Vienna Main Speaker Keynote and ELMLE talk addresses 2017

 

Presenter

Session Title

Dave F. Brown, Ed. D.

Author and Adjunct Professor at Villanova University

Keynote: Middle School—More Than a Name on a Building: Perspectives from the “Experts” – Our Students

“School, a corrupt environment filled with all sorts of pubescent adolescents, can be a living nightmare. Drama, sarcastic teachers, excessive amounts of homework, being judged, grades, balancing after-school activities, and finding yourself are just a few of the challenges of being this age. All of this is A LOT to handle.” - Carolyn, an 8th grader

 

Do you suppose Carolyn’s teachers and administrators are doing anything to help her “handle” these concerns? Maybe your building is called a “middle school”; but does your school reflect a place that addresses young adolescents’ unique developmental changes, challenges, and needs?

 

Despite our success in surviving young adolescence, our journeys are obviously not our students’. I’ll share students’ and researchers’ comments demonstrating what genuine middle level schools are supposed to look like; and how tradition frequently prevents us from delivering on the promise of a developmentally responsive middle level school.

Laurie Halse Anderson

Author

ELMLE talk: The Heartsong our Children Desperately Need to Hear

Speaking to hundreds of thousands of students in the last twenty years - and more importantly - listening to them, has taught me how hungry they are for the adults in their lives to connect with them in a spirit of integrity and joy. Join me to explore the ways teachers and students can bond through literature, and how the ancient techniques of storytelling help all of us heal and grow.

Mark Overmeyer

ELMLE talk: What if There is No Problem to Solve? Perspectives on “Problem” Students.

 

Finding the right in the “wrong”, the fascinating in the problematic: the focus of this talk will be on how our perspectives on students impact our view of teaching. If we see errors, mistakes, and failures, we seek to fix our students.  If we view some learners as having deficits, we may not see their strengths. Recognizing students first for who they are will help us gain new perspectives, and this will in turn allow our learners to grow, to become who they are meant to be.

Mike Johnston

Head of School Colegio Maya

Keynote: Going Beyond Linear to Create Better Schools and a Better World

There has never been a more important and more opportune time for schools to embrace complexity for our collective future. K-12 schools can play such a significant role in shaping what the next generations will inherit. Tackle the issues, break down those walls and let’s build the future we wish to see. Our natural tendency to try and break issues down into smaller parts may be leading us to lose valuable learning opportunities. Learning can be messy and that is ok. Look for learning beyond walls and beyond the search for the right answer. Seek multiple perspectives even if you may not like what you find. What an amazing time to be in the business of education. Lets co-create the world we wish to see in the future.

Peter Welch

Director of the International School of Helsinki

ELMLE Talk:  Working for Culturally Intelligent Schools

In this session, we will talk about how we can build school communities that are more culturally open and intelligent. We understand that this new generation of global citizens will live and work across borders in our evermore-connected world. To thrive they will need the soft skills that help get the best out of people with very different cultural norms. Yet many of our schools remain fundamentally ‘western’ in outlook, in our curriculum and the perspective of most of our educators. Rarely do our schools truly mine their richness of cultural perspectives on what life is all about. In this talk we will talk about how this paradigm can evolve in a constructive and practical manner.

Tom Daccord

Director and Co-Founder of EdTechTeacher

Keynote: What Does Awesome Look Like? How Thoughtful School Educators Plan & Implement Tech-infused Learning

Schools and districts face challenges in navigating the emerging technologies that are transforming society: new technologies create new pathways to learning and new forums for relationships among teachers, students, parents, and administrator; students bring new personal technologies that can enhance or interrupt learning routines. Technology environments -- especially mobile ones -- offer unprecedented opportunities to develop personalized, student-centered learning environments. Yet, shaping an educational technology mission and developing effective instructional and cultural practices are challenging.

We’ll examine how innovative school leaders are thinking beyond a device (or a platform) to redefine learning environments to promote conscientious innovation within new learning environments. We'll also analyze how great teachers are integrating technology in innovative ways to support student consumption, curation, creation, and connection. Attendees will walk away with a vision, a mission, a clear pedagogical framework, and a set of practices for transforming learning environments to better meet the demands of an increasingly connected and cognitively demanding world.

Vienna Main Speaker Concurrent Sessions 2017

45 Minute Sessions

Presenter

Session Title

Dave F. Brown, Ed. D.

Author and Adjunct Professor at Villanova University

Why Don’t My Students Understand This Material?

Helping Young Adolescents Move Toward Abstract Thinking and Learning

Every educator teaches certain concepts and principles each year that students just don’t understand. You plan on spending two days on this material; but instead, it takes two weeks for your students to “get it.” Does it seem that each year your students are even less academically prepared than the year before? Most young adolescents are in the third—concrete operational thought—of four stages of cognitive growth. Most adults haven’t even reached the fourth stage—called formal operational thought—so neither have most of your students!

 

Young adolescents need specific instructional strategies to help them move into formal operational thought—and “rigor” (whatever that means) has absolutely nothing to do with helping them get there. Attend this session to receive numerous strategies to help your students better learn those abstract concepts and principles, and in the process, grow cognitively.

Note: this session will be offered twice during the conference

Laurie Halse Anderson

Author

Speaking Up for YA Fiction

The old-school literary canon has been pushed overboard, and it’s about time. Learn how the “Great Books” of earlier ages became the classroom standards, why there is still resistance to using YA fiction in classrooms, and why it’s OK to let the classics gather dust on the shelves.

Revision Revolution: Strategies for Strength

Bring your biggest revision challenges to this workshop. I’ll share all the tools in my tool belt that will help you and your students identify writing weaknesses, assess the problems on the page, craft strategies for improvement, and celebrate success.

Mark Overmeyer

Perspectives on Talk in the Middle School Classroom

 

In this interactive session, teachers will gain insights into how to frame language in the classroom to increase student independence, engagement, and achievement.

Note: this session will be offered twice during the conference

Mike Johnston

Head of School Colegio Maya

Understanding change, perspectives and mental models

How do you ensure long lasting sustainable change? Why do some great ideas seem so difficult to diffuse? Have you ever had an initiative fade away and you are not sure why? Not sure where to start in implementing a great idea? Change is a state of being in schools that thrive. Understanding perspectives and mental models will not only deepen the learning but also support change efforts immensely. Come learn together the theory of change and how to ensure you maximize your time in implementing new ideas in the classroom and school wide.

Note: this session will be offered twice during the conference

Peter Welch

Director of the International School of Helsinki

Cultural Chameleons or Culture Vultures? 

How far should we, can we, adapt as educators and as people to fit with the cultural norms of where we work? In this session, we will look at how cultural norms for educational leadership, professional meetings and communication vary enormously around the world. We will reflect on how flexible we can and should be with our personal values and assumptions to be successful in our professional lives.

Note: this session will be offered twice during the conference

Tom Daccord

Director and Co-Founder of EdTechTeacher

Formative & Visual Assessment

Two new student response tools allow students to demonstrate their learning instantaneously in unique ways, allowing you the educator to gain a deeper understanding of student learning. Recap enables students to quickly and easily submit video reflections based on teacher-generated assignments. No uploading or downloading of video is involved. Formative is an exciting new instance response system that enables teachers to upload Word and PDF documents online and insert interactive questions that can be automatically graded. In addition to traditional text responses, students can draw and upload images as part of their answers and teachers can view all student responses in real time. Both tools can be used across platforms and strategies will be shared for assessment before, after, and during direct instruction.

Student Creations with Google Drive Add-Ons & Chrome Extensions

Google Apps for Education and Chrome Extensions provide creative and collaborative learning opportunities for Chromebook and laptop classrooms. In this session we will explore uses of Google Drive, the Chrome Browser, and select Google Apps in ways that facilitate creative student demonstrations of learning. Participants will be introduced to valuable "Add-Ons" that extend the functionality of Google Drive, "Extensions" that boost Chrome's capabilities, as well as Google-friendly apps that facilitate a wide range of innovative possibilities.  Showcased tools include VideoNot.es, Screencastify, LucidChart, and more. In all, this session will provide participants with a strong foundation for powerful and creative student Google integration.

Vienna Main Speaker Concurrent Sessions 2017

90 Minute Sessions

Dave F. Brown, Ed. D.

Author and Adjunct Professor at Villanova University

It’s “Testing Tuesday”? What’s “Middle Level” About Your School?

Is there anything “middle level” about your school? As a frequent visitor to middle level schools, I notice “Middle School” emblazoned on the buildings. Once inside, however, it often becomes quite clear that the philosophy, structure of the school day, instructional processes, and the manner in which curricula are delivered represent traditional junior highs or high schools rather than middle level design.

 

Determine if your school meets the research-based criteria of effective middle level schools as published by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform through their state organizations known as Schools to Watch. You’ll have the opportunity to assess your school based on 37 research-based criteria in four distinct categories:

 

1) developmental responsiveness,

2) academic excellence,

3) social equity, and

4) organizational structures and processes.

Laurie Halse Anderson

Author

The Good, The Suck, and the Nitty-Gritty of Writing

The dirty secret of literature is that the act of writing a novel is pretty much the same thing as researching and writing a 7th-grade history report. (Just don’t tell that to Jonathan Franzen the next time you see him at a party.)  Join me as I chart my path from inspiration to Horrid First Draft to The New York Times Bestseller List, and show how your students can use the same techniques in their classroom writing.

Mark Overmeyer

The Power of Conferences in the Writing Workshop

In this interactive session, teachers will engage in a writing workshop, confer with other teachers, and gain insights in how to manage conferences in a middle school writing classroom. Topics will include:

  • The architecture of a conference
  • Managing time
  • Peer conferences

Mike Johnston

Head of School Colegio Maya

Embracing Complexity and Systems Thinking - Better Learning - Better World

Systems’ thinking deepens learning by providing a structured and interdisciplinary method to tackle complex issues. Those attending will learn and share examples of how systems thinking can be successfully integrated into Middle School education. Compass Education aims to equip schools as learning communities to act for a sustainable future. This growing collaboration between schools not only helps to improve student learning but also creates a better world. Participants will walk away with tools, connections and next steps for deeper learning.

Peter Welch

Director of the International School of Helsinki

Cross-Cultural Communication in Schools 

This year, the International School of Helsinki has partnered with the Council of International Schools to pioneer a new tool to measure how cultural dispositions map to learning preferences in our classrooms. In this session, we will share how this tool has been developed, how it is being used by educators around the world and what the data is telling us so far about the relationship between culture and learning.

Tom Daccord

Director and Co-Founder of EdTechTeacher

Building the iPad Teacher

For years, EdTechTeacher has been working with schools and districts in all stages of iPad integration. One fundamental truism has emerged: The real challenge for educators is not learning the iPad. It’s working to develop a pedagogical vision of what’s possible and implementing a strategic plan to make it happen.

It begins with a vision of what we want students to do and a plan for how we get there. It includes positioning the iPad as a portable media creation device to support all learners in diverse student performances of understanding. It involves constructing activities that encourage ingenuity and nurture innovative, problem-solving, and entrepreneurial minds. It integrates specific classroom strategies, such as “challenge-based” instruction, “Evergreen App” convergence, and "App-Smashing" creations.

Whether beginning an iPad classroom or assessing an iPad program, this session will help you develop and nurture an iPad "culture of innovation”— an environment that encourages students to be active, immersed, and creative thinkers.