and it is important to remember we should be providing personalised learning for our teacher as well. Coaches work with individuals and teams to help support them and move their learning forward. Whether your job description includes the title ‘coach,’ or not, most likely you do find yourself having coaching conversations with colleagues and students regularly.

In this session, we will:

Navigate  proven, practical approaches to support teachers, teams and your school.

Practice key learnings and rehearse strategies for success.

Construct a network and build a toolkit that continues to inspire them to challenge their practice beyond the conference.

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