Make and Think Micro-Conference: Learning Our Way Forward

Feeling like you’re flying blind without a plan? Well we have you covered!
Attend this Micro-Conference and walk away with your personalized plan to move forward!

We’ve heard from hundreds of you from around the world that your most pressing needs right now as we learn our way forward include topics like:

– engaging learners –
– creating digital content –
– supporting and leading in remote settings –
– work life harmony –

We’ve created this online conference
just for you!

Overnight you were thrown into remote teaching and learning. You’re planning, creating, assessing, meeting and being pulled into a million directions on a daily basis and all while being asked to teach in an entirely new way. It’s exhausting!

Day 1 of the Micro Conference will give you the tools, processes and resources you need to be confident and wildly successful with teaching and learning in an online or blended environment. Let us help guide you through this time of change.

You’re a teacher leader, PD provider, principal or district administrator and you are trying your best to provide balance, support, and guidance to your educators as you plan the direction for moving forward. Maddening right? There are just so many unknowns and planning with “the end in mind” seems next to impossible!

Day 2 was designed specifically for today’s educational leader. Each session has an experienced leader sharing their plans, tips, ideas and systemic strategies for you to consider as you work your way through what is next for your project, school or district.

Feeling uninspired and desperate for the need to do something fun? Tired of always thinking about work and new strategies? We know teachers are naturally creative, but emergency online teaching and living through a pandemic can leave us feeling stuck and not ourselves.

Day 3 was created because there is more to you than being an educator. Attend  sessions around self-care, beauty, art, creativity and more. Come laugh, learn and walk away refreshed with a creative plan for so much more than lesson plans and faculty meetings.

Day 1 Workshops

Wednesday, June 3rd
7:00-9:00 PM Eastern

  From Mayhem to Serenity: Communication Overhaul

Presented by: Christen Dodd

 Are you having trouble deciding what to say to your parents that will make them at ease about all the changes going on during COVID-19? Do you struggle with how to make certain your learners are receiving and reading what you send out? Then this is the workshop for you. Face-to-face and online communications are two different beasts.

 What works in one setting may not easily translate to the other (for us and/or our students, parents, colleagues). In a face-to-face setting, it is easier to read an audience and make adjustments on the fly. In a virtual environment, the communication must be timely, succinct, engaging and consistent. In this workshop, we’ll discuss and practice how to improve and enhance online communications with all stakeholders (students, parents, colleagues, etc.)

Distracted and Off Task to Engaged and Interactive: Redesigning Online Meetings

Presented by Jennifer Bloomingdale

 Your students are unsure about live meetings, they’re disengaged, under the table, making faces in the camera.  More so, you’re not feeling as connected as you did in the face-to-face classroom. Your go-to strategies aren’t working as well in this new environment and you’re starting to feel discouraged. This session will model and provide resources for creating interactive lessons that allow you to build community and connection with your students even over video! You’ll leave the workshop with a plan for your next session and a template to use in the future! 

 Online Tools for Engaging the Writing Process  

 Presented by Heather Wolpert-Gawron

 These workshops (Part 1 & 2) will include a fast-paced “slam” of ways to use the Google Suite of products to support the writing process. From brainstorming to collaborative research, from drafting and giving feedback, to publishing, Google’s got it all. These sessions will focus on tips to make the writing process more inclusive for all learners in an online environment. Takeaways include a one-pager of student netiquette for screencasts and a Google Slides template to help students easily begin a rough draft.

Engaging all Learners with Interactive Lessons

 Presented by April Chamberlain

With the sudden shift to online learning, teachers worked quickly to transition lessons from the classroom to online only to discover that traditional lessons may not be effective without the teacher present and conversations with peers to support learning. So what happens when students stop completing the assignments or never even start? Some challenges may be external such as the need for stability with food, family and finances. The next challenge is the lessons engaging the students. In this session, we will explore examples of ways teachers today are reaching all learners through interactive lessons. You will leave with templates that can be used tomorrow.

Lessons Learned from Teaching Online &

Prepping for Fall 2020

 Presented by Larry Kahn

Lessons Learned from Teaching Online: We were awesome. In no time at all and with minimal training, if any, we taught kids online this spring. It’s time to reflect on what went well, what didn’t, and how we can improve as online-teachers. In this session, we’ll share tips, tricks and how-to’s so you can learn from our success and our mistakes. 

We know that Fall 2020 is coming, but nobody knows what school will look like when it arrives. Join Larry to look at several possible scenarios teachers may face and together crowdsource possible solutions for each one. You will leave with a plan of action for whatever the future brings. 


Day 2 Workshops

Thursday, June 4th
7PM – 9PM Eastern

Change Leaders: Using Outside Agency as Leverage for Change

Presented by Patrick J Foehr and Kim LeBas

Participants will explore five necessary elements that change leaders must develop in order to move their organizations forward. Exploration of these elements will be through the lens of change being forced upon us (COVID-19 pandemic) by outside agency. Viewing this challenge as an opportunity for reworking an organization and using our five elements will help you not only navigate your organization through the current situation, but we will help you position your organization to successfully emerge from this challenging time. 

A Leader’s Guide to Leveraging the Power of Google Tools

Presented by April Chamberlain

We often talk about the changes teachers are experiencing transitioning to remote teaching, but how are you doing in transitioning to remote leading? If you are new to using online tools to lead, you more than likely have been frustrated with quickly making the change. The pandemic has taken away the option to choose or not to choose to use technology to communicate, connect, collaborate, and lead. Come learn how leaders are using Google tools such as:

  • Shared Google Drives to support collaboration with grade levels/schools
  • Google Calendar for organization and calendar appointments
  • Connecting with teachers and other administrators using Google Meet
  • Forms to collect and analyze data on what is working and what needs improvement
  • Google Sites to create a virtual front door to the school and classrooms Google Slides to share knowledge
  • YouTube for announcements with closed captions to be accessible for all

Future of DIY Professional Learning in Schools

 Presented by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach

The idea of teachers orchestrating their own learning, selecting their own mentors, and pursuing just-in-time learning is an idea whose time has come. Emerging web technologies connect learners with content and each other in ways never before possible. COVID19 has us all learning outside classrooms and workplaces through smartphones, tablets, Zoom, Google Meet, Google Classroom and more. More than ever before it is important for you and your teachers to understand what connected learning looks like both in and out of the school building. Join Sheryl as she walks you through the how and why of DIY PD

Reopening Schools: What must it look like?……..What might it look like?

Presented by Neil  Rochelle

As states and communities begin to unveil what “the new normal” will look like for communities and businesses, school leaders are beginning to think about the complex responsibility of what it will take to reopen our schools while following current recommendations to keep our children and adults safe and healthy amidst Covid-19.  At the same time, scientists are discovering while young children may not appear to be a high risk group for illness, they may very well be asymptomatic carriers of the virus. School leaders must consider and balance the political pressures of reopening with the latest information from science and medicine.  Join us and together let’s brainstorm ideas of what’s necessary….and what’s possible

Starting the Year Strong: Building a Curriculum Road Map That Guides Learning in these Unusual Times 

Presented by Barbara Barreda

Some of the questions we will tackle include the following. What questions are essential to building a plan for learning in the fall? How will we measure learning? How can we as leaders, be an advocate, model, mentor, and coach? How can we provide just in time expertise to support our staff in doing new things and grow capacity for this new reality? The take-aways will include examples and templates for thinking and planning. The workshop will also include discussion and an opportunity to capture the collective wisdom we have gained from the last 3 months.

Day 3 Workshops

Saturday, June 6th
9:00 AM-11:00 AM Eastern

Mixed Media Painting 

Presented by Buddy LaHood 

You are an artist! Follow Buddy as he models step by step instructions on creating a beautiful painting using collage, crayon, charcoal, acrylic paint and other materials. A materials list will be provided before the session and you will leave this workshop with a gorgeous painting to hang up in your home.

The Pursuit of Happiness(Work-Life Harmony)

Presented by Christen Dodd

Is your life overwhelming right now? Do you find it hard to balance your work and personal responsibilities? If so, join this workshop as we share tips and tricks to creating a harmonious relationship between your professional and personal lives. In theory, many believe that our lives should be equally balanced. Practically speaking this can not only be a duanting but impossible task. In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to pursue a happier lifestyle by creating a work life harmony plan. We’ll discuss why it’s okay to let go of  guilt, it’s important to say no, and why “I” isn’t a bad word.  

Body Positive Yoga

Presented By Amber Karnes 

Honor the body you have today with this accessible yoga class taught by Body Positive Yoga founder Amber Karnes, an expert in adapting the practice for all bodies. This class is for “the rest of us”—folks with bigger bodies, creaky joints, folks who don’t want to get up and down off the floor, beginners and more. It’s low-pressure, judgement-free, and includes variations on poses and practices for different abilities and body types. You’ll explore movement, meditation and breathwork…and be sure to stick around after class for a short Q&A!  

Indoor Gardening: How to End Your Streak of Houseplant Carnage

Presented by Grace Beach Davis 

Ever find yourself wistfully wandering the garden section, picking up a plant and asking it, “Wanna come back to my place and die?” I feel you. In this session, I will attempt to convert you from houseplant-executioner to green-thumbed-plant-patron. Whether you neglect and wither your green friends or waterboard them, I am guilty of it all and I can help. Quick tips for recognizing and utilizing the amount of light your home receives, and suggestions on hard to kill and economical houseplants to brighten your space. We will be making seed starting paper plant pots, and turning a basic terra cotta pot into something that fits your style. 


Practical Strategies To Help You Age With Grace

Presented by Kathryn Cargile

Join Kathryn Cargile, occupational therapist and skincare consultant, to learn more about the many ways that you can begin your journey of aging gracefully despite your full and sometimes hectic schedule. Kathryn has a passion for empowering people to include healthy choices for their skin and body into their everyday routine. Life as a teacher can be demanding. You are selflessly giving all of your time and energy to helping your school and your students achieve their best potential, along with all of the other roles you are potentially fulfilling as a spouse, a parent, a caregiver, and a homemaker. Come spend 40 minutes learning tangible effective strategies to include in your everyday life to better care for your body and your skin so that you can age with grace.

Sign up Today

Pick which day most appeals to you or attend all three days at a discounted rate!

1 day ticket: $20
3-day pass: $50


Barbara Barreda
Assistant Superintendent – Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Barbara Barreda has been involved in education for 29 years. First serving as classroom teacher, then as principal and now as an Assistant Superintendent. She is passionate about teaching and learning. She believes that every school community needs to be actively involved in creating a shared vision. In addition to being an Assistant Superintendent, Barbara is a Google Certified Teacher, a Discovery Star educator and has written articles for OnCue as well as presenting at numerous conferences including ISTE, NCEA, Lead3.0, and CUE.

Jennifer Bloomingdale
Powerful Learning Practice, Director of Community Engagement

Jennifer Bloomingdale  is a former classroom teacher who developed a passion for integrating technology and assisting others in doing so. Jennifer has been an eCourse facilitator and Connected Coach at Powerful Learning Practice since 2012.More…

Kathryn Cargile, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist and Skincare Consultant

Kathryn Cargile has been married for 15 years and is the mother of three children ages 8, 6, and 4. She has a Masters degree in Allied Health Sciences from the Medical College of Georgia. Kathryn has been a practicing occupational therapist for 12 years and a skincare consultant for just over 2 years.

April Chamberlain
Technology and Library Media Coordinator, PLP Content Coach

April is a Content Expert and Connected Coach for Powerful Learning Practice. From a young age she knew she wanted to be a teacher.  April had the opportunity to become the Technology and School Library Coordinator where she now works with both the technical and instructional teams in her district to support learning. More…

Grace Beach Davis
Green-Thumbed Storyteller//Maker

Grace Beach Davis is an artist, storyteller, and pancake enthusiast with hard-won verdant fingers (RIP Begonias of Springs Past). Grace holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theater and is passionate about literacy, equity, and is a tender loving plant mama (no matter what the Fiddle Leaf Fig tells you). Grace loves awkward moments, her ornery feline, and her giant rabbit.

Christen Dodd
Powerful Learning Practice Connected Learning Specialist

Christen is a Connected Learning Specialist for Powerful Learning Practice. For eleven years, Christen trained educators both face-to-face and virtually with Verizon Thinkfinity. She also served as their Distance Learning Coordinator and Vice President of Professional Development. Christen starting working with PLP in 2011 as their Director of eLearning.More…

Patrick J. Foehr
Interim Deputy Director Hawaii State Public Charter School Commission

I have been an educator for 30 years as a teacher, administrator and consultant at both elementary and secondary schools, in private and public schools (mostly public), and worked with a variety of socio-economic levels and diverse learners. I currently work as the Interim Deputy Director for the Hawaii State Public Charter School Commission. We are the Authorizer for 37 schools across the state of Hawaii.

Larry Kahn
Chief Technology Officer

Larry Kahn has 36 years experience leading all phases of technology implementation and integration, including research, planning, and strategic execution in both the business and education sectors. For the past 16 years, he has led K-12 independent schools, boarding and day, single sex and coed, as they have harnessed technology in service of learning. Larry served on the Innovation Task Force for the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)and was recognized as the 2018 Outstanding Educator by the International Society for Technology in Education Independent School Educators Network. As CTO at TVS in Fort Worth, Larry oversees the school’s Academic Technology, Operational Technology, and Information Technology.

Amber Karnes
Founder, Body Positive Yoga

Amber Karnes is the founder of Body Positive Yoga. She’s a yoga teacher trainer, ruckus maker, social justice advocate, and a lifelong student of her body. Amber trains yoga teachers and studio owners how to create accessible and equitable spaces for wellness and liberation. She also coaches with folks who want to build unshakable confidence and learn to live without shame or apology in the bodies they have today. She’s the co-creator of Yoga For All Teacher Training, an Accessible Yoga trainer, and a sought-after expert on the topics of accessibility, authentic marketing, culture-shifting, and community-building. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with her husband Jimmy. You can find her at

Buddy LaHood

I was born in Valdosta, GA in 1951. I majored in art at Valdosta State College for two years but eventually graduated with a BSN in nursing. I owned and operated a 120 bed assisted living facility for 40 years. 24 years ago I began painting seriously and it brings me great joy to use the talent given to me by God. You can find him at and his Blog.

Kim LeBas
Kim grew up on a farm in rural New Zealand. He attended Teacher’s Training College, majoring in Physical Education,
Psychology, and Mathematics. During his 30 years as an educator, Kim has held leadership positions, and has taught and consulted in public and private schools.

In addition to his current role as administrator, Kim works as an educational consultant and mentor, supporting educational programming, systems development and educational professionals, in the Pacific Rim.

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach
CEO, Powerful Learning Practice 

Sheryl is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of  Powerful Learning Practice.  She works with schools and districts from around the world helping them to infuse technology into their curriculums and by leading other digital conversion efforts. More…

Neil Rochelle
Project Lead at Guam Department of Education

A loving father of two children and dedicated educator of 38 years. Over a decade as a classroom teacher and special education consultant with a long career in school administration, including serving as a School Superintendent in New York State. Determined to seek new adventures and to make a significant difference in the lives of children led him to relocate to the territory of Guam in 2010.  Neil is currently serving as a project lead at Guam Department of Education implementing a U.S. Department of Education Consolidated Grant project bringing tools, equipment and professional learning  in the use and integration of technology for teaching and learning to teachers, administrators and students.  In addition to a love for sun and surf, Neil is an amatuer photographer, artist, musician and chef.  

Heather Wolpert-Gawron
Middle School Teacher/21st C. Learning Instructional Coach

Heather Wolpert-Gawron is an award-winning middle school teacher and district PBL/21st Century Instructional coach. She is the author of Just Ask Us: Kids Speak Out on Student Engagement (Corwin/AMLE) which shares the results of her nationwide survey of 6th-12th graders and their responses to the question, “What engages you as a learner?” Heather has several other books which can be found on her website where she shares all things middle school.  She has been a staff blogger for Edutopia since 2008. Heather is passionate about Project Based Learning and believes the Maker Movement for teachers is a curriculum design.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is this Conference for?

Anyone who is involved with education! Including teachers, administrators, homeschooling parents, coaches..etc. 

This sounds great, but I'm feeling overwhelmed right now, can I attend another time?

We completely get it! All sessions will be recorded and available for purchase if you can’t attend. 

I'm really busy, how much time will this conference take?

This conference is especially designed for the busy educator. Each day’s conference lasts as the most, two hours and you leave with a handful of resources, templates and archives.

Where will the conference take place?

Each day’s micro-conference will take place in Zoom and last about two hours. 

I noticed each day has five speakers will I get to attend all five?

There will be two sessions presented by each of the speakers, with five topics from which to choose. Some of the presenters will present the same topic twice, some of the presenters will have a part 1 and part 2 of their session topic. You will get to choose two 40 minute sessions and have archives of those you miss. A schedule will be provided. 

Are the sessions interactive?

Yes, the sessions are interactive, you will collaborate with the other attendees and presenter. Every session will have a takeaway, planning sheet or another artifact that can be implemented tomorrow. 

How long are the sessions?

Each day of the micro-conference will offer two workshop sessions, 40 minutes long with a 5-minute break in between sessions. 

What do I get for the $20?

For each day you attend, you will have access to all of the session archives, handouts and takeaways, as well as the ability to attend two live 40 minute workshops. You will also be able to follow up with presenters for Q&A in the PLP Community Hub.  

Can I get the archives for the days I don't attend?

Yes! For the days you do not attend the archives, handouts and takeaways will be available for purchase.