Sessions banner.jpg

Take Your Students To Another World...Virtually
Rich Thompson, Coordinator, YOUmedia Springfield

Rene Stratton, Program Coordinator, CCED

Explore sea life as scuba diver, jump out of a plane in a wingsuit or walk with an elephant in Africa using our state-of-the-art Samsung Gear VR goggles.  We'll show you how to take learning out of the classroom and show your students a world they've never experienced.  You'll learn the technology behind VR, spend time using the goggles, and see how you can tie VR to your grade level standards. 

If you also attend day two of the symposium and design a VR unit for your classroom, you will be awarded the LRNG VR Badge!  Once you earn the badge, you can check out the VR goggles to use in your classroom!

NOTE:  This is a double session on day one!     


Jordan Pennington, Technology Specialist, Springfield City School District

Escape rooms (also called breakout rooms) invite players to solve a series of puzzles using clues, hints and strategy to unveil a secret plot hidden within the room.  An escape room allows you to combine teamwork and critical thinking with any content area.

Jordan will lead you through an actual escape -- your team will solve clues to "break out" of the room.  Then you'll explore Breakout EDU, and work on designing your own escape room plans.  

If you also attend day two of the symposium and design an escape room unit for your classroom, you will be awarded the LRNG Escape Badge!  Once you earn the badge, you can check out our escape room kits to use in your classroom!


Project Based Learning Unmasked
Kenya Andorfer, 5th grade teacher, Springfield City School District
Jacob Studebaker, 4th grade teacher, Springfield City School District


Project Based Learning (PBL) is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge.  Jacob and Kenya will showcase their PBL units and talk about the things they've learned along the way.   If you want to create a top-notch PBL unit or have a unit that needs tweaking, this is the place to be!


Jen Keeling, Director of Ecosystem Advancement, LRNG
Christine Marsh, Ecosystem Advancement Lead, LRNG

“Imagine what it would look like if all our schools were set up to help youth discover and pursue their passions instead of guiding them along a predictable path.”

— John Legend, Artist and Musician

LRNG is a movement that aims to inspire innovation in education, to become an experience that better reflects the world we live in today.  Join us for an introductory LRNG session and re-shape learning to help youth connect their interests to opportunity.  Design engaging content to help young people explore their interests, and ignite a passion that can lead to college, a career, or having a positive impact on the community. 

*  This session is on June 2 ONLY. 


Rapper or Shakespeare? 
Darius Watkins, Student and Musical Artist, Springfield High School

Engaging students isn’t easy.  Ideally, you create “authentic” learning experiences that dissolve the classroom walls and make it all “real.”  But sometimes, even at our most creative, we struggle to keep students engaged.  Hip-hop just might be the way to keep learning relevant while building a new generation of scientists.  But rap is also full of hyperbole and other literary devices, historical movements, along with the energy, charisma, and word play that interest students.

Spend an hour with Darius as he talks about how hip-hop gave him an opportunity to engage with school in a way that spoke to his cultural identities but also built critical skills that are transferable to every other subject.  Then you'll hit the sound booth and lay down some tracks of your own!  


Teacher as Creator
Michael Payne, English teacher, Global Impact STEM Academy
Josh Jennings, Director, Global Impact STEM Academy

If you want something to change, you have the platform to change it. Communicate your thoughts and ideas within a collaborative staff that looks to seek out best practice and progress that leads toward a better ‘you’. All ideas and thoughts are welcome and valued; it’s simply a matter of accepting that you are not only a teacher but also a creator: one with a voice and autonomy.

NOTE:  This is only held during the first session on day one!   


Behind the Curtain: Helping kids Develop Noncognitive Skills by Emphasizing the Thinking Process
Laura Wailes, Resident Educator Mentor, Springfield City School District

Every educator can recognize the value of noncognitive skills in their students, but few are able to guide students through the process of developing those skills.  Learn how to help students become more successful in PBL and connected learning by seamlessly integrating noncognitive skills development into your practice.  Using questioning, brain science, and scaffolding, help students become more intentional, resilient, and independent without losing your mind in the process. 


A Collection of Prayers:  The Artist Process
Ryan Ramirez, Student and Artist, Springfield High School

Ryan will share the process in which he creates art that “relates to something potent, something that comes from deep places” in his heart.  He will discuss how he makes an idea come alive, and then the work that goes into refining his pieces to the point where they are show-ready.  Ryan will also engage you in an artist journey of your own.


Making Creativity Visible: Rethinking Schools as Centers for Creativity
Cindy Foley, Executive Assistant Director and Director of Learning and Experience, Columbus Museum of Art

Cindy believes we need to rethink the purpose of education. In this presentation, she will make a case that our future depends on developing learners that think like artists which means learners who are creative, curious, that seek questions, develop ideas, and play. But how exactly do we teach for creativity? The Making Creativity Visible initiative has been three years of working with classroom teachers and administrators in an effort to document and research the ways they are exploring the teaching and development of creative and critical thinking. In this session you will “meet” teachers, through examples and video who are teaching to develop the behaviors and dispositions of creativity.  Cindy will also share what she has learned about the fertile soil that allows creativity to thrive in classrooms and across schools.


Design and Construct With Project Based Learning
Al Summers, National Faculty, Buck Institute of Education

Reading, talking, questioning, analyzing and creating products — those are the hallmarks of PBL.  But how do you cover it all?  How do you differentiate for a variety of ability levels?  In this session, you’ll see the transformative nature of learning by doing, and reflect on the implications of PBL teaching and unit design.   Al will provide you with the tools and resources necessary as you use the PBL process to support deeper learning and design a classroom where students are actively engaged in inquiry work. 


Brand Your Story
Will Wegert, President, Cold Collar

A “brand story” is not just a catchy tagline that’s pasted on a billboard to attract attention for a week or two.  A story is more than content and a narrative. It goes beyond what’s written in a notebook, the text in a brochure, or the presentation used to tell your story.  Your story is the foundation of your brand and a strategy for future success.

Your story isn’t just what you tell people it’s also what they believe about you based on the signals you send.  Your story is a complete picture made up of facts, feelings and interpretations, which means that part of your story isn’t even told by you.

For youth, finding a place in the workforce is one of the biggest hurdles to success.  Employers want more than what’s on your resume.  They want a story.  Work with Will to design a brand story, communicate its essence, craft a brand identity, and shape perceptions that will help you and your students conquer the workforce!

* Note!  This session is also for teens!