Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Resources from Lausanne Learning Institute - July 10-12, 2016 - Memphis, TN

Lausanne Learning Institute, July 10-12, 2016, #LLI16

Last week I had the opportunity to attend one of my favorite summer conferences: the Lausanne Learning Institute in Memphis.  If you've never had the chance to go, I highly recommend LLI for the educator interested in current conversations about educational technology and student-centered learning. There's no better place to have such discussions than in a city like Memphis with its fascinating history, rich musical culture, and savory southern cuisine. For 3 years now, I've had a blast attending Lausanne, and it's exciting to hear that they'll be growing their brand as well as their reach as a professional development institute as soon as next year.
Beale Street, Saturday evening
The Oakridge School is the 2016 Spotlight School

Attending this year included the added privilege of representing the 2016 Spotlight School of the Year. The Oakridge School was recognized as "the most innovative independent school, from technology integration to student-centered curriculum" by the Lausanne Learning Institute based on its extensive review of schools across the nation. I was proud to be a part of such an impressive team of collaborative, student-centered educators: all in all, we hosted around 20 sessions at the conference on topics ranging from maker spaces to authentic learning to writing across the curricula. Below you can watch the acceptance video that was shown at the opening banquet when Jon Kellam, Headmaster of The Oakridge School, accepted the award on behalf of the school. (The video was made by Oakridge upper school students...)

Resources for the 4 Sessions I Hosted:

Over two busy days, I hosted four sessions, two with Claire Reddig, Writing Specialist at The Oakridge School, and two on my own. Day one, I facilitated a conversation titled, "Rhizomatic Learning & Disrupting School Silos." Most of what was explored in this session stems from my interactions with the #Rhizo16 community as well as my work with Joel Garza and Seth Burgess (including our "Ignite" Keynote from OESIS LA 2016). Go here to read more about my thoughts on how "Rhizomatic" thinking could provoke a radical shift in mindsets in terms of how we rethink school organization. Below, I've provided an embedded version of the Google slides (contact me if there's any questions):

Unfortunately, my first session on "Rhizomatic Learning" was not very well attended, but those of us in the room, perhaps due to the smaller size, had a great conversation. One of my administrators joked that I've got to quit putting obscure words in my session titles if I want more people to attend. That's fair advice, but esoteric word choices didn't stop people from attending my second workshop: "Pwning the Humanities: Gamification in the Classroom" (for a definition of "pwning" go here...).  One of the best parts of the session was the fact that students attended, and they weren't afraid to join the conversation and give feedback.
Although I don't have a "slide show" for the session on gamification, go here to find resources, related content, and links based on what was discussed, and again, contact me if there's questions.
"Pwning the Humanities..." | Mon., July 11th, 2016
Day two, Claire Reddig and I hosted two sessions related to writing. Our first workshop was titled "Connecting Writing with Authentic Audiences," where we facilitated a conversation on what it means to connect student writing to an authentic audience as well as what strategies we could employ to make it happen in our classrooms tomorrow. I've embedded the slide show for this session as well; feel free to take a look:

After lunch, we hosted another workshop on a similar topic, called "Writing Across the Curricula at The Oakridge School," and we were blown away by the turnout for the final session. It was standing room only, which made clear to me that this is a timelessly valuable topic: how do we integrate one of the most important, transdisciplinary skills across the departments in way that is intentional, clear, and collaborative? Much of what we shared was based on the hard work done by the Oakridge English department (and beyond) in recent years to improve the execution of writing instruction across the campus, K through 12. Below, I've supplied the slides to this one as well, and I urge anyone to take a look and give feedback:

For more resources related to the sessions I hosted at #LLI16, go to my google site, which can be found here. There's many more links and useful content to be found there.

On February 23-24, 2017, The Oakridge School is hosting the first LLI Southwest Conference!

Jon Kellam accepting Spotlight Award
Another exciting development related to last week's conference was the announcement that The Oakridge School, LLI's 2016 Spotlight School, will be hosting the first southwest regional gathering for LLI in February 2017. One of the main themes we keep returning to as we begin to plan February's conference is the idea of "Making Good Teaching Visible." With this in mind, we plan to schedule two kinds of session formats: (1) the traditional 1hr. block workshop for presentation & conversation and (2) what we're calling "fishbowl" sessions, such that the first 45mins will include a lesson with students in the room, followed by a 45min presenter-led debrief without the students in the room. We're excited about the 2nd format because it allows teachers to see each other's craft in action: it makes good teaching visible for everyone to see! We hope to have educators submit proposals for both kinds of formats, and we hope attendees and presenters come from all over the nation. Make sure you go here to submit a proposal for next February, and hopefully we'll see you in Arlington!

Submit proposals here for the 2017 LLI Southwest Conference at The Oakridge School!