I-imagine™: Waking up a Generation to Their Own Greatness


In life you have two choices. You either create a future for yourself, or adapt to a future created for you by others. ~ Larry Quick

What are we pretending not to know? Even though the future aches for a new kind of learner, thinker and problem-solver, all the dollars and time spent on techno gadgets have changed little more than pockets of classrooms for kids. It’s time to seek higher ground for our visions and our results when implementing technology in our schools. Beneath the growing dropout rates, pandemic boredom, and mandated, high-stakes tests is a field where the hopes for our next generation’s potential can be unleashed, tapping into the radiant, innate intelligence lying dormant in so many of our young people.

Enter the power of story. Our inner stories exert tremendous influence, driving us and limiting—or enlarging—our sense of reality and possibility. The I-imagine™ project is grounded in new research documenting high academic impact when hope, joy and self-action is inspired within students through inventing future stories, sharing how their personal gifts will matter to the world 20 years from now. Through vision videos, students imagine taking their place in the world—making a difference for good—shining their light, activating talents and using unique personal strengths by creating a life they want to give themselves and their community around them. Imagine the legacy of today’s educators when they take the challenge of awakening, nourishing and unleashing the diverse talents of a generation that is literally going to inherit our earth?


Turning Up the H.E.A.T.™ – Learning, Thinking, and Communicating in a Digital Age      (2:00pm-5:00pm, Bighorn B)

Going from knowing facts to enduring understandings is not something that can be memorized.It needs to be rehearsed regularly with rigorous inquiry, driving questions, authentic audiences, collaborative problem-solving tools, inventive thinking, and effective 21 Century communication skills. What if rather than trying to teach students problem solving, we actually encouraged them to take on problems that need solving? Become wizards at the artful structuring of performance tasks that engage students in rigorous thinking along with communication technologies that purposefully build a deeper understanding of core curriculum concepts. When reflecting on learning tasks or products using technology in your classroom, seeing student digital work created with technology tools at websites or conferences, start peering past the technology glitz and begin asking questions about rigor. Using these high-yielding H.E.A.T. strategies elevates good ideas for learning tasks into GREAT ones. Come play a modern day “Extreme MakeOver” game developing engagingly HOT technology uses with kids as the winners! Participants will use a graphic organizer called “Turning UP the H.E.A.T.™” (Higher order thinking, Engaged Students, Authentic tasks and added-value Technology uses).


Bernajean Porter is a featured speaker and facilitator at national and international events, sharing impact strategies for using technology to rediscover and accelerate joyful learning. She is the author of: Grappling with AccountabilityEvaluating Digital Products: Training and Resource Tools for Using Student Scoring GuidesDigiTales: The Art of Telling Digital Stories; and I-imagine: Taking My Place in the World. She is presently working with a publisher on her new book, Students as Meaning-Makers and Media-Makers—Learning, Thinking and Communicating in a Digital Age.

Porter’s work reflects a belief that technology can accelerate all students in the rediscovery of their joy, spirit, and personal success as learners. When it comes to performing the difficult or impossible situations necessary to ensure students having out-of-this-world possibilities, Bernajean’s personal motto of “Da Um Jeitinho” (there is ALWAYS a way, let’s make IT happen together) sets the tone for her dedicated long-term work with educators.