We will keep this digital program active from DL2019 for attendees to find contacts, look at posted materials for sessions, and look back at offerings.

We hope to see you at DL2020, March 25 - 27!

Email us at info@deeper-learning.org with questions.

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Deep Dives [clear filter]
Thursday, March 28


Equity in Education: Imagining and Advancing New Learning Environments

How can we bring together diverse stakeholders to create and advance equitable learning environments for our students and our communities? Join us for a daylong hands-on co-creation session to consider this complicated question. Immerse yourself in interactive activities designed to help you imagine provocative future scenarios and ideate meaningfully. Small teams will contribute to a positive and productive discussion around the need for equitable opportunities by making 3D prototype futures, telling stories for potential characters in each future, and enacting those future narratives for the larger group. A culminating exhibition will provide you with the opportunity to showcase your deeper learning experience, share the core values you’ve identified, and receive feedback from others to help you refine your envisioned future. You will leave challenged, inspired, prepared to think about the future of your work and student outcomes differently, and equipped with the tools and methods to engage your stakeholders in similar conversations about advancing equitable learning environments.

avatar for Deborah Parizek

Deborah Parizek

Executive Director, Henry Ford Learning Institute
I am excited to host our first Deep Dive "Equity in Education: Imagining and Advancing New Learning Environments" at this year's conference. Coming from Detroit, these issues dominate many conversations among our educator colleagues. I look forward to engaging with many of you fellow... Read More →
avatar for Nanette Gill

Nanette Gill

Henry Ford Learning Institute

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:00pm
HTE 221


A Method for PBL Madness

Often in education we talk about the “what.” What we are teaching, what kids are making, or what we are assessing. But it’s not about what we teach as much as it is about what students learn. So HOW do you teach to make the learning for keeps? This Deep Dive is for teachers, instructional coaches, and school leaders who want to focus on developing “the how” of teaching for deeper learning and equity. We believe that teaching is a craft, and like any other craft, experiencing and reflecting on the methods of a master is essential to developing one’s own practice.

In this Deep Dive you will get to do just that as you experience a highly developed, research-based method of teaching that has you working collaboratively to solve a real, community based challenge. Every day we ask our students to take risks, make mistakes, and reflect on their progress. In this workshop you will be asked to do the same, developing a greater sense of empathy for what we ask of our students and leaving better prepared to support them through the messy process.

From culture building to collaborative problem solving. From research methods to communication skills. You will get a sample experience what it is like to be a 21st century problem solver tasked with creating a solution to a problem that doesn’t have one right answer. But of course we know that experience is not enough for you to leave with learning that lasts. Built in time for reflection will help you identify practices that are critical to developing the culture, skills, and knowledge that are essential to the learning process and takeaways you can apply in your classroom or school.

avatar for Doris Korda

Doris Korda

Chief Executive Officer, Korda Institute for Teaching
Doris Korda is changing how school is done in urban and rural schools, with students of all ages and in courses of all types. The founder and CEO of the Korda Institute for Teaching, she is a successful tech entrepreneur-turned educator -- a 24 year educator and 30+ year organizational... Read More →

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm


Be the Change - Interdisciplinary Learning through Artivism

Can your school address a real-world problem through the arts? We did! In 2019, Design Thinking Academy mobilized the entire school and multiple community partners to produce "Unwarranted: The Human Cost of Fines," which inspired policy change to end mass incarceration in Delaware. The project was aligned with standards across disciplines in ELA, Social Studies, Math, Performing and Visual Arts, Digital Media, and Psychology. In this workshop, you will learn a step-by-step process to identify a local issue, reach out to community partners, align the project with interdisciplinary learning goals, build a team, create a budget and a timeline, plan all-school design days with relevant visitors, organize meaningful field trips, and leave with a plan to see the project through from start to finish in the 2019/2020 school year.  Teams of 2-5 people from each school are encouraged to attend and work together; no artistic skills are required.

avatar for Noelle Picara

Noelle Picara

Community Partnership Specialist, Design Thinking Academy
Talk to me about the art installation I produced with 300 students to create policy change around mass incarceration. Next week I'm giving a TEDx talk, "Are We Teaching White Supremacy?" Talk to me about dismantling white supremacy through democratic education in the arts. I facilitate... Read More →

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTE 219


Blockchain for Equity: Decentralizing and Empowering the Education Process

Do you think robots will take over the world? Are you curious about emerging tech, blockchain and how it will impact and democratize education? We at the d.school, we are on a mission to provide radical access to emerging technologies. Part of putting humanity into technology is making sure that a wide range of humans understand it, access it, shape it, and create with it. Right now, that's not the case. Within the K12 lab we want to create synergies between those creating the new technology with those that will use it and teach students how to develop it. We also have a bias toward action so we believe it is important to start now. Within this deep dive; we will explore how blockchain has the potential to impact the future of learning and enable students to be viable within an unknown job economy of the future. We will explore the process and application of blockchain and contextualize it within education using scrappy, analog ways and how it can potentially create a more equitable education system. You will leave this deep dive with an understanding of blockchain, be able to define it and how it could work at your school and its potential to advance equity. And not to worry; no coding experience is necessary-just bring your hearts and minds and be ready to make.

avatar for Kwaku Aning

Kwaku Aning

Director, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Thinking, San Diego Jewish Academy
I believe in the power of student voice, PBL, innovation, and emerging technology to radicalize education.

avatar for Laura McBain

Laura McBain

Director of Community and Implementation, Stanford d.school K12 Lab
Laura is the K12 Lab Director of Community and Implementation at the Stanford d.school. In this role she leads the K12 Lab network and aims to use design thinking to transform education and the world. As a human-centered designer, her work focuses on understanding the ecosystem of... Read More →

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTE 109


Coping with Racial Stress: Storytelling and Racial Literacy Strategies for Healing in our Schools

Many educators (like those who attend the Deeper Learning Conference!) are deeply invested in promoting racial/ethnic equity in our schools.  We are committed to understanding how systems perpetuate oppression, and we work to develop practices and networks that resist the marginalization of our students of color and their communities. However, a deep commitment to racial equity means much more than a systemic approach; we must also examine how we, as individuals, bring our personal experiences to our work and to our students.

This session will focus on the unique stress that accompanies racial moments. Racial stress describes the overwhelming feelings that accompany intrapersonal and interpersonal racial conflicts--anyone can experience racial stress, regardless of their racial/ethnic background. We will introduce participants to the theories and emotional/physical effects of racial stress and racial trauma, offering a racial literacy model (Stevenson, 2014) as a tool for reading and healing racial stress in the classroom. Specifically, we will engage participants in authentic racial storytelling; they will journal about past and present experiences and practice sharing their stories in partners and with the larger group. They will gain a deeper understanding of how their personal experiences with race have shaped and continue to shape their responses to racially stressful moments, with an emphasis on how racial stress influences their relationships with students, families, and colleagues in racially stressful moments.

At the end of the session, participants will be able to:
1) Explain the definition and range of racial stress during racial storytelling
2) Learn and explain the definition of racial literacy
3) Describe their emotional reactions during Face-to-Face (FTF) racial encounters and make healthier racial coping and problem-solving decisions in the classroom
4) Understand and explain the Calculate, Locate, Communicate, Breathe & Exhale (CLC-BE) strategy to peers. Specifically, they will be able to identify thoughts, physical reactions, and self-talk during racially stressful conversations and use relaxation techniques to stay present during racially stressful encounters.


Jordan Adler

High Tech High, San Diego, CA

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTHI 202


Creating an Inflatable Habitat for Mars

Attendees will engage in an interdisciplinary, content-rich, complex, and collaborative design and construction process that culminates in the development of an exciting and compelling physical structure. Attendees will first engage in an exploratory learning activity where they investigate the challenges associated with space travel and inhabitation, drawing on contemporary resources, videos, and articles from the real world. Drawing on the insights and knowledge gained from the exploratory activity, attendees will collaborate and negotiate as a full group to determine key design principles that are relevant to a Mars habitat. Next, attendees will work in small teams to design and construct true-to-scale inflatable habitats based on their designs. Teams will be given a large roll of plastic tablecloth, scissors, packing tape, and other supplies with which to design and construct their habitat.

This project is inspired by a project I did as a high school mathematics teacher for seven years. To learn more about my project, you can go here: https://patch.com/illinois/evanston/giant-inflatables-replace-problem-sets-in-this-geometry-class

avatar for Zachary Hermann

Zachary Hermann

Director & Associated Faculty, Penn Graduate School of Education
Zachary is a program director and a member of the associated faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, where he leads the Project-Based Learning Certificate Program. As a recent graduate of the Doctor of Education Leadership program at the Harvard Graduate... Read More →

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTHI 127


Creating Original Movie Scores

Attendees will work to create movie scores in small teams with the support of Ben and students experienced with creating music scores and movies. They will learn the basics of song composition, movie creation, and create original music to match to film.  We will connect these skills into other academic areas and disciplines, and discuss muusic as a lens for lerning.  Participants will articulate things like 'mood' and 'emotion' and learn how to connect those to music created for the purpose of enhancing stories. Participants will use GarageBand and iMovie, both of which can be used with very limited equipment and do not require instruments to create music.   The final product will be an original short film that contains the original musical score, as well as the opportunity for participants to show the process as well as teach others during the exhibition. No prior musical or video editing experience is needed for this session.


Ben Krueger

Teacher, High Tech High, San Diego, CA

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTM Commons


Deeper Assessment: Rapid Prototyping Portfolio Defense

In this session, participants will develop a Graduate Profile for their students and then use design thinking to create a portfolio system that assesses all students’ attainment of the essential components of the Graduate Profile. We will look at the “why” and “how” of meaningful reflection, and consider models from schools that have found success in using a portfolio system aligned to their Graduate Profile. After these considerations of their own context and successful models elsewhere, participants will exhibit prototypes of their own designs.

avatar for Alcine Mumby

Alcine Mumby

Deeper Learning Coach, Envision Learning Partners

avatar for Justin Wells

Justin Wells

Executive Director, Envision Learning Partners

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTHI 123


Design the Next Super School

What would a high school look like if you could design it from a clean sheet – literally? As part of the Super School Project, XQ created a three-phase design process to turn ordinary school development on its head. By inviting teams to begin with understanding their students and the world they will enter after high school, hundreds of teams answered the call to action, dreamed big and sketched out ambitious designs to rethink high school. During this Deep Dive, diverse teams of participants will take on the XQ challenge to design and reimagine school!

Come with a team or form one with other participants to experience major breakthroughs and leaps of insight that will define an innovative school and pave the direction for continuous school improvement and success. Each table team will be supported by XQ School designers and provided with XQ Super School Design Kits that include inspiration posters, a how-to guide, large planning worksheets, and packets of books including youth voice cards to stimulate a spirit of innovation and creativity, grounded from the perspective of diverse communities across the nation.

Participants will leave the session ready to share their story of an innovative school concept with a mission, vision, and core teaching and learning experiences that are rethinking traditional systems of time, technology, space, financial resources, and roles.

avatar for Alex Campbell

Alex Campbell

Teacher/director, Elizabethton High School, Elizabethton, TN
I enjoy food so much that I like to say that I travel the country by restaurant. I love history, which is a good thing considering I teach it. I am also a huge fan of weight training and other ways of pushing the limits of the human body.

Ginger Spickler

Opportunity Wrangler, Crosstown High

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm


Design Thinking and Making for Community Impact

95% of teachers say that creative problem solving is critical to career success in the age of automation. Only 16% say that schools today are doing enough of it. If we want our next generation to succeed, we need to double down on the skills that make us uniquely human in an automated world. We need our students to be empathetic, creative, and great communicators, not experts at content recall.

Join us in this session to dive deep into design thinking and making as tools to make a difference. These tools teach students to solve problems creatively, make their ideas a reality, and communicate their impact to others. We are preparing a future-ready, civically minded generation. Participants will learn by doing: in this deep dive, you will design and build your own impactful innovation. You will work on teams to design a novel solution to challenges with blindness after a Skype interview with Jimmy, a 29-year-old who is blind and who has been a 3-time community partner of our student teams. You will go through the process of identifying critical needs, brainstorming solutions, and building a prototype to showcase your idea. You will also prepare a one minute pitch to share your invention and learnings at exhibition.

avatar for Connie Liu

Connie Liu

Founder, Project Invent

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTE 217


Designing Your Future School: Developing a Five-Year Plan of Action

Bringing about fundamental changes to school systems and culture can be a daunting task for those who are trying to implement deeper learning strategies in their schools and districts. This session is designed for school administrators and teacher-leaders who are trying to implement project-based learning in their schools and shift towards a school culture that encourages high levels of engagement and student ownership of learning. This session will tackle the long-term planning challenges behind how to bring about a shift in learning systems and culture. Participants will look to their vision of their school in the future and use design tools to backwards-plan their strategy to get there. The plan will include how to create professional development, teacher engagement, community and parent involvement. Participants will leave this session with a five-year plan for implementation that leverages their strategies with their WASC action plans, LCAP, school site goals and school dashboards, or equivalents.

avatar for James Snyder

James Snyder

Principal, Anderson Valley Jr./Sr. High School
I taught Mathematics, Music and STEM for ten years before being demoted to a principal. I am currently involved in bringing inquiry and project based learning strategies into all curricular areas in my small rural school. I was California State Science Fair Teacher of the Year in... Read More →

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTHI 207


Digging Out to Freedom: Education and Liberation

In this deep dive, participants will examine the intersectionality of structural oppression in teaching and learning, assessment, leadership in philanthropy and systems design in order to define Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), build or generate new uses for existing tools to promote, advocate and demonstrate authentic liberatory learning. Participants will leave with new tools for self-liberation, to engage liberated learners and will advance institutional diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice in their practice.


Peter Rivera

Hewlett Foundation
avatar for Kelly Niccolls

Kelly Niccolls

Deeper Learning Equity Fellows

Abby Benedetto

Envision Learning Partners

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTM 12


Diving Deep Into Music

We will present a series of activities designed for participants to get a deep understanding of the science of sound, including how it relates to music.

The activities are largely hands-on, involving tools for exploring and creating sounds, and composing sounds into musical experiences. The participants will experience the creation and visualization of sounds. They will learn that sound is a vibration, they will learn how a sound signal can be acquired and created with a computer, the basics of sound editing, and electronic music-making. Participants will then get a chance to make their own musical instruments by simply using drinking glasses filled with water. They will tune their drinking glasses to a specific musical scale and line them up for an audience member to play during exhibition (similar to a music box).

Our goal is that by having these experiences, the participants will leave the classroom hearing the world in a new way, thinking of soundwaves and objects vibrating when they hear sounds and music through their daily lives. The participants will feel empowered through this knowledge and increase their appreciation of science as something that allows them to look deeper into their pre-existing interests.

The activities and online tools have been developed by our National Science Foundation sponsored program to promote the study of science through the science of music, in collaboration with Chris Olivas, a teacher at High Tech High. The activities are designed to reach all students, from the most competent to those struggling, so everyone learns and enjoys the experience, and have been tested in High Tech High and in large low socio-economic-status public schools.

For more information about our program see www.listeningtowaves.com


Victor Minces

university of california san diego

avatar for Chris Olivas

Chris Olivas

Teacher, High Tech Middle North County
I have been teaching with High Tech High for 5 years and the past 3 I have taught middle school math and science. I love anything to do with science, the environment, and photography/video!

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm


Does Your Profile Need Updating?

Should you judge a person by their picture?  Does it tell their whole story?  What’s missing?  The same can be asked of our students.  Are we truly measuring what counts? Albert Einstein once said, “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”  How can we better understand fully, what our students know and can do? In this session, you will analyze your current performance expectations, prototype a graduate profile, and create a plan for engaging stakeholders in this work.  You will journey across campus with students from High Tech High to view a project they have curated and have the unique opportunity to ask questions about what skills they developed to complete this work, informing the design of your own graduate profile. Hear how one rural school district has maximized the development of a graduate profile to transform the learning experiences for all K-12 students.  

We will address three main issues as you develop your graduate profile:
- What do all students need to know and be able to do?
- What experiences do students need to master these skills?
- How will we know if these experiences provided equitable outcomes for all students?

avatar for Shannon Burcham

Shannon Burcham

Principal, Trigg County High School, Cadiz, KY


Amy Breckel

Principal, Trigg County Middle School, Cadiz, KY

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTHI 208


Don’t Talk About it, Swing About it: Engaging Students Through Sports Technology

This Deep Dive aims to address the Driving Question: How might we engage historically disenfranchised students through the real-world application of STEM skills via sports technology? Participants will engage in field-work at BLAST Motion Headquarters to observe and interact with “the hitting lab” to learn about cutting -edge sports technology currently tracking athlete data for performance improvement. The science, math, technology and engineering connections to the classroom are endless in this space-to name a few: programing and algorithms, impact and physics, angles and statistics, growth mindset and reflection-oh my! Together we will explore how we could create a series of learning experiences (big and small) using BLAST as our inspiration to target a population of students who deserve Deeper Learning. This session is not limited to STEM teachers nor sports gurus, all are welcome!

avatar for Jennifer Pieratt

Jennifer Pieratt

President, Founder, CraftED Curriculum
Jenny Pieratt, Ph.D. and Teacherpreneur, is President of CraftED Curriculum — a leading provider of Professional Development for PBL in Southern California. She was a founding staff member at High Tech High North County, a former School Development Coach at New Tech Network, and... Read More →

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTE 204


Empathy Made Art (EMA) Developing collaboration, quality work and understanding through making. Cross grade Collaboration through the Human Centered Design Process.

It is our job as educators to allow students a space to develop their capacity for empathy and skills for working with and understanding each other. Using Multimedia and Makers classroom tools, participants will design and build a plaque to hold a wish for a partner. This session will provide a framework for creating a collaborative cross grade project that utilizes your classes skill sets and challenges students to design for and with each other. We will end our experience with a public gifting ceremony of our plaques.

avatar for Shane Duenow

Shane Duenow

Teacher, High Tech High

avatar for Maxwell Cady

Maxwell Cady

Media Arts Teacher, High Tech High

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTHI 107


Everybody Should Be Coaching

Together, we will examine the argument that an effective coaching mindset, throughout your school/district, is a powerful catalyst in pursuit of ambitious learning outcomes. We will look at the increasingly common (though often poorly defined) role of instructional coach, and then expand out to other roles in a school that benefit from adopting a coaching approach. We will name some principles of effective coaching we need to integrate, while also naming some unhealthy practices we should just quit doing. With role-alike partners, we will collaborate to translate these coaching mindsets into a new stance we can adopt for our specific roles. Session materials will pull from a selection of research on coaching and what New Tech Network has learned through developing coaches in the systems in which we operate.

avatar for Jim May

Jim May

Chief Schools Officer, New Tech Network
Trying to figure out how help every school can be an inclusive, affirming and humanizing place for every kid - and a place where every kid is invited to engage in complex thinking and problem solving every day.
avatar for Matt Thompson

Matt Thompson

School Development Coach, New Tech Network
Things I'm thinking about and could always use some thought partnership with: the role of the instructional coach and the possibilities of a coaching mindset applied more broadly; thinking systematically about upstream changes that address specific racial inequities; physical activity... Read More →

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTHI 204


Flight of the Endangered Species

  • This session will explore the importance of a quality open ended prompt that will lead to powerful learning. As Gary Stager states, “a good prompt is worth a thousand words.” We will provide this full day deep dive immersion with a prompt to create a project that showcases how they can save the endangered species of the engaged student. We will work to create mechanical birds that symbolize and represent our plan of action heading back to our schools to engage learners in extending their wings to fly beyond their comfort zones.We will use the Hummingbird Duo Robotics kits along with basic everyday materials to create an aviary of mechanical birds to showcase our birds and action plans.
  • Be ready for a full day of making, tinkering, coding, and learning how one good prompt can launch us to new heights of learning to save our most endangered species on the planet - engaged students.
  • Check out this video to learn more
  • Deep Dive workshop website - https://sites.google.com/view/birdbits/home

avatar for Aaron Maurer

Aaron Maurer

STEM Lead, Mississippi Bend AEA
STEM Lead for AEA9, Microsoft Innovative Expert, LEGO Education Master Educator, PBS Digital All-Star, Minecraft Global Mentor, Makey Makey Ambassador, and more. Lover of coffee, toys and 90's cartoons.

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTE 113


Gamifying Education: Learning through Competition and Collaboration

Gamification is becoming more prevalent in education because of its ability to motivate students and thus enhance the learning process. This session will review how gaming companies engage students using gamification and how you can do the same by employing theses tactics. Get ready for the great classroom escape game!

It’s been proven time-and-time again that gamification enhances motivation through engagement. The power of even the simplest games can be both inspiring and infuriating to many teachers. Games like Angry Birds, Candy Crush, and Fortnite captivate the time, energy and attention of students for hours upon hours. Teachers often find themselves competing against these games for the attention of students –- and up until now, they were facing an uphill battle on a very uneven playing field.

We have curated a panel of industry experts to get an inside look on how gaming companies work and what they believe to be their role in education is. We'll also get their ideas on how they think teachers can use gamification to engage their students and improve learning both inside and outside of the classroom. At the end of this session, you'll create a class-room style escape room game that using the problem solving and creative thinking hacks we discuss and engage with through the session. Are you ready? 

avatar for Annee Ngo

Annee Ngo

Co-Founder, CEO, QUP
QUP is creating economic access for students by gamifying fundraising. With QUP, students learn curiosity and empathy while competing for cash. We've just launched our card game for the classroom: cardgame.playqup.com


Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTE 222


Hack Your Practice, Change Your Culture, Share Your Story

How can starting small help you go far? Where can hacking really get you? What does it look like to equitably scale deeper learning practices? What do storytelling and culture have to do with it? In this interactive deep dive, we’ll dig into new prototypes of School Retool’s Big Ideas from Deeper Learning and explore how to take action to move from hack to scale. The School Retool program works with over 400 school leaders per year who are using hacking—small, scrappy experiments—to design equitable school cultures to bring deeper learning practices and outcomes to their students, particularly those furthest from opportunity, using existing resources. We’ll explore these leaders’ stories of hacking. Then, you’ll design your own hacks to try back at your school, and try out a new prototype for documenting and sharing your own story of school change. We will be hands- and hearts-on throughout the day as we weave stories of equity and opportunities for your own design within this deep dive.

avatar for Leigh Fitzgerald

Leigh Fitzgerald

Vice President, Mid-Pacific Institute

avatar for Peter Worth

Peter Worth

School Retool Design Team, Stanford d.school
Peter Worth is a member of the design team for School Retool, a project of the Stanford d.school and IDEO dedicated to helping school leaders hack their school cultures toward deeper learning. Peter's background includes teaching, learning design, professional development, and education... Read More →

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm


Hacking + Holonomy = Hardware

How do we help facilitate deeper learning among adults when so many of us were raised in a traditional schooling model? How can we support adults to teach in ways that they potentially have never experienced? We need to create the conditions for a culture of deeper learning, but how?

“We do for adults what we want them to do with kids.”
We’ll explore how to shift adult mindsets and practices at the classroom and school-wide level, in order to uproot the traditional school paradigm.

Rather than passively sitting and looking at how to do this, we’ll be actively learning and immersing in the design thinking process to hack toward small solutions with big impact. During our session, we’ll build a team, create a common vision, start small and model how to build trust, rapidly ideate to innovate, and design think.

By the end of the session, participants will have practiced design thinking, collaboratively built a toolkit and created a hardware store of tools to share their learning.

avatar for Jeff Embleton

Jeff Embleton

Instructional Guide, ASCEND
Crew, projects, what\'s holonomy, design thinking, students at the center

avatar for Morgan Alconcher

Morgan Alconcher

Minister of Magic/ Principal, ASCEND, Oakland, CA
Morgan Alconcher, The Minister of Magic, is a leader, learner and designer. Most recently she has led a TK-8 arts-integrated, expeditionary learning school called ASCEND, in Oakland California. She is a School Retool Coach with the K12 Lab at Stanford’s d.school, a consultant with... Read More →

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTE 122


Hip Hop Academia: Elevating Marginalized Voices In The Classroom

We will discover the power of storytelling and media production to elevate marginalized voices in the classroom and global culture, and learn how to effectively wield these tools to reshape the narrative of our country. Participants will experience a curriculum design that is inclusive of traditionally marginalized voices, using hip hop and rap as primary texts rather than the traditional literary canon; voices like Kendrick Lamar, Erykha Badu, and local San Diego artists. We will sample found footage from historical events and learn how to edit it together with music and voice recordings from leaders like MLK Jr. and Malcom X. Other historically marginalized voices from various ethnic groups will be studied according to participants preferences. We will create a short video to serve as a course of study and platform for marginalized voices. Attached is a link to a video that showcases a product analogous to what participants will make. https://youtu.be/UNy6nY3isak


Oscar Carrion

Teacher, Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs High Tech High

avatar for Dennis Walker

Dennis Walker

Multimedia Production Teacher, High Tech High, San Diego, CA
I like making films and traveling.

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTM 11


Immigration - Humanization. Race - Science? What *does* it Mean to be an American?

In the early 1900s, many people believed that eugenics, or “race science,” was a progressive solution to social problems. Followers of eugenics argued that protecting “racial purity” was essential in creating a healthy nation. In the United States and around the world, eugenics had a profound impact on beliefs and policies towards immigration that are still with us today. This interactive session will model how to set up a classroom inquiry into these difficult issues, creating space for diverse opinions while maintaining a compassionate and courageous dialogue. Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of eugenics and immigration policies of the early 20th century, and their impact on contemporary issues of global migration.

avatar for Gayle Cole

Gayle Cole

Program Associate, Facing History and Ourselves
As a Program Associate for Facing History, I enjoy supporting teachers in finding resources that are a good fit for engaging their learners, and helping them inspire reflection, innovation, and action in their classrooms. I have taught throughout K-12, and I have worked as an independent... Read More →

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTHI 219


Introduction to PBL

How can we design effective and engaging Project Based experiences for students? Practice a design process for project-based learning. Highly interactive by design, this workshop balances work-time with engaging didactics, activities, facilitated discussions, protocols, and task review checkpoints. The session results in the ideation of a useable, peer-reviewed project-based experience participants will be able to actually facilitate in their classrooms.


Jaclyn Vasko

PBL Consulting & Thrive Public Schools
avatar for Mindy Ahrens

Mindy Ahrens

Principal, Sisu Academy
Mindy supports teachers and learners to co-design meaningful and relevant learning experiences in a supportive environment where girls can live and learn. She has a passion for blending Design Thinking, Personalization and Project Based Learning together to create hands-on, engaging... Read More →

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm


Is My Change Initiative Working? How to Develop, Track, and Share a Suite of Measures to Learn About the Effectiveness of Your Reform on An Ongoing Basis

Educators, schools, and organizations often make changes to instruction, routines, programs, and curriculum without identifying the criteria to determine whether this change represents an improvement. This session is designed to give participants the tools to engage in a more deliberate process to determine whether changes are achieving the desired results on a continuous basis. Case studies from High Tech High improvement projects will be interwoven into the session to provide meaningful examples of how this process can work.

Specifically, participants will learn about how to develop a suite of measures to test whether a change initiative is working. How to track these measures and how to share this data on an ongoing basis with participants in the change initiative. Participants will learn how to use software tools that make the tracking and sharing of these measures efficient and at limited cost. Each participant will have the opportunity to apply this process to a planned or actual change initiative within their class, school, or organization as a way of exhibiting their learning. 


Ben Sanoff

High Tech High
Improvement Science Data Analyst, HTH GSE

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTE 208


Island in the Storm - Creating and Sharing Tools, Strategies, and Roadmaps to Spread Equity Throughout Our Schools/Organizations

This workshop is for educators who are driven by equity and are already determined to interrupt oppressive systems that marginalize students based on race, ability, gender identity, and sexual orientation in our schools.  This experience will be built around educators who do not currently have strong support from their colleagues and leadership around these issues, and are struggling to take more action and get more people involved.

avatar for Louie Montoya

Louie Montoya

K12 Lab Designer, Stanford d.school
Louie's post-colonial studies opened his world to the power of stories to change systems. During his research, Louie was inspired by the voices of teachers, which led him into the classroom of a working-class middle school in Rhode Island. While substitute teaching, he was invigorated... Read More →
avatar for Jessica Brown

Jessica Brown

Business Innovation Factory

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTE 202


Let's Build a Space Colony!

In this session, teachers will participate in a mini-PBL experience: designing their own space colony! This is based on a very successful semester-long project done by the facilitators with 11th graders at High Tech High. Session participants will use Design Thinking to go through a condensed version of the project, experiencing powerful Deeper Learning practices while also taking a step back with meta moments to talk about instructional strategies and PBL best practices in action. This will be a fun, creative, and collaborative session experiencing the power of PBL!

avatar for Jeff Lohman

Jeff Lohman

Biology Teacher, High Tech High
Ask me about Mycology, Biology, Space Exploration, or tell me why you think Suicide Squad was not *the* worst DC movie ever made. I can geek out on just about anything. Try me ;)


Rusty Walker

Teacher - Humanities 11 & 12, High Tech High, San Diego, CA
HTH Humanities Teacher

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTHI 222


Once You've Seen It, You Can't Unsee it! The Power of the Make-a-thon!

The objective of a Make-a-thon is to expose communities of learners from both education and industry to what deeper learning looks like and how it varies from traditional education practices. In a quote from a teacher, "Once you've seen it, you can't unsee it!"

In the morning of our Deep Dive, instructor Derek Runberg will run attendees through a crash course in writing code and electronic circuit design using the microbit which is a maker-board that lets designers connect and actuate mechanisms like LED lights, directional servos, and motors. This is a fast-paced, but extremely effective training session focused on hands-on learning. Teams will then be posted with a real-world challenge based on a human need and collaboratively design solutions combining technology and common craft supplies.

The afternoon is a sprint of making and problem solving wrapping up with an exhibition. Through this team exercise, attendees will need to critically think, collaborate and communicate ideas and in a short amount of time creatively solve their individual challenge.
In an ideal Make-a-thon, teams are comprised of a mix of adults and students working together modeling learning in the 21st century. We would like to encourage this kind of event as it can be replicated and easily adapted in communities with the goal of developing an innovative culture through clear connection between school and community or industry.

Meaningful hands-on professional development - Teachers and community experience deeper learning from the perspective of a student resulting in reflection and bias toward action, designing learning activities that both challenge and meet the needs of today's learners. This experience demonstrates rigor and relevance across different learning styles and modalities through an authentic collaborative exercise.
In addition, community and industry partners experience collaboration with schools to create a more seamless experience between the real world and classroom leading to an agile and innovative culture for all.

For a visual please see our Make-a-thon video: 

avatar for Derek Runberg

Derek Runberg

Strategic Partnerships / Author / Educator, SparkFun Electronics, Inc.

avatar for Jamie  Richardson

Jamie Richardson

Principal, LaCreole Middle School, Dallas, OR

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTM 10


Place Based Storytelling Through Film

Participants in this deep dive will create short films about the ocean ecosystem in San Diego. We will use the bay access near the conference as well as the Sunset Cliffs area to learn about local ecosystems while kayaking, beach hiking, and learning a bit of the local history. Participants will then make a short film documenting their experience both exploring San Diego waterways and at the conference. We will share the films with other conference participants at the end of the conference.

avatar for Brian Delgado

Brian Delgado

Teacher, High Tech High
I teach science. I've been with HTH since 2001. My passions are space sciences, adventure, rock climbing, photography, music, guitar, and play.

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTE 215


R-E-S-P-E-C-T My Inner Mathematician!

What does it mean to be mathematical? And how do we create a learning environment that respects the individual brilliance of our students and brings out the inner mathematician in all of us? We will consider the intersectionality of culture, race, gender, and how these issues play out as we engage in mathematics. 

avatar for Curtis Taylor

Curtis Taylor

6th Grade Math/Science, High Tech Middle Mesa
Curtis Taylor is originally from Greenville, South Carolina. He attended Clemson University (Go Tigers!) where he received his B.A. in Elementary Education, and the University of San Diego where he received his M.Ed. in STEAM Education. Currently, he is earning his Doctorate from... Read More →
avatar for Yekaterina Milvidskaia

Yekaterina Milvidskaia

Improvement Coach, High Tech High Graduate School of Ed
Yekaterina Milvidskaia is a Math specialist and improvement coach working within the Center for Research on Equity & Innovation. She coaches teachers that are part of the Mathematical Agency Improvement Community (MAIC), a network of 18 southern California schools working to abolish... Read More →

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTE 114


School House Rhyme

Schoolhouse Rhyme is a teacher/student learning and engagement approach that utilizes Hip-Hop lyric writing as a way for students to explore and create life connections and understandings with academic concepts and subjects. Where Schoolhouse Rock presented education concepts via music and animation, Schoolhouse Rhyme challenges the students to create their own content and activities that highlight their learning and provides opportunities for others to learn based on their creations. Through Schoolhouse Rhyme the academic content becomes more tangible to the students and rhyming, which is a foundational Hip-Hop art, will be viewed as a scholarly and artistic endeavour.

avatar for Timothy Jones

Timothy Jones

Chief Visionary Officer, HipHopEd
I am an educator, innovator and creator who specializes in Hip-Hop and Youth Development as a means to enhance student/teacher/parent engagement and learning. I moderate the weekly #HipHopEd twitter chat @therealhiphoped every Tuesday 9-10 pm EST. I believe that the critical analysis... Read More →

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTE 216


Social Emotional Literacy: Learning is a Connection Project

How can we grow compassionate, creative, literate citizens who will improve our world? It all starts with connection. ​Learn how to create a climate and culture that makes all students feel safe and ready to learn. Leave with a deeper understanding of Social Emotional Literacy and why it is critical to connect students to each other and to academic content. Discover and explore an Enriched Literacy approach to learning that develops foundational literacy skills through supporting students' social emotional needs and providing authentic opportunities for applied learning. Experience and take away research-based strategies that will help you create a community of learners in your school.


Liz Remington

The Learning Alliance

avatar for Debbi Arseneaux

Debbi Arseneaux

Professional Development Program Manager, The Learning Alliance
arts integration, early literacy, professional development, theatre, cultivating creativity, collective impact & system change - and whatever you're working on!

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm


The Chocolate Deep Dive

Participants explore the politics, history, geography, botany, and chemistry within the dangerous world of chocolate production. We will act as scientists and historians to make science and history come alive. Creating handmade chocolate and a comprehensive guide for chocolate lovers everywhere, participants delve into compelling text, and taste new and exciting chocolates all while unpacking strategies, protocols, and practices that support deeper learning. Experience learning with both joy and rigor in this delicious deep dive!

avatar for Jessica Wood

Jessica Wood

Manager, Student Project Initiatives, EL Education
Jessica Wood is EL Education’s Manager of Student Project Initiatives. Her experiential marketing work includes producing key events (Better World Day, National Conference Plenary Sessions) for EL Education. Jessica also manages Models of Excellence, the world's largest collection... Read More →

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTE 123


The Harbor Freight Fellows Initiative: A New Form of Apprenticing for Youth in the Trades

The session will explore the opportunities for our youth in the 21st century world of the trades. We will examine the economic, personal, and entrepreneurial rewards available for youth for whom working with hands and mind is a preferred post secondary path. Our attendees will separate into two groups to visit two real world sites: one will visit a union apprentice program, and the other a small sole proprietor business. We will explore the unique culture of tradespersons, and the impact the trades can have on youth who have struggled in school and in life through two videos: "Wilshire Grand" which looks at the iron workers constructing a high rise in Los Angeles, and "Second Chances" which describes a very successful trades-based program for working with incarcerated youth. Our attendees will be challenged to examine the barriers that exist for youth interested in the trades in many high schools, and how schools can be restructured to both elevate the status of trades bound youth, and maximize their skills and personal development. The lens will be a unique Harbor Freight Tools for Schools/Big Picture Learning program, the "Harbor Freight Fellows Initiative" that provides material support to schools to support real world learning for trades oriented students. We will examine the leadership qualities that are necessary to fully realize an effective program. We will also examine alternative measures of student success that are more closely aligned to real world outcomes than schools currently are using. Our attendees will map the possible measures they can take at their own schools to transform the lives of their trades bound students.


Charlie Plant

Coordinator Harbor Freight Fellows Initiative, Big Picture Learning
The trades as a path to a fulfilling life . . . . . and Leo Kottke.

avatar for Elliot Washor

Elliot Washor

Co-Founder Big Picture School, Big Picture Learning

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTE 206


Use Your Voice: Designing Wearable Art to Ignite Activism

Activists can start at any age to make a difference in their communities. How can we reach people in our lives to encourage ongoing conversations about activism? Experience a “project slice” combining social justice and engineering design principles. You will research activists that inspire you, learn about jewelry design, and create your own prototype using creative maker tools such as a laser cutter, metal stamping, and beading. Elementary students who completed the project last year will be on hand to serve as expert advisers! Using the framework of a 1st grade Kid Activist project, let’s create wearable art to inspire others to appreciate the contributions of our diverse community of activists who broke the mold to fight for what is right. Stand up and make your voice heard!

avatar for Matt Sheelen

Matt Sheelen

2nd Grade Teacher, High Tech Elementary Chula Vista
Passionate about improving and innovating PBL in elementary schools. I want to see if we can make social justice and equity integrated parts of every project, not just an add-on. Also, I perform & teach improv and use it everyday in the classroom!
avatar for Zoë Randall

Zoë Randall

TK-12 STEAM Resource Teacher, San Diego Unified School District
Zoë is a positive and enthusiastic educator. She loves to spark creativity in others and help them discover their passions. Zoë is currently co-leading a district-wide STEAM initiative at the San Diego Unified School District, working with Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten... Read More →

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm


Using Models of Beautiful Work

For students to be inspired about what is possible and clear about what quality looks like, no verbal explanation or assessment rubric can replace the power of a beautiful model. Just walking around High Tech High schools is a testament to the inspiration of great student work. We will spend the day digging into the world's largest collection of beautiful student work, collected over 40 years from schools across America, and discuss how to use student work models to elevate teaching and learning. In particular, we will analyze project work and writing, and through investigation, practice and videos of classrooms, discuss how to use models to cultivate a school culture of critique, revision, and craftsmanship.

avatar for Ron Berger

Ron Berger

Practitioner/Educator, EL Education
Ron is the Chief Academic Officer for the non-profit school improvement network EL Education, a national network of over 160 public project-based schools in 30 states. EL helps to found public high schools in low-income communities - district and charter - that send all graduates... Read More →

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTE 115


Using the Community as the Classroom: Community-Based Projects for Real World Learning

During this session, attendees will identify authentic learning goals for their students, map their community ecosystem, and begin to craft learning experiences that utilize community to foster “now-ready” learning and opportunities for civic engagement. Attendees will evaluate aspirations, goals, and values with a focus on developing equity and accounting for various levels of privilege. These goals and aspirations will be used to drive community-based PBLs that focus on actionable skills and habits as outcomes along with content.

After they’ve spent ample time mapping their goals and aspirations, they will spend time mapping their community stakeholders, which help them take note of the beneficiaries, allies, resource providers, opponents, and influential bystanders. This phase will help participants think critically about various types of partnerships and learning experiences as well as diverse needs that the community may have. Each relevant stakeholder – whether it’s the local economic development association as an ally or a community expert as an influential bystander – gets mapped on the ecosystem map with a special nod to what skills, resources, and knowledge they may bring to the table.

Once participants they have filled their stakeholder map, we will begin to look at possible constellations that could make for meaningful learning experiences. Each constellation represents a different project idea that combines the needs and assets of various partners to engage students in a real-world learning experience. While the project ideas will undoubtedly be actionable, the goal is less about creating one perfect idea. Instead, the goal is to imagine potential collaborations, map several community-based constellations, and begin to understand the creative intersections and unlimited possibilities in one’s community and how these intersections can lead to more authentic learning opportunities.

Attendees will leave with authentic maps of their personal communities created through rapid iteration with feedback loops and will analyze different roles various community members can play in the development of learning and action. While the community maps will be authentic and individualized for action, they will be the product of collaboration and intentional focus on diverse environmental impact. 

avatar for Grant Knowles

Grant Knowles

Normal Park Museum Magnet School, Chattanooga, TN

avatar for Elyse Burden

Elyse Burden

CEO, Real World Scholars
Elyse Burden is the co-founder of Real World Scholars, a nonprofit organization supporting real-world learning experiences for young people around the country through entrepreneurship and creative problem-solving. Since the organization was founded in 2014, Elyse has been working... Read More →

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTE 203


We Want In: Embracing Inclusion in Our Policies and Practices

Traditionally, students with disabilities have been relegated to more rote learning experiences. This is in large part due to adult biases on what students with disabilities can learn and do.  Nevertheless, our students with disabilities will enter the same economy and society as their peers and that economy and society demands them to demonstrate deeper learning. Research shows that—with the right accommodations—this group can engage in the same learning as their peers without disabilities.  Furthermore, the great majority of students with disabilities spend the great majority of their time in general education classrooms.  Leaving students with disabilities out of the deeper learning conversation is thus as practically infeasible as it is morally unjust. Our session will identify concrete actions educators, administrators, and local policymakers can take to ensure deeper learning is implemented with equity and inclusion at the fore.  Over the course of the last year, the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) has embarked on a bold project to identify ways students with disabilities can be fully engaged in deeper learning experiences. Because this engagement requires significant changes in norms and practices, we initially focused on charter schools that were experimenting in engaging their students with disabilities in deeper learning.   We are now exploring what the implications of our recommendations are in traditional, non-charter public schools. Specifically, our goal for attendees is to understand practices that facilitate inclusive deeper learning experiences; know what policies and structures enable and inhibit these practices; and what actions they, their administrators, and their school boards must take to make the practices more likely. 


Ace Parsi

National Center for Learning Disabilities

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm


We’re Acting Up! Refreshing Student-Centered Principles with an Eye on Equity

*Please bring a WiFi-enabled device to the session! Too often classrooms replicate rather than overcome society’s oppressive structures. This is the world as it is. This is true even in student-centered learning environments. How, then, do we create and facilitate learning environments that help us move away from the world as it is and toward the world as it should be? This workshop will support participants to think about how to reclaim student-centered learning environments as places of deeper liberation, love, and learning. Inspired by research about the pedagogy of teacher activism and supporting teachers to develop anti-racist philosophies and practice, the session will have three parts: 1) using Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed techniques to engage with Gloria Anzaldúa’s ideas of “choques” and “la facultad” in the context of student-centered learning principles in practice; 2) deepening our engagement with Theatre of the Oppressed to imagine the kinds of change that allow all students to flourish; and 3) applying these learnings to the current revamp of the Students at the Center principles (https://studentsatthecenterhub.org/interactive-framework/).

avatar for Keith Catone

Keith Catone

Executive Director, Center for Youth & Community Leadership in Education (CYCLE)
Keith Catone is the executive director of the Center for Youth and Community Leadership in Education (CYCLE) at Roger Williams University, which was launched in November 2017. Previously, he served as Associate Director for Community Organizing and Engagement at the Annenberg Institute... Read More →

avatar for Rebecca E. Wolfe

Rebecca E. Wolfe

AVP, Students at the Center, JFF

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTE 207


Wired / ReWired: The Neuroscience of “The Brain On Bias” and What to Do About It.

Dive into empathy work and get ready to do experiments ON YOURSELF to better understand the neuroscience of the brain on bias. Hint: We ALL have implicit bias - our brains are wired for it. Learn what can be done to overcome the brain’s wiring in favor of implicit bias. Participants will demonstrate their understanding of the neuroscience of implicit bias with by creating a bias cleanse plan that puts into play research-based strategies for reducing implicit bias on our shared quest for equity. Participants will review and discuss resources, perspectives, personal experiences and research on implicit bias, including what it is, how to self-identify implicit bias, how to overcome it, how to talk about it and how to cope with it.

avatar for Charity Allen

Charity Allen

President & Founder, PBL Consulting
Charity is a creative leader focused on equity and innovation in education.   She has years of experience as a passionate educator, consultant, leadership coach, school designer, and professional development designer and facilitator.  She is slightly fanatical about Deeper Learning... Read More →

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTHI 124


Write a Play in a Day! Telling our Social Justice Stories

This session is designed for folks who have never before written a play. Participants will be grouped into writing teams, and then will learn about the narrative storytelling structure, will explore questions about equity and education, in those teams will write an original one-act play, and have their play performed live by a company of professional actors. Bring your laptop and we'll take it from there!

avatar for Jessica Mele

Jessica Mele

Program Officer for the Performing Arts, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Jessica Mele is a Program Officer in Performing Arts at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. She manages a diverse portfolio of grants, with a particular focus on arts education policy and advocacy. Previously, Jessica was executive director at Performing Arts Workshop, an arts... Read More →

avatar for Marc Chun

Marc Chun

Marc Chun has done lots of writing. He wrote tuition checks for a BS and three MAs and a PhD; he wrote letters home to Mom to keep paying all those tuition checks; he wrote a column for the Stanford University student newspaper; he wrote a doctoral dissertation; he wrote curricula... Read More →

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTE 129


You Say You Want a Revolution: Spread and Scale with Share Your Learning

You’re already a badass designer of student-centered learning.  Now what?  We are looking for leaders to spread the national movement to change the way we look at student achievement and the way students experience school!  This sessions equips participants to run their own professional development so that teachers all over the country provide opportunities for students to share their learning with an audience beyond the classroom.  Whether it’s running a PD in your own school or a larger event, we’ll give you tools and ongoing support to spread exhibitions, student-led conferences, and presentations of learning!  We are looking for revolutionary educators who want to extend their influence beyond their classroom!

avatar for Mari Lim Jones

Mari Lim Jones

Project Co-director Deeper Learning Hub, High Tech High Graduate School of Education
I'm an elementary educator turned large scale-change maker. Engaging students in work that matters and changing their self-perception is my jam, and I want to work with others to transform the school experience for young people.

Thursday March 28, 2019 10:30am - 4:30pm
HTE 111