K-12 Path

For educators, administrators, and anyone interested in getting a glimpse into how K-12 education is being shaped by technology and innovation and how educators are bringing personalized learning to the forefront of K-12 education the K-12 Path should be right for you!

*Please note that some times do overlap. It is up to you as a participant to choose what session you prefer.

Buyer's Hot Seat: What Drives a Decision

Panelists: Mark Racine, CIO, Boston Public Schools; Kerry Gallagher, Digital Learning Specialist, St. John’s Prep; Anna Nolan, Assistant Superintendent, Natick Public Schools

Date: Friday, February 3, 2017
10:30 am – 11:15 am

The faculty love your product. What are the next steps to having the school or district decide to buy a site license? What are the concerns of instructional technologists and innovation directors? Come and see how an entrepreneur navigates through the steps of bringing the key constituencies on board.

In this session, participants will:

  • Address the interplay of teacher advocates, instructional technologists, academic leader and chief information officers in making a school purchase decision
  • Examine the key concerns of each of the stakeholders in the decision making process
  • Explore how entrepreneurs can address their issues·          
Game-Based Learning

Panelists: Dave McCool, Founder, Chairman & CTO, Muzzy Lane; Laura Boothroyd, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Second Avenue Learning

Online games are now a bigger business than movies. Games such as Minecraft have moved into  education and many consumer games are said to develop flow, persistence and other desirable traits.  Game mechanics have enlivened all sorts of learning and are increasingly deployed, and educators are interested in how they can integrate them into classrooms and lessons.   At the same time, great games can be costly to develop and maintain and there are questions regarding which educational games are sustainable businesses.   


In this session, participants will:

  • Explore the selection process of choosing a game to be used in a classroom or lesson  
  • Examine how educators have deployed games
  • Outline what are the key game elements for education
  • Identify what games have shown sustainable business model or are showing great promise in teaching and learning  
In-Service Teacher Preparation for a Digital World

Moderator: Grace Magley, Director of Digital Learning, Natick Public Schools

Panelists: Dan Callahan, Training & Professional Learning Specialist, EdCamp; Alex Grodd, Founder, Better Lesson; Nat Vaughn, Principal, T.A. Blake Middle School, Medfield

Date: Friday, February 3, 2017
10:30 am – 11:15 am

According to the Project Tomorrow SpeakUp surveys, close to 60% of principals say that lack of teacher preparation on how to integrate digital content within their instruction is a key barrier to increasing personalized learning. So, leaders are seeking the most effective ways to support in-service teachers, as they transition to more personalized learning enabled by digital technologies.

In this session, participants will:

  • Review promising examples of supporting teachers and schools in the adoption of personalized learning enabled by digital technologies
  • Assess the difference between job-embedded strategies for professional development and other approaches
  • Study the role of teacher cohorts, whether in existing professional learning communities or other groupings
  • Examine approaches to personalizing teacher professional development, both in content and in how credits are earned
K-12 Edtech Piloting: Mapping the Path to Successful Implementation

Moderator: Beth Rabbitt, CEO of the Learning Accelerator

Panelists: Mary Driscoll, Instructional Superintendent, Boston Public Schools; Andy Marcinek, Chief Information Officer, Worcester Academy & Former Chief Open Education Advisor, US Department of Education; Julie Baudreau, Director of Digital Learning, Westford Public Schools

How do schools decide which academic challenges to apply technology to? How do they identify which edtech products are suitable for a particular learning environment? There are so many important considerations: is the product is research-based, will it work in a your context, is it implementable with your technology infrastructure, how much training will be required, will your students take to it, and whether you can be confident that it will create better student outcomes.

During this session, participants will:

  • Explore how schools are structuring pilot programs to address these issues
  • Identify what approaches are working in schools – from both an academic and industry perspective
  • Examine practices and protocols that schools are adopting for future piloting
Learning Innovation Showcase

The Learning Innovation Showcase uniquely presents the voices of learners and enables diverse groups – educators, entrepreneurs, investors, and policy makers – to see a wide range of edtech tools applied in real learning environments. Our inspiring showcase is an opportunity to learn about innovative programming that personalizes learning for students of all ages through access to effective, cutting-edge edtech.

Twenty teachers and student teams have stepped forward to showcase emerging models of teaching and learning in Secondary Ed (6th – 12th grade), Higher Ed, and learning programs outside of school. Learn more about this year’s participants here!

Note: At last year’s Across Boundaries conference, the “Classroom of the Future” drew hundreds of interested participants. This year, we have renamed the showcase the “Learning Innovations Showcase” in order to attract out of school and post secondary learning innovations. 2016 Classroom of the Future

Learning without Boundaries

Moderator: Travis McCready,  President and CEO, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center
Josh Schachter, Founder and Director, CommunityShare; Andrew Frishman, Co-Executive Director, Big Picture Learning; Chris Smith, President & Executive Director, Boston After School and Beyond

Date: Friday, February 3, 2017
2:15 pm – 3:00 pm

Learning can take take place anywhere. Libraries are now offering makerspaces, museums are firing  the imagination with special exhibits, social enterprises are supporting extended learning opportunities and, companies are providing authentic projects for students. MOOCs and online opportunities abound. The desire to engage students has never been greater among educators and parents.

During this session, participants will:

  • Outline how teachers and school leaders are using makerspaces, museums, social enterprises and companies as partners beyond the class day
  • Explore how this work is coordinated by schools and community organizations
  • Examine how learning is assessed when not within traditional models
  • Dissect what actions stakeholders must take to expand opportunities for students
Personalizing the System, Not Just the Classroom

Moderator: Anthony Kim, CEO, Ed Elements

Speakers: Peter Sanchioni, Superintendent, Natick Public Schools; Eric Conti, Superintendent, Burlington Public Schools, Mary Skipper, Superintendent,  Somerville Public Schools 

More districts are looking to personalize education for their students. Leaders are seeking to learn the best approaches used by their peers. They want to understand how to get started, how to build support, and how to find funds.

In this session, participants will:

  • Examine how superintendents get personalized learning initiatives kicked-off in their district
  • Outline how they built support from teachers, parents and school committees
  • Identify the funding strategies they adopted
  • Explore the cultural changes that need to occur
Special Populations and Edtech

Moderator: Karen Janowski, Assistive and Educational Technology Consultant, Ed-Tech Solutions & Simmons College

Panelists: Ryan Knight, Director of Strategy and Evaluation, UP Education Network; Kathleen Colburn, Product Manager, TextHelp; Sara Davila, Director of English Language Learner Programs and Family & Community Outreach, Somerville Public Schools

Date: Friday, February 3, 2017
Time: 1:15 pm – 2:00 pm

Special education populations have been using assistive technology for some time, but now a larger population of students are using digital technologies as part of their  learning. Educators and leaders are increasingly using edtech for interventions for many groups of students. Multi-tiered systems of support, RTI (Response to Intervention) and ELL (English Language Learners) focused interventions  are increasingly incorporating edtech.

During this session, participants will:

  • Examine research on the use of edtech products for intervention with special populations
  • Review what developers are saying about using their products to achieve peak results, and what this means for both in-class and pull-out settings
  • Explore with practitioners how the new generation of adaptive products – used by whole classes – is interacting with use solely by special ed students
High School of the Future

Moderator: Andrew Joseph, CEO, School by Design

Panelists: Alec Resnick, Director, Powderhouse Studio; Eric Tucker, Co-Founder, Brooklyn Lab Charter School; William Thomas, Principal, Charlestown High C-Town Tech

DateThursday, February 2, 2017
11:30am – 12:15 am

Many educators are looking to remake high schools to better engage and educate students for the 21st century. What is the experience with early college high school, with new project based learning schools and other innovative approaches? This panel will bring innovative schools to share their experiences.  

In this session, participants will:

  • Explore the key design drivers of the innovators
  • Examine the time, talent, partnerships and dollars required to establish a super school
  • Identify the key technologies super schools are using
The Evolution of Assessment

Moderator, Tony Siddal, Program Officer, Next Generation Learning Challenges

Panelists: Paul Crockett, CEO, Authess; Renee Foster, President, iReady; Jonathan Vander Els, Executive Director, New Hampshire Learning Initiative

Date: Thursday, February 2, 2017
Time: 10:30 am – 11:15 am

Assessment of student learning is an essential part of education. As educators desire to move away from measuring content knowledge to measuring skills and the ability to apply learning, assessments will change. Formative assessments are increasingly deployed; educators are developing rubrics; and simulations are also being used.  We are advancing assessment beyond machine scored multiple choice approaches, but there are still questions as to what technology is needed and affordable to scale the next generation of assessment as educators move towards mastery-based assessments.

In this session, participants will:

  • Examine how assessments might evolve in the coming years
  • Review the potential of games and simulations for assessment
  • Explore the experiences of pioneering districts and colleges seeking performance assessments
  • Address how close the approaches are to scaling