6th Annual Blended and Personalized Learning Conference Draws Record Crowd

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National Gathering of over 900 Educators and Administrators to Provide Strategic, In-depth Look at Blended Learning Design and Implementation.

Today, the Highlander Institute, the Christensen Institute, and The Learning Accelerator are showcasing the best classroom, school, and district implementers from across the nation at the 6th Annual Blended & Personalized Learning Conference. The conference is expected to draw more than 900 educators and administrators from around the country.

“The Blended & Personalized Learning Conference started as a gathering of 50 people in a school cafeteria six years ago, and has evolved into a premiere national gathering of educators and leaders that have integrated technology in their classrooms and schools,” said Dana Borrelli-Murray, Executive Director of the Highlander Institute. “The conference is unique because it is one of the few events that puts practitioners at the center of the conversation, ensuring connections and continuity between practices in the field and national research, data and new methodologies," she added.

The Blended and Personalized Learning Conference is a chance for educators and leaders to learn about blended learning as it exists today on the ground - both in terms of the day-to-day implementation in blended classrooms, and the strategies and systems that have helped implementers effectively support replication and scale across schools and districts. Participants will have the chance to attend over 45 presentations, simulations and workshops led by some of the best classroom, school and district leaders in the country.

“For blended and personalized learning to be successful, we need to equip educators with strategies for their distinct circumstances,” said Julia Freeland Fisher, Director of Education at the Clayton Christensen Institute. “The diversity of participants and topics at this year's conference are essential to empowering educators with the tools they need to innovate beyond our factory model classroom in order to reach every child.”

The conference also features a keynote presentation by Caroline Hill, Michelle Molitor, and Christine Ortiz, the architects behind the Equity Design Collective and the equityXdesign process - a technical tool grounded in design thinking that focuses on racial equity and design and innovative process.

“We believe that blended and personalized learning can be powerful mechanisms for increasing equity in schools," said Beth Rabbitt, CEO of The Learning Accelerator (TLA). "But we must be intentional in making sure resources and strategies are applied to close gaps in achievement and opportunity, rather than widen them. This is an important theme of this year's conference, and one the key note address and other sessions will tackle.”

Between sessions, participants can visit the EdUnderground Playground to explore the newest tools under development in the educational technology space. The EdTechRI Startup Pitchfest is a fast-paced and fun competition for early stage edtech entrepreneurs, who will take to the stage and battle it out for the top prize in a Shark Tank like setting. In addition, hand-selected vendors will be on site for demonstrations, while the Learn-It Lounge features a designated space where teachers will receive hands-on-support from Highlander Institute staff.

The latest conference information can be found at http://www.blendedlearningconference.com.

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Brian Franklin