Symposium 2016 Highlights

View highlights of the iNACOL Symposium 2016 held in San Antonio, Texas. Revisit keynote presentations and discover resources you may have missed.

Keynote Presentations

Welcome Address
A Global Perspective on Innovation for Equity and Redefining Student Success
Susan Patrick, President and CEO, iNACOL

Global education systems are focusing more and more in developing the ability of students to take control over their learning, use authentic tasks that excite students and require complex problem-solving in exploration, and connect learning to the community. Learning is lifelong and therefore reaching beyond the traditional confines of schools: “We do not learn for the school, but for life.” This educational principle is more important today than ever to prepare our students to reach their fullest potential in a fair and just society.

Opening Keynote
The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness
Todd Rose, Harvard Graduate School of Education; The Center for Individual Opportunity

In traditional K-12 education, all students are measured against the yardstick of average every day. However, research and brain science shows all people learn and develop in distinctive ways. These unique characteristics become lost in traditional school models, designed around the “average person.”

Weaving science, history, and his experiences as a high school dropout, Rose brings to life the untold story of how we came to embrace the flawed idea of “average.” He explains the key principles of individuality and demonstrates how to shift from an average-size-fits-all education system into one engineered around student individuality and talent. He proposes key concepts as a blueprint for establishing an educational system consistent with the principles of individuality that will help all students choose and get trained for a career.

Thursday Morning Keynote
Bending the Curve: Innovating Toward Excellence and Equity
Jim Shelton, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) is focused on unlocking human potential and promoting equality. Education and human development was the first initiative launched based on the belief that unlocking this aspect of human potential advances individual opportunity and is critical to enabling humanity to solve the world’s most complex problems—the ones we have today, and those yet unknown.

Globally, education and training continue to be the most reliable paths to prosperity and stability. Yet, we know that as humans we are “about” and capable of much more than mastering academic and professional knowledge and skills. While this is a laudable goal, it is inadequate. We must have a much higher and broader definition of success for everyone.

However, new aspirations are meaningless unless we have the knowledge, skill and will to achieve them. How do we rapidly accelerate the pace at which we learn about learning? How do we translate these into new strategies, tools and resources that learners and educators can use to change their lives? How do we ensure the users, practitioners and decision makers know how to choose and use the best of these new solutions? How do we create an ecosystem that rewards what works and constantly demands and then supports each solution to keep getting better? How can we empower the learner and the teacher allowing them to pursue their aspirations and own their learning? How do we change what we all believe is possible?

This will be a long journey with many winding paths and dead ends leaving the final question—what are we willing to do?

Thursday Luncheon Keynote: Student Panel and Innovator Awards
The Leaders of Tomorrow: Illuminating Student Voices
Facilitator: Andrew Brennen, Student Voice

What do students think about transforming K-12 education toward personalized learning? How has next generation learning impacted their learning experiences, growth and development?

This keynote panel features the leaders of tomorrow—students from diverse backgrounds, immersed in next generation learning models, who will share their perspectives on shifting toward student-centered approaches to learning. In a provocative, unfiltered and honest conversation, students provide first-hand accounts of what it’s like to reimagine their own education and illuminate their own paths forward.

Images from the Event