August 7, 2019

Open Invitation to Connect with Experts at the CLS2019 Pre-Conference Day

Category: Connected Learning

You may already know that the 2019 Connected Learning Summit is happening this October 3-5, 2019 at UC Irvine, but what you may not know is that there is a pre-conference meet up day taking place October 2, the day before the main event, that includes workshops and meetings on topics covering connected learning, gaming in education and assessment, youth-focused digital learning, and more.

Learn more about the nine pre-conference sessions planned and be sure to sign up early because space is limited and seats are available on a first-come first-served basis. A signup form is located at the bottom of this blog post for those interested in attending any of the pre-conference sessions.

*The pre-conference sessions are free to attend (you do not need to purchase a CLS2019 ticket in order to attend a pre-conference session).


Developing an eSports-based STEM Curriculum

Organizer(s): Anthony Betrus
Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Capacity: 10

I would like to gather folks who are interested in developing high school and collegiate-level curricular materials that are supported by eSports. There is a great opportunity as eSports expands into high schools and colleges not only with an eye toward competition but also to learning.


Networked Educators Meet-Up

Organizer(s): Edge Quintanilla; Ani Martinez; Wade Berger
Time: 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Capacity: 40

This pre-conference event is open to educators who participate in and lead connected learning networks across cultural institutions, museums, nonprofits and community organizations. Networks of educators include communities of practice similar to Hive, Remake Learning (Pittsburgh), and the Chicago Learning Exchange. We hope to see educators from networks across cities, ecosystems, communities, and contexts. This pre-conference event is also open to those who currently do not participate in this kind of network but might want to learn how to start one in their own city.

At the event, participants will share what it means to participate in these kinds of networks—highlighting what works well and rethinking areas of improvement. Connected learning educators will have the opportunity to discuss how these networks serve as professional learning opportunities and how they bring ideas, such as innovations uncovered by attending the Connected Learning Summit, back into their networks.

Participants in this pre-conference event will also get to expand their own professional contacts by meeting colleagues from across the country who are members of similar networks.


Gamified and Game-based Assessments

Organizer(s): Alexander Pfeiffer; Nikolaus Koenig
Time: 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Capacity: 15

There is little doubt that the shift from offline- to online learning environments goes hand in hand with an increasing use of gamification- and game-based learning strategies. The potential benefits of digital game-based learning (GBL) applications and strategies have been explored thoroughly, as have their limitations. However, games are at the verge of becoming significant elements in the educational sector not only as enablers of effective learning experiences: in recent years, the assessment of learning processes through gamified and game-based means (GBL/A) has also become a growing trend that promises to transform the educational sector even further.
Game-based approaches to learning assessment can take various forms: First, game-based approaches to learning assessment can either rely on the gamification of conventional testing situations, or on the creation of actual testing game environments.
Second, game-based assessment approaches can either serve the sole purpose of testing, or they can be part of a broader game-based learning approach, in which game-based tools are used for enabling as well as evaluating learning experiences.
And finally, the difference between game-based learning and game-based assessment can either be explicit or done in a way that is hardly noticeable by learners.
Dr. Alexander Pfeiffer (MIT) and Dr. Nikolaus König (Danube-University Krems) like to suggest, discuss and improve a classification of game-based approaches to assessment in the context of education. Furthermore, they like to showcase two prototypes that store results of the learning outcome on (the Ardor) blockchain. (further information about the project behind:

Registration banner for Connected Learning Summit 2019


Data Jam

Organizer(s): Momo Hayakawa; Dennis Ramirez
Time: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Capacity: 25

Please join us at the Hero Elementary Data Jam, hosted by Twin Cities PBS, and learn about the telemetry produced by Hero Elementary games and apps. Hero Elementary is a new PBS kids TV series and educational transmedia program focused on improving school readiness for kindergarten through second graders.
Our session begins at 11am and includes:
1. an introduction to our program during lunch
2. description of our data set
3. an opportunity for you to manipulate the data
4. discuss data visualization techniques and analyses that can be used with this data set to produce something interesting and
5. an opportunity to submit ideas for a future data jam in Minnesota.

Bring your laptops.  Lunch will be provided. This session is funded by the US Department of Education, Ready to Learn grant.  Space is limited to 25 participants – reserve your spot today!


Annual Connected Learning in Teacher Education (CLinTE) Meet-Up

Organizer(s): Kira Baker-Doyle
Time: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Capacity: 30

The Connected Learning in Teacher Education (CLinTE) network is an open collective of scholars and teacher educators that research and teach aspects of Connected Learning in teacher education. We have four main working groups: Scholarship, Pedagogy, Communication, and Equity. Each working group develops resources and opportunities for us to connect and exchange ideas such as: virtual writing retreats, international twitter chats, co-authored publications, presentations, and special issues, and a Marginal Syllabus on CLinTE. Members can learn about and join CLinTE activities/workgroups by joining our CLinTE Listserv. At the CLS annual meeting, participants will have the opportunity to meet in workgroups to get updates about past projects and propose projects for the new year. This year we will highlight two main topics: ‘Developing graduate programs in Connected Learning,’ and ‘CLinTE Marginal Syllabus.’


Walden, a Game Workshop: Playing Games “Deliberately” in the Classroom

Organizer(s): Tracy Fullerton; Matthew Hamilton
Time: 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Capacity: 35

Come join game designer and professor Tracy Fullerton in a special workshop exploring the use of the NEH-funded “Walden, a Game” in classrooms. This deeply researched video game allows players to take on the role of Henry David Thoreau as they live a self-reliant life at Walden. The workshop will do a deep dive into the game and supporting curriculum, focusing on lessons of media literacy and critical play. As part of this workshop, all participants will be given free access to the game and curriculum and will have the chance to experience a sample lesson and discussion, as well as brainstorm new ways to use the game as part of a wide spectrum of learning situations, making Thoreau and his writings relevant to students through the medium of games. More info about the game can be found here: Please RSVP at the link provided so that we can send you the software in advance of the session!


Reclaiming Digital Futures Workshop

Organizer(s): June Anh
Time: 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Capacity: 30

Partner organizations from the Reclaiming Digital Futures project will lead workshops and how-to’s of organizational approaches and best practices you can draw on to achieve success in youth-centered digital learning.


Playful Assessment Designathon

Organizer(s): Louisa Rosenheck; Yumiko Murai
Time: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Capacity: 20

Education is moving toward more playful, authentic, student-centered, and project-based learning. But assessment has not kept up! At the MIT Playful Journey Lab, we work on designing assessment tools and approaches that incorporate play to capture future-ready skills. We aim to uncover the ways play can make assessment more engaging, personalized, and accurate—and we hope to inspire educators to create their own playful assessments.

In order to infuse our ideas with fresh perspectives and bring more people into the playful assessment community, we are excited to host a Playful Assessment Designathon on the day before Connected Learning. It will be open to everyone interested in making assessment more fun and less stressful. Held in an unconference style, we will come with a couple of prompts and challenges related to the Playful Journey Lab’s work in embedded assessment and game-based assessment. And we will open the floor to participants to suggest needs they see in assessment or ideas they would like to explore. We will form groups organically and spend the time designing, prototyping, and imagining a more playful future for assessment!

(Last minute participants are still welcome without RSVP.)

Pre-Conference Signup Form