• Hawaii Convention Center
  • 1801 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815-1513
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About Schools of the Future Conference

The Schools of the Future Conference explores a wide-range of topics and ideas related to best and emerging practices in education. The annual SOTF Conference is the largest event of its nature in Hawai'i and serves as an opportunity for teachers and administrators, across Hawaii’s public, private and charter schools, to reflect upon how to better serve children. The conference is produced annually in partnership with the Hawai'i State Department of Education, the Hawai'i Association of Independent Schools, the Hawai'i Community Foundation and the Hawai'i Society for Technology in Education.

Important Dates:
January - Call for Proposals Announced
March - Early Bird Registration to Open & Exhibitor and Sponsorship Opportunities to be Announced.
November 15, 2023- Pre-Conferences
November 16 & 17, 2023- SOTF Conference

NOW OPEN: 2023 Schools of the Future Call for Proposals

The Schools of the Future Conference aims to help transform learning environments today for the world of tomorrow. In pursuit of this mission, the Conference planning committee seeks proposals for presentations and workshops related to best and emerging practices in teaching and learning to help educators prepare learners for the future.

The Conference will be offered in-person this year, with a selection of recorded content available to all registered attendees. It will include 4 keynote speakers, at least 10 featured speakers, plenty of hands-on activities, and interactive learning components. As always, though, it's the voices and expertise of educators that make this event a meaningful and impactful experience.

Proposals should include innovative trends, while also helping attendees increase their professional competence by providing for an exchange of ideas and solutions. As always, the planning team strives to ensure that all content is relevant and timely. The goal of SOTF is to deliver a conference that helps inform best and emerging practices in education going forward, by providing innovative and implementable ideas that can be put into practice. To that end, the review committee will pay particular attention to whether proposals are reflective, in some way, of the teaching and learning environment we strive to create for our students. In doing so, the SOTF Conference, along with selected presenters, will create a community of learning that will help educators improve the quality of education for all students.

Proposals will be accepted for 50-minute presentations or 1 hour and 45 minutes- long workshops (see Session Types below for descriptions). On-demand, pre-recorded presentations will also be offered as a component of this year’s Conference and will be made available along with a selection of keynote and featured speaker recordings to registered attendees.

Proposals can be submitted by anyone working in a preschool, early learning, K-12 or higher education setting or support organization. Vendors, exhibitors and for-profit companies interested in presenting at the SOTF Conference will need to purchase a sponsor package that includes a breakout session.

Presentations with Students
If an adult will serve as the primary presenter with the presentation incorporating student voice, then please proceed with submitting a proposal using this form. If, however, the presentation will be delivered primarily by students, with a teacher serving as a point-person or facilitator, then please wait for the Student Call for Proposals which will be announced later this Spring.

Student presenters (K-12th graders) will not be charged a registration fee (maximum of 4 students per session).

Presenter Discounts

If your proposal is selected for the in-person Conference, the Primary Presenter will receive a complimentary ticket to attend 1 or both days of the Conference.

50-minute long sessions are allowed 1 co-presenter, and the 1 hour and 45 minute-long workshops are allowed up to 3 co-presenters.

1 Co-presenter(s) will receive a 50% discount off of either a 1-day or 2-day ticket to attend the Conference.

All presenters must register in order to present at the Conference. Please note that the Conference does not cover any travel expenses (hotel, airfare or other) for presenters. For more information on SOTF conference fees, go to http://www.sotfconf.org.

Discounts are not available to presenters only submitting a proposal for a pre-recorded session.

Please note that the Conference does not cover any additional expenses related to attending or presenting at the Conference (travel expenses, equipment, supplies, etc.).

Submitting a Proposal

A Proposal Planning Template has been created to assist with the submission process. The template should not be used to submit a proposal; rather, it is meant as a tool to help plan and draft your proposal. Please download or make a copy of this document to use for your planning purposes. When you are ready to submit your proposal, please do so via the official SOTF Proposal Submission Form.

The deadline to submit a proposal has been extended to March 31, 2023, and notifications will be sent by May 5, 2023.

Conference Tracks:

The Schools of the Future Conference explores a wide range of topics and ideas. Conference tracks are offered as a means of illuminating content that is of most interest to attendees. Session proposals can be submitted in one of the Conference tracks listed below but can encompass a variety of topics. For sessions that may fall under multiple tracks, please submit the proposal under the best-fitting track.

Each Conference track offers general guidelines and keywords that best represent the interests of this year's Conference. These guidelines are offered to assist and are by no means limitations.

Early Childhood Learning
Presentations should be geared towards preschool through grade 3 educators and should aim to explore the latest trends and research in the early childhood field. DHS training credit will be awarded to attendees participating in Early Childhood Learning Sessions.

Cognitive Diversity/Learner Variabilities
This track will encompass topics such as learning differences, differentiated and personalized learning, Universal Design for Learning, and other brain science as it applies to making learning accessible to all students.

Project and Place-Based Learning
Sessions in this track should aim to advance PBL practices by exploring the knowledge and skills needed to design, assess, and manage high quality, authentic Project/Inquiry/Problem-Based Learning. Participants are also encouraged to submit proposals that explore culturally relevant teaching and learning practices, as well as immersive learning experiences that extend beyond the classroom environment.

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
This track will explore best practices and strategies for effective SEL implementation, while also exploring evidence and research supporting the impact of SEL.

Teaching and Learning with Technology
This track will explore resources and strategies for transforming teaching and learning through communication, information, and technological tools. Sessions for this track should explore and showcase approaches to integrating technology in an effort to promote student empowerment, innovative design, creative communicators, and global contributors.

Computer Science
This track will focus on computer science and computational thinking for all levels of teaching. Presentation topics may include (but are not limited to) classroom practices, cross-curricular integration, physical computing, robotics, cybersecurity, and emerging areas such as artificial intelligence and data science. Alignment to the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) professional development standards for K-12 computing is encouraged.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB)
Sessions in this track should explore how we are addressing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in our schools. This could include examples of learning opportunities that value students’ culture and identity while addressing assumptions about inclusion, belonging and equity.

Leading Schools of the Future (LSOTF)
This track is intended for administrators and school leadership. Proposals should address topics such as institutional transformation strategies, approaches to school renewal, and innovative initiatives.

Effective Educational Practices
This track will encapsulate a wide-range of best-practices in support of effective teaching and learning. This track provides an opportunity for teachers and administrators to showcase their expertise by sharing ideas, skills, and resources in support of effective teaching and learning strategies. Topics may include, but are not limited to, student engagement, school culture and climate, assessment strategies, and innovative practices towards transforming student learning.

Career Technical Education (CTE)
This track will highlight CTE programs, courses, curriculum design and instructional practices being implemented in K-12 schools. Proposals should showcase examples of technical skills being integrated into programs and/or classes that provide the skills, knowledge, and training necessary for students to apply that learning to future careers or educational endeavors.

Presentation Formats:

Presentations (50 Minutes)
These presentations are 50-minutes long and will take place during the in-person Conference. They can be a more traditional, seated audience presentation or an Interactive lecture involving participant-engaged learning experiences.
Maximum of 2 presenters (1 primary presenter with the option for 1 co-presenter).

Workshops (1-Hour and 45 Minutes)
These sessions should offer an In-depth exploration of a topic over the course of a 1 hour and 45 minutes-long session, during the in-person Conference. Workshop sessions provide for a deeper dive exploration of a particular topic, resource, or tool. They should be dynamic and engaging, where attendees are actively engaged in activities and/or discussion.
Maximum of 4 presenters (1 primary presenter and up to 3 co-presenters).

Pre-Recorded Presentations (up to 1-hour long)
If you are already submitting a proposal to present at the Conference, consider also submitting a pre-recorded version of it. Pre-Recorded presentations will be recorded and submitted ahead of the Conference. They can be any length of time, but should not exceed an hour. A TedTalk format is ideal for these sessions. Pre-recorded sessions will be made available to registered attendees along with a selection of keynote and featured speaker recordings. Additionally, an on-demand session package will be available for purchase for those unable to attend the in-person event.

Proposal Review Criteria:

If your proposal is accepted, the session title and description, along with the presenter(s) bio(s), will be made viewable on the Conference app and website. Please make sure that all content, including spelling and grammar, is suitable for public reference.

Keep in mind that the proposal reviewers may not know you or your reputation, or be familiar with the specific technologies, models, or instructional strategies you are addressing. Be sure to provide sufficient detail including full names (not acronyms) and brief descriptions of all such elements in your proposal summary so reviewers can evaluate the relevance and usefulness of the information to attendees.

Your proposal will be evaluated for its:

  • Relevance to the selected educational track and overall mission of the Conference.
  • Alignment to the current teaching and learning conditions.
  • Educational significance and contribution to the respective topic.
  • Ease of replication and application.
  • Value and relevance to SOTF participants.
  • Presenter knowledge and experience.