Institute for Learning Partnership’s fall conference examines 21st century skills

The critical issue of building 21st century skills for today’s youth will serve as the theme for the 13th annual Fall Conference of the Institute for Learning Partnership at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

The Oct. 20-22 conference will offer an in-depth exploration of the development of 21st century skills, detailing their importance for students, educators and the business community in Northeastern Wisconsin. Technology pioneer and nationally renowned education leader, John Kuglin, will deliver the event’s keynote address.

“To ensure 21st century readiness, we must fuse the three ‘Rs’ (reading, writing and arithmetic) and four ‘Cs’ (critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity and innovation),” Kuglin said. “We’re at a crossroads in history, the implications of which will determine how we do work in the global economy.”

The education community and larger society must devote additional focus to what are termed STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) initiatives, Kuglin said. But educators and administrators also must learn to do more with less and understand that what constitutes an education is more than time spent in class. It’s a challenge society cannot afford to ignore, Kuglin said, one that will require rethinking some traditional policies.

The conference will open at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20, with three preconference breakout sessions, which will be followed by a 5:30 p.m. educators’ showcase and display of classroom research. All events Thursday, including the keynote speech, will be held in the UW-Green Bay University Union, 2420 Nicolet Drive, and are free and open to the public.

“I think it’s important to emphasize that these presentations are not just for educators,” said Institute for Learning Partnership Director Richard Schaal. “This is a topic that is important to the entire community.”

Kuglin’s 6:30 p.m. Thursday keynote presentation, “21st Century Skills to Build Blended Learning Experiences,” will center on how and why today’s educator needs to be proactive in setting up blended learning environments that focus on 21st century skills, while using both school district and personal resources. Kuglin will navigate his audience through key “Cloud-based” concepts and applications, and challenge attendees with a new 10-point technology-based learning plan that can help educators meet the demands of the 21st century. He is encouraging his audience to bring digital devices including laptop computers, iPads and smart phones.

On Friday morning, Oct. 21, Kuglin will speak with pre-service teachers at UW-Green Bay about 21st century skills. He then will visit the administration offices of the Green Bay School District, where he will speak live via the Internet with administrators from the CESA 7 and 8 school districts.

In a departure from tradition and in an effort to make the no-cost event more accessible to educators and the community at large, the conference will resume on Saturday (Oct. 22) at Green Bay Preble High School, 2222 Deckner Ave. At 8:30 a.m., Kuglin will discuss using “Cloud” technology to build blended learning experiences. A full morning of educator workshops will follow, with sessions offered from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. and repeated from 11 a.m. to noon.

Among the workshops:
– John Kuglin: “Next Generation Computing: Using the Cloud to Build 21st Century Learning Communities”
(a follow-up to the morning presentation)
– Jim Golembeski: “The Once and Future Workforce”
– Jessica Swemke and Justin Gerlach: “21st Century Skills and World Languages: Building Connections and Collaboration”
– Gwen Fiecko: “21st Century Skills. Moving into a World With No Boundaries”

The sessions on Thursday, Oct. 20 and Saturday, Oct. 22 are free and open to the public. For more information about the conference contact Institute Associate Director Juliet Cole at (920) 465-5094; or at A full schedule is available on the Institute for Learning Partnership’s Facebook page, and on the website at

The Institute for Learning Partnership was founded in 1997-98 to focus on educational excellence with special attention to the PK-16 learner. The Institute brings together the resources of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and Northeastern Wisconsin’s school districts, businesses and community leadership. For more information about the grant program or the Institute, call (920) 465-5555; or e-mail us at We’re on the web at; and on Facebook.


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