Symposium 2017 Highlights

View highlights of the iNACOL Symposium 2017 held in Orlando, Florida. Revisit keynote presentations and discover resources you may have missed.

Keynote Presentations

Opening Keynote
Personalized, Learner-Centered Innovations to Transform Lives and Communities
Kara Bobroff, Native American Community Academy
Diane Tavenner, Summit Public Schools
Bror Saxberg, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Today, an increasing number of innovative educators are designing learning models using personalized approaches to advance equity, to provide access to educational opportunities and rich cultural experiences and to redouble efforts to examine quality to dramatically improve student outcomes for success in college, career and life. These learning designers are drawing from research and the learning sciences to create next generation learning models that better meet all students’ needs and maximize each student’s full potential.

Education leaders are creating expanded learning opportunities that extend beyond school walls, increasing student agency and supports, offering community-based and experiential learning with increased student agency in the shift to personalization. Performance-based assessments, which are personalized and rigorous alternatives to standardized testing, help teachers and students build on individual strengths, develop a growth mindset, and cultivate skills to foster more equitable learning outcomes within competency-based learning systems.

This session follows a TED-talk format, where three extraordinary leaders provide short, powerful talks exploring their journeys and reflecting on how they shifted toward personalized learning, focusing on evidence for how students learn best.

Kara Bobroff (Navajo/Lakota) shares how NACA is implementing a holistic and culturally relevant student-centered, community-based model, as her work in New Mexico is becoming a beacon for new models globally.

Diane Tavenner reflects on her journey of implementing a new, personalized breakthrough model to advance equity, access and quality.

Bror Saxberg explores the latest research from the learning sciences and its impact on the future of education, teaching and learning.

Tuesday Luncheon Keynote
Learning by Design: Breakthrough Models for Empowering Youth and Innovating for Educational Excellence
Caroline Hill, CityBridge Foundation
Jordan Tinney, Surrey Schools
Harvey Chism, South Bronx Community Charter High School

Transforming to a learner-centered culture and leading change are key to innovating teaching and learning, building the capacity and professionalism of educators, and advancing student success. The design of new personalized learning models is educator-driven and designed to address equity and excellence, nurturing the growth mindset to focus on the talents and potential inherent in all children.

Embedded in the design of these new models is innovation for equity — where systems advance important innovations and consistently embody a culture of continuous improvement — focused on assessing holistic student needs, developing teaching practices to meet those needs, and evaluating the impact of new practices. These new designs focus intentionally on equity, personalizing learning to students’ individual needs, and embrace expansive measures of student success. Leaders and educators are working together through adaptive leadership styles that ensure a culture of growth mindset, create a collective community of innovative practice within the educator workforce, and provide quality professional learning for teachers each day.

In this TED-talk style keynote, three internationally and nationally renowned practitioners give short, powerful talks to share their unique perspectives on equity, access and quality throughout the change process. Discover the story of their journeys into the heart of school transformation efforts to personalized, breakthrough system models that advance success for all youth.

Caroline Hill shares her experiences in advancing education innovations for equity and building capacity for designing personalized, breakthrough models. Jordan Tinney speaks on how he has approached leading change, building capacity, and developing a culture of learning through his “Learning by Design” framework. Harvey Chism shares his insights in advancing student-centered, competency-based education innovations. This session concludes with a facilitated panel discussion to spark further conversation and leadership insights, focusing on equity, access, quality, and excellence for all students.

Wednesday Morning Keynote:
Leading Systems Change toward Student-Centered Learning
Rose Colby, Competency Education Specialist
Paul Leather, Center for Innovation in Education
Yvonne Armenia, University of California Berkeley, Class of 2017

Education leaders across the country are designing the structures and architectures for new personalized learning systems to nurture and grow students’ talents while demanding quality, excellence and mastery of the highest standards. This keynote provides deep insights on the journey of two experts leading the transformation to competency education — recognizing the “long-game” needs for change for education systems over two decades — as well as a student perspective on how a student-centered, competency-based approach provided her with personalized pathways to grow, exhibit her student work based on mastery, and what it has meant for realizing success.

Rose Colby shares her pioneering work across multiple states, districts and schools to explore the central design elements of competency education systems to meet the needs of all students. Rose’s new book, published by Harvard Education Press this fall, Competency-Based Education: A New Architecture for K-12 Schooling, shares guidance on redesigning the traditional structures of K-12 education toward competency-based systems. She explores the vision of creating a new Profile of a Graduate with communities and the lessons learned from implementing competency-based grading and assessment. Crucial to the change is culture, community engagement, leadership, new skills and competencies.

New Hampshire’s move to competency education and the work on the innovative assessment models, including the Performance Assessment of Competency Education (PACE) initiative, has lifted New Hampshire as a national model for work in moving systems toward competency education. PACE is now in its third year with twenty-four districts, where educators judge and validate student learning using robust, locally-developed performance assessments, rather than relying on a single annual state exam.

In New Hampshire, Paul Leather has led decades of impactful work and systems change to support student learning. Paul’s work has led the nation through a student-centered vision for systems to support local leaders in reimagining the future of education and understanding how New Hampshire is building capacity for professional educators to implement these transformations to personalized learning. Gain insights into how New Hampshire is designing next generation accountability models and systems of assessments, developing coherence and bringing about systems change at the state level to support competency education and college and career readiness for all students.

Yvonne Armenta, a former student of Metropolitan Arts & Technology High School, shares her student perspective on how performance assessments in personalized, competency-based systems led to deeper learning and preparedness for college, career and life. She shares how her high school experiences in creating student demonstrations of work, including exhibitions, projects, and a College Portfolio Defense, were valuable and central to her success, and helped her recognize the power of her voice.

Wednesday Luncheon Keynote: Student Panel and Innovator Awards
Unleashing the Most Underutilized Resource in Education: The Learner
Facilitator: Ulcca Joshi Hansen, Education Reimagined

What do students think about transforming K-12 education toward powerful, personalized learning? How have next generation learning designs fostered their development and provided them with opportunities, leading to deeper learning and increased engagement?

Ulcca Joshi Hansen, Associate Director of National Outreach & Community Building at Education Reimagined, facilitates a
panel discussion with five inspiring learners from across the country who have experienced both traditional and learner-centered education models to hear their insights into creating environments that unleash their full potential. These students 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 experience powerful learning opportunities that prepare them for success.

Images from the Event