District Site

410 Central Ave. N.
New Prague, MN 56071

phone: 952-758-1700
fax: 952-758-1799


• • • • • Wednesday, November 15, 2017 • • • • •



About Powerful Learning

The fourth annual Powerful Learning Conference is a full-day event providing opportunities to learn, collaborate, and showcase innovative teaching strategies with other educators in our region. We strive to offer the event at a minimal cost with topics relevant to our local communities.

We are excited to announce Rachel Pierson as our 2017 keynote speaker. Rachel is a STEM teacher for Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton who refers to herself as a “technology nerd with a teaching and learning habit.” Rachel loves finding new ways to add to her instructional technology toolbox, and has a passion for helping children find their spark for learning. Her message will inspire educators to embrace growth. Follow Rachel on Twitter: @RPiersonEdu


Registration.pngRegister:  online form questions?
$50 per attendee, lunch included

Wednesday, November 15, 2017
8:00 am - 2:00 pm

New Prague High school (map)
221 12th Street NE
New Prague, MN 56071 

Parking (map)
Please use the staff parking lot.




21st Century Skills & the 4 C's
Student-Centered Classrooms
Coding & Makerspace
Professional Development
Formative Assessments
Game-Based Learning 


Classroom Teachers
Curriculum Directors
Technology Leaders


Click the breakout session titles to review the descriptions and additional information.

7:45 - 8:20 am  |  Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:20 - 8:30 am  |  Welcome - Tim Dittberner, NPAS Superintendent

8:30 - 9:05 am  |  Keynote - Rachel Pierson, Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton Public Schools

Keynote Presentation

npplc17RPcir.pngRachel Pierson
STEM Teacher
Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton (JWP) Public Schools

Auditorium | Resource Page
Rachel Pierson began her teaching career in the suburbs of Milwaukee, WI, where she taught a variety of subjects in grades 5-8 for 10 years. She was also the school's Technology Coordinator, and led the adoption of 1-to-1 computing. Rachel currently serves as a K-6 STEM teacher in Janesville, MN. In her spare time, she enjoys connecting with people from all around the world, and spending time with her husband and two cats.



9:20 - 10:10 am  |  Breakout Session I

Career Integrated Learning

Jeff Decker, High School Science Teacher
Jane Dittberner, High School Business Teacher
New Prague Area Schools


Room | Target Audience: Grades 9-12 & Administration | Resource Page
The Integrated Learning Program is a course offered to New Prague High School Juniors and Seniors. It combines academic content in Human Anatomy and Psychology, guest lectures, site visits, a mentorship program, professionalism and soft skills, and business projects into one course. The purpose of the program is to provide students with as many real-world experiences as possible in order to prepare them for a life in college and the workforce. In this breakout session, attendees will learn about how the program started, the development of the curriculum, the daily operation of the course, and hear from students in the course. The breakout session will include explanation and time for questions about the program.



Personalized Professional Learning

Matt Flugum
Teaching and Learning Coordinator
Tri-City United


Room | Target Audience: Administration | Resource Page
A round table collaboration for districts to share and learn what they have done and plan to continue to do to support Personalization in Professional Learning and Professional Development. We'll look back to the information shared last year, and update our learning to support all region (and beyond) teachers to become the best educators they can be! This session is an extension of our session and conversations last year though all are welcome to participate!


Develop the 4Cs with Formative Assessments

npplc17-ehills.pngnpplc17-zeidelbes.pngEric Hills, Digital Learning Coordinator
Zach Eidelbes, Digital Learning Coordinator
Shakopee Public Schools


Room | Target Audience: Grades 3-12 | Resource Page
As teachers, we often use formative assessment in our classes to see what students are learning or still need support on. But how about using it for developing soft skills like communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking? Come to this hands-on session where we will experience a Quizlet Live, Kahoot Team Mode, and Desmos Polygraph. You’ll have a chance to experience and then explore these tools to create your own engaging, collaborative formative assessment games.


Say Cheese! Using Video and Photos in the Classroom

Angie Potts
Elementary STEM Teacher and District Instructional/Innovation Coach
Saint Peter Public Schools


Room | Target Audience: PreK-12 | Resource Page
There are so many technology tools available to teachers and students - Google Photos, WeVideo, iMovie, Animoto, Screencastify, and more! How do we choose which one is best? What do we need to know before we unleash the tools to our students? What are we going to ask students to do with all these tools? Today’s learners are multi-sensory learners that take in information via video, photos, and words (in 140 characters or less). Come to this session to learn about several multimedia tools that allow students to capture, create and share their learning through video and photos. This session is filled with tips and tricks to get started today!


Do More with Google Drawings

Jocelynn Buckentin
Technology Integration Specialist
Hutchinson Public Schools


Room | Target Audience: Grades 3-12 | Resource Page
At first glance, it can be easy to dismiss the Google Drawing tool. However, it is actually a VERY powerful image creator and editor! Add in the fact that you can collaborate on a drawing, and it’s too awesome to be ignored! This simple tool can help you annotate over content or create graphic organizers, posters, mind maps, flow charts, infographics, interactive personalized lessons, drag and drop activities for every student and even memes! Students can use it to demonstrate their understanding, collaborate with others and showcase their creativity. Come to this session to learn about how drawings can help transform your classroom and leave with access to several ready-made templates for your classroom.



10:20- 11:10 am  |  Breakout Session II

Sphero Games: An Olympic-Inspired Robot Race

npplc17RPcir.pngRachel Pierson
STEM Teacher
Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton (JWP) Public Schools


Room | Target Audience: Grades 3-8 | Resource Page
Discover more about this integration of reading, social studies, science, and math. The Sphero Games are a fun event that brings together content, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. Try your hand at going for the gold!


Who's Doing the Work: Engagement and Rigor in a Student-Centered Classroom

Therese Netzer
High School English Teacher and Instructional Coach
Albert Lea Area Schools


Room | Target Audience: Grades 9-12 | Resource Page
Many of us are probably from an era where teachers lectured and where students maybe took notes but often drifted to sleep; teachers were at the center of learning, and students on the periphery (hopefully) absorbed content. Certainly lecture has solidified its place in higher education, but student-centered classrooms are now becoming more relevant and important. Student engagement and performance, along with class rigor, have taken first priority. However, actually implementing a class where students are doing the work can be challenging for a teacher. This session shares ideas for transforming our classes into student-centered, technology-supported places of high-level thinking and performance.


Let’s Explore the New Features of iOS 11 for Education

Brianna Buck, Digital Learning Coach
Amy Sticha, Digital Learning Coach
Shakopee Public Schools


Room | Target Audience: PreK-12 & Administration | Resource Page
The new operating system for iPad has arrived! It has tons of awesome features built in that can enhance our classrooms. Come learn about the updates to screen recording, annotations, QR codes, split screen, drag and drop, control center and more! We will show you what these news features are, ideas on how to use them with your students and try them out! (We will have some iPads with iOS 11 if you need to borrow one.)


Where in the World? Using Google Maps, Earth and Street View in the Classroom

Angie Potts
Elementary STEM Teacher and District Instructional/Innovation Coach
Saint Peter Public Schools


Room | Target Audience: Grades 3-12 | Resource Page
The power of seeing and interacting with the world around us, both near and far, is available for all students. Google Maps, Google Earth and Street View have provided students and teachers with opportunities for worldly travel and experiences without having to leave the classroom. Students can explore and share viewpoints of the world from many perspectives, both current and that of the past. Students can travel to other countries without leaving their seat. Students can create their own interactive maps and share their own stories. In this session learn about the many ways to manipulate and add content to Google Maps, Google Earth and Street View. Leave with ideas and experiences that can be implemented in your classroom!


Self-Paced Math

0AnnaBorwege_0.pngAnna Borwege
Middle School Math & Science Teacher
New Prague Area Schools


Room | Target Audience: Grades 3-12 | Resource Page
Session description coming soon.



11:20- 12:10 pm  |  Breakout Session III

CS First: Free Computer Science Coding Clubs

npplc17RPcir.pngRachel Pierson
STEM Teacher
Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton (JWP) Public Schools


Room | Target Audience: Grades 3-12 | Resource Page
Give students superpowers by teaching them the basics of computer science! Google's CS First program is a free kit from Google which gets kids started on Scratch with block programming. In this session, we'll walk through the basics of CS First, and fly through a sample club session.


Bitmoji and Sploder: Creative Engagement Tools

npplc17-jopikarski.pngJolene Pikarski
TOSA/Digital Learning Specialist
Tri-City United


Room | Target Audience: Grades 3-12 | Resource Page
Learn how to use these tools to tap into the creativity and collaboration skills of students, giving them choice in their learning. Use Bitmoji in your own teaching plan to direct, clarify, give feedback and communicate.


The Evolution of Libraries to Learning Commons

Doug Keddie
Digital Learning Coordinator
Shakopee Public Schools


Room | Target Audience: PreK-12 & Administration | Resource Page

Shakopee public schools are in the primary phase of establishing a Learning Commons in each building. The Learning Commons is a space where teachers and students can collaborate, innovate, communicate and share learning. It merges the best of technology and print or physical worlds by creating instructional, individual and collaborative, makerspace, and literacy zones within the Learning Commons. Come and share some of the plans for this project, and explore some of the hands-on tools we are working to incorporate as our spaces continue to evolve.

The Learning Commons is staffed by a media assistant, technology assistant(s), and Digital Learning Coordinator (DLC) striving to be a One-Stop Shop for:

  • Technology troubleshooting
  • Literacy resources for classroom lessons
  • Collaboration with DLC
  • Literacy resources for students
  • Green Screen filming and video production
  • Intervention/Personalized learning needs
  • Technology advice and integration ideas
  • Device check-out
  • Co-teaching
  • Media lessons and research
  • Makerspace and STREAM opportunities

Seesaw: A Digital Portfolio for Little Ones

Missy Trnka
First Grade Teacher
New Prague Area Schools


Room | Target Audience: PreK-5 | Resource Page

Seesaw is a student-driven digital portfolio. It is an incredible way for students to capture their learning progress, for teachers to give timely feedback and for parents to share in the learning process.

We will get your class up and running, discuss how Seesaw can be used in each curricular area you teach, make a plan to begin using Seesaw immediately with your students when you return to your classroom and explore other apps that can be used to smash student created work into your students' Seesaw portfolios.


Digital Citizenship & Classroom Management

npplc17-sbrandt.pngShawn Brandt
Director of Technology Integration
New Prague Area Schools


Room | Target Audience: Grades PreK-12 & Administration | Resource Page
Promote digital citizenship and improve classroom management. New Prague Area Schools uses Hapara and other simple strategies to reinforce the formal digital citizenship lessons taught in media and technology classes. For example, the Focused Browsing feature in Hapara helps students stay on task by guiding their internet access. This scaffolding approach builds students’ self-regulation skills. Learn some simple teaching techniques and how to create your own digital citizenship survival kit!



12:10 - 12:45 pm  |  Lunch

12:45 -   1:35 pm  |  Breakout Session IV

MinecraftEdu Gamification to Game-Based Learning

Glen Irvin
Spanish Teacher/Technology Integrationist
Wabasha-Kellogg School District


Room | Target Audience: PreK-12 | Resource Page
Come experience the power of Minecraft in Education! You will be immersed in Minecraft educational worlds in various content and grade levels. You will learn how teachers are leveraging the game to create powerful gamification and game-based learning lessons. Anyone from an inexperienced crafter to a fanatical Minecraft pro will leave this session inspired to bring Minecraft back to your classroom, school and district.


Student Tech Interns: Roundtable Discussion

npplc17-jberkner.pngJennifer Berkner, Technology Director, Blue Earth Area Schools
Gary Holmseth, Technology Integration Specialist, Blue Earth Area Schools
Sue Simonson, Business Education Teacher, Westonka Public Schools
Kristin Wallace, Secondary Technology Integrationist, Westonka Public Schools


Room | Target Audience: Grades 9-12 & Administration | Resource Page
Support and repair your school's 1:1 devices by initiating a student technology intern program. Blue Earth & Westonka will share how Technology Interns support their 1:1 Chromebook initiatives, benefits to the student interns, feedback from the school community, and adjustments they've made along the way. The majority of the time will be dedicated to Q&A and roundtable discussion. Is your school interested in starting a student tech intern program?... Join us to learn how we got started. Does your school already have a student led tech team?... Join us and share your experiences.


Makey Makey and Scratch - A Marriage of Creative Possibilities

Sandra Riehl, Digital Learning Coordinator
Natalie Weatherman, Digital Learning Coordinator
Shakopee Public Schools


Room | Target Audience: PreK-8 | Resource Page
Learn how to combine everyday objects with the Makey Makey (an electronic invention kit) and Scratch (a programming language) for endless possibilities of creativity! Ignite your Makers Space with ingenuity and collaboration. Learn how to implement and leave with a toolkit of projects to try in YOUR Makers Space!


Growth Mindset Lessons in the K-5 Classroom

0MelM.png0MarkN.pngMelinda Talamantes, 4th Grade Teacher
Mark Nechanicky, 4th Grade Teacher
Albert Lea Area Schools


Room | Target Audience: PreK-5 | Resource Page
We have created a set of hyperdoc lessons that include short videos, discussion prompts, mentor texts, and activities to help our students develop a growth mindset. We will discuss the impact the growth mindset lessons has had on our math learning. Attendees will receive access to the hyperdoc set.


Sutori: Digital Timelines to Enhance Instruction

James Kongshaug
Third Grade Teacher
New Prague Area Schools


Room | Target Audience: Grades 3-12 & Administration | Resource Page
Sutori is a digital tool that can be used to create historical event timelines, person life stories or biography timelines, or even step-by-step instructions. With easy to use and navigate features, a new project can be created in minutes. Using the basic features available at login, creators can add videos, pictures, multiple choice questions, and many other enhancements to make projects even more engaging. Educators can create classes to easily share timelines and have students collaborate within a class to create their own Sutori timelines. If you are looking for a new way to engage students and promote creativity, Sutori might be the perfect resource for you!



1:45 - 2:00 pm  |  Closing Activity (Auditorium)






How do I submit my registration fee?

Please make checks payable to: New Prague Area Schools
(Sorry, we are not able to accept purchase orders or credit cards. Please send payment before Wednesday, November 9th.)

Mail payment and a copy of the registration invoice to:

New Prague Area Schools
Attn: Julie Schmitz
410 Central Ave. N., Suite 100
New Prague, MN  56071

(After November 9th, checks will be accepted at the conference registration table.)


Who should I contact if I have questions about registration?

If you have any questions about registration, please contact:

Julie Schmitz
(952) 758-1741


Who should I contact if I would like more information about the conference sessions?

For more information, please contact:

Shawn Brandt
Director of Technology Integration
Event URL: npaschools.org/npplc17