The Oakridge School to Host Premier Conference for Teachers and Leaders in Education and Innovation
Posted 02/08/2018 12:53PM

Some of the nation's top teachers, administrators, and leaders of technology in education will convene at The Oakridge School Feb. 22-23 for the 2018 Lausanne Learning Institute (LLI) Southwest Conference. The theme of the conference is "Making Learning Visible."

More than 300 participants representing private, independent, public and charter schools are expected. The list of registrants includes educators from higher education institutions, including Texas Christian University and Southern Methodist University. Representatives from the Association of Technology Leaders of Independent Schools (ATLIS), McGraw-Hill, and Apple also are expected at the two-day event.

"We are honored to host LLI Southwest and look forward specifically to providing attendees with the 'Fishbowl' experience," said Jon Kellam, The Oakridge School Head of School. "Our distinguished and innovative faculty have prepared what we are certain will be an engaging, interactive and dynamic experience."

Fishbowl sessions make learning visible in that teachers facilitate 45-minute lessons with students while allowing conference attendees to observe best-teaching practices up close and personal. The lessons are followed by informative question-and-answer exchanges.

Jared Colley, chair of the Oakridge Department of English, is a member of the LLI Southwest Programming Committee along with Oakridge Learn21 Specialist Ashley Read. Through the Learn21 Initiative, Oakridge teachers incorporate collaboration, creativity, communication, critical thinking and character into everyday lessons. In preparing for LLI Southwest, Read and Colley said the original founders of the conference began discoursing how to improve conference experiences for teachers a few years ago. They sought to make the experience more authentic. 

"At many conferences, teachers discuss what they'd be doing if they were on campus. They're one layer removed from being embedded in real learning," Colley said. "Instead of talking about what we'd be doing, we're actually going to do it at LLI Southwest."

Among the conference's 49 general sessions and 44 fishbowl sessions, are lessons that will focus on areas such as helping students love physical science every day and making mathematics learning visible to using virtual reality to facilitate cultural learning, and much more. The keynote speakers are Matt Scully, director of Digital Integration & Innovation at Providence Day School in Charlotte, NC, and Ryan Welsh, the school's design strategist.

This is the second consecutive year that Oakridge has been selected to host LLI Southwest. In 2016, the Institute named the school its Spotlight Award winner. The award recognizes the most innovative independent school, from technology integration to student-centered curriculum. Conference registration is open through Feb. 21 at www.lausannelearning.com/llisouthwest.