Thursday January 14, 2016 from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM EST
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Sheraton Framingham Hotel and Conference Center
1657 Worcester Rd
Framingham, MA 01701

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MarcyKate Connolly
HILL for Literacy

Kim Michel
Commonwealth Learning Online Institute

Lisa Brooks
Professional Training Institute

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Learning in a Digital Age

Becoming an informed user of research-based multimedia teaching tools

Thursday, January 14, 2016, 8AM to 3:30PM

Presented by:


Calling all K-12 Educators and Literacy Leaders

This one-day conference is intended for K-12 educators, administrators, and curriculum directors. It is an applicable engaging learning experience. There are many options and opportunities to use technology and media in today's classrooms. It is vital that educators and administrators determine the most effective use of technology by creating a process of implementing it schoolwide and in the classroom.

At the conference, attendees will focus on their use of digital media in the classroom and how to be discerning users of digital materials, using research-based digital supports or programs that will enhance instruction. During the keynote, Dr. Maryanne Wolf will speak about literacy in a digital culture: advantages and risks. The Breakout sessions will include talks by national experts on blended learning, product demonstrations, and facilitated opportunities to collaborate around using new digital tools. Educators and administrators will leave this learning day with the know-how to use technology and media in the classroom based on informed decisions and a research-based evaluation process.

Register Now!

Please note that registration fees are not refundable. However alternative attendees may be substituted.

Morning Keynote Speaker: Maryanne Wolf, Ed.D.

John DiBaggio Professor of Citizenship and Public Service and Director, Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University; and the Global Literacy Project.

Literacy in a Digital Culture: Advantages and Risks

Wolf studies how the human brain learns to read and what happens when it doesn’t. Based on work in the cognitive neurosciences, linguistics, child development, and education, she will speak about her research conducted on dyslexia and its intervention; the design of digital learning experiences that help children without schools learn to read in remote regions of the world; and the changes that are occurring in the reading brain in a digital culture.


Afternoon Keynote Speaker: Ernest Morrell, Ph.D.

Macy Professor of Education English Education; Director, Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME).

Using Digital Media to Make Powerful Readers and Writers of ALL Students

How can we get ALL of our students excited about learning essential 21st century literacy skills? How can teachers incorporate digital tools to help students become more powerful readers and writers across the disciplines? In this presentation educators will explore ways to use interactive game play, social media, film, music, advertisements, and other forms of digital media to increase engagement and academic achievement.  

Conference Agenda

8-8:30am – Welcome and Continental Breakfast
Outside Ballroom (Exhibitor Area Open)

8:30-10am – Morning Keynote Speaker: Maryanne Wolf, Ed.D.
Main Ballroom                                                 

10-10:15am – Coffee (and Tea) Break
Outside Ballroom  (Exhibitor Area Open)

10:15-11:15am   – Morning Breakout Sessions
Breakout Rooms                                     

11:15am-12pm – Lunch (Provided)
Main Ballroom (Exhibitor Area Open)

12-1pm – Afternoon Keynote Speaker: Ernest Morrell, Ph.D.
Main Ballroom

1:15-2:15pm – Afternoon Breakout Sessions
Breakout Rooms

2:15-2:30pm – Coffee (and Tea) Break
Outside Ballroom (Exhibitor Area Open)

2:30-3:15pm – Interactive Application of Learning
Main Ballroom

3:15-3:30pm – Wrap-up and iPad Giveaway!
Main Ballroom

Interactive Application of Learning

The goal of the conference is for participants, schools, and districts to be analytical decision makers and users of technology in the classroom. In order to tie together the knowledge gained throughout the conference and achieving this goal we will work together during the application session to:

a) Learn and review how to analyze tools and resources to ensure they are research based and meeting the needs of all learners
b) As a group complete the process of analyzing a technology resource for its research foundation and effectiveness
c) Brainstorm within groups about the process
d) Answer any questions regarding the process
e) Participants will then receive instruction on how to complete this task independently or in school based groups after the conference in order to receive PDP’s.

Breakout Sessions

Morning Breakouts:

The Art of an Efficient and Meaningful Technology-Based Data Meeting, Cara Dellaterra
Product | Data | Technology

Research has shown that using data to guide instruction can lead to improved student performance.   Technology has opened up many options to help us to efficiently and meaningfully analyze student data.  In this session Ms. Dellaterra will walk participants through the HILL’s digital data meeting process. This process, combined with effective meeting and analysis strategies, is an indispensable ingredient needed to yield significant student growth. This will include a demonstration of the HILL’s solutions to typical scenarios that we see in schools.

Implementing a Blended Learning Program for Reading Instruction in Elementary Schools, Beth Edwards, M.S., CCC-SLP and Alexis Treat, M.S., CCC-SLP
Product | ELA | Technology

Blended learning combines the integration of technology and teacher-led instruction to optimize learning. Lexia Reading Core5, designed for elementary-age students, provides explicit, systematic and personalized instruction in phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, structural analysis, fluency, and comprehension. The program incorporates student-driven online learning, ongoing data-driven assessment, and targeted resources for teacher-led instruction and independent practice. This session will discuss characteristics of effective blended learning programs and demonstrate components of Lexia Reading Core5.

Enhance Your Reading Instruction with Readily Accessible Technology, Lisa Brooks, Ed.M and Kim Michel, M.S./SpEd
Instructional | ELA | Reading | Technology

Stop teaching technology—use technology to effectively teach literacy.  Analyze the latest open source apps and websites for educators and determine which ones are the best fit for your classroom. Participants will learn how to use such resources as PowerPoint, Google apps, applets, recording tools, and more to enhance current curriculum and engage and impact students. Tweak your already dynamic instruction, or transform traditional lessons into modern masterpieces.

Using Technology-Based Mathematics Interventions To AccelerateStudent Mathematics Achievement, Carolina Shanley Ph.D.
Product | Mathematics

Technology-based mathematics interventions, when designed well, can serve as an optimal platform to supplement core mathematics instruction and, above all, increase student mathematics achievement. This session will describe a scientifically-driven approach for designing and testing technology-based interventions. Participants will learn about the evidence-based design principles embedded within such interventions and the evaluation procedures used to establish their impact on student mathematics outcomes.

Afternoon Breakouts:

Universal Design for Learning, Comprehension and Online Dialogues: Engaging Struggling Middle School Students, Samantha Daley Ed.D.
Product | ELA | Writing | Technology

What’s engagement got to do with it? This session will focus on the framework of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and its application in an online literacy environment for middle-school struggling readers. The focus will be on efforts to reengage students who have been disenfranchised by text and using UDL principles to support deep interaction with reading materials. A technology-based environment that promotes reading comprehension and motivation for reading will be used to demonstrate approaches that participants can use in their own instruction.

Word-Slicer: A Game-based Approach to English Morphology Instruction,  Ariel Goldberg, Ph.D
Pilot APP | ELA | Reading |Vocabulary | Resource

Word Slicer is a game-based approach to English morphology instruction. Although explicit instruction in morphology has been shown to have a positive impact on reading, very few curricula specifically target this area of instruction. Word Slicer is a tablet-based game designed to supplement morphological instruction and build morphological awareness. Building on popular games such as Fruit Ninja, students slice falling words into their component morphemes (TEACHER->TEACH, ER) while avoiding unsuffixed words (TABLE). The game is scaffolded, increasing in basic difficulty (e.g., speed) and skill (e.g., moving from known to novel words–GORPER–and foils–BROTHER) while tracking student progress. Participants will learn the research behind the program, view a demonstration, and learn about opportunities to pilot the game in their schools and classrooms.

The Teacher’s Developing Role in a Blended Learning Environment, Kara O'Connell and Dawn Manchester
Instructional | Learning | Technology | Blended Learning

New 21st century school models integrate technology with in-person instruction in transformative ways that put students at the center of schooling. This “blended learning,” while taking different forms and names– flipped, lab, rotation, flex, self-blend, optimized, etc.– aims to dramatically change the ways in which teachers and students work together to produce better learning outcomes. But what does it really mean for teachers to make the move, as we often put it, from “sage on the stage to guide on the side”? Educators are taking on even more dynamic roles and are using data, collaborating, designing, coaching, and innovating more than ever. New competencies, beyond just technical skills, are needed. In this session, Mr. Rubin will discuss new competencies that might be needed, how teachers might make the shift, and what districts and other school organizations can do to help them as they do.

Blending the Learning: Integrating digital instructional tools into a robust Program Framework, Eleni Steadman, M.S., CCC-SLP
Product | Data | Technology

How do instructional apps, websites and computer-based programs add to, or take away from, a child’s classroom experience? New technologies push us to ask questions about how to best put digital instruction tools to use without replacing high-quality instruction. During this session, Ms. Steadman will introduce the “Program Framework,” a HILL Tool that enables schools and districts to determine the role of all literacy programs as they apply to tiered systems of instruction (MTSS) including time allocated, grades, and components of literacy addressed. Through a variety of digital examples, Ms. Steadman will enable participants to engage with the HILL’s Program Framework, guiding them through the process of including such technologies into an MTSS-aligned Program Framework. Participants are encouraged to bring examples of digital instructional tools that are currently used in their schools or districts.