Pre-Convention Sessions

8:00–4:00 Pre-Con Sessions

101. Blended Learning: Teaching in a Student-Centered Environment

The Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan and ESSA supports the creative use of Space, Time, and Place personalizing learning options for students.  Empowered and innovative district leaders are encouraged to engage in design principles for student learning leveraging digital learning options.

How do you make the shift from teacher-led instruction to student-centered learning? In student-centered environments, teachers have more time to meet individual needs. Students are more engaged and motivated because they are driving their own learning, with the help of great coaching and mentoring. Their academic and noncognitive skills improve, and they’re better equipped to persist through college. How do teachers re-envision their role to get those results?

In this full-day session, teachers will explore practical strategies for shifting to a student-centered paradigm. You’ll learn how to nurture agency and release control, manage flexible student groupings, and become a better one-on-one coach.

During the session, Heather Staker will model successful methods for freeing up place, time, and pace to center the learning experience on the needs of each learner. You’ll leave with a plan for improving the learning design in your own classrooms and with new perspective for what it feels like to be a learner in a student-centered system.

Speaker: Heather Staker, John Jacobs, Janice Mertes, and Dawn Nordine

2:00–4:00 Pre-Con Sessions

102. Future Ready: Mix It Up! Using Blended Learning to Engage and Empower Students

This PD opportunity follows the format of a blended model – you’ll experience blended learning while also learning about the instructional strategy, skills, and tools needed to plan and implement your own blended course framework. You will also explore a “Beginner’s Bundle” of recommended digital tools that can help you start creating meaningful activities for a blended classroom.

Participants will:

  • Identify blended learning models
  • Understand the difference between blended learning and teaching with technology
  • Experience two models of blended learning
  • Assess the benefits and challenges associated with blended learning
  • Identify technologies to support a blended learning workflow

Speaker: Meri Tunison and Kate Statz

Grades: K-12
Experience Level: Intermediate
Convention Track: DATL

103. DPI State of the State in the World of Digital Learning

Come to this interactive audience session to find out about latest DPI and state digital learning updates connected to the Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan and Future Ready programming. Key topics will include:  ITL standard connections, Title IVA, grant programs, digital learning partnerships, effective planning and budgeting strategies, trusted learning environments, digital age leadership programming, innovative and personalized learning programming. Collaborative leadership teams are encouraged to attend to connect to your district vision for the college and career future ready student. Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan district, building, and classroom level resources will be released at this session.

Speaker: Janice Mertes

Grades: K-12
Experience Level: Intermediate
Convention Track: LPD

104. Expand Your World with Google

Where does one start with Google – with apps., extensions, add ons and more? We will share some of our favorite must haves that can help transform your classroom or school. Come to this energetic presentation and leave with a lot of ideas you can begin immediately implementing. Throughout the workshop, we will encourage you to download and try some of these ideas and collaborate with your colleagues. Learn best practices while using the collaborative features of Google Docs, Gmail, Calendar, Slides, Drive, Presentation, Classroom and more. Using the variety of Google features, you will be able to personalize instruction to meet the needs of your learners.

Speaker: Rita Mortenson and Kurt Knueve

105. Balance Like a Pirate – Using Tech Efficiently to Help Lead at Home, Work, and Life

There’s no question that every school leader faces challenges on the job with ever increasing demands that lead to stress and put us all at risk for burnout. School leaders often define themselves through servant leadership, tending to put others’ needs above their own and even end up sacrificing much of their personal time for their careers. We are convicted in our belief that leaders cannot take care of others without also taking care of self as we cannot pour from an empty cup. Join the co-authors of Balance Like a Pirate (Burgess, 2018) as we share our favorite tech tools that help us achieve balance. We will first introduce to you the four quadrants presented in our book that help you gain an understanding of how shifting mindset from the idea of 50/50 balance (which seems impossible) to better identify strategies and supports to nurture our best selves as leaders. We will share with you our strategies to keep email from running our days and stop our phones from running our evenings. We will also share some of our favorite tech tools to help us manage all the “stuff” on our plates at school so we can spend more time in classrooms during the day and more time with our families in the evening. Tech tools to be shared: Google calendar, Evernote, Voxer, Wunderlist, Mailstrom, Boomerang and Phone/App Prioritizing Tips.

Speaker: Jessica Johnson and Sarah Johnson

106. Engagement…It’s Not Just for Students!

Highly engaged classrooms start with highly engaged teachers! Adult learning in our profession is too often overlooked as we work to respond to shifting student needs, increasing demands on schools, and the impact of the transformational times we are living in. Professional learning needs to ENGAGE our teachers. It needs to model, support, and be personalized – engaging staff in their own educational journey. Come to this interactive session to discover the keys to personalized professional learning through activities you can take with you and use in your school tomorrow!

Speaker: Amy Arbogash and Paul Hermes

107. Tinker -> Code -> Make: Computer Science Experiences To Ignite Gen Z Students Passion For Learning

Join this pre-con session to have your mind blown with the latest and greatest computer science ideas and learning experiences on the planet! Naomi Harm will facilitate this energized session to immerse you in the “why” for computer science and the STEM tools of choice to personal the individual learning experience for each of your Gen Z students. This introductory session will illustrate learning moments that will include AR/VR learning experiences with creation tools, hands-on video game and app design, variety of coding and robotics activities, 3D printers and real-world design creations, personal assistants with an AI chatbot, and so much more! Want to take this learning to the next level, join us in the expo hall on day 2 of the SLATE conference to take a deeper dive into each of this computer science learning experiences.

Speaker: Naomi Harm

108. Building Successful Digital Initiatives: Elements of Leadership

Innovative leaders approach change holistically. They’re proactive about the work, see around corners, and consider  all aspects of their schools when implementing something  new. When leaders leverage technology to design new learning, teaching, and an innovative environment, they also consider the foundations that these are built on. This workshop helps schools and districts interested in building a results-focused readiness plan to support their implementation of technology with best practices around developing and deploying a digital learning environment.

Speaker: Apple, Inc.

109. Teaching Math in a Paperless Classroom

As schools continue to look for ways to use digital tools to modernize instruction and save paper, certain challenges have arisen.  For instance, there are those who would contend that “You can’t type math!” Or that pushing students to use only digital tools ignores some important brain science around using real paper and a writing instrument.  Join us as we share some of the debate and implications and hear one teacher’s journey of exploration to find practical solutions for bringing middle school and high school math students into the digital age while still working out problems by hand.  We will have a hands-on learning session to introduce participants to hybrid solutions from Rocketbook and Thinkboard, and how they integrate with Google Classroom, as well as online grading tips using Google Classroom’s mobile app annotation tool, and a fun in-class exercise that combines analog and digital tools.

Speaker: Mark Mettler, Maggie Robbins

Grade level 6-8, 9-12
Experience Level: Intermediate
Convention Track: DATL