Pre Conference Sessions

Elizabeth Schroeder, EdD, MSW


Teaching Sex Ed: The Basics and Beyond

Among the most important issues adolescents and teens face relate to sexuality and sexual health. At the same time, however, this crucial topic is among the most ignored topics in the school curriculum. Even in areas where a mandate or content guidelines exist, schools are not always able – or willing – to address sexuality with young people, for a wide range of issues: Administrator concern over potential controversy, the misconception that if a particular culture is progressive around sexuality then young people will learn what they need to know “by osmosis”, and teacher concerns that they have not received the professional development to teach this specialized area comfortably, accurately, and effectively.

This dynamic, interactive pre-conference institute will address skills needed for teaching effectively about sexuality, provide guidance on age-appropriateness, and model actual lessons that can be used in a classroom setting.


Trudi van der Tak 
from American School of The Hague

“Anne Frank’s Amsterdam” 

The city of Amsterdam has become almost synonymous with Anne Frank and the story of her family’s hiding in the secret annex on the Prinsengracht during the World War II. One can almost forget that Anne and her family were refugees fleeing from persecution in Germany, building a new life in what they hoped would be a safe haven in The Netherlands until the invasion and occupation. The Jewish communities in The Netherlands can trace their roots back to the 15th century, and since those days The Netherlands gained the reputation of tolerance and openness to many cultures. But what about today? Is Amsterdam still a haven for refugees? What about the legal struggles nations like The Netherlands face when it comes to political and economic refugees? Will the present day refugees be able to become part of the fabric of a national identity or will they be permanently relegated to the outskirts of society?

This pre-conference will take you through some of the aspects of Jewish life and culture prior to World War II starting at the Jewish Historical Museum, taking a walk through the neighborhood for a look at a few of the many World War II monuments dedicated to different groups and ending the morning at the Hollandsche Schowburg, a former theater transformed into a detention and transit center during the occupation. Next lunch at a local café and a canal boat ride that will take us to the Anne Frank House. Here we will take part in a program demonstrating the purposes and methods used with students. After walking through the museum, we will have the opportunity to listen to the personal story of a Holocaust survivor.

Scott McLeod

Preparing our students for what is and will be

This highly-interactive preconference session addresses the current and future states of technology in education. Aimed squarely at teachers and administrators, the session will take participants through a variety of mind-expanding, yet practical, activities designed to help them rethink the role of technology in their day-to-day practice. The session also will highlight what the future of teaching and learning will look like. Bring your laptops and an open mind!

Gavin Clowes

Kagan Cooperative Learning Structures For Active Engagement 1-Day

Do you want to engage students? 
Do you want to raise test scores? 
Do you want teacher-friendly strategies to implement tomorrow?

This workshop is for you! You’ll experience cutting edge teaching structures to create classroom success now and forever! In addition, you’ll learn management tips, how to form effective teams, strategies for creating a cooperative class through teambuilding and classbuilding, and why cooperative learning produces gains when group work often fails. Finally, a class that has practical, hands-on ideas grounded in sound research and theory.

Michael DiSpezio

Preconference: Video on a Shoestring 

Once again, Michael presents an overview of producing videos for use in the middle school classroom. You'll be introduced to preproduction and postproduction techniques as you become familiar with the video capabilities of your digital camera and the editing envelop of your laptop computer. Following lunch, we're off to historic Amsterdam to acquire video you'll use in your production. NOTE- For this session you'll need to bring your own digital camera capable of video capture, a laptop computer, and an AV cable or other means to transfer video files from camera to laptop.

Richard Burnett 
& Kevin Hawkins

'Mindfulness in Schools'

To be mindful means to be able "to pay attention, here and now, with kindness and curiosity" (Amy Saltzman).
Can we develop our capacity to be mindful, and can we help children do so too?
What would be the benefits for our students and teachers?

This experiential workshop will introduce you to mindfulness and how it has begun to be taught in secondary schools in the UK.
You will look at the origins of mindfulness, the research into its effectiveness in mental health and education, and the work of UK Mindfulness in Schools Project. You will be able to try some exercises for yourself and make connections with your own experiences and teaching.

Richard Burnett, who teaches Mindfulness at Tonbridge School in Kent will lead you through these practices and discussions.
Kevin Hawkins, Middle School Principal at the International School of Prague will facilitate further group inquiry into the potential benefits of developing mindfulness teaching in international schools.


Janice Richardson, Insafe

Online Safety in Schools”

Insafe is a European network set up by the European Commission in2004 to empower children and young people to use online technology safely and responsibly. The network is coordinated by European Schoolnet, a consortium of education ministries from 31 countries which works extensively with more than 100,000 schools across Europe to facilitate the integration of technology in learning. The 27 national Insafe Centres work closely with young people, their parents and their teachers, providing resources, lesson plans, teacher training and information packs for policy makers.

If you are worried that you lack knowledge about the online technology young people are using or the confidence to deal with the internet safety issues they encounter, this workshop is tailored to suit your needs. It will begin with an overview of what children and young people are doing when they are online. Although many of us use the same technologies as our students, they use them in different ways! We will consider the benefits of the internet and ways in which we can develop the skills needed for eCitizens in today’s Knowledge Society. We will examine the risks that are posed not only to the young people we work with, but to ourselves as professionals too. What can we do if something goes wrong?This is not about technology, it is about behaviour. As teachers you are experts at keeping children and young people safe in the real world, this course will help you to transfer those skills and knowledge into the online world.

At the workshop you will discover the wide range of on- and offline resources, support materials and lessons that can be used in schools to tackle internet safety issues and ensure that children and young people are prepared for their life in a digital world. Together we will discuss the essential elements in setting up and implementing a school-level safety policy, investigating practical and legal issues related, for example, to school websites and Acceptable Use Policies for young people, parents and teachers.

Julia Leong

Re-imagining Teaching and Learning with Collaborative Tools

Technology is changing how we think about learning and teaching Employers are looking for creativity, differentiation by design and collaborative colleagues. Collaboration requires a cohesive vision, new attitudes and support to achieve school goals. We will explore collaboration tools; discuss why they are significant, how students are using them and implications for teaching and learning. Bring a laptop. We will cover topics such as:

- Web-based word-processing that allows people to work together in real time 
-Cloud computing 
-Online communities of people who share interests, or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others