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Designing for Deeper, Personalized Learning

Pennsylvania Convention Center, 120BC

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University of Colorado Denver
Professor, Educational Leadership; Founding Director, CASTLE CASTLE is the only university center in the USA focused on leadership, technology, innovation, and deeper learning. Scott's bio: CASTLE:

Session description

Schools around the globe are using the 4 Shifts discussion protocol to push their pedagogy to new levels. We will (re)design lessons together for deeper learning, greater student agency, more authentic work and rich technology infusion. We will use actual lesson plans and video exemplars in this active session.

Purpose & objective

In this session we will utilize a detailed discussion protocol that provides concrete, specific 'look fors' and 'think abouts' that help educators move lessons toward deeper learning, greater student agency, more authentic work, and rich technology infusion. The 4 Shifts Protocol is being used by schools around the world to help them translate 21st century learning initiatives into day-to-day classroom practice.

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depending on session format)

10 to 20 minutes - Introduction to the challenge (interactive whole group)
70 to 130 minutes (depending on session format) - redesigning lessons and units together using the protocol - this is active, hands-on, small group work and will include numerous opportunities to ask question, apply to local practice, etc.
20 to 30 minutes - Tips, strategies, and suggestions (interactive whole group)

Lots of networking and interaction opportunities throughout, plus breaks!

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Supporting research

McLeod, S., & Graber, J. (2018). Harnessing technology for deeper learning. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree. Available at

McLeod, S. (2015). Facilitating administrators’ instructional leadership through the use of a technology integration discussion protocol. Journal of Research on Leadership Education, 10(3), 227-233.

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Session specifications

Instructional design & delivery
Grade level:
Skill level:
Coaches, Principals/head teachers, Teachers
Attendee devices:
Devices required
Attendee device specification:
Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
ISTE Standards:
For Coaches:
Learning Designer
  • Collaborate with educators to develop authentic, active learning experiences that foster student agency, deepen content mastery and allow students to demonstrate their competency.
For Education Leaders:
Empowering Leader
  • Build the confidence and competency of educators to put the ISTE Standards for Students and Educators into practice.
For Educators:
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.