Wednesday, August 23, 2017

OESIS is Rolling Out Its XP Webinar Program and Listservs - A Call to Join the Network

Looking for some good PD opportunities for the upcoming school year? Are you interested in attending a conference or online learning experience that focuses not on the device but on innovative teaching and learning?

If you teach in an independent school and want to network and grow as a professional, you need to attend the Online Education Symposium for Independent Schools (OESIS) for one of their regional gatherings, such as the upcoming OESIS Boston conference on October 15-16. I'll be there this year presenting on topics such as online collaboration and student agency in the classroom.
However, if you can't attend the conference, that's ok because OESIS is introducing in September their new XP webinar program with more than 200 live sessions planned for the 2017-2018 school year. Teachers and schools can now personalize their PD needs by selecting what webinars would suit their interests and desires for growth and innovation. This September, I'll be hosting two OESIS webinars: one on gamification in a humanities class and the other on collaborating online across campuses. Schools and educators can sign up for access to the new OESIS XP webinar program by going here, and educators can submit proposals for future webinars (which includes a $200 honorarium) by going here.

In addition to the webinars, OESIS is also debuting their innovative listservs for the 2017-2018 academic year. Each listserv will be managed by at least one OESIS network leader: for instance, I will be facilitating discussion for the English teacher listserv. The purpose will be to provide a continued channel of communication after OESIS conferences and webinars, but the listserv will also serve as a platform for sharing useful content, resources, and ideas among a network language arts teachers from across the nation. Anyone can try out the listserv this month to see if it's something they'd like to subscribe to for the rest of the year, so I encourage readers to give it a try:

To learn more about (and sign up for) the listservs go here.

To sign up for OESIS XP webinars go here to learn about the various offerings.

To view the webinar schedule for September 2017 go here.

To submit a proposal for a future XP webinar go here.

To learn more about the OESIS Boston conference taking place Oct. 15-16 go here.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Be a Presenter at the LLI Southwest Conference, Hosted by The Oakridge School, February 23-24, 2018

This February, The Oakridge School plans to host its 2nd annual teaching and learning conference in partnership with the Lausanne Learning Institute. The 2018 LLI Southwest Conference offers an opportunity for educators to experience relevant, authentic PD that focuses on topics like design thinking and student centered learning. This year's theme, Making Learning Visible, highlights one of the most unique aspects of the LLI Southwest experience: the opportunity to observe Fishbowl Sessions where teachers administer lessons with real students from The Oakridge School.
This year, I'll be leading the committee that selects and organizes the conference program, a task that's caused me to reflect more deeply about the overall purpose of professional development (especially for teachers). When it comes to PD, instead of asking how I can become a better teacher, I keep returning to the reason we have schools in the first place. Schools provide spaces for learning to be celebrated and made visible for others to see both on our campuses and beyond. Therefore, the real question, for me, is how do I become a better promoter of learning both with my students and with my fellow colleagues.

This is why the fishbowls at LLI Southwest stand out against all other conference experiences: Educators can see learning in action by working together with students in classrooms. Making Learning Visible means, not only talking about best strategies, but actually witnessing the practice together. The feedback from last year's conference echoed these sentiments, and it's why I encourage anyone to make the trek to Texas this winter (...well that, and the warmer weather).

I also want to encourage readers to consider being a presenter for the upcoming event. Last year we had more than 100 presenters, representing 37 schools, from across the nation. Prospective presenters can submit a proposal for leading a 1 hr general session (without students in the room), or they can submit a lesson idea for leading a fishbowl (which is a 45 min lesson followed by a 25 min debrief without the students present). Go to the link to submit your ideas; we'll be accepting proposals until November 17, 2017.

We're excited to announce that Matt Scully and Ryan Welsh, from Providence Day School, will be giving the keynote on Friday, February 24th.  Go here to visit the conference website and learn more about this exciting opportunity. Hopefully we'll see you in Arlington this February.