It’s Here! iNACOL Symposium 2015

Learning, Online & Blended

The time has come for all of us to pack our bags, head to the airport and make our way to sunny Orlando for the annual iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium! We’re excited to connect with 3,000 learning leaders, educators, and forward-thinkers. This year we’ll be live-blogging, tweeting, podcasting and sharing our GenDIY and Smart Parents projects. Everyone’s invited to the #inacol15 party happening on Twitter. Make sure you’re also following the four main hashtags and @Getting_Smart to join the conversation.

This year’s Symposium focus is “Connecting Powerful Innovators” – a goal that will no doubt be achieved by those participating in sessions from keynotes like those listed in the blog Connecting to Powerful Innovators: iNACOL Symposium 2015.

Looking for the full iNACOL Program Book? Click here to download the PDF.

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Keep an eye on @nacol & @Getting_Smart for links to live streams of key speeches, opportunities to guest blog and more!

In between making travel plans and packing our bags, we’ve also been sharing information with our readers to help everyone stay informed about exciting new features at this year’s event.

  • Voices Hub: Join iNACOL and our team for live-blogging and podcast at this creative center for capturing your thoughts, sharing ideas and telling your story. Bring an open perspective and willingness to engage!
    • Whenever you have some time to spare, plan to visit the Voices Hub in Asia 3 and share your thoughts on everything from your favorite session at the Symposium so far to the challenges you hope to solve at your job with event takeaways.
    • Sign up in the podcasting area of the Voices Hub to speak in the popup studio to record and possibly become a part of upcoming Getting Smart podcast episodes on Symposium topics. Open podcasting schedule:
      • Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m
  • P2P Exchanges: This is your opportunity to experience an “unconference” style session based on topics of interest compiled in advance and on the spot. Practitioner-to-practitioner exchanges will create an additional and informal opportunity for collaboration, connection and learning.
    • Pre-set P2P Exchanges include:
      • Building a blended learning community
      • EdCamps and the changing face of PD and PLNs
      • Nuts and Bolts of moving from innovation to practice
      • Teacher-driven virtual professional learning
      • Twitter…the new teachers’ lounge
      • Google tools for special needs
      • Researcher chat
      • Minecraft hands-on lab
      • Personalized learning for ELLs
      • Assessments for Learning

There’s an App for that!

Connect with attendees, plan out your day, view sessions and get resources from your favorite sessions by downloading the free mobile app. Here’s a few of our favorite features:

  • Social networking
  • Webcast recordings of all general sessions and video/audio recordings of other select sessions
  • Access to materials provided or referenced by presenters
  • #Quest15 interactive game within the app – complete with cool prizes

Not-to-Miss Sessions

Featured Session: What Do We Know? Illuminating the implications and challenges in research and measurement of K-12 blended learning
When: Monday, Nov 09 2015, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM
Where: Northern Hemisphere BC
Who: Saro Mohammed, Learning Accelerator; Carri Schneider, Getting Smart; Todd Bloom, Jefferson Education Accelerator; Julia Freeland, Christensen Institute; Kathryn Kennedy, Michigan Virtual University
What: Should you blend learning? Administrators, educators, policy-makers and families often wonder how the evidence answers this question. The truth is, it often depends on your local situation. It can be unclear what the implications of research on blended learning are, specifically, for you. Join us for a lively debate on this topic from different angles. This learner-centered discussion will be tailored to your role and needs-including the chance for discussants to debate your specific question!

Unleashing The Potential of GenDIY
When: Monday, Nov 09 2015, 2:05pm-3:05pm
Where: Southern Hemisphere V
Who: Tom Vander Ark, Getting Smart; Mickey Revenaugh, Connections Education; Tyler Nakatsu, Getting Smart
What: Powered by personalized learning, members of GenDIY are taking control of their journeys to careers they love. Faced with new realities in the employment landscape and with anytime anywhere learning, GenDIY is paving alternative pathways to careers, college and contribution. Educators have the unique opportunity to support GenDIY in their journeys. In this session, participants will share best practices and produce a field guide to support this growing group of career-focused learners.

Are You At the Intersection of Legal Responsibility for Design, Equity, Access and Learning?
When: Monday, Nov 09 2015, 2:05 PM–3:05 PM
Where: Northern Salon A3
Who:Raymond Rose, Texas Distance Learning Association; Marjorie Rofel, Connections Education
What: Access and equity are hot button issues that significantly impact virtual and blended schools nationwide. Legal responsibilities have moved from discussing what schools should do to what schools must do. Given recent guidance issued by the Office for Civil Rights to provide students with disabilities the benefits of technology, online programs are being challenged to comply with the law. Learn from experts and practitioners the challenges and best practices to achieve access and equity for all.

Smart Parents Want Student-Centered Learning
When: Nov 10, 2015, 2:15 PM–3:15 PM
Where: Southern Hemisphere I
Who: Tom Vander Ark, Getting Smart; Carri Schneider, Getting Smart; Mary Ryerse, Getting Smart
What: What happens when you ask parents to describe the powerful learning experiences they want for their kids? They describe student-centered, competency-based, blended learning.

  • Learn more about what student-centered looks like at home, at school and everywhere in between.
  • Share ideas for student-centered classrooms, homes, and other learning environments and experiences.
  • Leave with new design ideas and resources for your classroom and/or home to promote student-centered learning.

Build It and They Will Come: A debate and discussion of schools and personalized learning technologies platforms
When: Wednesday, Nov 11, 11:15 – 12:15
Where: Southern Hemisphere I
Who: Mike Baur, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation; Adam Carter, Summit Public Schools; LaVerne Srinivasan, Carnegie Corporation of New York
What: In a lively debate, leaders from the field of next generation learning and education technology will discuss using customized platforms to deploy their academic model. Hear from Achievement First, Brooklyn Lab, and Matchbook as they discuss the process (and pain) and philosophy behind building and deploying learning platforms and systems which enable their blended model to be realized.  This panel will examine key debates around if you should build, who should pay for it, and how to do it.

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