3 Reasons Not to Miss Our Powerful Practices Event in Seattle

On March 10, Discovery Education will bring its free Powerful Practices instructional leadership event to educators in Seattle, WA, and here are just a few reasons you might want to consider attending.

Keynote speaker George Couros was a huge hit for the crowd gathered at the Feb. 24 San Francisco Powerful Practices event. Couros shared an inspirational message on how innovation and technology can empower students, helping them take an active role in their learning.

“This is what I truly believe: Kids need to feel inspired. Kids walk into schools full of wonder and questions, yet we often ask them to hold their questions for later so we can ‘get through’ the curriculum,” said Couros. “We forget that our responsibility isn’t solely to teach memorization or the mechanics of a task, but to spark a curiosity that empowers students to learn on their own. To wonder. To explore. To become leaders. We forget that if students leave school less curious than when they started, we have failed them.”

Busting Myths of Personalized Learning

Following the keynote, attendees will be whisked away to a whirlwind series of breakout sessions, where they can dive deep into particular topics of instructional leadership, or hear stories and strategies from successful school districts in the region. Discovery Education’s Denise Phillips will offer participants an overview of how to avoid the pitfalls and reap the rewards of personalized learning.

“To be successful in today’s classrooms, we must lead with the pedagogy, not the technology,” said Phillips. “Personalized learning doesn’t mean sitting in front of a computer. It’s facilitated by the teacher and the student jointly.”

The session will also address some of the primary misconceptions associated with personalized learning, which can get some school districts off on the wrong foot. Too often, said Phillips, school districts seek a modular solution for personalized learning — something they can drop into place without taking individual student needs into consideration. But successful personalized learning can’t happen without student involvement, she said.

“If you involve the students more in their own education, and get them thinking about their own learning, that’s where you begin to see true personalized learning begin to blossom, because then you can help them respond to their needs,” said Phillips. “Once you bring students into that discussion, then you’re moving in a positive direction.”

STEM Leadership

Another breakout session will be hosted by St. Vrain Valley Schools’ K-12 science coordinator, Michael O’Toole, who will share a message of breaking down the barriers in today’s science classrooms, where “the only barriers should be the imaginations of our students and teachers.”

“In traditional education practices, you’re limited to the content knowledge of the instructor,” said O’Toole. “What we’re doing in St. Vrain is opening the world to our students and teachers like never before — unleashing the learning and contributions they can make. In science we have an opportunity to become citizen scientists, where students can not only learn, but help contribute to something bigger than themselves.”

At St. Vrain Valley Schools, students are participating in learning experiences outside the classroom, learning alongside national park researchers, park rangers, city planners, and even shark researchers. These experiences not only expand the students’ perceptions of what’s possible within a science curriculum, but they’re becoming citizen scientists, helping to contribute to the overall knowledge of their community.

Interested in attending these sessions? Read on for more details about our free event in Seattle on March 10!


For information on attending this year’s free Powerful Practices event in Seattle, visit the official website.

At Powerful Practices, attendees will:

  • Hear from nationally renowned experts as they address equity and excellence.
  • Collaborate with colleagues in breakout sessions featuring powerful practices in the areas of personalized learning, student engagement, culturally responsive classrooms, and formative assessment.
  • Participate in interactive hands-on activities highlighting student-centered learning practices.
  • Attend a panel discussion in which regional colleagues discuss powerful strategies to get teachers to best practices.

All registered attendees will have access to the following breakout sessions:

  • Personalized Learning
  • Literacy
  • Culturally Responsive Classrooms
  • Student Engagement
  • Instructional Leadership Best Practices in Math, Social Studies, Science, and STEM

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