Big Picture Learning

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Morning Keynote
Monday, October 22 - 8:00-9:15
Featuring: Carlos Moreno, Co-Executive Director


What does it mean to deliver powerful learning experiences and personalized pathways that build the knowledge and skills that students and communities need for future prosperity and success? Despite dramatic improvements in education over the last century, the one-size-fits-all, time-based system does not work as well as we need it to if we are going to ensure that all students succeed. In fact, the traditional system was designed to rank and sort students through a combination of practices: curriculum based on age and grade levels without regard for students’ previous experiences, grading policies that inflated or reduced grades based on behavior (or bell curves), not mastery. We have a system of age-based cohorts in an industrial model of education that sets different expectations for students based on their perceived ability or identity, and promotes students to the next grade level despite having not learned what they needed for more advanced learning.

Across the country, educators and policymakers are coming to the same conclusion: the structure of the traditional system is a barrier to equity and excellence and does not provide high-quality learning opportunities for all students. The premise of transforming education systems toward personalized pathways, connected to communities and aligned across K-16 and workforce needs points to a competency-based education system as a backbone to reimagine our structures and pedagogy. The traditional system, having been designed to sort students, must be and can be replaced with culture that all students can learn and thrive. 

iNACOL's opening keynote plenary session will follow a TED Talk format, where extraordinary leaders such as BPL's Carlos Moreno, LEAP Innovations' Phyllis Lockett, and Future Focused Education's Tony Monfiletto will provide short, powerful talks sharing their journeys toward transformative learning connected to communities, future-focused careers and civic life. Their first-hand experiences in addressing tough questions, building upon local perspectives and wisdom, with an eye toward rethinking what is possible, are helping to drive the transformation of education systems and advance equity for all students. 

Equitable by Design: Centering Equity in Network Design
Monday, October 22 - 10:00-11:00 
Featuring: Temple Lovelace, Deeper Learning Equity Fellow
Diversity, equity and inclusion doesn’t just happen. It’s intentionally created by design. This is especially true in education ecosystems and learning networks. Despite their popularity for providing open, collaborative, and democratized structures, these qualities don’t guarantee diverse membership, inclusive culture, or equitable practice. In this session, we will explore places where networks have stumbled, and provide concrete examples and strategies to realize ‘equity by design.’ 
Equity Pedagogy: Enabling Students from Diverse Groups to Achieve
Monday, October 22 - 10:00-12:15 
Featuring: Karla Vigil, Deeper Learning Equity Fellow
This session is grounded in James A. Banks Five Dimensions of Multicultural Education and how it directly supports the personalization of students' learning. We will specifically focus on one dimension: Equity Pedagogy. Educators will have the opportunity to learn culturally responsive techniques and teaching methods that facilitate the academic achievement of students from diverse racial, ethnic and social-class groups. Participants will engage in an activity that deepens the "how to" become aware of students' distinctive backgrounds and gain the skills to translate that knowledge into effective personalized instruction. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to explore and identify ways to support their daily instructional practice, and align it to their vision of personalized and blended learning.
Nothing About Us Without Us - Student Voice & Equity in an Age of Progressive Education
Monday, October 22 - 11:15-12:15
Featuring: Carlos Moreno, BPL Co-Executive Director and Taliq Tillman, BPL Alumnus
We should all be buoyed by an education revolution that pushes competency-based learning forward. But, if conversations about the future of education are to progress, it is imperative that voices from underserved communities – particularly student voices from those communities – be part of the discussion. In this session, attendees will hear from and dialogue with students and staff from the Big Picture Learning network, who have been leading the equity in education charge for over two decades.
Simple Ideas that Change Everything: Reimagining Learning Outcomes
Monday, October 22 - 11:15-12:15
Featuring: Elliot Washor, Co-Founder Big Picture Learning and Angel Velez, BPL Student
The education landscape is swirling with conversations about how to measure the outcomes of our education system. But, they are still grounded in what the standardized system is capable of producing. Until we shift this conversation, our education system will continue to be unable to embrace the spectrum of what success looks like for all children. Join us to hear from leaders already deeply engaged in this new conversation about outcomes — it might just change your world.
Starting and Innovative School: Navigating from Vision to Execution
Monday, October 22 - 11:15-12:15
Featuring: Sunny Summers, School Leader - New Harmony High (a Big Picture Network School)
Join school leaders from three XQ Super Schools in an interactive discussion on best practices, challenges and lessons learned from building innovative schools. Be prepared to ask the visionary founders from New Harmony High in New Orleans, Purdue Polytechnic in Indianapolis, and Crosstown High in Memphis on how they have coalesced their students, teachers, partners and communities to cultivate innovative ways of teaching and learning into the next Super Schools. New Harmony High is committed to preparing students for life after high school through the study of coastal erosion. Purdue Polytechnic students learn problem-solving and critical thinking through real-world design challenges. Crosstown High, based in the Crosstown Concourse, an urban vertical village, builds relationships across Memphis to support personalized, project-based learning for all students.
Are we Listening? What are we afraid of?
Tuesday, October 23  - 11:15-12:15
Featuring: Carleen Schnitker, Principal and Melisa LaPrath, Advisor - Union High School (a Big Picture Network School)
This adventure into true student-driven student-voice education allows participants to dispel myths, define unknown biases & acknowledge the power of students’ voice & choice! Throughout this interactive session we will be empowered by students defining their vision & igniting their own learning.  Participants will skip away with confidence and tools to guide personalized learning experiences from the student perspective, culture, needs, & understanding. One student at a time. All means all.
Building Highly Effective Real World Learning Experiences
Wednesday, October 24 - 8:30-10:30
Featuring: David Berg, BPL Director of Technology and Jennifer Ghidiu, BPL Director of Network Learning
Join the Big Picture Learning digital team, as we dive into what makes a highly effective internship program. We'll learn from research and individual student experiences! In this workshop, you'll also gain familiarity with platforms and systems that can support your school or district's internship program. You'll be able to build your own implementation plan, applying our collective learning, best practices, and the power of your school, your students, and your local community.