2018-2019 PBL Training Institutes*

and 21st Century Learning Conferences

Here are the PBL Training Institutes and 21st Century Learning Conferences for 2018-2019 that I recommend to teachers, administrators, and districts working to implement Project-Based Learning (PBL) in today's schools. This page is updated whenver these PBL and 21C organizations announce their institutes and conferences. -- Bob
Recommended PBL Trainers | Best PBL Videos | Study Tours and Site Visits | PBL Handbooks and Guides | Project-Based Learning

Updated: November, 2018

November, 2018: Registration now open for PBL World 2019, June 18-20, 2019, in Napa, CA.
October, 2018: New Tech High Center for Excellence and High Tech High Graduate School of Education offer Fall PBL Workshops for educators.
October, 2018: 21C Learning Conferences announce Summer 2019 dates.

Note: Most of the PBL organizations have yet to post their Spring and Summer 2019 offerings. Check back next month to see more.

PBL Training Institutes

  1. Think Global PBL Academies. See scheduled academies.
  2. PBL World, June 18-20, 2019, in Napa, CA
  3. BIE PBL Institutes
  4. Engage! Learning
  5. Magnify Learning Project-Based Learning Institute, June 17-20, 2019, Columbus, IN, June 24-27, Indianapolis, IN, and July 8-11, Seneca, Missouri.
  6. Innovative Schools Network PBL Summer Institute, March 8 and summer TBD, Wisconsin
  7. HTH GSE Fall and Winter 2018 Institutes, San Diego, CA, High Tech High
  8. TeachThought PBL Grow18, Frazier History Museum Downtown Louisville, July 9-11, 2018. 2019 TBA.
  9. New Tech High CFE offers Fall 2018 PBL Institutes
  10. PBL 101 Workshop, Tucson, AZ, July 23-25, 2018

21C Learning Conferences

  1. Big Picture Learning Big Bang National Summer Conference 2018, July 23-27, Atlanta, GA. 2019 Big Bang TBA.
  2. Deeper Learning 2019, March 27-29, 2019, San Diego, CA, High Tech High
  3. Building Learning Communities Education Conference 2018, July 17-19, 2019, Boston, MA
  4. Constructing Modern Knowledge, July 16-19, 2019, Manchester, NH
  5. FUSE 2019 conference: Design Thinking Experience, June 5-7, 2019, Atlanta, GA. Led by the Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation.
  6. 33rd International Self-Directed Learning Symposium K-12 Day: What Works: New Schools for All Learners, Cocoa Beach, FL, February 6-9, 2019




Think Global PBL Academies (formerly Think Forward PBL Institutes). See scheduled academies. 2019 academies TBA.

2019 Academies will include:

  • June 5-7: Advanced PBL Track at St. Andrews, Austin, TX
  • June 10-12: Advanced PBL Track, Cocoa, FL
  • June 12-14: Foundation PBL Track, Cocoa, FL
  • July 1-3: Advanced PBL Track at St. Andrews, Delmar International School, Cabo San Lucas, Bja California, Mexico

2018 Academies to date::

Advanced Reasoning Think Global PBL Academies are advancing deeper learning and school redesign with ARIE’s team of expert PBL practitioners. ARIE’s team have taken their years of 100% PBL practical practitioner approach to deeper learning in 21st century education and are collaborating with educators all over the world to improve Education. See the Think Global PBL Academy brochure/agenda.

Advanced Reasoning Think Global PBL Academies have created and honed PBL professional development that no other PBL course has been able to match. ARIE’s trainers have actual, relevant, 100% PBL classroom experience. In fact, the classroom is our proving ground for testing innovative ways to engage students and rekindle the fire in teachers. We still hold true to those things that work, but if there is a way to do it better, we seek to find it and refine it.

If you are interested in stretching your deeper learning approach to include 21st Century skills, to improve the culture of your classroom or campus, and inspire students to want to learn, Advanced Reasoning Global PBL Academy can help you. If you are interested in attending or hosting an Advanced Reasoning Global PBL Academy contact us today.

Host a Think Global PBL Academy at your location.

Contact us at 1-800-940-5663 and customerservice@thinkglobalpbl.org Click here for the ARIE brochure (PDF). See scheduled academies.

Advanced Reasoning in Education is led by Steven Zipkes, former founding principal of Manor New Technology High in Manor, TX. After 10 years of impacting 21st century education and influencing educators and leaders from all over the world, Zipkes has expanded his school redesign vision of creativity, deeper learning practices, and systemic change that transformed an idea into a Nationally Recognized, 100%Project Based Learning STEM School, and formed Advanced Reasoning In Education.

Twitter: @ThinkGlobalPBL

PBLife Blog by Dr. Janice Trinidad, ARIE Think Global PBL trainer and coach


PBL World, June 18-20, 2019 in Napa, CA, at American Canyon High School. Registration now opened. See 2018 Keynote Speakers, Selected Talks at PBL World 2018, 2017, and 2016 and 2016 PBL World Highlights.

PBL World 2019, from the Buck Institute for Education, is coming to Napa Valley, California, June 18-20, with a pre-conference day on June 17. The conference includes exemplary workshops, inspiring keynote speakers, and community building opportunities to catalyze transformational change in teaching and learning. We bring together dedicated teachers, instructional coaches, and school leaders to build their capacity for implementing and sustaining Gold Standard Project Based Learning in the communities they serve. PBL World features Buck Institute for Education's Gold Standard PBL 101 Workshop, which provides participants with the skills and knowledge needed to design, assess, and manage a rigorous, relevant, and standards-based project. We will also be offering BIE's popular Leadership Academy, Coaching Academy, and PBL 201 sessions.

Sign up at http://pblworld.org/ to receive updates about PBL World 2018.

2014 Highlights: Videos of Keynotes, Interviews, and Daily Blog Updates; #PBLWORLD; #GOLDSTANDARDPBL, @BIEPBL

2019 PBL Institutes

  • Palm Valley Institute, Coachella Valley, California. REGISTER for February 20-22, 2019, or April 24-26, 2019. Presented by the Palm Valley School in conjunction with BIE.

2018 past PBL Institutes

In addition to BIE's popular PBL World, BIE partners with educational organizations (school districts, county offices of education, instructional service providers) to offer PBL Institutes, which are facilitated by BIE's premier National Faculty and provide regional opportunities to build capacity for implementing and sustaining Gold Standard Project Based Learning. If you would like to learn more about how you can host a PBL Institute, request info here.



Engage! Learning

engage2learn exists to grow teachers, coach leaders and engage communities to achieve their highest hopes for students. Over the past five years, engage2learn has worked with educators and communities in and out of Texas to help them design, implement, and sustain their own local vision for learning. Because of our partnership with these forward-thinking school districts, over one million students have experienced a more engaging learning environment while acquiring necessary Future Ready Skills. It all starts with empowering local communities to design their own vision for learning.


Contact: Shannon Buerk, Chief Learning Officer, 214.938.8254
Twitter: @engage_learning

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/engage2learn


Magnify Learning Open Project-Based Learning Workshops, June 17-20, 2019, Columbus, IN, June 24-27, Indianapolis, IN, and July 8-11, Seneca, Missouri.

Magnify Learning will offer 4-day open enrollment sessions on Project Based Learning professional development for K-16 educators, instructional coaches,and administrators. Sessions will be held June 25-28 in two Indiana locations: Columbus and Indianapolis. At each of the workshops, the daily hours will be from 8 am to 3 pm. Register here.

School groups (including administrators) are encouraged to attend in order to work together toward the establishment of collaborative PBL systems designed to meet their particular school culture and needs. Upon the successful completion of each 4-day workshop, participants received a certificate for earning 28 Professional Growth Points.

Participants will have the opportunity to choose between various workshop pathways:

  • PBL 101 for PBL beginners (K-16)
  • PBL 201/301 for experienced PBL practitioners (K-16)
  • PBL for administrators/instructional coaches
  • PBL educator certification

Each pathway will be divided into groups based upon grade level for elementary educators and subject area for secondary educators. School groups (including administrators) are encouraged to attend in order to work together toward the establishment of collaborative PBL systems designed to meet their particular school culture and needs.

Innovative Schools Network, 2018 Project-Based Learning: Pre-Flight Workshop, Eau Claire, WI, March 8, 2018.

The 2018 PBL Summer Institute, brought to you by the Innovative Schools Network. Join practitioners from across the country in an extremely productive conference that focuses on the powerful learning that is happening in the variety of options out there for K-12 project based learning. Come to experience best practices in teacher-directed projects, co-created projects, student-led projects and the strategies for project management in each area. See Agenda here.

2019 ISN National Conference on Educational Innovation, Wisconsin Dells, WI, April 10-12, 2019.

High Tech High Graduate School of Education (GSE)

Fall Institute: Project Design for Deeper Learning, Wednesday, October 17 through Friday, October 19, 2018

This institute is tailored for educators and school planning teams to dive deeply into project-based learning and the High Tech High design principles. We emphasize and explore how equity in schools can be achieved through well-designed PBL experiences. Workshops feature the development, analysis, and critique of PBL plans and design principles. Participants engage with HTH teachers and students about their projects and learn ways to support both students and colleagues through processes of project tuning and critique. The Fall Institute is geared towards experienced educators and those new to project-based learning. Also see:

TeachThought PBL Grow18, Frazier History Museum Downtown Louisville, July 9-11, 2018. Optional 4th day "Differentiation in PBL" on July 12 for advanced PBL practitioners. TeachThought PBL Grow19 TBA.

Join international educators, innovators, best-selling authors, and master PBL facilitators to learn how to grow your teaching and learning with PBL through our Foundations of Project-Based Learning Workshop! You'll leave with a project ready to implement in your classroom. Leaders will learn how to grow and support PBL in your school. This 3 day event is limited to 70 participants! Also, TeachThought is excited to add a 4th day "Differentiation in PBL" option to extend your PBL planning and pedagogy. Dive deeper into differentiation with TeachThought facilitator John McCarthy, author of So All Can Learn! Note, this day is also available as a standalone registration for advanced PBL practitioners. This extension option is limited to 35 participants! Full event details at: wegrowteachers.com/grow18.

Three powerful days of: professional learning: connecting and networking; innovative and critical thinking; focus on PBL design, assessment, management, and support; unique keynote speakers to help you work more creatively; fun evening options in the city famous for bourbon, baseball, Muhammad Ali, and horse racing! Register for the main three days (July 9-11), all four days (July 9-12), or just the one day "DI in PBL" (July 12).The scheduled facilitators for the main 3 days are Dayna Laur, John McCarthy, and Drew Perkins. See bios here.

New Technology High School Center for Excellence, Napa, CA.

New Technology High School, Napa, CA, the flagship school of the New Tech Network, offers Trainings, Study Tours, and special institutes.

Trainings: Through the New Tech High Center for Excellence, we offer extended trainings for schools and educators. These trainings can either be held on-site at New Tech High or our trainers will come to you. For more information on pricing and how to set-up a training please visit the link below.

Study Tours: The Study Tours are an extensive one day training session that provides schools and educators a deeper look at how New Tech High has become a leader in project-based learning and school reform. Participants will tour the campus, learn more about the New Tech model and interact informally with students and staff.

Contact Aaron Eisberg, Center for Excellence Coordinator, with any questions at newtechhighcfe@gmail.com.

PBL 101 Workshop, Tucson, AZ, July 23-25, 2018

CITY Center for Collaborative Learning and the Pima County School Superintendent’s Office are bringing the Buck Institute for Education’s (BIE) ‘PBL 101’ Workshop to Tucson on July 23-25, 2018. The 3-day workshop is a balanced blend of direct instruction, video analysis, hands-on work, resource sharing, and peer collaboration and feedback. Facilitated by one of BIE’s expert National Faculty, the workshop models the project process. Participants are actively engaged in project design, with the expectation that every teacher or teaching team will generate a project plan for their own use. Download Flyer. Register here.

* PBL Training Institutes that would like to be included for recommendation on this page, please email me at bobpearlman@mindspring.com.

21C Learning Conferences 2018

Big Picture Learning Big Bang National Summer Conference 2018, July 23-27, Atlanta, GA. Big Bang 2019 TBA.

Big Picture Learning invites you to the 18th annual BPL Big Bang International Conference on Student-Centered Learning.

Big Bang provides a unique experience for BPL network schools, partners and practitioners interested in learning and sharing with creative educators from around the world. See videos of Big Bang 2017 here.

Deeper Learning 2019, March 27-29, 2019, San Diego, CA, High Tech High Graduate School of Education. Register here.

Deeper Learning 2019, March 27-29, 2019: DL2019 is the 7th annual gathering of powerful educators focused on creating more opportunities for students to learn deeply. At DL2018 you will: Experience deeper learning for yourself through deep dives, interactive workshops and an innovate makerspace; Connect with powerful educators who care deeply about preparing students for college and the careers of tomorrow; and Create new ideas, synergies and tools to implement and scale deeper learning. View the DL2018 Video Highlights, DL2017 Schedule of Events and the DL2016 program; Sign up for the Deeper Learning MOOC; Join the Deeper Learning Comunity on and Follow the twitter feed #DeeperLearning.

For International Educators, see the 3rd annual International Convening on Deeper Learning, March 27, 2018.

Building Learning Communities 19, July 17-19, 2019, Boston Park Plaza Hotel, Boston, MA.

Join us in Boston, along with educators from more than 25 countries, to share in the joy and adventure of exploring practical innovation in learning. Led by Alan November, the 19th BLC program is selected from among the very best educators, developers and thinkers in the world. Our social events to our informal meet-ups to our Boston geocaching adventure will give you the much needed informal social time to deepen your conversations and add to your professional network. You will return home renewed, globally networked, and ready to immediately apply successful practices. BLC19 pre-conference master classes July 14-16, 2019. Learn more about previous events: Relive BLC18, Relive BLC17, BLC2016 Website BLC15 BLC14 BLC13

Constructing Modern Knowledge, July 16-19, 2019, Manchester, NH

Constructing Modern Knowledge, led by Gary Stager, is a minds-on institute for educators committed to creativity, collaboration and computing. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in intensive computer-rich project development with peers and a world-class faculty. Inspirational guest speakers and social events round out the fantastic event - James Loewen, Paul DiMeo, Mitch Resnick, Joseph Paradiso, Eric Rosenbaum, Gray Stager,, and others to be announced. Faculty include Cynthia Solomon, Brian Silverman, Gary Stager, Brian C. Smith, Dan Lynn Watt, Molly Lynn Watt, Sylvia Martinez, Claudia Urrea, Cathy Helgoe, and Brian Smith. Register here.

Reflections on CMK 2014: Library of Project Videos, Photos, Blogs, Twitter Feed

FUSE 2019 conference: Design Thinking Experience, June 5-7, 2019, Atlanta, GA. Led by the Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation. .

Fuse19 exists at the intersection of business and education — it is a conference for exploring the possibilities of design thinking, the maker movement, entrepreneurship and innovation. Hosted by the Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation (MVIFI) and Mount Vernon Presbyterian School (MVPS), this multi-day experience brings leaders from education and corporate industries around the country to Atlanta, with the intent to inspire transformative impact and change. Participants will gain hands-on experience to build capacity as learners and leaders within their organizations and innovation teams. Subscribe to the Fuse19 Mailing List For Conference News! Download the 1-page Fuse17 conference guide.

33rd International Self-Directed Learning Symposium K-12 Day: What Works: New Schools for All Learners, Cocoa Beach, FL, February 6-9, 2019

The International Self-Directed Learning Symposium provides an international forum for the discussion of important current developments in the study and application of self-directed learning. The program design emphasizes presentations of recent research findings, intensive individual participation, and group exploration of problems, issues and concepts. Program structure includes large group sessions as well as small group interaction opportunities. 2019 Keynote: Sharan Merriam, "Self-Directed Learning as a 21st Century Imperative: Implications for Education at all Levels". Registration.

Cautionary Note on PBL Professional Development: PBL is hard to do well. PBL and authentic assessment require significant professional development. Districts and states that hope to spread PBL through a set of workshops and one to two week training sessions will not achieve their goal. Districts and states that wish to scale 21st Century Learning through PBL should adopt a comprehensive systems approach to professional development that includes a system of shadowing, training, and personal coaching for every teacher, a professional learning community within a school and across schools, and an online sharing community, all carried out over a multi-year time frame. All the organizations and individuals recommended above can be highly effective in helping districts and schools, but only if they are deployed sufficiently for training and coaching. See my articles on 21st Century Learning. -- Bob