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Aurora Institute

Aurora Institute Symposium 2020 Is Going Virtual

Education Domain Blog

Author(s): Susan Patrick

Issue(s): Lead Change and Innovation, Learn Lessons from the Field

We have made the decision to shift our in-person Aurora Institute Symposium 2020 to a virtual convening.

We were encouraged by more than 500+ colleagues across the field to continue with hosting a virtual conference, and we wanted to share the details on planning this year’s Aurora Institute Symposium 2020.

We are going to make this happen.

The 2020 Symposium will have two elements:

  • The virtual Aurora Institute Symposium 2020 will be held on the original dates of October 26-28, 2020 (save-the-dates)
  • An “All Fall” webinar series is being offered with conference presenters delivering online sessions from August to November.

Virtual Symposium: October 26-28, 2020

We will hold our flagship “Symposium” event virtually October 26-28, 2020, with plenary sessions, spotlights on promising practices and programs, birds-of-a-feather lunches, breakout sessions, networking events, and book clubs with authors.

An at-a-glance agenda provides an overview of the program, including:

  • Day 1 – October 26: Opportunities and Inspiration: Leveraging the Crisis to Leapfrog & Advance Systems Change
  • Day 2 – October 27: Competency-Based, Personalized, Anytime, Anywhere Learning Best Practices
  • Day 3 – October 28: Personalized, Competency-Based Education Designed for Equity and Focused on Whole Child/Social-Emotional Learning.

We’ve designed the event to offer multiple networking opportunities and foster hands-on engagement in a variety of sessions. The Symposium Networking Event will occur on October 27, 2020, at 5 pm ET.

Virtual Symposium Webinars: All Fall

We’ve launched a series of webinars running throughout the fall, leading up to and culminating in the main event on October 26-28, 2020. The schedule for the “All Fall” series is below and on the upcoming webinar events page of our website. All virtual sessions will be archived and available on the past events page of our website. Register for the “All Fall” webinars now!

Here’s what we are learning together during the “All Fall” webinar series:


  • We’re Still Working! (Virtual) High School Internships in the Time of COVID-19 (register here) for September 14, 2020, at 1 pm ET
  • Measuring Personalized Professional Learning: A Three-Year Study of What Works Best, For Whom, Under What Conditions, and Why (register here) for September 15, 2020, at 2 pm ET
  • Strengthening the Learning Relationships Between Teachers Families and Students: Our Framework, Interventions and Evaluation Efforts (register here) for September 16, 2020, at 2 pm ET
  • Assessing Field-level Change: Lessons from the Evaluation of the Assessment for Learning Project I (register here) for September 17, 2020, at 2 pm ET
  • Integrating Project-Based Learning in Online and Blended Courses in Indiana (register here) for September 21, 2020, at 2 pm ET
  • Putting Data to Work: Formative Evaluation and Continuous Improvement in Transformative Education Efforts (register here) for September 22, 2020, at 2 pm ET
  • NCAA Review Process: Why and How…and What’s Different During COVID-19? (register here) for September 24, 2020, at 2 pm ET
  • Increasing Capacity for Mastery-Based Learning in Washington State (register here) for September 28, 2020, at 2 pm ET
  • Science of Motivation: 5 Barriers to Student Motivation and How to Fix Them (register here) September 29, 2020, at 2:30 pm ET


  • Impact of Personalized Learning Through Interest-Based Internships (register here) for October 6, 2020, at 2:00 pm ET
  • Implementing Student-Centered Learning: Lessons Learned from Leaders in the Arena (register here) for October 13, 2020, at 2:00 pm ET
  • Choice in Learning: Examination of Students’ Use of Flex Time in High School (register here) for October 22, 2020, at 2:00 pm ET


  • Competency-Based Education Systems: Performance Assessment Using Proficiency Scales (register here) for November 5, 2020, at 2:00 pm ET
  • Deeper Competency-Based Learning: Making Equitable, Student-Centered, Sustainable Shifts (register here) November 10, 2020, at 2:00 pm ET
  • Designing Engaging, Purposeful, Rigorous Tasks for Remote and In-Person Learning (register here) November 12, 2020, at 2:00 pm ET

Past “All Fall” Webinars Are Archived.

  • Shifting to Online Bite-Sized Professional Learning (archived webinar here) with Dallas ISD from September 10, 2020
  • Transitioning to Remote Learning: Free Online Professional Learning Opportunities for Teachers with Michigan Virtual (archived webinar here) from September 9, 2020
  • Using Research & Development to Redesign: Immediately Implementable Methods and Practices to Accelerate Learning and Results for ALL Kids with Transcend (archived webinar here) from September 8, 2020
  • Learning Models for Difference Making in Communities with Tom Vander Ark (archived webinar here) from September 3, 2020
  • When Access Isn’t Equal: How the Pandemic Amplified Our Nation’s Equity Gaps (archived webinar here) from September 2, 2020
  • Elevating Student Experience to Build Equitable Learning Environments and Outcomes (archived webinar here) from September 1, 2020
  • Taking an Equity-Based Approach to Advancing a Research and Learning Agenda with City Year (archive webinar here) from August 18, 2020

Stay tuned! And, join us by engaging with us on social media with @Aurora_Inst and #Aurora2020

P.S. – COVID-19 has impacted our schedule in notifying presenters on acceptance. If you submitted a proposal during the open RFP earlier this Spring, we apologize that we have not notified all submitters of the status of their proposals. As we are still developing the program, COVID-19 has upended the process. We are in communication with presenters to ensure they can deliver a virtual presentation session at specific dates and times. Please bear with us. We will be notifying you soon and are currently finalizing the program in its entirety. Thank you for your patience.