by John Larmer
Editor in Chief
March is here, and that means it’s time for education conferences. The Buck Institute for Education is sending teams to three events, so register soon if you want to catch one of these:
SXSWedu – March 6-9, Austin, Texas
This is part of the South by Southwest “family of conferences and festivals” – the gatherings of "creative professionals" that include “society’s true rock stars: educators!” It’s huge—over 13,000 attended in 2016, including cutting edge education thought leaders, tech companies, nonprofit org folks, teachers, and school leaders. The program includes keynote speakers, hundreds of sessions, a policy forum, a film festival, a “playground” and… well, something for everybody.
BIE is involved in two sessions here:
• Learning & Leading in a Project-Based World
Wednesday, March 8, 3:30PM-4:30PM at the Hilton Austin Downtown, Salon J.
This is a panel discussion (with three “empty chairs” so attendees can join in) on the topic “Project work will dominate careers of today's students. Explore the implications for preparing students for a relationship economy through the lens of teaching and learning through projects.” The panel includes BIE's chief program officer, Brandon Wiley, plus Marc Chun of the Hewlett Foundation, Kristin Cuilla of New Tech Network, and Tom Vander Ark of Getting Smart.
ASCD Empower 17 Annual Conference – March 25-27, Anaheim, California
BIE has been going to this event for years, with an exhibit hall booth and sessions presented by me and others. We’ll be at booth #948 if you want to stop by to say hello, check out our books, or talk about our professional development services.
In addition to our exhibit booth, we will have two things happening this year:
• Advanced Project-Based Learning for Equity, ELL, and Greater Authenticity
Monday, March 37, 1:00PM at the Anaheim Convention Center, level 3, room 303B.
This is being presented by me and my esteemed colleague Gina Olabuenaga, and here’s how I explained it in the program: “We will go beyond the basics of BIE’s model for Gold Standard PBL and explore issues of more advanced teacher and school practice. Many teachers have found PBL to be a tool for promoting educational equity for students furthest from opportunity, including its use with English language learners. PBL teachers have also found that classroom- or school-based projects, while valuable and appropriate in some cases, can become more powerful and even transformative for students if they involve authentic real-world problems, school communities, and external experts and organizations. Hear about K–12 examples in various subjects and apply BIE's lessons learned about these issues to your own project designs and PBL plans for your school.”
Deeper Learning 2017 – March 29-31, High Tech High, San Diego, California
This is the fifth annual Deeper Learning conference, and it’s always a wonderful event – see my blog post about it last year. It’s attended by around 1000 educators, mostly from the Deeper Learning network but also anyone interested in DL. Participants not only attend sessions and hear keynote speakers, but also have opportunities to do actual learning-by-doing in “deep dive” extended workshops and a makerspace.
BIE is facilitating one of the deep dive sessions:
It’s going to be a busy but productive month of travel. Join us, won’t you?