• 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.

Conference Dates:
November 14 & 15, 2024 - SOTF Conference

NOW OPEN: 2024 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 related to pedagogy and best teaching practices 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, hands-on activities, and interactive learning components. The true essence of this experience, however, lies in the valuable insights and contributions of educators, whose voices and expertise are the cornerstone of the Conference.

Call for Proposals Overview

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 hour-long presentations or 1 hour and 30 minute-long workshops (see Session Types below for descriptions). On-demand, pre-recorded presentations will also be offered as a component of the 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 in the Fall. 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.

1-hour sessions are allowed 1 co-presenter, and the 1 hour and 30 minute-long workshops are allowed up to 3 co-presenters.

Only 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.

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 is April 7, 2024 and notifications will be sent by May 17, 2024.

Conference Tracks:

The Schools of the Future Conference explores a wide range of topics and ideas. Program 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 wide-range of topics. For sessions that may fall under multiple tracks, please submit the proposal under the best-fitting track.

Each presentation 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 in this track should be designed for educators of preschool through grade 3, focusing on the latest trends and research in early childhood education. Presentations should combine practical insights and innovative strategies for child development and can include topics like: emergent literacy, and play-based learning, inclusive education and technology integration in early learning environments.

Cognitive Diversity/Learner Variabilities
This track focuses on embracing cognitive diversity, offering a deep dive into learning differences, differentiated and personalized learning approaches, and Universal Design for Learning principles. It aims to equip educators with strategies and insights into brain science that enhance learning accessibility for all students. Presentations might explore innovative methods to cater to diverse learning needs, ensuring every student's unique learning style is acknowledged and supported in educational environments.

Project and Place-Based Learning
Sessions in this track should aim to advance PBL practices by exploring the knowledge and skills needed to create, assess, and manage high-quality, authentic Project/Inquiry/Problem-Based Learning. Attendees will explore innovative PBL methods and strategies, aiming to deepen student engagement and foster real-world connections. This track is ideal for educators seeking to enrich their curriculum with dynamic, experiential learning opportunities.

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
This track aims to explore and share best practices and strategies for effective SEL implementation in various educational settings. Participants will delve into current research and evidence that highlight the impact and benefits of SEL on students' academic performance and overall well-being. The track will provide educators with actionable insights on integrating SEL into curriculum and school culture, emphasizing the development of emotional intelligence, resilience, and positive student-teacher relationships.

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 (AI), data science, and Esports. Alignment to the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) professional development standards for K-12 computing is encouraged.

AI in Education: Shaping the Future of Learning
In the rapidly evolving landscape of technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI) stands at the forefront of educational transformation. This track examines AI's impact on education, providing insights and tools for educators to incorporate AI into teaching. Topics include ethical considerations, personalized learning, assessment, and preparing students for an AI-driven future. It highlights recent AI advancements shaping education, offering a comprehensive view on enhancing teaching and learning with AI.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB)
This track offers sessions that empower educators with the knowledge and tools necessary to create classrooms that celebrate diversity and ensure equitable opportunities for every learner. Sessions may address one or more of the following: creating inclusive learning environments where all learners feel seen and valued in their full humanity; developing an understanding of DEIB frameworks; recognizing and challenging implicit biases in curriculum and pedagogy; designing curriculum and pedagogy that is reflective of our diverse community; cultivating a sense of belonging for all students.

Leading Schools of the Future (LSOTF)
Designed for administrators and school leaders, this track focuses on forward-thinking strategies for guiding educational institutions through transformation and renewal. It provides a platform for discussing innovative leadership approaches, institutional change, and the implementation of pioneering initiatives in education. The track aims to offer insights into effective leadership practices that can navigate schools towards future readiness, emphasizing the importance of adaptability, community engagement, and embracing emerging educational trends. Ideal for those in leadership positions, this track is a convergence point for sharing experiences, strategies, and visions for leading schools in an ever-evolving educational landscape.

Effective Educational Practices
This track serves as a comprehensive platform for educators and administrators to explore and share a wide range of best practices in teaching and learning. It is designed to encapsulate the breadth and depth of effective educational strategies, covering essential topics such as student engagement, enhancing school culture and climate, innovative assessment strategies, and transformative approaches to student learning. Presentations may include subject and curricular areas as a unique opportunity for professionals to showcase their expertise, exchange ideas, and collaborate on the development and implementation of impactful teaching methods.

Presentation Formats:

Presentations (1 Hour)
These sessions are an hour 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 30 Minutes)
These sessions should offer an In-depth exploration of a topic over the course of a 1 hour and 30 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 discussions.
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.

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.