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Be the Spark : Sparking the Passion for Empowering Learners

Participate and share

Participate and share : Interactive lecture

Monday, June 24, 12:00–1:00 pm
Location: 120BC

Brooke Daniel   Erin Mohr  
People's Choice winner. Empowering young learners is how to spark the passion within students to become innovative problem solvers. Providing students the opportunity to share their voices, interests and passions through real-world learning experiences is imperative. Come to this session if you are ready to spread the fire for authentic student-led learning.

Audience: Coaches, Teachers, Principals/head teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Padlet
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Project-, problem- and challenge-based learning
Grade level: PK-5
Subject area: Language arts, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Use collaborative tools to expand students' authentic, real-world learning experiences by engaging virtually with experts, teams and students, locally and globally.
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
  • Model and nurture creativity and creative expression to communicate ideas, knowledge or connections.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

As our world continues to shift and change around us, so must the way we teach our students! We must teach today's students to be prepared to face the challenges they may face tomorrow. The purpose of this presentation is to share ways for educators to actively engage their students in authentic and organic problem/project based and service learning projects that mirror things they are/will be doing in the real world. We will be sharing how to embed cross curricular and cross grade level experiences into current practice to enhance the learning opportunities for all kids. In a district that is 1:1 we have fostered environments that enhance learning through creating digital producers to foster deep learning. As a result of the teaching approach with our students, they have continued to learn beyond the conclusion of a project, start and lead projects of their own, encourage their families and community members to engage with them on service opportunities and have brought real change to institutions within their community. In addition, parents have shared testimonies of how their child's perspective on school and their world shifted after a year immersed in our classrooms. Participants will leave with a clear starting point of how to incorporate project/problem based and service learning into their practices.


Participants will engage in this interactive session through conversations, videos, a gallery walk and exploring a pallet full of resources to gain ways to create a student empowered environment!!
I. Introduction (3-5 min.)
II. What's the WHY? Audience Participation and Discussion (5 min.)
III. Video of Trail Blazers (5 min.)
IV. Video of Empowered Student Panel (5 min.)
V. Q & A (10 min.)
VI. Gallery Walk of Student Empowered Projects (15 min.)
VII. What's the WHY? Pt. 2 Audience Participation and Discussion (10 min.)
VIII. Padlet Exploration (5 min.) : Participants will have access to a Padlet of resources to help launch and create a student empowered environment in their classrooms!!

Supporting research

An, Y. & Reigeluth, C. (2011). Creating technology-enhanced, learner-centered classrooms: K-12 teachers' beliefs, perceptions, barriers, and support needs. Journal of Digital Learning inTeacher Education, 28(2), pp. 54-62.
Bathurst-Hunt, R. & Mackenzie, T. (2018). Inquiry Mindset. EdTech Team Press: Irvine: CA.
Bransford, J.D., A. L. Brown, and R.R. Cocking, eds. (2000). How people learn: brain, mind, experience, and school.Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
Britten, J. & Lemke, C. (2105). ISTE Standards for Students: Empowered Learner. Metiri Group/ISTE: Marina Del Rey, CA
Britten, J. (2017). Edtech for the K-12 Classroom. ISTE: Eugene, OR.
Britten, J. (2017). Getting at the heart of the empowered learner. ISTE: Eugene, OR
Britten, J. (2017). Four Myths and Four Truths about empowered learning. ISTE: Eugene, OR
Daniels, H.S. (2017). The Curious Classroom. Heinemann: New York, NY.
Dintersmith, T. (2018). What School Could Be. Princeton University Press: Princeton, NJ.
Juliani, A. & Spencer J. (2017). Empower. IMPress, LP: Plano, TX.
Lichtman, G. (2017). Moving the Rock. Wiley and Sons: Hoboken, NJ
National Research Council. Engaging Schools. Engagement and Motivation to Learn. Washington. DC: National Academy of Sciences: 2004
Newmann, F., Bryk, A, & Nagaoka, J.(2001). Authentic intellectual work and standardized tests: Conflict or coexistence?Chicago: Consortium on Chicago School Research
Williams, J. D., Friesen, S. & Milton, P. (2009). What didyou do in school today? Transforming classrooms through social, academic and intellectual engagement.Toronto: Canadian Education Association.

More [+]


Brooke Daniel, Hamilton Southeastern School Cooperation
Erin Mohr, Hamilton Southeastern Schools

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