Instructional Technology Initiative
  • Leading Edge EdTech Summit
  • The Leading Edge EdTech Summit (LEETS) is L.A. Unified’s premiere professional learning experience geared toward building the bridge between edtech research and practice.

    In 2019, the Instructional Technology Initiative (ITI) began hosting a one-day conference featuring exemplary teaching and learning experiences from across L.A. Unified. The event features keynote speakers, panel discussions, and workshops led by education technology leaders in both K12 and higher education.

    This year, the ITI’s annual LEETS event is transitioning into a 4-day EdTech festival, aptly named LEETSFest21. We are partnering with some of the biggest names and partners in educational technology to facilitate after-school and weekend keynote and workshop sessions from April 7 - 10, 2021. These sessions will feature exemplary learning experiences captured by L.A. Unified educators demonstrating the continuum of personalized learning to promote digital citizenship, implement the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards, and to expand Computer Science (CS) education in L.A. Unified.

    LEETSFest21 promises to be a convergence of instructional strategies and resources for a 21st Century classroom, the latest trends and practices in leading future-ready schools, and an opportunity to strengthen the bridge between K-12 and EdTech.

LEETS 2021

Scroll down to preview the flyer and the clickable program for each day of LEETSFest21,
including keynote and breakout session times.

Day 1 - Wednesday, April 7, 2021

3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. - Welcome and Keynote

  • Welcome and Keynote
    • Ken Shelton (3:40 p.m. - 4:20 p.m.)
    • Vikas Gupta and Dr. Daniela Schmeinck (4:20 p.m. - 4:55 p.m.)

LEETSFest21 begins with leading speakers and thinkers in the field of educational technology with Ken Shelton, education technologist and global keynote speaker, as opening keynote speaker highlighting equity and inclusion; along with Vikas Gupta, Wonder Workshop Founder and CEO, and Dr. Schmeinck, professor and researcher specializing in robotics in the elementary grades.

5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - BREAKOUT SESSIONS

  • Developing Programming Skills: Wonder Workshop:
    Amy Adams and Mabel Lung, Instructional Technology Facilitators

    Participants will understand the value of providing all students access to computer science education. Educators will learn how to leverage Wonder Dash robots and Wonder Class Connect to successfully integrate coding and robotics. Educators will explore resources and the Wonder Workshop curriculum.

  • Teaching Computer Science in Distance Education - Dash’s Neighborhood and Class Connect
    Bryan L. Miller - Sr Director Global Strategic Outreach - Wonder Workshop

    Wonder Workshop brings you its virtual platforms to continue engaging students in computational thinking and computer science concepts in remote and distance learning environments.

Day 2 - Thursday, April 8, 2021

3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. - WELCOME AND KEYNOTE

  • Welcome and Keynote
    • Dr. Jennifer Williams

Day 2 of LEETSFest21 encompasses collaboration beyond the classroom, incorporating the ISTE Standards for Students, specifically Digital Citizen and Global Collaborator, with keynote from Dr. Jennifer Williams highlighting her work around UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), global collaboration, and using EdTech for good.

4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - BREAKOUT SESSIONS

  • Digital Citizenship Through Nearpod and Flocabulary
    Amy Adams, Instructional Technology Facilitator
    Debbie Bermeo, VILS Coach

    Participants will develop Digital Citizenship practices that will inspire their students to positively contribute to and responsibly participate in the digital world. Educators can leverage Nearpod and Flocabulary to model safe, legal and ethical explorations of Digital Citizenship themes, scenarios and discussions.

  • Developing Student English Language Through Engaging Google Slides/Nearpod
    Renee Sanchez, Instructional Leadership Support Specialist
    Jeannette Tarin, Teacher, El Dorado Ave ES
    Adan Martinez, Principal, El Dorado Ave ES

    Participants will develop an engaging Google slide deck with Nearpod add ons to further their students’ English Language Development (ELD) skills in vocabulary development, writing, and speaking. Facilitators will take participants through the whole process of creating a 5 slides presentation that can be implemented the next day in the classrooms using the process of ‘I Do, You Do, We Do’.

  • Engaging Diverse Learners Through Nearpod
    Gohar Hamo, Instructional Technology Facilitator
    AJ Lugo, Resource Specialist Teacher, Sylmar Leadership Academy

    Engage diverse learners with Nearpod multi modal learning features that allow all students to access content. During this learning session teachers and leaders will gain a better understanding of using Nearpod to enhance student engagement specific to the content standards. Educators and leaders will explore features such as Note Taking, Drawing, Virtual Reality, Immersive Reader, Audio/Video responses, as well as participating in game-based learning. This session will empower participants to use Nearpod to accommodate different learners.

  • Nearpod 101
    Michelle Singh, Nearpod PD Facilitator

    Discover teaching with Nearpod while experiencing an interactive lesson. Then learn how to log into your account, explore the Nearpod Library of lessons, find, edit and launch lessons in both LIVE and Student-Paced mode. Examine information available in reports to monitor student learning. Participants are eligible to begin the Nearpod Certified Educator (NCE) process after this session.

  • Elevating English Learners with Nearpod (4:35 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.)
    Alyssa Navarette, Nearpod PD Facilitator

    Learn how to use Nearpod to provide your students access to rigorous academic content with interactive EL strategies and scaffolds.

  • Elevating English Learners with Nearpod (5:20 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.)
    Alyssa Navarette, Nearpod PD Facilitator

    Learn how to use Nearpod to provide your students access to rigorous academic content with interactive EL strategies and scaffolds.

  • A Pedagogical Approach to Nearpod (4:35 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.)
    David Franklin, Nearpod PD Facilitator

    Learn how to use Nearpod to create lessons that incorporate the 5E (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate) model into your instruction.

  • A Pedagogical Approach to Nearpod (5:20 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.)
    David Franklin, Nearpod PD Facilitator

    Learn how to use Nearpod to create lessons that incorporate the 5E (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate) model into your instruction.

  • Flocabulary: Building Academic Vocabulary for All Learners (4:35 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.)
    Ike Ramos and Mervin Jenkins, Nearpod PD Facilitators

    Learn about Flocabulary’s engaging videos and interactive, inspirational vocabulary development lessons. In this introductory session, we will explore the Flocabulary site and discover lesson features and grade-level content.

  • Flocabulary: Building Academic Vocabulary for All Learners (5:20 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.)
    Ike Ramos, Nearpod PD Facilitators and Mervin Jenkins, Nearpod PD Facilitators

    Learn about Flocabulary’s engaging videos and interactive, inspirational vocabulary development lessons. In this introductory session, we will explore the Flocabulary site and discover lesson features and grade-level content.

Day 3 - Friday, April 9, 2021

3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. - WELCOME AND KEYNOTE

  • Welcome and Keynote
    • Dr. Sharla Berry (3:40 p.m. - 4:20 p.m.)
    • Stephen Reid (4:20 p.m. - 4:55 p.m.)

Day 3 of LEETSFest21 brings you the convergence of inclusive and engaging online learning that supports diverse students and the principles of game design to the learning process, beginning with keynote speeches from Dr. Sharla Berry, researcher, professor, and practitioner, along with Stephen Reid, Senior Program Manager with Microsoft, as they underscore relevant, meaningful, impactful, and real-world learning through online and game-based learning; followed by hands-on workshops leveraging Minecraft: Education Edition.

5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - BREAKOUT SESSIONS

  • Enhancing Instruction with Game-Based Learning & Minecraft Education Edition
    Sandra Cuautle Herrera and Rohya Prudhomme, Instructional Technology Facilitators

    During this session, participants will have the opportunity to explore game-based learning with Minecraft: Education Edition. Join us to learn how you can use Minecraft: Education Edition to foster student engagement, build community, and help your students develop problem solving skills in any content area. If planning to attend, please make sure to download Minecraft Education Edition prior to the learning session.

  • Demonstrating Mastery Through Game-Based Learning
    AJ Lugo, Resource Specialist Teacher, Sylmar Leadership Academy
    Maria Muniz, CTE Teacher, Sylmar Leadership Academy

    The intent of “Demonstrating Mastery Through Game-Based Learning” is to help educators and leaders learn how to assess students’ mastery through Minecraft: Education Edition. Participants will learn about game-based learning by engaging in hands-on experiences and exploration. Educators and education leaders will leave with a basic understanding of how to incorporate Minecraft EDU in the classroom by making the connections to the ISTE standards. **If planning to attend, please make sure to download Minecraft Education Edition prior to the learning session.

  • Code Across the Curriculum with Minecraft Education
    Haronid Moncivais and Afeez Bello, M:EE PD Facilitators

    Minecraft is the best-selling video game of all time with over 50% of US children having played the game. Learning coding and computer science through Minecraft Education increases student access to these skills, using an immersive, creative platform that is both familiar and engaging. Students learn to code, collaborate and solve problems through play and projects that matter to them. Minecraft Education’s curriculum is easy to follow, empowering teachers of all backgrounds to deliver coding across the curriculum. With over 150 hours of curriculum, students can learn block (visual) programming and advance to Python and JavaScript (text-based languages). In this session, you will be guided by Minecraft Education’s lead developer through different in-game coding experiences and see how easy it is to incorporate coding and computer science into your classes. Please make sure to download Minecraft Education Edition prior to the learning s ession.

  • Minecraft: Education Edition: A New Opportunity for Esports in Education
    Aria Azizi and Laylah Bulman, M:EE PD Facilitators

    Minecraft: Education Edition contains special features for immersive and connected learning, from specialized blocks to enhanced multiplayer and a camera and portfolio for assessment. As a competitive esports title, its strength is that it gives students the opportunity to design, create, build, and code their own game experiences. With over 99% of students having played one competitive video game in the last year, it’s nearly certain that esports is a part of your students’ lives. If you are interested in scholastic esports but not sure where to start, we offer thirteen brand new Minecraft worlds, build challenge examples and an evidence-based scholastic esports framework, to support competitive play in the classroom. Meet students where they’re at with Minecraft Education Esports. An overview and live demo of the worlds, build challenges and framework will be presented. Please make sure to download Minecraft Education Edition prior to the learning session.

Day 4 - Saturday, April 10, 2021

9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - WELCOME AND KEYNOTE

  • Welcome and Keynote
    • Dr. Mitchel Resnick (9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.)

LEETSFest21 will conclude with sessions highlighting creative and playful learning beginning with keynote speaker Dr. Mitchel Resnick, MIT Professor and Founder and Creator of Scratch, sharing about the Four P’s (Projects, Peers, Passion, and Play) to develop creative thinkers. To complement this keynote, breakout sessions will showcase how to bring creative learning and computational thinking in the classroom through digital storytelling, creative computing and programming, as well as virtual and simulated robotics and makerspaces.

10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - BREAKOUT SESSIONS

  • Creative Solutions with Scratch and LEGO WeDo 2.0
    Amy Adams, Instructional Technology Facilitator
    Jamie Galgana, Instructional Leadership Support Specialist

    In this LEETSFest session, participants will make connections to their role and engage in a unique experience converging digital platforms, virtual environments, and hands-on makerspaces. Participants will understand the role of creative play, find opportunities for computational thinking and engage in hands-on learning.

  • Eliciting the Innovative Designer Through Digital Storytelling
    Maria Franco, Instrctional Technology Facilitator and
    Elizabeth Lester, Assistant Principal at Madison MS

    Participants will be developing their skills as a facilitator as they learn how to plan digital storytelling activities that will use a design process and computational thinking strategies (Facilitator). As a result, they will learn how to engage their students as innovative designers with this design process and a variety of tools to create original digital stories explaining a solution to a problem / content topic (innovative Designer). Participants will in turn learn how to develop their students’ creative communicator skills as they use a variety of digital platforms and tools to express themselves creatively (Creative Communicator). By targeting a specific audience for their digital stories, the students will be diving into their ability to customize their message for an intended audience engaging the students in complex thinking. Through learning how to use block coding, participants will be able to engage their students in computational thinking strategies as they use algorithmic thinking to code their stories.

  • Engage Students Through Playful Learning to Think Critically and Solve Complex Problems
    Paulette Donellon, Enterprise Account Manager LEGO Education
    Betty Justus, LEGO Education Solutions Architect

    Engage students regardless of their learning level in thinking critically, analyzing data and solving complex problems with real-world relevance.  In this session we will learn about LEGO Education’s newest solution SPIKE Prime! The SPIKE Prime solution brings together LEGO bricks, a programmable, multi-port Hub, coding language based on Scratch and STEAM learning units to help  students of all learning levels build confidence and critical thinking skills. Join us for some fun and engaging tricks and tips you can take back to your classroom.

  • Building Confidence in Your Learners with LEGO Education
    Paulette Donellon, Enterprise Account Manager LEGO Education

    STEAM learning is all about building confidence in learners. Join us for a look at current data around confidence in STEAM learning and ways to build confidence amongst teachers and students through using LEGO Bricks for hands-on activities. In this session, we will share with you LEGO® Education materials to experience how easy entry lessons can lead to limitless creative designs. LEGO® Education engages students in thinking critically, analyzing data and solving complex problems through working through real-world, relevant challenges. Educators will walk away thinking about how building confidence in students early and often will lead to pathways of success in building 21st century skills and preparing for college and careers.

  • Inspiration on How to Develop Data Literacy in Elementary and Middle School Students
    Bettly Justus, LEGO Education Solutions Architect

    This engaging session will provide a sneak peek and a chance to meet the newest hands-on STEAM solution from LEGO Education that encourages students to discover physical science in action! LEGO® Education BricQ Motion engages elementary and middle-school students in STEAM learning as they experiment with forces, motion and interactions in the context of sports. BricQ Motion provides easy, hands-on learning experiences that spark cool “aha” moments, as students set LEGO bricks in motion without the need for technology.

LEETS 2020

LEETS 2020 Poster

LEETS 2019

LEETS 2019 Poster