The Learning Counsel Announces Thom Markham to Keynote Their 2020 National Gathering

Global entrepreneur considered one of the founding fathers of Project Based Learning

The Learning Counsel has chosen Thom Markham as a featured keynote speaker at the organization’s 2020 National Gathering, to be held November 16-18 at the Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort  in Stone Mountain GA. Considered one of the founding fathers of Project Based Learning, Thom Markham, Ph.D. is an educator, positive psychologist, and global entrepreneur dedicated to youth development and a positive future.

The theme of Markham’s keynote is School of Fun: How Project Based Learning Retains Students. According to Markham, “It is directly tied to passion, purpose, and the thrill that accompanies meaningful engagement with a compelling task.” Educators often forget that a major factor in why people show up in physical form for schools, other than being compelled by law, is because it’s a giant kid club. Capitalizing on that with Project Based Learning (PBL) is more than engaging, more than causing better learning – it’s a critical move for the retention and recruitment of students in a time of compelling alternatives.

This will be the seventh National Gathering for the Learning Counsel, and the first time it has been held in the Atlanta area. A retreat-style event for digitally transitioning school & district leaders, the National Gathering has become known as the gathering place for the “best of the best” educators who come from across America every year to learn from each other and see the next stages of possibility from Learning Counsel research. Each year, the National Gathering presents a finely curated set of speakers, workshops and learning groups, all taking less than two days for efficient and impactful professional development. 

2020 National Gathering theme: Education Leaderacy Skills Today

“As recently as two years ago, there was a more leisurely approach to the digital transition in education,” said LeiLani Cauthen, CEO and Publisher at the Learning Counsel. “Today, most school and district administrations are unable to keep up as accountability rules, laws and fiery demands rain down from upper levels of bureaucracy and legislatures. Beehives of activity are burning out administrative staffs and teachers alike. And still, students continue to leave for alternatives. Luckily, a rising tide of innovators are helping more schools and districts into a working technology transition. Further, some of the early innovators are admitting reaching a sort of stagnancy and are interested in the “real” transformation. This is entirely positive, and there are real skills that can be learned.”

The 2020 National Gathering will help both the newly arriving innovators and those that have reached a plateau. The Learning Counsel has seen that when leaders do want to innovate, what comes up are more than simple challenges; there are real barriers inherent in certain mindsets and a host of issues. While touring the nation with their Digital Discussion meetings, the Learning Counsel discovered unique insights into what to do, and this year’s Gathering will provide concrete answers and unique strategies to bring schools and districts to the next level in their transformations.

About the Learning Counsel

The Learning Counsel is a research institute and news media hub with 215,000 readers that provides context for schools in digital transition from a deep understanding of tech user experience, systems and organization. Their mission-based organization was the first to develop a thesis of education’s future based on technology’s evolution -- and start helping schools advance systematically.

About Thom Markham

Thom Markham is considered one of the founding fathers of Project Based Learning. He is an educator, positive psychologist and global entrepreneur dedicated to youth development and a positive future. In 2015, Thom founded PBL Global, a world-wide partner-based organization offering a transformative strengths-focused model of project based learning that fits the next 50 years of education by integrating PBL, well-being, design thinking, coaching and mentorship, intellectual challenge, personalization, and social entrepreneurship.


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