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Conference - Personalizing Learning: Technology-Enhanced Instruction and Practices to Meet the Needs of All NYS Students

May 24, 2018 Conference Details

The New York State Education Department recognizes that technology is a powerful tool that provides opportunities to more efficiently and effectively personalize learning, including providing individualized support and resources, tailoring instruction and learning experiences to support individual learners’ strengths and needs, and promoting culturally- and linguistically- responsive learning environments.

NYSCATE, with participation from NYSED, will host a one-day conference centered on exploring the ways that schools and districts can utilize technology to facilitate personalized learning to meet the needs of all New York State Students. Educators in all roles are invited to join the conversation and share expertise as we work together to scale successful programs and practices and ensure all students receive a quality education that prepares them for school, work, and life in the 21st Century.

Program Flyer



Register at:

Personalizing Learning Conference Registration

Time and Location:

Albany Capital Center

55 Eagle Street, Albany NY 12207

May 24, 2018 from 7:30am to 3:00pm

For more information call 518-474-5461 or email

Additional Information:


Online Schedule

7:30-8:30 - Registration

8:30-8:45 - Welcome from NYSCATE and NYSED

8:45-9:00 - Opening Remarks by Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia​

9:15-10:00 - Session 1

10:15-11:00 - Session 2

11:15-12:15 - Keynote Panel: Personalized Learning to Empower Every Child

​12:15-1:30 - Lunch & Exhibitor Time

1:45-2:30 - Session 3

2:45-3:00 - Closing Remarks & Raffle

MaryEllen Elia is the New York State Commissioner of Education and President of the University of the State of New York (USNY). A native New Yorker, Commissioner Elia has 45 years of experience as an educator.

Session Details:

9:15-10:00 - Session 1 - 

Choose one of the following:

Formative Assessment: Foundations to Digital

This workshop will focus on the core ideas of what are best practices of formative assessment development and how we can utilize a variety of digital formative assessment platforms to better inform our teaching practices.

Presenter: Dustin Andrus

What to Do When Technology Happens: Lessons Learned from the Computer-Based Testing Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Rollout

The New York State Education Department’s Computer-Based Testing program for Grades 3-8 ELA and Math is in the second year of its administrative rollout. More than fifteen percent of NYS schools participated in operational CBT this year, and both our districts/schools and NYSED learned important lessons about how to deal with technology when the unexpected happens and how to right the ship, keep calm, and keep sailing toward a more technology-centric environment for our students in New York State.

Presenters: Clara DeSorbo and Heather Klusendorf

Building a Scaffold for Culturally Responsive Learning Using Digital Resources

Participants will learn how to use Symbaloo to create a digital bookshelf of culturally responsive resources. Participants will then use a protocol that leverages multi-modal “texts" to provide a scaffold for students as they explore a central, grade-appropriate text.

Presenter: Andrea Tejedor

Tangible fluency for ELLs

Achieving native- like reading  and speaking fluency is one of the main goals for any ELL teacher.  However, in the eyes of our students, fluency is a very abstract concept.  Come to this session to learn how to make fluency tangible for your students with  a variety of technology tools and methodologies. You will soon see your student becoming more fluent because they can “see” what fluency really is!

Presenters: Sarah Farnand and Natalia LeMoyne

Re-imagining Text Sets for 21st Century Learning and Literacy

As we prepare all of our diverse learners to develop the sophisticated advanced literacy skills needed to meet the academic, civic and workplace demands of the 21st century, we recognize the important role that technology plays in instructional design. In this session, teachers will learn how the ready-to-implement strategy of text sets infuses literacy skills aligned to the Next Generation English Language Arts Standards and 21st-century society. Text set activities created on the KidOYO virtual space provide students with a personalized learning experience that builds their conceptual knowledge of a particular content while at the same time empowers them to develop their argumentative and conversational skills through creative and reflective problem-solving. The use of text sets allows teachers to support students’ individual learning needs by offering engaging and leveled texts, texts that represent diverse learning styles and preferences, and by embedding key focus questions that support specific reading and writing skills. Presenters will share examples of how teachers in the Mineola School District currently implement these text set activities to promote self-regulated, 21st century learning for all learners, thus enhancing the district’s mission of lifelong learning.​

Presenters: Catherine Shanahan, Sara Ortiz, and Nicole Moriarty

Makerspaces to Make Learning Personal and Fun

This session will demonstrate how educators can user Makerspaces and Robotics to personalize learning allowing students to grow, learn, and explore in a way that they can design.

Presenters: Susan Banks and Jaclyn Ellefsen

Making Genius: Personalize Learning Through Inquiry and a Maker's Mindset​

How might we turn students' natural curiosity and passions into valuable learning experiences? The PBL approach provides students with inquiry based learning in which they gain a deeper understanding of the content, while also building complex thinking skills.  Genius Hour, while also inquiry based, allows students to guide their own learning through personal interests. Student voice and choice are emphasized in both approaches and through these strategies students are designing, creating, and doing extraordinary things. Student project examples, resources and a step-by-step guide will be shared.

Presenter: Melanie Kitchen

Personalized Learning at Cuba-Rushford Central School

This session will cover how Cuba-Rushford personalizes learning for its students through the use of a variety of tools and instructional strategies from PreK through 12th grade.

Presenters: Jay Morris and Eric Talbot

Use Micro-Credentials (Digital Badges) to Create Personalized Learning Opportunities for Students

Learn how the Coxsackie-Athens Central School District uses the OYO Class platform to create, publish, and manage micro-credentials that promote personalized student learning. The presentation will discuss how the district encourages students to pursue self-paced and self-directed learning in academic areas along with life ready, digital literacy, and coding skills.

Presenter: Michal Kealy

The Importance of Authentic Digital Inclusion for Students of All Abilities

In this presentation, you will learn about the importance of inclusive digital design, highlighting how today’s society is inextricably tied to accessible, usable and functional technologies. We will introduce you to the relevant federal and NY state regulations that all educational institutions need to comply with. We will discuss how Inclusive digital design ensures individuals of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, barrier-free access to digitized communications and information. You will learn how compliant, usable and functional digital platforms and technologies within our schools, our work environments, and in our daily lives, support successful execution in both educational and employment pursuits, as well as independent management of day to day activities. We will introduce you to Capti Voice, a literacy support tool. This technology is universally accessible and is being used to provide inclusive reading supports to students of all abilities in many schools, colleges, and Universities in New York State and all across our nation.

Presenters: Albert J. Rizzi, M.Ed. and Yevgen Borodin, Ph.D.

10:15-11:00 - Session 2

Choose one of the following:

All Roads Lead to Personalized Learning for ALL Learners . . . Data-Informed Culture

What does collaborative risk-taking, "learning walks", professional learning, school culture, "gradual release", and data-/evidence-informed culture all have in common as viewed and facilitated through the lens of Personalized Learning? 

Presenters: Laurie Hedges and Debora Van Slyke

Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Practices

This presentation will focus on current practices in the field of culturally responsive and sustaining (CR-S) education, as well as CR-S initiatives that NYSED is currently pursuing. 

Presenter: Juliette Lyons

ELL Frontiers: Using Technology to Personalize Learning for ELLs/Multilingual Learners

Grounded in research on language acquisition and technology integration, this presentation offers an overview of digital age teaching strategies for linguistically diverse learners. Participants will explore technology-infused lessons that foster language development while providing authentic, personalized learning experiences that are aligned to the NYSED Next Generation Learning Standards. Device agnostic multimedia platforms and tools will be discussed.

Presenters: Lisa Estrada and Heather Parris

Supporting the New York State Next Generation Mathematics Learning Standards through Technology

In this session, participants will become familiar with the evolution of the New York State Next Generation Learning Standards and the highlighted modifications that have occurred to improve focus and coherency, while maintaining rigor. The importance of providing students opportunities in the classroom to engage in the eight Standards for Mathematical Practice to strengthen conceptual understanding of content standards will be examined . Presenters will demonstrate how technology can be utilized to support this process, providing individualized instruction that allows for student achievement and engagement.

Presenters: Jessica Bowman, Susan Brockley, and Vivian Donnelly

Genius Hour: Personalized, Passion-Based Learning in the Digital Age

Gain a deeper understanding of Genius Hour, a personalized, passion-based learning experience. Join in a hands-on, high-tech exploration of the latest digital tools and resources for participant-driven learning. Collaborate and innovate as you discover new ways for students to curate, create and share digital content.

Presenter: Lee Aaroz

How to be everywhere at once ~ Teacher created videos to increase Engagement

Come learn how to create videos to support your curriculum, increase student engagement and automatically differentiate the learning in your classroom.  Give your students 24/7 access to the best resource they have ... YOU!  A wide variety of tech resources will be discussed.

Presenter: Kelley Hawksley

My Voice=My Choice: Digital Choice Boards Empowering Students to Show What They Know

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” ~Benjamin Franklin. We will discuss the use of Digital Choice Boards in the classroom. Participants will be introduced to a number of cross-platform technology tools that can be used to provide students the opportunity to ‘show what they know’.

Presenter: Joi Chimera

Assistive Technology for Students with Disabilities

This presentation will provide an overview of assistive technology for students with disabilities. Information will include federal and State requirements related to assistive technology; essential components of the assistive technology process to promote a student’s success with the use of assistive technology; and considerations for assistive technology related to overall instructional practice (e.g., personalized learning, UDL, AEM, etc.).

Presenter: Kelly Onorato

Digital Learning Menus: A Flavor for Everyone!

Menus are not just for restaurants! Help create a classroom filled with voice and choice for your students. Digital learning menus are at the forefront of differentiated instruction. Attend this workshop to learn the rationale behind creating learning menus in the classroom: the why, the how, and the what now. This workshop will also focus on the digitalization of these menus through the G-Suite where teachers will be able to hyperlink assignments to create choice boards, learning menus, and even Tic-Tac-Toe assignments. This workshop will be useful for all educators and administrators in a 7-12 setting, and will be especially useful for those in a co-teaching environment (both ENL and Special Education).

Presenters: Victoria Pappas and Alise Pulliam

11:15-12:15 - Keynote Panel

Personalized Learning to Empower Every Child Keynote Panel

Personalized learning is not the latest fad in education. Educators can be challenged to distinguish personalized learning from other technology-enhanced instruction such as blended learning, differentiation and flipped learning. With personalized learning, the student is at the center of all learning, not the content or device. By empowering the learner with voice and choice, engagement and mastery is increased. The panelists will discuss the personalized learning success stories from each of their districts with examples on how to unlock student-centered learning in every classroom. Questions from the audience are highly suggested as we hope to create a conversation around best learning practices. 

Panelists: Luvelle Brown and Richard Hughes

1:45-2:30 - Session 3

Choose one of the following:

Crafting Learning Plans Through Standards-Based Assessment, Student Reflection and Data Inquiry

At Ulster BOCES Hudson Valley Pathways, we leverage technology to track mastery of standards, guide reflection and access usable data to drive instruction. With meaningful data in their hands, students can identify the standards they have mastered and feel good about, and teachers are able to create individualized learning plans.

Speaker: Dr. Jonah Schenker

Data Driven Dialogue to Enhance Instruction and Personalize Student Learning

Educators will utilize the four-phase strategy as a cyclical method to remove presumptions, depersonalize, organize, integrate data and generate an action plan. Participants will engage in a simulated experience through a practical work session to work with data and teacher created templates that monitor student growth through targeted instruction.

Presenter: Dr. Lisamarie Spindler

Re-Imagining Student Engagement, Assessments, and Data Collection

Tired of the same five students answering all of your in-class questions? Plickers, Google Forms, and Kahoot all allow you to gather feedback from every single student in your class in a matter of seconds. Watch and learn, or bring your laptop, tablet, or smartphone to test-drive them yourself!

Presenter: Ryan Fisk

Using Technology to Engage Parents to Support their Student

As an educator do you find it difficult to engage parents in their student's curriculum? In this workshop we will discuss communication tools that can be used from a school district and a classroom level to not just communicate but engage parents. 

Presenter: Bonnie Russell

Integrating Science Learning and Computational Thinking with All Students Including English Learners

The education system is rapidly changing due to three emerging forces: traditional minority groups are now the majority with English learners as the fastest growing population; standards in STEM are academically rigorous, and technological innovations are advancing fast. This presentation will address integration of science and computational thinking with all students, including English learners. First, the presentation will briefly describe New York State P-12 Science Learning Standards. Second, the presentation will describe how to integrate science learning and language learning with English learners. Finally, the presentation will describe how to integrate science with computational thinking and modeling.

Presenters: Alison Haas and Okhee Lee

Student Engagement an Open and Shut Case

In this presentation, educators will learn engagement strategies to facilitate delivery of instruction. Methods for designing Escape Room style lessons incorporating standards will be shared.

Presenter: Mrs. Mary Howard

The Next Generation English Language Arts Learning Standards: What is New with the Standards? How Can Technology Best Support Student Learning?

The Next Generation English Language Arts Learning Standards were developed with educators and parents from across New York State. Erik Sweet and David J. Coffey, from the NYSED Office of Curriculum and Instruction, will present an overview about what is new and how the new standards connect to New York’s rich history of standards. Ani Rosario, who was on the review team for the ELA Standards Review, will present examples of how her school uses technology in the classroom to ensure students are meeting the standards. 

Presenters: David Coffey, Anicasia Rosario, and Erik Sweet

Personalized Learning with an Eye on SAMR - A Panel by Malone Central School District

Join a cross disciplinary panel of teachers from Malone Central School District to learn about the district's 1:1 initiative and how the teachers are embracing the opportunity to reach each student via technology tools that engage students in higher order thinking.

Presenters: Mark Dalton, Jennifer Hesseltine, and Mary Guerrette

Making the PL shift...TOGETHER!

Learn about our journey to Personalized Learning as a co-teaching pair. We will share how we differentiate instruction (with and without tech!) to meet the needs of our diverse classroom. We will highlight practical strategies that can be easily transferred into your classroom -- whether you co-teach or not! 

Presenter: Amy Steger