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|
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.The students in the room are digging gamification with @jcolley8 and ready to ask for it at their high school. #LLI16 #oakridgeowls— Sarah Kramer (@builtamom) July 11, 2016
|"Pwning the Humanities..." | Mon., July 11th, 2016|
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:
|Jon Kellam accepting Spotlight Award|