Creating Schools That Work For Kids
Schools have traditionally been designed to work well for adults, but the conventional school design hasn't always served our learners. Students today need to be empowered to take ownership of their learning in relevant and meaningful ways to prepare them for a constantly evolving world. This session will explore how to cultivate shared ownership, respect, and trust, creating a school learning culture that student’s value and to which they want to belong in the digital age. Attendees will be exposed to a variety of successful strategies and initiatives implemented at schools with a focus on the purposeful integration of technology, a redefinition of learning spaces, personalized learning, and the whole child.
Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times
The educational landscape is changing as a result of continuous advances in technology and a changing learner. As a result educators must recognize this shift, anticipate needed changes, and lead by example in order to meet the diverse needs of key stakeholders in the 21st Century. Attendees will learn how to harness the power of digital tools and social media accessible today to improve communications, enhance public relations, establish a brand presence, increase student engagement, transform learning spaces, discover opportunity, and grow professionally like never before.
Digital Learning Across the Curriculum
Learning today should unleash the creativity of our students and prepare them with essential skills sets for success in a digital world. Attendees will discover how to seize the opportunity inherent in ubiquitous connectivity, an evolving real-time Web, open-source technology, mobile devices and personalization to integrate digital learning across the curriculum. Eric Sheninger will address how to create a teaching and learning culture that integrates social media, OpenCourseWare, student-owned devices, the flipped instructional model and other digital learning pathways to create schools that students want to be a part of.
Turn the Battleship on a Dime: Keys to Initiating Sustainable Change
Educational change is often perceived as a difficult process fraught with competing ideas that rarely take hold. This session will tackle the issue of initiating cultural school change that is embraced, sustained and celebrated. Eric will address common obstacles to the change process and highlight strategies to overcome them. Examples will be shared that emphasize how one school has moved beyond change to transform the teaching and learning culture in a way that lasts.
Culture Shock: Transitioning to a Better School Culture
School culture describes the environment that impacts the behavior of students, teachers and parents. This environment is created through a combination of changes, which ultimately influences student success. This session will address specific initiatives, programs and strategies that can be implemented to improve school culture in ways that better meet the academic, social, and emotional well being of students. Eric Sheninger will share successful steps taken to improve a school culture that sets students and staff on a path to success. Examples such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), creating a makerspace, grading reform, AP program overhaul, social media integration, an embedded model of professional growth, and others will be shared and analyzed for impact.
The Power of Personal Learning Networks (PLN’s)
Personal Learning Networks (PLN’s) have been around for centuries and can be defined as relationships that individuals leverage for learning. Attendees will learn how 21st Century educators can utilize the Internet and Web 2.0 tools (microblogging services, social networking websites, social bookmarking tools, RSS feed readers digital forums) to create their PLN’s and customize their “always-on” learning networks to better prepare and understand the Common Core Standards, college & career readiness, technology integration, engaging learners and effective leadership strategies.
Educational Options for a Changing World
One of the many challenges that school leaders face is ensuring that all students are college and career ready. The key to overcoming this challenge is to make learning relevant and meaningful to our students. This session will focus on New Milford High School's journey to radically transform the learning culture through the formation of our own Academies. They represent a bold new direction for education, one that considers student interest, national need and global demand for highly qualified graduates capable of competing at the most challenging levels. Participants will learn firsthand how we have created and sustained our own Academy structure and be provided with the tools to create their own in a cost-effective manner.