Building Learning Communities

Boston, MA
July 15-20
Conference Website

Get ideas for empowered teaching and learning at Building Learning Communities hosted by November Learning. BLC welcomes education specialists of all stripes, including K-12 teachers, principals, college educators, curriculum and technology directors, school board members and more. The conference features hands-on pre-conference workshops, keynotes and over 90 main session workshops.

Wednesday, July 18

Carolyn StaudtModels and Probes, Oh My!

Carolyn Staudt

4:00-5:00 PM, Stuart – 4th Floor (C wing)

The Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry (ITSI) project prepares diverse students for careers in information technologies by engaging them in exciting, inquiry-based science projects that use computational models and real-time data acquisition. ITSI has produced dozens of activities in elementary, middle and high school science using a range of commercial sensors as well as open source or research-based models.

Teachers can customize ITSI science inquiry activities easily to fit their classrooms and engage their local communities using the web-based interface. All activities are embedded in software that allows students to read the activity, answer questions, make predictions and collect data, analyze results, run a computer-based model, take and annotate snapshots of that model, and save their work within one application. It also allows the collection of formative and summative assessment data, which is available to the teachers.

Try out the activities and see how they would fit in your school. Project materials are free and available online.

Friday, July 20

Being Smart with Graphs

Carolyn Staudt

10:20-11:25 AM, Cambridge – 4th Floor (A wing)

SmartGraphs is a project that studies the educational value of digital objects embedded in graphs that “know” about themselves and that provide scaffolding to students to help them learn about graphs and the concepts conveyed in graphs.

Digital SmartGraphs can be authored or customized by teachers and accept inputs from students’ responses, sketches, functions, models, and probes. The software analyzes the graphs for the kinds of features that experts recognize and then engages students in conversations that instruct and assess student knowledge.

SmartGraphs is guided by collaboration between the Concord Consortium and the Pennsylvania State Department of Education Classrooms for the Future program, through which 145,000 laptop computers are deployed to serve 500,000 students. Other states, districts, or schools that are also interested in providing meaningful software to help students interpret visual graphical data from existing graphs or real time data collected with probes will thrill with this free Open Source software tool!

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