2019-2020 PBL Training Institutes*

and 21st Century Learning Conferences

Here are the PBL Training Institutes and 21st Century Learning Conferences for 2019-2020that I recommend to teachers, administrators, and districts working to implement Project-Based Learning (PBL) in today's schools. This page is updated whenver these PBL and 21C organizations announce their institutes and conferences. -- Bob
Recommended PBL Trainers | Best PBL Videos | Study Tours and Site Visits | PBL Handbooks and Guides | Project-Based Learning

Updated: September, 2019

[Note: Most PBL and 21C organizations do not announce their spring 2020 institutes and summer 2020 conference dates until winter. I have posted info for those who have announced and will update others as they are announced.]

September, 2019: New Tech High Center for Excellence and High Tech High Graduate School of Education offer Fall PBL Workshops for educators.
September 2019: Deeper Learning 2020, March 25-27, 2020, San Diego, CA, announced.

PBL Training Institutes

  1. Think Global PBL Academies. See scheduled academies.
  2. PBL World, June 14-18, 2020, in Napa, CA
  3. PBLWorks PBL Institutes
  4. Engage! Learning
  5. Magnify Learning Project-Based Learning Workshops
  6. HTH GSE Fall 2019 and Winter 2019-2020 Institutes, San Diego, CA, High Tech High
  7. New Tech High CFE offers Fall 2020 PBL Institutes
  8. TeachThought PBL GROW 20 Conference on Project-Based Learning, June 22-24, 2020 Louisville, KY

21C Learning Conferences

  1. Big Picture Learning Big Bang National Summer Conference 2019, July 22-25, Detroit, MI.
  2. Deeper Learning 2020, March 25-27, 2020, San Diego, CA, High Tech High
  3. Building Learning Communities Education Conference 2018, July 17-19, 2019, Boston, MA
  4. Constructing Modern Knowledge, July 16-19, 2019, Manchester, NH
  5. FUSE 2019 conference: Design Thinking Experience, June 5-7, 2019, Atlanta, GA. Led by the Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation.
  6. 34th International Self-Directed Learning Symposium K-12 Day: What Works: New Schools for All Learners, Cocoa Beach, FL, February 5-8, 2020




Think Global PBL Academies (formerly Think Forward PBL Institutes). See scheduled academies. 2019-2020 academies TBA.

Advanced Reasoning Think Global PBL Academies are advancing deeper learning and school redesign with ARIE’s team of expert PBL practitioners. ARIE’s team have taken their years of 100% PBL practical practitioner approach to deeper learning in 21st century education and are collaborating with educators all over the world to improve Education. See the Think Global PBL Academy brochure/agenda.

Advanced Reasoning Think Global PBL Academies have created and honed PBL professional development that no other PBL course has been able to match. ARIE’s trainers have actual, relevant, 100% PBL classroom experience. In fact, the classroom is our proving ground for testing innovative ways to engage students and rekindle the fire in teachers. We still hold true to those things that work, but if there is a way to do it better, we seek to find it and refine it.

If you are interested in stretching your deeper learning approach to include 21st Century skills, to improve the culture of your classroom or campus, and inspire students to want to learn, Advanced Reasoning Global PBL Academy can help you. If you are interested in attending or hosting an Advanced Reasoning Global PBL Academy contact us today.

Host a Think Global PBL Academy at your location.

Contact us at 1-800-940-5663 and customerservice@thinkglobalpbl.org Click here for the ARIE brochure (PDF). See scheduled academies.

Advanced Reasoning in Education is led by Steven Zipkes, former founding principal of Manor New Technology High in Manor, TX. After 10 years of impacting 21st century education and influencing educators and leaders from all over the world, Zipkes has expanded his school redesign vision of creativity, deeper learning practices, and systemic change that transformed an idea into a Nationally Recognized, 100%Project Based Learning STEM School, and formed Advanced Reasoning In Education.

Twitter: @ThinkGlobalPBL

PBLife Blog by Dr. Janice Trinidad, ARIE Think Global PBL trainer and coach


PBL World, June 14-18, 2020 in Napa, CA, at American Canyon High School. Registration TBAd. See 2018 Keynote Speakers, Selected Talks at PBL World 2018, 2017, and 2016 and 2016 PBL World Highlights.

PBL World 2020, from PBLWorks, formerly the Buck Institute for Education, is coming to Napa Valley, California, June 14-18. The conference includes exemplary workshops, inspiring keynote speakers, and community building opportunities to catalyze transformational change in teaching and learning. We bring together dedicated teachers, instructional coaches, and school leaders to build their capacity for implementing and sustaining Gold Standard Project Based Learning in the communities they serve. PBL World features PBLWorks's Gold Standard PBL 101 Workshop, which provides participants with the skills and knowledge needed to design, assess, and manage a rigorous, relevant, and standards-based project. We will also be offering PBLWorks's popular Leadership Academy, Coaching Academy, and PBL 201 sessions.

Sign up at http://pblworld.org/ to receive updates about PBL World 2020.

2014 Highlights: Videos of Keynotes, Interviews, and Daily Blog Updates; #PBLWORLD; #GOLDSTANDARDPBL, @BIEPBL

2019-20 BIE PBLWorks Institutes

In addition to PBLWorks/BIE's popular PBL World, PBLWorks partners with educational organizations (school districts, county offices of education, instructional service providers) to offer PBL Institutes, which are facilitated by PBLWorks's premier National Faculty and provide regional opportunities to build capacity for implementing and sustaining Gold Standard Project Based Learning. If you would like to learn more about how you can host a PBL Institute, request info here.



Engage! Learning

engage2learn exists to grow teachers, coach leaders and engage communities to achieve their highest hopes for students. Over the past five years, engage2learn has worked with educators and communities in and out of Texas to help them design, implement, and sustain their own local vision for learning. Because of our partnership with these forward-thinking school districts, over one million students have experienced a more engaging learning environment while acquiring necessary Future Ready Skills. It all starts with empowering local communities to design their own vision for learning.


Contact: Shannon Buerk, Chief Learning Officer, 214.938.8254
Twitter: @engage_learning

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/engage2learn


Magnify Learning Open PBL Workshops for 2019-2020 are not yet announced. Register here.

Magnify Learning will offer 4-day open enrollment sessions on Project Based Learning professional development for K-16 educators, instructional coaches,and administrators.

School groups (including administrators) are encouraged to attend in order to work together toward the establishment of collaborative PBL systems designed to meet their particular school culture and needs. Upon the successful completion of each 4-day workshop, participants received a certificate for earning 28 Professional Growth Points.

Participants will have the opportunity to choose between various workshop pathways:

  • PBL Jumpstart - Experience a project-based learning environment while you learn the nuts and bolts of project-based learning. You will leave the four day workshop with a fully vetted PBL unit you are ready to implement with confidence!
  • PBL Advanced - If you have already been through our PBL Jumpstart workshop, you will enjoy this next step as you drive your own learning process through your Need to Knows.
  • PBL Administrators (Administrators & Instructional Coaches) - Come learn how to help your teachers create classrooms that are student-centered by creating professional development that is teacher-centered.
  • PBL Certification - Educators with at least two years of PBL experience will work with a PBL Certified facilitator, who will guide and support the start of their PBL Certification work during the four day workshop.

The workshop daily hours will be from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM. Lunch will be provided. School groups (including administrators) are encouraged to attend in order to collaboratively work together and establish PBL systems designed to meet the particular needs and culture of their school. Upon the successful completion of the workshop, participants receive a certificate for earning 28 Professional Growth Points (7 per each day attended).

The cost to participate in the 4 day workshop is: $500 for Individuals and $450 per person for Groups of 5 or more. All members of a school team of 5 or more, including at least one administrator, attending the workshops will receive a 10% reduction in their registration fees. Register here.

High Tech High Graduate School of Education (GSE)

TeachThought Foundations of PBL Workshop, March 16-18, 2020, Beach House Resort, Hilton Head, SC

PBL GROW 20 Conference on Project-Based Learning, June 22-24, 2020, Louisville, KY

TeachThought is excited to present our fourth annual TeachThought Grow event designed around the TeachThought ethos in downtown Louisville, KY! Pre-register now and save the dates for three days of PBL learning June 22-24!

Join international educators, innovators, and master facilitators to learn how to grow your teaching and learning with PBL through our Foundations of Project-Based Learning Workshop! You’ll leave with a project ready to implement in your classroom. Leaders will learn how to grow and support PBL in your school. This event is limited to 60 participants.

Learn more about prior year events: PBL Grow19, PBL Grow18, PBL Grow17. Also see Twitter: @TeachThoughtPD. See Teachthought facilitators here.

New Technology High School Center for Excellence, Napa, CA.

New Technology High School, Napa, CA, the flagship school of the New Tech Network, offers Trainings, Study Tours, and special institutes.

Study Tours: The Study Tours are an extensive one day training session that provides schools and educators a deeper look at how New Tech High has become a leader in project-based learning and school reform. Participants will tour the campus, learn more about the New Tech model and interact informally with students and staff.

Contact Aaron Eisberg, Center for Excellence Coordinator, with any questions at newtechhighcfe@gmail.com.

PBL Workshop, Tucson, AZ, February 20-22, 2019

Come and join CITY Center for Collaborative Learning for three focused days of learning about and implementing Project Based Learning (PBL). On Wednesday, engage in Project Based Learning with an immersive learning experience. On Thursday, experience your own project and discover how effective teachers in Project Based Learning environments plan high-quality instruction. You will learn the key features of PBL and practice essential PBL skills as you design a project of your own. Lastly, Friday’s learning explores the promise of High Quality Project Based Learning as you plan the best possible learning experiences for your students.

Favilitated by JoAnn Groh, Principal of Paulo Freire Middle School-Downtown Campus and CITY’s lead facilitator for Project Based Learning. Register here.

* PBL Training Institutes that would like to be included for recommendation on this page, please email me at bobpearlman@mindspring.com.

21C Learning Conferences 2020

Big Bang 2020 National Summer Conference TBA. BPL Leadership Conference 2019, Seattle, WA, December 9-11, 2019.

Big Picture Learning Big Bang National Summer Conference 2019, July 22-25, 2019, Detroit, MI. Registration opens January 15, 2019.

Big Picture Learning invites you to the 19th annual BPL Big Bang International Conference on Student-Centered Learning.

Big Bang provides a unique experience for BPL network schools, partners and practitioners interested in learning and sharing with creative educators from around the world. See videos of Big Bang 2017 here.

Deeper Learning 2020, March 25-27, 2020, San Diego, CA, High Tech High Graduate School of Education. Register here.

Deeper Learning 2020, March 25-27, 2020, is the 8th annual gathering of powerful educators focused on creating more opportunities for students to learn deeply. At DL2020 you will: Experience deeper learning for yourself through deep dives, interactive workshops and an innovate makerspace; Connect with powerful educators who care deeply about preparing students for college and the careers of tomorrow; and Create new ideas, synergies and tools to implement and scale deeper learning. View the DL2018 Video Highlights, DL2017 Schedule of Events and the DL2016 program; Sign up for the Deeper Learning MOOC; Join the Deeper Learning Comunity on and Follow the twitter feed #DeeperLearning.

For International Educators, see the 3rd annual International Convening on Deeper Learning, March 27, 2018.

BLC 2020 TBA. Building Learning Communities 19, July 17-19, 2019, Boston Park Plaza Hotel, Boston, MA.

Join us in Boston, along with educators from more than 25 countries, to share in the joy and adventure of exploring practical innovation in learning. Led by Alan November, the 19th BLC program is selected from among the very best educators, developers and thinkers in the world. Our social events to our informal meet-ups to our Boston geocaching adventure will give you the much needed informal social time to deepen your conversations and add to your professional network. You will return home renewed, globally networked, and ready to immediately apply successful practices. BLC19 pre-conference master classes July 14-16, 2019. Learn more about previous events: Relive BLC18, Relive BLC17, BLC2016 Website BLC15 BLC14 BLC13

CMK 2020 TBA. Constructing Modern Knowledge, July 16-19, 2019, Manchester, NH

Constructing Modern Knowledge, led by Gary Stager, is a minds-on institute for educators committed to creativity, collaboration and computing. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in intensive computer-rich project development with peers and a world-class faculty. Inspirational guest speakers and social events round out the fantastic event - James Loewen, Paul DiMeo, Mitch Resnick, Joseph Paradiso, Eric Rosenbaum, Gray Stager,, and others to be announced. Faculty include Cynthia Solomon, Brian Silverman, Gary Stager, Brian C. Smith, Dan Lynn Watt, Molly Lynn Watt, Sylvia Martinez, Claudia Urrea, Cathy Helgoe, and Brian Smith. Register here.

Reflections on CMK 2014: Library of Project Videos, Photos, Blogs, Twitter Feed

FUSE 2020 TBA. FUSE 2019 conference: Design Thinking Experience, June 5-7, 2019, Atlanta, GA. Led by the Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation. .

Fuse19 exists at the intersection of business and education — it is a conference for exploring the possibilities of design thinking, the maker movement, entrepreneurship and innovation. Hosted by the Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation (MVIFI) and Mount Vernon Presbyterian School (MVPS), this multi-day experience brings leaders from education and corporate industries around the country to Atlanta, with the intent to inspire transformative impact and change. Participants will gain hands-on experience to build capacity as learners and leaders within their organizations and innovation teams. Subscribe to the Fuse19 Mailing List For Conference News! Download the 1-page Fuse17 conference guide.

ISSDL Symposium, February 5-8, 2020, Cocoa Beach, FL

33rd International Self-Directed Learning Symposium K-12 Day: What Works: New Schools for All Learners, Cocoa Beach, FL, February 6-9, 2019

The International Self-Directed Learning Symposium provides an international forum for the discussion of important current developments in the study and application of self-directed learning. The program design emphasizes presentations of recent research findings, intensive individual participation, and group exploration of problems, issues and concepts. Program structure includes large group sessions as well as small group interaction opportunities. 2019 Keynote: Sharan Merriam, "Self-Directed Learning as a 21st Century Imperative: Implications for Education at all Levels". Registration.

2020 ISN National Conference On Educational Innovation, Wisconsin Dells, Apr 23 - Apr 24, 2020

Innovative Schools Network, 2018 Project-Based Learning: Pre-Flight Workshop, Eau Claire, WI, March 8, 2018.

The 2018 PBL Summer Institute, brought to you by the Innovative Schools Network. Join practitioners from across the country in an extremely productive conference that focuses on the powerful learning that is happening in the variety of options out there for K-12 project based learning. Come to experience best practices in teacher-directed projects, co-created projects, student-led projects and the strategies for project management in each area. See Agenda here.

Cautionary Note on PBL Professional Development: PBL is hard to do well. PBL and authentic assessment require significant professional development. Districts and states that hope to spread PBL through a set of workshops and one to two week training sessions will not achieve their goal. Districts and states that wish to scale 21st Century Learning through PBL should adopt a comprehensive systems approach to professional development that includes a system of shadowing, training, and personal coaching for every teacher, a professional learning community within a school and across schools, and an online sharing community, all carried out over a multi-year time frame. All the organizations and individuals recommended above can be highly effective in helping districts and schools, but only if they are deployed sufficiently for training and coaching. See my articles on 21st Century Learning. -- Bob