June 22-26, 2015, Napa, CA


This page is 2014-2015

Click for 2015-2016 PBL Institutes

2014-2015 PBL Training Institutes*

and 21st Century Learning Conferences

Here are the PBL Training Institutes and 21st Century Learning Conferences for 2014 and 2015 that I recommend to teachers, administrators, and districts working to implement Project-Based Learning (PBL) in today's schools. -- Bob
[Recommended PBL Trainers, PBL Handbooks and Guides, Project-Based Learning]

June, 2015: Acclaimed Filmmaker Ava DuVernay (Selma) to keynote Big Picture Learning Big Bang National Summer Conference 2015, New Orleans, LA, August 4-7, 2015. See press release.
May, 2015: Register now for Think Forward PBL Regional Conferences in FL, IL, TX, AR, & CO June and July, 2015
March, 2015: Register now for LeadIn Napa PBL 2015, June 17-19, 2015, at New Technology High School, Napa, CA
March, 2015: Register now for Indiana's Magnify Learning Project-Based Learning Institute, June 22-25. 2015 in Indianapolis, IN
February, 2015: Register now for PBLNY 2015 in Syracuse, NY, August 3-5
February, 2015: Engage! Learning's Collaborative Cohort, June 8-11, Coaches Academy, May 18-21, and CTE Collaborative Cohort, June 8-11, Corpus Christi, TX

            1. Think Forward PBL Institutes from Manor New Tech
            2. PBL World, June 22-26, 2015 in Napa, CA. PBL Academies from BIE in Atlanta, GA, April 23-25, 2015.
            3. Engage! Learning Collaborative Cohort, June 8-11, and Coaches Academy, May 18-21, Corpus Christi, TX
            4. Magnify Learning Project-Based Learning Institute, June 22-25. 2015 in Indianapolis, IN
            5. PBL NY, August 5-7, 2014, Syracuse, NY
            6. PBL Colorado, Date TBD, Registration opens in February


Think Forward PBL Institutes from Manor New Tech

Think Forward PBL Regional Conferences - Register now for Think Forward PBL Regional Conferences in FL, IL, TX, AR, & CO June and July, 2015. Think Forward PBL Brochure. Why Think Forward? See announcement from Manor New Tech Principal Steve Zipkes.

Manor New Tech announces 2014-2015 Fall and Winter Dates for PBL training institutes and study tours:

Twitter: @ThinkForwardPBL, #thinkforwardpbl

See Video "Why Should You Come To Think Forward PBL Institute?" and Message from Manor New Tech Principal Steve Zipkes about the "Powerful Engaging PBL Professional Development".

Manor New Tech is one of the country's most innovative 21st Century schools in PBL and STEM. Since the school's launch in 2007, the school's faculty has developed master-level skills in PBL and 21st Century Teaching and Learning and now trains teachers districtwide K-12 from Manor ISD and from across the nation through theThink Forward Institute (TFI). I highly recommend TFI to teams from schools that are transforming to 21st Century Teaching and Learning. -- Bob


PBL World, June 22-26, 2015 in Napa, CA.

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

PBL World, from the Buck Institute for Education, brings together nearly 500 educators who understand that Project Based Learning is a key strategy for creating an effective and engaging 21st Century classroom that promotes students’ ability to master the Common Core.

This is unlike any other institute or conference. Workshops focus on both introductory and advanced PBL practices, with offerings for teachers, administrators and school teams. This year we are adding major strands to World: Instructional Coaching and Leadership.

Registration will open in early February 2015.

Sign up at http://pblworld.org/ to receive updates about PBL World 2014 and the opening date of registration.

Highlights from PBL World 2013 video.

Atlanta, GA

April 23-25

PBL Academies from BIE in Atlanta, GA, April 23-25, 2015

This event is built around workshops and academies and is patterned after our popular PBL World. Attendees can participate in BIE's classic PBL 101 three-day workshop, which engages them in learning the principles for designing, assessing and managing standards-focused projects.

We will also offer our two-day PBL Leadership Academy and PBL Coaching Academy (Thursday-Friday). This will allow educators with PBL chops the opportunity to deepen their understanding and learn how to provide a systemic context for PBL implementation. Mornings will begin with provocative keynotes from educational leaders. The day will be filled with hands-on, rigorous learning.


Engage! Learning

Collaborative Cohort -- With the Collaborative Cohort, campuses or districts with less than 1,000 students are provided the training, coaching, and resources necessary to implement and sustain the Engage! Learning Model (our standards-based approach to Project-Based Learning). Each campus or district participating in the Collaborative Cohort selects a team of teachers and administrators to become the Engage! Certified Designers, Facilitators and Leaders for their campus/district. See here for more information or contact info@engage2learn.org. Package includes a 4- day training, June 8-11, 2015, in Corpus christi, followed by a Fall training day onsite and 9 days of onsite coaching during the 2015-2016 school year.

Trainer-of-Trainer Coaches Academy -- The Coaches Academy is your solution for building internal capacity with district leaders for implementing the Engage! Learning Model (ELM)–Engage! Learning’s standards-based approach to Project-Based Learning. This service is a trainer-of-trainers model which provides all of the training and resources necessary to implement and sustain the ELM across several campuses or a whole district. See here for more information or contact info@engage2learn.org. 2-Year package starts with 4-day Conference, May 18-21, in Corpus Christi, TX.

2015 Career and Technology Education Collaborative Cohort - June 8-11, Corpus Christi, TX.

Check out the Engage! Transformation Toolbox, materials "beneficial as you transform your classroom, campus and/or district into a dynamic learning system that engages students and prepares them for their future."

2014 Highlights: #collaborativecohort

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


Magnify Learning Project-Based Learning Institute, June 22-25. 2015 in Indianapolis, IN

Magnify Learning will offer three 4-day sessions on Project Based Learning professional development for K-16 educators, instructional coaches,and administrators. Sessions will be held in three Indiana locations: Columbus (June 8-11), Plymouth (June 15-18), and Indianapolis (June 22-25).

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
  • PBL for school 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.

Video of 2011 PBL Institute.

LeadIn Napa PBL 2015, June 17-19, 2015, at New Technology High School, Napa, CA

Join us for LeadIn Napa PBL 2015, a three day event that is all about PBL in the New Tech model! LeadIn PBL 2015 is on June 17th through June 19th from 8:00am to 3:30pm. We are offering two professional learning opportunities: PBL Essentials and Dive Deep with PBL. This unique event will be held at New Technology High School in beautiful Napa, CA. The deadline to register for this opportunity is May 8th, 2015. For more information or to register, contact Karen Nelson, Academic Specialist for LeadIn Napa at knelson@nvusd.org, or Peter Abboud at pabboud@newtechhigh.org.

Twitter: @LeadIn_Napa

PBL NY, August 3-5, 2015, Syracuse, NY

PBLNY is a three-day event sponsored by OCMBOCES where participants will learn about all aspects of Project Based Learning. PBLNY is the place to be for inspiring keynotes, engaging workshops, and practical advice about all aspects of Project-Based Learning. Whether you are new to PBL or an experienced practitioner, there are sessions targeted to help you take it to the next level. Leaders, too, will find the support and training they need to ensure implementation of high-quality PBL in their school. Come and engage with this collection of national leaders and thinkers while you talk PBL with your colleagues. Keynote speakers including Milton Chen, Sam Seidel, Tony Wagner, Kippy Smith, and others. See the OCM Project-Based Learning web page and the most recent OCM PBL Newsletter.


PBL Colorado Summer Institute 2014, July 22-25, Castle Rock, Colorado. CANCELLED. Stay Tuned for 2015!

This four day institute will include engaging keynote speakers, a variety of 3 day training workshops and 1 day of extended PBL sessions designed for deeper inquiry. This is not passive professional development! Each participant will engage in collaborative work that will result in PBL units that are ready for classroom implementation. Coaches and instructional leaders will gain the tools necessary to support their PBL community. See 2013 PBL Colorado Highlights.

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

21C Spring and Summer Conferences 2014 & 2015

Big Picture Learning Big Bang National Summer Conference 2015, New Orleans, LA, August 4-7, 2015

Acclaimed Filmmaker Ava DuVernay (Selma) to keynote Big Bang 2015. See press release.

Big Picture Learning invites you to the 14th annual BPL Big Bang National Summer Conference 2015: “Honoring the Past • Creating the Future”.

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. This year’s conference will be held in historic New Orleans, LA on August 4-7, 2015 at the New Orleans Marriott. Learn more about the conference (link to conference brochure and advance program).


4th International Problem-based Learning (PBL) Symposium, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore, March 18-20, 2015

Republic Polytechnic of Singapore is pleased to announce its 4th International Problem-based Learning (PBL) Symposium, entitled 'Research and Practice in Problem-based Learning: Two Sides of the Same Coin', taking place from 18-20 March 2015

This Symposium offers an interdisciplinary forum to engage in dialogue and exchange of ideas on various PBL-related topics such as classroom management, assessment, teach and training in PBL, research in PBL and the use of technology in PBL.

Programme | Call for Papers |Twitter: @PBLI_RP | Facebook

Deeper Learning 2014, March 26-28, 2014, High Tech High in San Diego, CA

DL2014 is an annual gathering of terrific educators focused on creating more opportunities for students to learn deeply. Inspired by the "maker" movement of tinkering, designing, building and re-appropriating resources in often unlikely ways.

Sign up for the Deeper Learning MOOC
Join the Deeper Learning Comunity on and Follow the twitter feed #DeeperLearning

HTH GSE SUMMER INSTITUTE - Sharing Best Practices, Monday, June 23 through Wednesday, June 25, 2014, High Tech High in San Diego, CA

The Summer Institute is HTH Learning's largest annual event. Practitioners, school leaders, community partners, and charter and small school advocates from across the country come to High Tech High to learn about our principles and practices and to network with colleagues engaged in new school development and reform efforts. The Institute features interactive sessions on topics such as project-based learning, integrating math and science, working with diverse learners in heterogeneous classrooms, and more. The early registration fee is $750/per participant prior to June 6th and $800/per participant after June 6th on a space-available basis. [Online Registration]

2013 Summer Institute Program (PDF)
(A sample of last year's agenda. We will post the 2014 agenda in early June and will follow a similar format with a variety of workshop offerings.)

Building Learning Communities Education Conference 2014, Boston, MA, July 16-18, 2014

At the Building Learning Communities Education Conference 2014, founded and led by Alan November, there is something for everyone. Our annual education conference, held in downtown Boston, Massachusetts, brings together a diverse ensemble of keynote speakers and attendees to forge new relationships and strengthen existing ties for more meaningful teaching and learning enhanced by technology. Pre-Conference Master Classes: July 13-15, 2014.

Constructing Modern Knowledge, Nashua, NH, July 7-10, 2015
Reflections on CMK 2014: Library of Project Videos, Photos, Blogs, Twitter Feed #CMK14

Constructing Modern Knowledge, July 7-10, 2015, 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 - Leah Buckley, Deborah Meier, Edith Ackermann, Sherry Lassiter, and others.

21st Century Schools Summer Institute 2014, New Orleans, July 8-11, 2014

The 2014 Summer Institute, led by Anne Shaw, is comprised of two cutting edge workshops offering you strategies and tools that, if implemented properly, are guaranteed to increase student motivation, attendance, graduation rates, and test scores! Designing the 21st century classroom takes place on July 10 and 11.

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