Pre-Conference Workshops

Pre-Conference Sessions on Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Pre-Conference Sessions on June 25 will include ½ day workshops as well as a site visit to the Museum Lab. Attendees can select (1) morning option and (1) afternoon option. A form to select your workshop choices will be available soon.


Building Instructional Coaching Capacity for Personalized Learning (Session #AM1)

Join this session for a preview of the SWPA Personalized Learning Network and KnowledgeWorks Coaching Cohort program. Designed as a series of 4 convenings and supports throughout 2019-20, district teams will have a personalized experienced in content and strategies for implementation as they explore the conditions needed to move their visions for Personalized Learning forward. From getting started to operationalizing and scaling PL, the cohort convenings will be designed as high energy, collaborative design labs, full of content, strategies, and explicit approaches for growing PL in your classrooms, schools, and districts.

Establishing a culture of growth mindset aligned to the vision or “why”, student agency at the heart of learner-centered practices, flexible learning environments and learning pathways where learners have voice and choice in achieving mastery of the targets – all critical elements to be considered and investigated. This 3 hour session will provide participants a hands-on introduction to the goals of the program, complete with ideas perfect for immediate transfer back to your schools.


  • The session will be held from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm at the William Pitt Union on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh.

Museum Lab Site Visit and Roundtable Discussion (Session #AM2)

The Museum Lab, a unique collaboration of The Children’s Museum and the Manchester Academic Charter School (MACS), will be a national model, highlighting our region’s collaborative commitment to public education, innovation and experiential learning. The design, purpose and operations of the facility will bring experts, ideas and resources together under one roof to prepare youth and families to face the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

MACS is committed to providing their students with a variety of exploratory project-based experiences such as entrepreneurship, robotics, mock trials, horticulture, debates, ceramics, dance and more. Opening in April 2019, the Museum Lab will feature hands-on workshops, STEM-based exhibit spaces, learning nooks, classrooms, a youth radio station, a theater and much more.

The site visit will include small group discussions and a roundtable focused on creative strategies for the implementation of personalized and project-based learning.


  • The session will be held from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm at the Museum Lab, a newly renovated facility in the historic Carnegie Free Library located right next to the Children's Museum.
  • The address is 10 Children's Way, Allegheny Square, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
  • Attendees will be responsible for their own transportation to the session.


Collaboration Nation (Session #PM1)

In preparation for the Pittsburgh Summit on Equitable Collaboration in 2020, Collaboration Nation will be facilitating a series of events in 2019. In this hands-on session, equitable collaboration will be introduced with an analysis of how Behaviorism in the form of grading, discipline, or PBIS contrasts with Personalized Learning. Small groups will identify the learning models currently operating in their schools with the goal of understanding how to align existing learning models to achieve more equitable collaboration.


  • The session will be held from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm at the William Pitt Union on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh.

Rapid Cycle Evaluation for Education and Technology Initiatives (Session #PM2)

The Rapid Cycle Evaluation (RCE) Coach is a free online tool designed to help district staff, school administrators and educators evaluate the effectiveness of educational interventions in their districts and schools. The Coach provides intuitive tools that serve as embedded professional development for educators that might not have a traditional research background or research capacity. The Coach guides users through an easy-to-use five step evaluation process, and includes user-friendly supplemental guides, interactive tools, case studies, and tips designed to build the evaluation capacity and evidence-based decision-making capabilities of its users. The evaluation process provides districts with meaningful feedback regarding what worked or didn’t work about a program’s implementation on a quicker timeline than most research studies.

By hosting an interactive workshop on using the Coach, the REL Mid-Atlantic team can help build district capacity around using a tool designed to promote data and evidence use at a time when members of the network are developing their research plans. Successfully implemented evaluations could lead to the development and sharing of best practices among districts within the region and ultimately grow the overall body of knowledge around the effectiveness of personalized learning interventions. In addition to advancing the work of the network, the evidence generated by the Coach can help school administrators ensure that students within their districts have access to the most effective programs and educational opportunities now as well as in the future.


  • The session will be held from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm at the William Pitt Union on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh.

All workshops will be held at the William Pitt Union on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Parking is available in the Soldiers and Sailors Garage (right across the street from the venue). For individuals attending the Museum Lab Site Visit, attendees will use their own transportation and meet at the Museum Lab.