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Welcome to BLC16! Building Learning Communities Education Conference 2016! Join colleagues from around the world who care deeply about bringing the best innovative and practical learning resources to our students. Our 17th BLC education conference will provide you with inspiration, practical skills and expand your professional network with educators from around the world.
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Tuesday, July 19 • 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Mindfulness by Design: Leveraging Presence for Deep Meaning

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We’re entering a whole new arena of learning and knowledge of brain function. Charting the inner landscape of the mind allows us to actively promote meaningful learning across the curriculum, in and out of the classroom.

Mindfulness is at the heart of breakthrough applications in education and media, rooted in awareness, curiosity, and authenticity. Even just five years ago, science did not have the research available to show the many benefits of mindfulness that are just coming to the forefront. Now, this topic has exciting and powerful developments to explore and apply.

 Dynamic life begins with us; with mindset and approach. The state of our minds has a great impact on the power of our connections, our engagement, and our overall learning experiences. This workshop blends the philosophical and the practical, diving into research and applications across the curriculum. We’ll look at current technology and social media that blend well with mindfulness. As we integrate mindfulness in all curriculum arenas, highlighting design thinking strategies and examples, we will investigate ways to craft active mindful learning, with curious collaboration. And, in the midst of all the activity, we will promote ways to keep our own selves sustained.

 Ultimately, it’s how we choose to approach our knowledge and tools that matters, in the context of community. How we understand the incredible capacities of the mind, and its ability to relate to others, just might have the greatest impact on overall learning. We’re in an age of collaboration and creativity; a time of empathy-driven problem solving, using design thinking models to amplify our understanding.

Daniel Pink calls this “The Conceptual Age”—an age of invention and innovation, focusing on the characteristics of the brain's right hemisphere: artistry, empathy, inventiveness, and big-picture thinking. It's an age that invites us to be passionate, lifelong learners, looking at tech and tools and how to find presence and meaning beyond the buzzwords.

In Visible Learning for Teachers, education researcher John Hattie completed what Grant Wiggins calls “the most exhaustive meta-analysis in education.” Hattie isolates what factors make the biggest difference in student achievement. His top 5:

§  Student self-assessment
§  Response to intervention
§  Teacher credibility
§  Providing formative assessments
§  Classroom discussion 

Incredibly, all five of these factors are best supported by mindfulness, at the core. Best education environments are ones that promote awareness, encourage listening, interchange and reflection, and foster active, empathetic engagement—just the type of place where mindfulness thrives.

Learning is a dynamic enterprise. In a recent post on Boston’s mad*pow design agency site, founder and industry expert Amy Cueva aptly said “collaboration is the new innovation.” True—we’re in a mindshare-fueled world. We will discuss what that means in action, as we aim to “go global” in a connected society.

 Deepen your skills and understanding of mindfulness principles and education initiatives, learn about current trends, and leave with practical activities to integrate into every classroom and school community. This workshop is designed for educators, administrators, and other school personnel (Instruction Specialists, Technology, Curriculum, Human Resources, Counselors and Assessment Coordinators) alike.

The following research and resources are among those referenced in our workshop and discussion: Richie Davidson (2013) at the University of Wisconsin, studying focus techniques and emotional well-being; the APA's findings (2011) that “improved concentration, emotional intelligence, and the ability to relate to others and one’s self with kindness and compassion” increase through mindfulness practices; Daniel Goleman (2014), providing research showing that mindfulness capabilities improve the ability to cope with stress, to make effective decisions, and to use creativity. This session also draws on the work of John Hattie (2012) and visible learning processes, various Design Thinking examples and research, and Yong Zhao's (2015) global learning and innovation models. We will discuss applications across the curriculum, exploring ways to integrate these findings into our active daily life, in and out of the school environment.

avatar for Caitlin Krause

Caitlin Krause

CEO, MindWise
Caitlin Krause is a globally-recognized learning expert, author, and keynote speaker. In her book Mindful by Design and through her organizational consulting, she helps individual leaders and teams leverage mindfulness, storytelling, and design principles to connect more deeply with... Read More →

Tuesday July 19, 2016 1:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
Newbury - 4th Floor Boston Park Plaza