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Conference Details


Making It Your Way: Online PD on Your Time!

Sketchnoting: A Strategy for Significant Engagement

Sketchnoting is a significant strategy and tool to add to your Teacher Toolbox.  It can be used at any grade level and any content area, and is appropriate for your diverse learners.  However, like any process or protocol, it needs to be modeled and practiced, though it can quickly become part of best practices for students to use in a variety of ways. As you will discover during our work together, sketchnoting activates the brain in a variety of ways, and can be done both as an analog or digital activity.  Each has its own means to build connections to information, and its greatest potential is in activating higher level thinking skills such as synthesis and making connections.  Students can use this technique also to  brainstorm, collaborate (it works well on Zoom, Collaborate Board, etc) and build on ideas from others.  It is appropriate for all your students, and can activate the visual to verbal skills needed, especially by your special education and English Language Learner students.  Sketchnoting can be integrated with any standard and/or curriculum, and can build necessary literacy skills needed in all content areas.   

Sketchnoting is a key component of most design processes.  Students can tinker with ideas and make adjustments throughout any process they are working on.  Furthermore, sketchnoting, as you will come to understand, can be an important college and career readiness skill, one that enhances their ability to understand and share information and ideas. As you will see and we will discuss, sketchnoting accomplishes many of our educational goals as educators. I’m looking forward to our learning work together!!    

Instructor: Chris Riley
SelectUnitsUnit TypeHours
0 7

Student Owned Inquiry: Quick, Easy and Effective with Question Formulation Technique

Do you want to make student owned questions come alive in your classroom? We all know that inquiry is important to authentic learning. The ability to inquire  is the key to student engagement, excitement, and ownership. It allows the standards of any subject to come alive, have meaning, and provide connections between the subjects, and of course, out to the real world. 

The Question Formulation Technique (QFT) was developed to help educators facilitate student owned inquiry. It really does put the learning in the students’ hands. It is an easy yet powerful protocol that works across subjects and grade levels. It provides the key to deeper learning and allows students to reach the height of Bloom’s Taxonomy. QFT also promotes those important portraits of a graduate including communication, creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. It is an important element to help students before a lab, in the middle of a math problem, in the midst of research, analyzing the fine arts, in the study of history, creating a project in PBL, or solving a current or future problem.

You will discover a technique rich in resources to accommodate your curriculum. You will also be provided a free gold mine of  resources to add to the process.  Teach your students that the true joy of learning is not always in finding the answers, but asking the question. After all, answers always lead to more questions. Your completion of this course will provide Professional Growth Points and a Certificate but most of all, will allow you help your students own their learning in every lesson. Sign up today to ensure a spot, and bring your entire team!    

Instructor: Mike Gorman
SelectUnitsUnit TypeHours
0 7

Design Thinking in Every Subject: Creativity and the Design Process

We want our students to be problem-solvers, creative thinkers, team members with excellent collaboration and communication skills AND masters of the content our subject area or grade level demands. Design Thinking and, specifically, the framework provided by the Engineering Design Process can assist with the culture shift that allows students to think creatively and with empathy while designing solutions to challenges across grade levels and subject areas.

Complementary to existing programs like Makers Ed, PBL, STEAM, Portrait of a Graduate, and Deeper Learning, the Design Process incorporates the use of an iterative process (with failure along the way) that encourages both convergent and divergent thinking resulting in a unique end or solution. This takes students to the higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy and demands that they investigate facts and ideas to determine what they need to know  and how that information informs their end design, whether it be a story, storyboard, sketch, prototype, physical model or something else.

In this course, we will look at why Design Thinking is beneficial, explore how models for the EDP (there isn’t just one!) advance curriculum, the 4 Cs, and even SEL and other character qualities. We will also look at some blended learning possibilities, resources, and examples of activities and projects. Your completion of the course will be to adopt or adapt an EDP process and incorporate it into a planned lesson/project for your classroom. (Perhaps this is something that you want to improve - not a great lesson already in your repertoire!)

Instructor: Jane Gorman
SelectUnitsUnit TypeHours
0 7

It's in the Bag: Transforming Maker/STEAM Projects into the Blended/eLearning Environment

As teachers, we recognize the need to prepare students to be successful on standardized tests; however, we also have long understood the importance of giving students the opportunity to learn through hands-on activities.  These two objectives do not have to be mutually exclusive. Implementing Makerspace and STEAM activities into the curriculum fosters critical-thinking and problem-solving skills which extend beyond the classroom.  Makerspace/STEAM strategies are designed to engage students in active learning. Studies confirm what teachers have intuitively known all along; kids learn best by doing!

As educators, we have been creating a Makerspace/STEAM culture to transform our classrooms. At the same time, the classrooms themselves are being transformed through technology. We now find ourselves teaching in person, online, or a combination of both. How can teachers translate the important skills found in Makerspace/STEAM to this everchanging blended classroom environment? 


This course will help you do just that. We will learn how to successfully take our Makerspace/STEAM projects into the virtual world. You will be provided with project ideas, helpful hints, and hands-on activities that will engage your students this year.  With an emphasis on the 4 C’s (critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration), this course will provide opportunities for active learning in this constantly changing educational environment.

Instructor: Laura Smith
SelectUnitsUnit TypeHours
0 7

Future City STEM Workshop: Virtual Teaching Strategies

Future City is a project-based learning program where students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future. 

Future City STEM Workshop: Virtual Teaching Strategies will provide an introduction to this award winning STEM program.  Teachers will be given Best Practice Tips on how to use online technologies to guide your students through this class project. Webinar sessions will include a program explanation, curriculum value, collaborative technology resources, engineering project design and management, and competition expectations if a school chooses to compete remotely. Many of the sessions will be asynchronous allowing teachers to work through the sessions at their own pace. Synchronous sessions will also be offered allowing teachers to experience many of the online tools and interactive discussion to share successful strategies and ask questions. Schools registered with Future City do not need to compete but have access to a variety of resources provided by National Future City and the Indiana Regional Competition. To learn more about this STEM project based program, visit:  To watch a video on how local educators have utilized Future City in their classrooms, click HERE

The Future City Workshop is offered to Indiana Teachers by the Indiana Region 8 Education Service Center through generous funding from the Schwab Foundation in collaboration with Purdue University Fort Wayne.    

Instructor: Laura Smith
SelectUnitsUnit TypeHours
0 7

Virtual Meet-Ups
Virtual Meet-Ups will be offered at four different times over the course of the fall.  These meet ups will provide extra PGP's, and quick wins.  Plus, participants will get free valuable resources, books and tools.....and will be based on current concepts and tools for today's blended, face-to-face, and eLearning.

Instructor: Laura Smith, Mike Gorman, Jane Gorman, Chris Riley
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