Agenda

If it’s making waves in edtech, it’s going to be on the agenda at Across Boundaries.

The annual Across Boundaries conference is a meeting of over 1,500 educators, education administrators, entrepreneurs, investors, education companies, and technology innovators who are interested in driving innovation to transform learning and increase achievement using digital technologies.

What topics will be covered? 

As we work to develop the agenda for the 2018 event, we’re focusing on:

  • The biggest edtech trends across early, middle, high school, college/university, workforce and continuing education
  • The impact of technologies on education – both in and out of the classroom
  • Methods for implementing and sustaining successful edtech adoption
  • Expanding professional development and networking opportunities for our participants
  • Strategies to help the edtech market to continue to grow and develop successful products

Call for Workshops 

LearnLaunch is dedicated to providing the premiere edtech conference in New England. To that end, we are seeking education innovators who are working to meet the needs of educators and students the educational marketplace through the enablement of technology and are interested in hosting a workshop on the most pressing topics in edtech. Workshops most typically will be 90 minutes long. However, workshops of differing lengths will be considered.

What Types of Workshops
Priority will be given to proposals that not only address an exciting topic, but also promise a creative format that is likely to generate lively interactions and foster new ideas and learning for participants.

  • How to Get Started with Personalizing Learning
  • Urban Schools Moving to Blended/Personalized Learning
  • The Maker Movement
  • Non-Cognitive Skill Development / SEL
  • Higher Ed Faculty Engagement with Edtech
  • Adult Ed and Skills Training for Upward Mobility
  • Incorporating AI and Advanced Technologies
  • Linking Higher Ed to Careers
  • Change Management: Moving to New Learning Models

Selection Process
LearnLaunch will select proposals based on their connection to proposed topics, what learner outcomes they seek to achieve, proposed length, how they are structured, and how they include the participants.  Submission Deadline – September 25, 2017.

Give us your feedback

Your feedback is essential to us, let us know what you want to hear about this year, and who you want to hear it from.

Thursday, February 1

8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Registration Open

More Information TBA

9:00 am – 10:00 am

Opening Keynote - To be announced

10:30 am – 11:15 am

Concurrent Sessions
Global / Chinese Edtech Investment: Where Has It Gone and Where Will It Go?

Room: To be announced
Moderator: To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

China is a major market for education services, not only because of its size, but because of high family spending on supplementary educational services. Chinese investors are also placing bets in the U.S. market. They represent a major new source of capital for edtech investment. Those in the edtech market should understand what is driving their interest.

In this session, participants will:

  • Identify the largest investors in from the Chinese market
  • Examine what these Chinese investors have invested in here in the U.S.
  • Dissect the motivations of Chinese investors and how they may differ – or be the same as – U.S. investors
Liberal Arts Education vs “The Last Mile”

Room: To be announced
Moderator: To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

A liberal arts education and a Bachelor of Arts have come to be known as a way to further one’s ability to write, speak and exercise critical thinking. Yet, the numbers of students electing to major in History and English has been on a decline while STEM and business majors, considered more career-oriented, have been on the upswing. English majors now account for only 1.3% of all BA’s, down 50% in the past 15 years. History majors were 1.3% only 10 years ago, but are now only 0.7%, according to IPEDs data. The American Association of Colleges and Universities has articulated Six Design Principles for General Education to include proficiency, student agency, integrative learning and problem-based inquiry, equity, “signature work”, and assessment.  

In this session, participants will:

  • Explore if and how edtech has a recipe to support the enduring values of a liberal arts education
  • Compare Last Mile occupational training approaches which integrate the Six Design Principles
  • Examine the difference between liberal arts majors and number of liberal arts courses college students are taking
  • Reflect on the tension and relationship between learning content and learning skills

 

 

Pathways for Workforce Development

Room: To be announced
Moderator: To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

Policy makers and businesses are eager to see the education system develop talent to meet the needs of business, and students are eager to invest in education that will result in a successful career. Increasingly, attention has focused on introducing students to career pathways, either in functional areas – like marketing, finance or sales or operations, in an industry – like information technology, or in life sciences. Parents, students, and the entire education industry should understand the newest trends in skilling up the workforce.  

In this session, participants will:

  • Explore how career/technical education programs, high school innovation pathways, workforce investment boards and connections to community colleges are preparing students for today’s workforce
  • Address how employers are building pipelines of new employees via internships and other methods
  • Examine the possibilities for digital offerings in workforce development efforts
Workshop

Special Details: This session will run from 10:30 am – 12:15 pm

Room:To be announced
More details to be announced.

Interoperability

Room: To be announced
Moderator: To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

Schools now have many choices of tech tools to enrich and accelerate learning. As teachers use more tech, they want the data from one tool to be shared and combined with other tools to get a full picture of the student, their achievement, and host of other factors. Not all districts have a data warehouse, and teachers don’t want to do this with Excel on Sunday afternoons! This session will examine the efforts that districts and providers are making to make data interoperability work for teachers and education leaders.

In this session, participants will:

  • Explore how leading edge districts are demanding compliance from providers with EdFi and IMS standards
  • Examine how standards bodies such as IMS and EdFi are approaching the issue and what’s next for these two
  • Hear about Project Unicorn and the resource and tools available to school districts
  • Receive a recommended action plan for schools and districts looking to have application interoperability

 

Transforming School Culuture

Room: To be announced 
Moderator: To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

Google leaders say education technology adoption does not work unless culture change in the school is also happening. Experiments require iteration and sometimes fail. The work of change management can challenge many a school innovator.

In this session, participants will:

  • Address how adoption of technology and culture change are interrelated
  • Outline tips on managing change in their own environment
  • Examine the stages of change

11:30 am – 12:15 pm

Concurrent Sessions
Investors Take Corporate Training and Workforce Opportunities

Room: To be announced
Moderator: To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

Details to be announced.

Outsourced Program Management - A Solution for Higher Ed?

Room: To be announced
Moderator: To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

Outsourced Program Management (OPM) hit the news in 2017, when Purdue acquired Kaplan University, turning Kaplan into an OPM provider. The reality is that many educational institutions are looking for new enrollments, but worry they don’t have the expertise to launch new online or blended programs. OPM companies have answered this call. They have focussed on marketing to enroll new students and managing the back end tech and business process infrastructure, while colleges focus on faculty creating and delivering the program. So, more colleges are exploring what it means to work with these groups.

In this session, participants will:

  • Dissect the experience of a university when they launch a new program with an OPM
  • Explore the requirements for success in OPM
  • Examine how OPM providers are adding more capabilities to their platforms
  • Identify ways to address pre-conditions of labor force and state regulations for pursuing this approach
Edtech in the Enterprise

Room: To be announced
Moderator: To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

Companies are looking to up-skill their workforces. Implementing organization skills and learning development programs can look like an expensive investment, especially if employee tenure is short. Is Edtech primed to bring solutions to organizations so that they can affordably integrate it with career pathways within their enterprises?

In this session, participants will:

  • Examine what companies are seeing as some of the hottest platforms for continued employee skill development
  • Assess how entrepreneurs are bringing digital approaches to solve skill building challenges
  • Evaluate how entrepreneurs are bringing these solutions at appropriate cost points
  • Identify what types of products are still needed in skilling up today’s workforce
Workshop

Special Details: This session will run from 10:30 am – 12:15 pm

Room: To be announced
More details to be announced.

What is the Research Saying about Personalized Learning?

Room: To be announced 
Moderator: 
To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

Edtech has grown, and research is now being completed to give insight to its effectiveness and impact.  A comprehensive literature review by Philip Oreopoulos and colleagues highlights the impact of personalizing learning and of “behavioral nudges.” Rand has completed the second survey of personalized learning schools, and Pearson and Digital Promise have other studies underway.

In this session, participants will:

  • Gain an understanding of the current landscape of research on personalizing learning with edtech
  • Explore the large scale random control trial results that exist
  • Assess the big questions that remain related to the use of edtech
  • Examine how ‘lighter weight’ approaches can be employed
Instructional Design for Successful Online Learning

Room: To be announced 
Moderator: To be announced 
Panelists: To be announced

Now that online learning is more prevalent, instructional designers are seeking to make learning more engaging. What are the latest insights in creating high quality online learning? In partnership with the OnLine Learning Consortium, this session will feature the OnLine Learning Quality Scorecard.

In this session, participants will:

  • How to translate learning objectives into engaging and high performing online courses
  • Address the key challenges designers face
  • Review the progress of Learning Records Stores and Xapi  

 

Pitch Competition Part 1

Room: To be announced

Over 30 early stage companies – representing K-12, higher ed, and continuing ed – will have tried to get to this point. Now, the final group of early stage edtech companies who made the cut after winning at the quarter-final LearnLaunch Pitch Competitions, will compete to pitch in-front of the entire conference on Friday, February 3rd. During these semi-final sessions, judges will narrow it down to the final two companies who will have the chance to become the 2017 LearnLaunch Pitch Competition Winner.

Participating Judges – To be announced
Companies – To be announced

12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

Lunch and Expo

More Information TBA

1:15 pm – 2:15 pm

Keynote - To be announced

To be announced.

2:30 pm – 3:15 pm

Concurrent Sessions
Innovative Finance: Pay for Success Comes to Education

Room: To be announced
Moderator: To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

Social Impact Bonds and “Pay for Success” are possible ways to bring more private investment to bear on public problems. The goal is to fund promising approaches to obtaining better social outcomes that the government might not fund on its own, or increase funding to make more significant progress on an issue, sooner. The government contracts for specific outcomes and the risk or reward of achieving higher or lower results than expected is shifted to investors. The first “pay for success” contracts in adult basic education focused on contextualized English and work skills have been executed by the State of Massachusetts and Jewish Vocational Services for adult education. Pre-K focused projects are in operation in Salt Lake and Chicago, and explorations are underway in the Career and Technical Education space.

In this session, participants will:

  • Examine the basics of “pay for success” and social impact bonds as a new vehicle for impact investment
  • Explore the structure of a variety of  “Pay for Success” contracts in the education field
  • Evaluate the tests being undertaken in career and technical education
Connecting Colleges to the Workplace

Room: To be announced
Moderator: To be announced
Panelists:  To be announced

With parents and students increasingly eyeing what jobs will follow an investment in a college education, colleges are moving to amp up their efforts to connect students with career opportunities.  This session will focus on demonstrating some of the most successful strategies.

In this session, participants will:

  • Explore what strategies and platforms colleges are using to engage students earlier in career planning
  • Identify how colleges are expanding the number of internships available to their students
  • Address how colleges are engaging alumni networks to provide work experiences
  • Examine how colleges are changing advising to address the challenge
The State of the Edtech Market

Room: To be announced 
Facilitator
Trace Urdan, Former Managing Director, Credit Suisse

Trace Urdan is a research analyst who has been following the education and knowledge industries for more than 10 years. The Wall Street Journal has twice cited him as an all-star analyst. Urdan has held senior education research positions at Robert W. Baird, Signal Hill Capital Group and Wells Fargo. He has a view into the future as well as into its recent upheavals. Urdan will address the key trends driving the major sectors of the education and edtech markets.

 

In this session, participants will:

  • Examine the role of the tech giants in the edtech market
  • Address the challenge or opportunity of OER for commercial products
  • Reflect on the role of prior leaders and new challengers
  • Assess drivers of past performance and consider future scenarios
  • Identify key opportunities and challenges in the market
Disruptors? Blockchain and Education Credentialing

Room: To be announced
Moderator: To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

Suppose your learning credentials could be validated to an employer without your having to make a request to the Registrar of an educational institution. The blockchain will move from keeping track of financial transactions to keeping track of education credentials. So, it is important to understand what experiments are happening today, and what can be learned from them.

In this session, participants will:

  • Examine what the start of the art technology thinkers and practitioners are learning about blockchain and credentialing
  • Explore what experiments underway
  • Assess the potential impact these two trends will have on educational institutions and learners
Redesigning High Schools

Room: To be announced 
Moderator: 
To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

Four local high schools recently received $300,000 grants from the Barr Foundation to integrate their schools with community-based learning opportunities. A local high school received a million dollar grant from the  Emerson Collective ‘s XQPrize. New Schools Venture Fund recently announced a second multi-million dollar fund to ignite new school designs. The State of Massachusetts is also supporting more High-Quality College and Career Pathways Initiative, which includes Early College Criteria, Career and Technical Ed, and Innovation Pathways Schools. School leaders will share their vision for their schools and how they are moving forward.

In this session, participants will:

  • Dissect how schools are integrating community-based learning opportunities into their schools
  • Examine how schools planned for and recruited community partners
  • Identify how schools plan to adjust schedules to include learning in the community
  • Understand how to prepare for a redesign grant
  • Receive tips on how to move in this direction
Session TBD

Room: To be announced
Moderator: To be announced
Panelists: To be announced 

Details to be announced.

Pitch Competition - Part 2

Room: To be announced

Over 30 early stage companies – representing K-12, higher ed, and continuing ed – will have tried to get to this point. Now, the final group of early stage edtech companies who made the cut after winning at the quarter-final LearnLaunch Pitch Competitions will compete to pitch in-front of the entire conference on Friday, February 3rd. During these semi-final sessions, judges will narrow it down to the final two companies who will have the chance to become the 2017 LearnLaunch Pitch Competition Winner.

Participating Judges – To be announced
Companies – To be announced

3:30 pm – 4:15 pm

Concurrent Sessions
Social Impact Investing

Room: To be announced
Moderator: To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

Social impact investing – doing good and doing well – is estimated to have grown from x to y over the past five years. Edtech entrepreneurs are uniquely positioned to receive investment from these types of investors. Want to understand what is considered an ‘impact investment’, how performance is measured, and how ‘sustainability’ is different from ‘profitability’? Social impact investors will reflect on how they make their decisions.

In this session, participants will:

  • Examine the role of investment advisors and family offices
  • Explore the role of social impact investors in setting the agenda for investment
  • Address the most common social impact metrics
  • Evaluate the role of prize-based investing and crowd judging (e.g. Solve and XPrize)
Innovative Early Education: Micro-Schools and Beyond

Room: To be announced
Moderator: 
To be announced
Panelists
– Brian Fitzgerald, Co-Founder, Tinkergarten

In a world filled with tech, many parents are looking for hands-on and child-focused learning for their children. Education innovators are offering up micro-schools. For example, Wildflower Schools is a national network of storefront Montessori schools – with nine in Massachusetts, and Tinkergarten – based in Northhampton, MA – is now serving over 50,000 students. It’s likely that this growth will continue, because these micro-schools leverage tech to recruit and support their networks.

In this session, participants will:

  • Explore the rapidly growing arena of micro-schools
  • Examine how technology makes these distributed learning opportunities possible
  • Assess other opportunities for micro-school growth
  • Evaluate how elements of misco-schools might be implementable elsewhere
Private Equity Managers on Edtech Exits

Room: To be announced
Moderator: To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

With relatively few public companies in the edtech space, many entrepreneurs rely on private equity to scale their businesses. Private equity managers will share what they look for in edtech companies,  including the thresholds of revenue and profit required before they are will make a move.  

In this session, participants will:

  • Explore how private equity companies evaluate edtech companies,
  • Outline the trends and key players in edtech private equity
  • Examine how private equity companies are rolling up new edtech software suites
Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning Come to Education

Room: To be announced
Moderator: To be announced 
Panelists: 
To be announced

The use of AI in education is accelerating. Applications now exist to support grading of essays, to determine trends in classroom behavior patterns to provide interactive AI tutors and to provide chatbots to support the college admissions process. AI underlies many adaptive software products.

In this session, participants will:

  • Explore AI applications in use today in education
  • Examine the most promising applications on the near term horizon
  • Evaluate how the largest data sets may yield the best results
  • Imagine future AI applications in education
Superintendent's Hot Seat

Room: To be announced
Moderator: 
To be announced
Panelists:
To be announced

What’s a superintendent to do? Data shows that most suburban schools now have adequate wifi and are headed to 1:1 device ratios; while that is not the case in urban and rural schools. Even with devices and wifi, teacher professional development on software is needed to get the most out of the hardware. While there is early evidence that research based courseware can be a powerful tool for student achievement, it costs money. So, superintendents are left to figure out how to address the change management challenges of moving their schools into the digital age, how to address possible equity issues, and figure out what their key tech initiatives should be in 2018.

In this session, participants will:

  • Examine superintendents’ key initiatives and how tech can support them
  • Pinpoint superintendents’ key tech initiatives of the next 1-3 years
  • Identify the key barriers to adoption from the superintendent’s viewpoint
  • Explore how superintendents would like to see schools change in 2-3 years
  • Outline ways superintendents are addressing the digital age, equity issues and what’s next
Lessons from Competency-Based Education

Room: To be announced
Moderator: To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

Boston Day and Evening Academy has pioneered competency based education and is often cited as a model for helping disengaged youth, including those who have been in the juvenile justice system.  More and more schools are attempting to use mastery based and competency based concepts, in which the students are expected to meet learning objectives in order to move forward. This session will examine both whole school models and the application of competency-based concepts in traditional schools, at the high school and college levels.

In this session, participants will:

  • Outline how these schools define and measure competency
  • Assess how scheduling changes to incorporate varying student paths
  • Identify key digital tools that support their work

4:45 pm – 5:30 pm

Keynote - To be announced

To be announced.

5:30 pm – Onwards

Birds-of-a-Feather Dinner

This event is for CONFERENCE ATTENDEES ONLY.

Keep the conversations going post-conference on Thursday night though “Birds of a Feather” dinners and socials. Choose from a wide variety of topics at local restaurants and bars. Sign up today!

FAQS –

Q1. Who is paying for the dinners/drinks?
A1. Each attendee is responsible to pay for their own purchases. If you’re participating in a dinner, we recommend you bring cash to make splitting the check easier for servers.

Q2. What’s the difference between a dinner and a social?
A2. Dinners will be more intimate sit-down meals with groups up to 8 people. Socials are more casual gatherings at local bars for up to 20 people. Keep an eye out for people with awesome LearnLaunch nametags!

Q3. Who made the reservation?
Q4. Our team at LearnLaunch has made reservations for all dinners to start at 6:15pm (many are under the name Blake). For socials, please look for fellow attendees at the bar.

Q4. There are so many options, how should I chose?
A4. We tried to cover a variety of relevant Edtech themes. We recommend you look at the location and price as each event is at a different local establishment (a few restaurants have mutliple themes). If you’re traveling with a large group, we suggest you split up to network and meet new people! If you have a topic we should add, send us a note at info@learnlaunch.org

Q5. I registered but I changed my mind! What should I do?
A5. Have no fear! You can adjust your reservation at our HelpDesk on Thursday afternoon at the event.

Q6. How do I know I won’t be eating alone?
A6. We will cancel dinner reservations that are fewer than 4 people Thursday afternooon and send a note to register for a different dinner option.

Q7. Why are they called “Birds of a Feather” dinners?
A7. Because birds of a feather flock together!

Friday, February 2

8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Registration Open

9:00 am – 10:00 am

Keynote - Are You Ready to Truly Transform Learning?

Keynotes: 
– Tom Rooney, Superintendent, Lindsay Unified School District
– Devin Vodicka, Chief Impact Officer, AltSchool

How do you transform a school district? Devin Vodicka and Tom Rooney set out to answer this question in their own respective work to “shoot for the moon” in Vista Unified School District and Lindsay School Districts in California. Both leaders sought to better serve their high need student populations by envisioning, piloting, and implementing personalized, learner-centered environment for all students. These journeys to make successful, sustainable and long-term transformations were not without challenge, but resulted in the creation of two of the nation’s leading examples of system innovation. During this session, Devin and Tom will explore how they were able to engage in redesign and continuous improvement – pushing the depth of change beyond technical challenges to adaptive challenges, as well as how they involved and engaged key stakeholders along the way.

10:30 am – 11:15 am

Concurrent Sessions
Buyer's Hot Seat

Room: To be announced
Moderator: To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

Entrepreneurs are always trying to understand how buying decisions are made in school systems and universities. Entrepreneurs are always trying to understand how buying decisions are made in school systems and universities. In this session, buyers will each talk about what the buying process looks like in their organization.

In this session, participants will:

  • Explore what are the key software items buyers will be looking to purchase in 2018
  • Examine who proposes an acquisition and who approves it
  • Outline which standards are required to be supported
  • Identify what purchases are on the horizon for the 2019
  • Evaluate what purchases are made centrally and which are decentralized to schools or departments
Student Success Platforms and Student Retention

Room: To be announced
Moderator: To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

Colleges and universities equipped with more detailed data on student success and progress are focusing more on intervening to retain students and to support their success. Platforms like EAB, Civitas and Starfish are platforms that these institutions of higher ed are implementing, which can be both a challenge and an opportunity.

In this session, participants will:

  • Evaluate the requirements for success in implementing a student success platform
  • Explore the implementation challenges
  • Examine the range of actions that advisors can now take with students with the support of these platforms
  • Assess the changes in student retention rates that are being seen at adopting colleges
Learning Innovation Showcase

Stay tuned more details.

Learning and Training with Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality

Room: To be announced
Moderator: To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

While sales of virtual reality headsets are not meeting sales expectations, the optimism around augmented reality has been growing. Augmented reality may make truly immersive education more broadly available as it brings the physical and virtual worlds together.

In this session, participants will:

  • Explore current applications of augmented and mixed reality in education
  • Outline how to get started in augmented reality from practitioners and platform providers
  • Evaluate the potential for this powerful technology – beyond Pokemon Go – to be used in learning
Social Emotional Learning and Innovation

Room: To be announced
Moderator: To be announced
Panelist: To be announced

Many new model schools mix a strong emphasis on social-emotional learning together with tech and media rich learning experiences. They may emphasize strong adult and student relationships through advisories and mentoring, and a focus on communicating and maintaining shared culture. In this session school, innovators will talk about how they support social-emotional learning, and we will learn about their favorite tools.

In this session, participants will:

  • Examine which tools help students be known to faculty and staff
  • Explore how personal learning plans are successfully implemented
  • Identify tools for educators to support socio-emotional learning and a positive school culture
How Does the Role of the Educator Change in the Digital Classroom

Room: To be announced
Moderator: 
To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

Much is written about “stand and deliver” versus “guide on the side”, and there is much discussion about what this means for teachers as as they journey towards personalizing learning, supported by technology. Hear from teachers who have moved from one mode to the next, understand what their journey has been, and what it means for them and their students.

In this session, participants will:

  • Evaluate how daily and weekly class preparation changes
  • Examine how teachers use data differently and more frequently
  • Address how tech is no substitute for classroom management
  • Explore how grouping and group work changes
  • Identify how individualized resources and homework are made available

11:30 am – 12:15 pm

Concurrent Sessions
Advice from Entrepreneurs That Grew Beyond $1M-$2M in Annual Sales

Room: To be announced 
Moderator: 
To be announced 
Panelists: To be announced

Breaking through the one million dollar mark in annual sales is a major accomplishment in edtech. Yet, there is much to be learned from edtech entrepreneurs who have broken through the $1 million dollar mark, are keenly focused on breaking $10 million dollar mark, and are still seeing rapid growth.

In this session, participants will:

  • Examine key stages of growth – from establishing product-market fit to building repeatable and scalable sales processes
  • Assess key contributors for obtaining financing for growth
  • Dissect how the role of the board and advisory boards can affect growth
  • Define talent strategies for building a winning team
Saving Money by Getting Through College Faster

Room: To be announced
Moderator: 
To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

With the rising cost of attaining an undergraduate degree, many students are seeking to gain college credits in high school or obtain an undergraduate degree by combining two years in a community college and two years in a four-year college. Advanced placement, international baccalaureate, and college level examination program (CLEP) credentials also can accelerate this path.  

In this session, participants will:

  • Explore the range of alternatives which are available to students looking to accelerate their higher ed degree
  • Assess some of the challenges of this path – such as understanding transfer credit requirements
  • Identify digital innovations that are helping students navigate a lower cost path to meaningful degrees or credentialing
Learning Innovation Showcase

Stay tuned more details.

Direct to Consumer Revenue Models for Delivering Learning

Room: To be announced
Moderator
– Esteban Sosnik, General Partner, Reach Capital

Panelists
– Chris Twyman,  CEO, BoomWriter
*More to be announced

Much attention has been given to “freemium” models, some to B2B models, but less to mixed models such as “free to schools, parents pay” like Epic! or BoomWriter.

In this session, participants will:

  • Examine the models of companies with both direct to consumer and school partnerships such as Epic! and BoomWriter
  • Discuss the possibilities to apply this model to other education areas
  • Review where paywalls have been built
How Will Teachers Embrace Personalized Learning?

Room: To be announced
Moderator: To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

Personalizing learning using technology involves a change in teaching practice. Whether it is absorbing student data from new tools, more frequent grouping or gradually relinquishing ownership of their learning to students,  personalizing learning is challenging. What do teachers have to say about what support works for them? To what extent are schools and districts focusing on this and providing support? How are Support providers are providing teachers’ support in a blended environment?  What is known about what works?

In this session, participants will:

  • Examine how teacher practice is changing in classrooms that are adopting personalized learning enabled with technology
  • Explore the challenges teachers face and the benefits they gain during periods of adoption
  • Outline which supports teachers value the most to  successfully personalize learning
  • Identify how support providers are changing offerings to meet these needs
Libraries Driving Making and Digital Adoption

Room: To be announced
Moderator: To be announced
Panelists: To be announced. 

More details to be announced.

12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

Lunch and Expo

More Information TBA

1:15 pm – 2:00 pm

Concurrent Sessions
Skills Development for Adults Without a Higher Ed Degree

Room: To be announced
Moderator:
 To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

Sixty percent of American adults have some college credits, but only 32% have obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree. With the compensation premium for a BA so high, it is important to understand what options are available for the large market of adults who seek to advance their learning.

In this session, participants will:

  • Explore the range of digital options and services that are available for adults with some college but no degree
  • Develop an understanding of the support services that adults might require
  • Evaluate the ways to grow the knowledge of the availability of such programs
Open Educational Resources

Room: To be announced
Moderator: 
To be announced.
Panelists: To be announced

For adult learners, the cost of textbooks and materials can be a barrier to continuing their education.  Community colleges are increasingly looking toward Open Education Resources (OER) to reduce the cost of curricular materials. However, they are concerned about how to assure the quality of the materials and that they will be maintained.

In this session, participants will:

  • Examine why college leaders see promise in the OER strategy
  • Address the challenge of identifying which resources are high quality
  • Explore the challenge of keeping OER material current
  • Determine whether faculty are adopting this strategy, and if not, why not
What Ever Happened to Freemium?

Room: To be announced
Moderator: To be announced
Panelists:
To be announced

In an attempt to drive exponential adoption of their tools, many edtech startups offered free versions of their software to teachers, and then followed up with paid premium versions sold to school and district leaders. edModo, Remind, and ClassDojo were companies that explored this type of business model and learned how to convert the free trials to subscriptions or premium offerings.

In this session, participants will:

  • Explore how companies are faring as they move from freemium to premium
  • Dissect what the key conversion metrics and characteristics are for freemium models
  • Outline the sales and marketing components that are important in a freemium model
  • Examine how freemium players capture and nurture customers
  • Identify how freemium-based companies decide where a paywall might be placed
Learning Science-Based Education: New Tools in Bringing Cognitive Research into Practice

Room: To be announced
Moderator:
To be announced
Panelists: 
To be announced

Rapid developments in cognitive science are being incorporated into new edtech products. Products need to address working memory, long term memory,  mind wandering, and how to structure their material into bite-sized chunks.  They need to consider prompting retrieval and use spaced retrieval and interleaved learnings. How do they build schema, and decrease cognitive load? If you are an educator or an entrepreneur, you will want to put the latest findings of cognitive science into practice.

In this session, participants will:

  • Explore the key findings of cognitive science that relate to learning
  • Assess how these findings are being applied in edtech and course development
  • Learn from leaders in the field
  • Be able to address how to apply the concepts in their own classes and products
Looking at a Platform

Room: To be announced
Moderator: To be announced
Panelists:
 To be announced

With the variety of tools out there, educators are looking to peers and other trusted sources for recommendations. Beyond Google Classroom and email,  schools are looking at a variety of platforms to support individualized learning.  Schoology,  Canvas, Summit or systems to support project based learning and portfolios are being examined.

In this session, participants will:

  • Explore the landscape of edtech platforms for personalizing learning
  • Examine the landscape of  PBL and portfolio  tools
  • Identify what LMSs do and don’t do
Tales of Trialing

Room: To be announced
Moderator: 
To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

There are a vast number of edtech options for schools to test, adopt or use in schools. Schools often name choosing among the vast number of edtech options as a critical challenge they face in moving to personalized learning. This session will address the variety of approaches that educators take in selecting products to trial and adopt, and how they attempt to measure student outcomes

In this session, participants will:

  • Identify how educators assess and measure student outcomes when using a new product
  • Examine the Mathematica RCE Coach Tool and the LearnTrials Tool and how schools have used them to evaluate new courseware and approaches
  • Explore how schools have used the approaches of The Learning Assembly for short cycle trials
  • Evaluate how trialing differs in different educational environments
  • Outline how trials are related to the purchase process

2:15 pm – 3:00 pm

Concurrent Sessions
Edtech Failures: Why They Happen & How to Move On

Room: To be announced
Moderator:
 To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

No entrepreneur starts out thinking his or her venture will fail. Yet, failure is an inevitable part of innovation. There is a lot that can be learned from entrepreneurs who went through learning about a lack of market fit, not enough financing to enable a repeatable sales model, having a toxic team. However, there is also much to be learned about how it set them up for their future endeavors.

In this session, participants will:

  • Dissect some examples of failure and how these failures created success with future endeavors
  • Explore learnings from investors and entrepreneurs
  • Identify key must-do’s for current entrepreneurs
  • Evaluate investor viewpoints on failure
Bootcamps, Certifications and Micromasters

Room: To be announced
Moderator: To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

Pressure for stackable certificates continues to grow outside the tech industry, where they have been the norm. Yet, the needs that employers value are always changing. This means that learners seeking to make an investment in their education need to make sure that boot camp, certificate or micro-master they are pursuing is worth the investment or a good bet to help their career.

In this session, participants will:

  • Assess how colleges are moving to provide more certificates independent of associates, bachelors and masters degrees
  • Identify if any certificates have emerged as being of value outside of tech certifications
  • Explore how edtech entrepreneurs are getting involved with this trend
Best Opportunities to Bring Ideas from Other Industries to the Education Market

Room: To be announced
Moderator: To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

More details to be announced shortly.

Computational Thinking: Coding and Robots

Room:  To be announced
Moderator:
To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

Robots are emerging as tools for learning. A number of robotics startups engage learners of all ages in coding. Some robots are being used to provide support services to autistic children and others with special needs. This session will review how robots are being used for learners of varying ages as well as how they are supporting some special populations.

In this session, participants will:

  • Address the increased use of robots as part of coding curriculums
  • Explore special purpose robots focused on students with special needs
  • Examine the use of robots in other education applications
Personalizing Learning: Where Do We Go From Here?

Room: To be announced
Moderator: 
To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

Thought leader Michael Horn, co-founder of the Christensen Institute and author of the best-seller Blended, will summarize key themes and lay out a pathway forward for school districts to personalize learning, not for its own sake, but to advance student learning and success for all students.

In this session, participants will:

  • Evaluate the lingo that masks the real meaning of personalized learning
  • Examine the research behind the implementation of personalizing learning
  • Explore pathways to personalizing learning that will advance learning for all students
How Much is Too Much Tech?

Room: To be announced
Moderator:
To be announced
Panelists: To be announced

Children are using digital devices earlier and earlier. Most pediatricians advise that parents and guardians interact with young children about what they are doing online. Have apps taken over where Sesame Street left off?

Participants in this session will:

  • Explore the best practices for tech with pre-schoolers
  • Examine some of the top rated applications
  • Reflect on how parents and educators mix the physical with the digital experiences of preschoolers

3:15 pm – 4:00 pm

Keynote - To be announced

More information will be announced shortly. 

 

4:00pm – 6:00 pm

Closing Reception

Join us at the Hynes Convention Center for a post- conference reception from 4:00pm-6:00pm.