Pioneering Partnership : EduCon and The Martin Institute Bring Unique PD to Your Town

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Pioneering Partnership : EduCon and The Martin Institute Bring Unique PD to Your Town

Outstanding professional development and collegial interaction just got a whole lot closer to your door. I am so excited and honored to announce a groundbreaking partnership between The Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence and EduCon 2.6 hosted at Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, this coming January 24-25!

Just a tad of background: last year during EduCon, which many of you know is one of THE most important gatherings of innovative educators in America each year, several of my Atlanta-based colleagues were presenting a session. They texted me at home in San Diego and asked if I would post questions and comments on their Google Doc back channel as I watched the livestream.  I did that and thought: I could be hosting a conversation with a group of people right here in San Diego, leveraging these presenters, at remarkably low cost.

That idea launched Martin Connects, which will in turn launch on January 25 in six cities around the country in cooperation with EduCon. Each school is inviting local public and private school educators to participate in real time with the EduCon session leaders and with each other.  If you live in one of the following regions, or have colleagues who do, let them know to contact these schools to participate. More information will be posted on the Martin Institute website soon.

Martin Institute Connects Locations and Info



Contact to Register


Dayton, OH: Miami Valley School

Noon- 4 PM

Bryan Lakatos

Dallas, TX: Parish Episcopal School

11 AM-3 PM

Jenny Lewis

Denver, CO: Colorado Academy

10 AM-2 PM

Bill Wolf-Tinsman

Los Altos, CA: Los Altos School District

9 AM-1 PM

Alyssa Gallagher

Carlsbad, CA: Pacific Ridge School

9 AM-1 PM

Jennifer Bjornstad

West Hartford, CN, Renbrook School

Noon-4 PM

Betsy Flynn

Potomoc, MD, St. Andrews’ Episcopal School

Noon-4 PM

Glenn Whitman


Session I: Leading Learners to Level Up #LL2LU


Jill Gough: Director of Teaching and Learning, Trinity School; national master teacher in math, student assessment, and creating student-led classrooms

Shelley Paul: Director of Learning Design, Woodward Academy; facilitator of design thinking programs for students and teachers

Do your assessments motivate and compel student questions, self-direction and calibration? Enable teacher-student partnership? Communicate “You can do this; I can help?”  This conversation is designed to help teachers design paths for formative assessment that lead learners to level up. At the end of this conversation, teacher-learners will be able to say:

  • I can articulate the essential learning for our student-learners in student friendly language.
  • I can describe and show what reaching the target for the essential learning looks like, calls for, and requires.
  • I can build a leveled assessment to provide a path for reaching the target level of the essential learning.  This leveled assessment will ask for and provide evidence of learning and opportunities for growth.
  • I can use the evidence collected from the leveled assessment to make course corrections for learners as needed to ensure that all learners become proficient.

We’ll share our learning in real time through a digital backchannel for crowd-sourced notes, questions and comments, inviting virtual participants to participate along with in-person participants. Learners will prototype a learning progression, participate in a gallery walk for a feedback loop, and iterate the progression based on feedback.  We will then work on developing an assessment for learners to provide evidence of learning.

Session II: Read This! Watch This! Do This!


Don Buckley: International leader in design thinking and innovation in K-12 education; founding principal of Tools At Schools; instructor at Teachers College Columbia

Karen Blumberg: Educational Technologist at The School at Columbia University; NAIS Teacher of the Future

Lucy Gray: Apple Distinguished Educator; Co-founder of the Global Education Conference

Online learning has been a fixture of K-12 education for more than a decade, but is now becoming available or accessible on a rapidly increasing scale.  For many schools and students it offers a new dimension to their curriculum.  It is increasingly important for teacher-leaders to be knowledgeable and comfortable with the strengths and weaknesses of online learning as it becomes embedded in the learning landscape. This session is a conversation about the landscape of online learning for students and faculty.  Questions that will frame our conversation:

  • Can online learning be a carbon copy of offline learning?  Should it be?
  • How can MOOC’s work in a K-12 environment? Or can they?
  • Does the online environment work for specific content types?
  • What is a good balance for asynchronous vs. synchronous learning in an online environment?
  • What are ways to be collaborative in an online environment?
  • How can you assess the online learning experiences?
  • What is the future of online education?

Participants will discuss and share responses to these framing questions in real time through a digital back channel.  Participants will leave with a wealth of shared ideas and resources they can take back to their respective schools to continue the discussion about how best to incorporate online learning in an evolving learning landscape.

About EduCon

EduCon is often described as both a conference and a conversation, as one of its main goals is to inspire productive conversations between educators who are shifting education. EduCon is held during the last weekend of January at the Science Leadership Academy (SLA) in Philadelphia, PA. SLA is an innovative charter school founded in 2006 and developed in partnership with The Franklin Institute and the School District of Philadelphia. The school provides a rigorous, college-preparatory curriculum with a focus on science, technology, mathematics and entrepreneurship. Students at SLA learn in a project-based environment where the core values of inquiry, research, collaboration, presentation and reflection are emphasized in all classes.

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By | 2013-12-10T16:48:30+00:00 December 10th, 2013|Governance and leadership, Innovation in Education|4 Comments

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  1. Angel Kytle December 10, 2013 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    We should have one in Atlanta!!

    • glichtman December 10, 2013 at 6:07 pm - Reply

      Agree! We will the next time around, I am sure.

  2. Final Friday 4 for 2013 December 27, 2013 at 6:43 pm - Reply

    […] simultaneously around the country, EduCon 2.6. Grant Lichtman (@GrantLichtman) recently wrote a blog piece that described the event and gives some background on the partnership behind the event. For those […]

  3. […] Shelley Paul and I presented Leading Learners to Level Up at EduCon. Working in collaboration with Grant Lichtman of The Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence, SLA broadcast our session live to 7 additional sites across the country. […]

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