Pre-Convention Sessions

8:30–3:45 | Pre-Con Sessions

The Wisconsin Digital Learning Collaborative (WDLC) and Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction are excited to host our third Wisconsin Future Ready Leadership Summit. The Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan is built on elements of Future Ready Schools that support empowered and innovative district leaders as they adopt creative instructional strategies and personalized learning options for students. 

Tom Murray, Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools, returns to Wisconsin to set the stage around collaborative leadership strategies and instructional re-design. Pam Moran and Ira Socol, authors of Timeless Learning,  will workshop teams in a structured inquiry activity to create a district action plan for innovation and student-centered learning transformation, including a “pitch” strategy to communicate new strategies to stakeholders.

Wisconsin leaders in personalized and digital learning will participate alongside our featured speakers to support districts throughout the day.  Please join us with your district leadership team for this exciting day!

Speakers: Janice Mertes, Tom Murray, Pam Moran, Ira Socol, Dawn Nordine, and Brenda Vogds

Suite ABGH

Handouts and Materials for #201

12:00–4:00 | Pre-Con Sessions

Design Thinking is both a method and a mindset that can be leveraged by educators to creatively solve challenges in their classrooms and also with students as a framework for personalized learning. The Introduction to Design Thinking workshop that will introduce educators to a mindset and methodology for creative problem solving, giving participants hands-on experience with actionable tools for rapid brainstorming, user storyboarding and soliciting collaborative feedback. During this session participants will tackle a real problem that is personally relevant to each participant’s context and experience.

Participants learn how to develop a culture of creative problem solving and are given a framework for thinking about how to approach design challenges. Participants learn real methods for rapid ideation, collaborative feedback and visioning as a team. Throughout the workshop facilitators showcase how this methodology can be effectively used as a tool for developing exceptional learning experiences in the classroom.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand the solution design process
  • Develop the mindset to see opportunities where there are challenges
  • Actively engage in actionable methods for ideation & collaboration
  • Understand how this methodology can be used with students

Speaker: Diane Rutherford and Mike Patterson 

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


Handouts and Materials for #202

Developing a culture of innovation relies on cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset and thinking. Entrepreneurs possess common traits: they see opportunities in challenges, are unfailingly resourceful, and can creatively problem-solve on the fly. They are also confident in their personal capacity to affect change and are passionate about their individual pursuits.

Schools are uniquely complex ecosystems. Every school has their own values, mindsets, and behaviours working in combination with those of their stakeholders. The complexity of these relationships working together creates the culture of a school. 

The first step in shifting school culture is for school leaders to take a user-centered approach to understanding the needs of various stakeholders, starting with teachers and students. In uncovering needs of teachers, school leaders can empower them to develop a culture that facilitates growth in emotional intelligence, and values failures, optimism, empathy, and creative confidence.

In this inspiring, future-forward workshop, Future Design School facilitators will inspire participants to see how teachers can transform their classrooms and schools to be hubs for creating meaningful innovation to solve real world challenges. We believe that innovation, creativity, problem-solving, and product design are essential skills that all students will need to succeed in the workplace of tomorrow. 

Key Takeaways:
Leveraging methods and insights from today’s most innovative companies, participants will choose identify an opportunity to be entrepreneurial within the context of their school/district. They will then do a deep dive into user research and develop a set of assumptions to test in order to determine the best approaches uncovering user needs.

Speaker: Leslie McBeth

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


Handouts and Materials for #203 

2:00-4:00 Pre-Con Sessions

This session will provide a hands-on learning experience focused on how administrators can advance their use and efficiency of Google Tools, Chrome Browser and Extensions to optimize workflow, enhance collaborative learning and model effective technology use.  The session is geared towards leaders with an intermediate command of G-Suite and want to take it to the next level.

Speakers: Gina Rand, Chris Trottier


Handouts and Materials for #204

Join Google for Education and Wisconsin Google Certified Educators for all things Google! Come explore this hands-on playground and learn about the many fun, free and creative ways to get the most out of Google tools in your learning community. In this engaging playground, you will have an opportunity to experience Google as you’ll move from station to station earning your “Passport to Learning”. Come and join the fun and return to your school district with Idea Sparks to provide your learning community and become their Google super hero!


  1. Google Add-ons & Extensions

Join us to see real examples of lessons prepared with Google Slides with Pear Deck add-ons. You will be able to interact as students to get a taste of all the different options Pear Deck offers, not just for presenting material, but also to obtain formative and summative assessments.  Instead of static informational slides, you will see interactive slides that will allow full participation with 100% engagement. A code will be given to you to allow them to participate in a presentation from your device.

Speakers: Daniela Kurzynski and Maria Trader

  1. Google Draw

We used Google Draw to make games based off questions about literature and inferencing. The students would put the answers choices on shapes then the player would move the shape to reveal if they were correct or not.  Game makers would have the words correct or try again behind the answers.

Speaker: Jill Schraufnagel

  1. Google Drive

Having an organized google drive can help you keep any information you need at your fingertips. In this session, have your mind blown by some basic tips that can help keep your google drive manageable.

Speaker: Tricia A. Louis

  1. Google Jamboard

Learn how to spark Innovation using Jamboard and Design Thinking Sprints.

Speakers: Shelley Gard and Kathleen Hanke

  1. Google Keep

Google Keep is a versatile digital note and reminder app that can have a significant impact in the classroom. Learn how to make yours and your students’ life easier with Google Keep for grading and note taking!

Speaker: Renee Nolan

  1. Google Photos

Capture your classroom memories with Google Photos!  Not using Google Photos yet?  Come to this Idea Spark to get some ideas started for how you can use Google Photos right now both professionally and personally!


  1. Google Sheets

Do you ever wish that you could send personalized emails to 100+ students and their family quicker? How about encourage a greater response to class-wide messages? Send out more personal missing work reports, course updates, or accolades en masse? Yet Another Mail Merge can do all that! By doing a bit of work on the front end to set-up a spreadsheet with contact emails, all the above becomes a breeze! Come learn how easy it is to send personal messages to all your students and families.

Speaker: Mike Hanson

  1. Google Sites

Using Google Sites for digital portfolios for students to do student led conferences is amazing!  You’ll learn how to help your students create their own site and make a template/page for each subject with reflection stems and the ability to add artifacts and reflections throughout the year.  Use this great learning tool for both parents and students for your own student led conferences.

Speaker: Erin Ermis

  1. Google Slides

Creating a digital scrapbook is a wonderful way for students to showcase their understanding. You’ll learn how to set up & share a scrapbook template with Google Slides, and then how your students will be able to use and interact with the digital scrapbook.

Speaker: April Gosse 

Africa 10/20

Handouts and Materials for #205

Would you like to ignite your Gen Z students’ passion for engaged learning? Join Naomi Harm for some of latest and greatest mind-blowing computer science teaching strategies and learning activities on the planet! In this energized session, Naomi will immerse you in the “why” of computer science and share the STEAM and STEM toys, tools, and transformative teaching activities of choice that you can use to personalize an engaged learning experience for each of your Gen Z and Alpha students.

Learning spaces need to invoke creativity, inspiration, and a space to continuously collaborate with one’s peers. Why not gain new student-centered ideas by incorporating a more creative and mobile workflow of design elements and participate in SLATE’s Coding and Makerspace Playground! Naomi Harm and a creative team of WI edtech teachers and administrators will share their computer science best practices when it comes to everything from tinkering, to making, to coding to creating through 10 hands-on unique rotation stations. These 10 STEM activities hands-on learning experiences will provide you the opportunity to build your learning confidence, that you can easily recreate in your classroom by tomorrow! 

  1. 3Doodler build a better book character design challenge
  2. Let’s talk a-Bot it-  Dash, Dot and BeeBot coding/robotics activities  
  3. Going places with green screen and stop motion activities
  4. LEGO we do and you can too!
  5. Meeperbots! It’s LEGO’s + robotics = coding fun
  6. Project Invent – Build your own game controller switch with Makey Makey
  7. Microbits – wearable and gadget maker coding projects
  8. Think, play, create…beyond the screen with Osmo
  9. Meet me in the middle – Spheros robotics and 3D printing
  10. Unplugged activities: Hands-on coding blocks and origami holiday cootie catchers

Speaker: Naomi Harm


Handouts and Materials for #207