Building the Culture of Learning.

August 13, 2020 at Park Event Center in St. Cloud

Interested in submitting a proposal?

Thank you for considering sharing your knowledge and expertise at the Transforming Learning Summit! The purpose of the Transforming Learning Summit is to inspire educators who are transforming systems and practices for the success of ALL students by making the learning experience relevant and meaningful.

The theme of the 2020 Summit is Building the Culture of Learning.

The conference creates an annual opportunity for practitioners, leaders and stakeholders within the state’s education community to come together to advance learning and share best practices. The success of the Summit depends on engaging and informative presentations from K-12 education professionals like you who represent diverse backgrounds, settings and positions.

If you want to showcase a particular area of expertise, or an experience that could benefit your peers and help Transform Learning, we want to hear from you!

The Transforming Learning Summit will bring together hundreds of leaders and professionals from across the spectrum of K-12 educational settings and functions, along with their private, public and civic sector partners.

Attendees come from public and charter schools, school districts, nonprofit/advocacy groups, state agencies and education professional associations. Attendee positions include:

Alternative School Directors Principals
Classroom Teachers/Teacher Coaches Regional Centers of Excellence Staff
Counselors/Psychologists Regional Co-op Staff
Curriculum Leaders School Administrators
District Administrators and Coordinators School Board Members
Educational Technology Coordinators Special Education Directors
ESL/TESOL Teachers and Coordinators State Agency, Board and Council Members
Intermediate District Staff Superintendents

The Transforming Learning Summit is seeking session proposals that reflect best practices in professional development and reflect the best thinking in the field of K-12 education. To deliver exceptional learning experiences, preference may be given to proposals that feature an interactive presentation style, supports the conference’s purpose and theme, and delivers an effective mix of the following:


  • Reflect evidence-based practice, cutting-edge content and innovative solutions
  • Explore issues important to a mixed audience of K-12 education professionals
  • Present a compelling case with evidence supported by research or data

Experience design:

  • Stimulate and provoke discussion, audience engagement, and outcome-focused design
  • Facilitate knowledge transfer and development of new competencies and “take-aways”
  • Use methods that draw out relevant past knowledge and experiences.

Thoughtful consideration of the audience:

  • Target audience represents diverse functions, cultures, settings and geographies.
  • Provide approaches for diverse types of learners
  • Demonstrate relevance of lessons through “real-life” case studies and best-practices.

Breakout sessions at the Transforming Learning Summit are learning experiences and are noncommercial. Under no circumstances should a presentation be used for direct promotion of a speaker’s product, service, or other self-interest.

If you are a commercial company/organization doing business within the K-12 field as a product and/or service provider, you are invited to submit a session proposal within the following guidelines:

  • Proposals must be submitted via the sponsor registration form and must be accompanied with financial sponsorship for the conference at the Presenting Sponsorship level or higher.
  • Presentations must be focused on a specific case study or example of product and/or service application within a classroom, school, district or other education-related setting, ideally co-presented with a K-12 education partner/customer.

No submissions from commercial companies/organizations will be accepted outside of these guidelines.

Please visit the Sponsorship Page for more information on all sponsorship opportunities.

Conference agenda

Coming Soon!

Session format options
Adult learners usually prefer to engage in self-directed learning. The Transforming Learning Summit seeks to offer a variety of learning formats with a range of instructional methods that give attendees more control over setting priorities and choosing the right content, materials, and methods that match their learning styles and objectives. 

  • Solutions-driven workshop (90 minute or 2 hours) – Information-intensive sessions aimed to provide tactical knowledge and actionable next steps. Built to explore issues in greater depth, workshop attendees will experiment with new modes of thinking and formulate the application of presented strategies to address relevant issues through small group exercises and discussion. These workshops are highly interactive and incorporate a variety of presentation methods to engage attendees, including: mini lectures, large and small group discussions, individual and group exercises, demonstrations, hands-on activities. Attendees should leave with practical application ideas and a list of tools and resources. 
  • Interactive Learning Session (60 minutes) – Engage educators in this session through sharing core content through presentation, then turn it over to the educators to construct their knowledge through discussion, collaborative work time, or creation of something they can bring back to their schools. This session should include a wrap-up of how the core content can be implemented using the knowledge they constructed in the session.
  • Rapid Fire Sessions (5 -10 minute presentations) – A five to ten minute presentation illustrating an example of transforming learning from a classroom, school or district. These concise speaking slots lend themselves to a more storytelling presentation style, with the number of PPT slides limited and focused on images and graphics to illustrate examples.

As you reflect on your proposal, please consider topics that support the Summit’s purpose and theme (Building a Culture of Learning) and that fit into the following learning pathways (tracks) for the Summit program. While proposals may address more than one area, you will be asked to select one which is the best fit. Some examples of topics are listed after each pathway. There are many other topics that can fit under each pathway.

  • Equity –i.e. school stories/reflections from meaningful work around equity; culturally responsive teaching strategies and activities, developing and using culturally responsive learning assessment, empowering student voice and passion, building accountable relationships, and encouraging multiple ways for students to share their learning, flexible and different curriculum pairings in an effort to reach all students 
  • Human Element of Assessment – i.e. use of authentic assessments; methods for conferring with students around assessment data; using formative, common, and summative assessments in a school assessment system; using achievement levels, summative results, and depth of knowledge to inform instructional planning, creating a balanced and coherent system of assessment to transform learning in a school system
  • Mental Health (student and educator) – i.e. impact of adverse childhood experiences on learning, trauma informed teaching, strategies for cultivating/maintaining adult mental health, empathy, social/emotional learning, effective Tier 1 and 2 interventions, how positive school culture influences positive student result
  • Student-centered Learning – i.e. cooperative learning, inquiry-based learning, integrating technology in a student-centered classroom, project-based learning, student involvement in performance evaluation

All proposals must be submitted using the Transforming Learning Summit online proposal website. Upon submitting a proposal, you will receive an automatic confirmation for your records if it was submitted successfully.

Plan your submission in advance. We suggest that you first collect your thoughts for your proposal. Collect contact information and biographies from your co-presenters before beginning the form. Session proposals require clear and concise titles, persuasive learning outcomes-focused descriptions in a short and long version, and three action-oriented learning outcomes that answer the question “upon completion of this session, participants will be able to…”. The following is the order and type of questions asked on the online proposal submission form:

  • Primary Presenter Name, Position, Organization, Address, and Email
  • Previous Speaking Experience (optional upload of video)
  • Primary Presenter Bio (character limit applies)
  • Additional Presenters Questions – (List each Co-Presenters Names, Positions, Organizations, and Emails)
  • Presentation Title (character limit applies)
  • Suggested Learning Pathway
  • Presentation Format
  • Presentation Abstract (character limit applies)
  • Detailed Presentation Description (character limit applies)
  • Presentation Specifics (Target Audience, Content Difficulty, Learning Outcomes, etc.)
  • Presentation Accessibility

Federal and State law require that public conference information systems, venues, tools and content be accessible to people with disabilities. In addition, GTS Educational Events is committed to ensuring the Transforming Learning Summit is accessible to a diverse audience.

How will you present your session in a way that is accessible (slides, videos, etc.) to everyone who attends? NOTE: All electronic files provided to GTS for attendees are required to be accessible. Visit the State of Minnesota’s accessible documents page for training and other resources.

We seek to create a premiere event for the K-12 education field, and therefore priority will be given to those sessions that meet the following criteria: 

Timely Does the topic address a current or emerging concern?

Relevant How significant is the topic to the theme and purpose of the conference?

Clarity Is the proposal clear and understandable?

Engaging – Is the session designed to engage the audience?

Non-Commercial – Commercial companies/organizations are invited to submit a session proposal within the guidelines as stated in the General Guidelines section.

Proposals must be submitted via the online submission form. Proposals sent by email will not be considered. Presenters may submit more than one submission.

The online submission form closes on Friday, February 28, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. CST. Incomplete and/or late proposal submissions are accepted by invitation only.

The person listed as the lead presenter will be automatically notified of receipt by an email sent to the address that you provide. If you do not receive such a notification, please contact {GTS staff} to confirm that your proposal was received. You will be able to return to the proposal to edit it until the submission deadline on February 28th at 4:00 p.m. CST. Information on how to do so will be included in the automated email.

Submission of a proposal does not guarantee inclusion in the program.  GTS Educational Events reserves the right to work with presenters to revise presentation titles, reassign the identified topic area and edit session descriptions for promotional and program publication purposes.

How are proposals reviewed/accepted?
An advisory committee with diverse representation of K-12 settings and functions will meet to review, rate and prioritize ALL proposals to determine which ones will be selected for the 2020 Transforming Learning Summit.

When are proposals selected?
Final selections will be made by mid-March. Confirmation letters will be sent to selected lead presenters at this time.  Signed confirmation letters will be due back to GTS Educational Events on Monday, March 30th, 2020.

Session scheduling
The Advisory Committee will schedule selected sessions. All types of sessions will be scheduled to minimize topic overlap. Some presenters may be asked to repeat their sessions.

Presenter honorarium
For each proposal selected, one presenter/moderator/facilitator will receive a complimentary registration for the day of the conference ($150 value) which includes access to all sessions and meals. No additional compensation is available. All presenters will be required to register prior to the event using an online registration system.

Once a session has been accepted and listed online, cancellation imposes a serious burden. Do not submit a proposal if you are uncertain that you will be able to fulfill your obligation to organize and conduct the session.

February 28th at 4:00 p.m. CST – deadline to submit online proposal form

Mid-March – proposals selected and lead presenters notified

March 30th – signed presenter agreement forms due

April 6th – attendee and presenter registration opens

July 30th – Presentation Power Point slide deck and handouts due

August 6th – Final session times/room assignments sent to lead presenters

August 13th – Transforming Learning Summit

Ready to submit your presentation proposal? Click Here!

About GTS Educational Events

If you are a nonprofit or public sector group looking to create a conference, workshop or educational event with impact, look to GTS. We believe educational events are successful when participants learn and grow and then return to their organizations and communities to make them stronger. We look forward to continuing our work with the broad spectrum of organizations striving to make a difference for the people and communities they serve.

GTS Educational Events is a nonpartisan organization, and does not take positions on any legislation or ballot measures, nor does it endorse or oppose any candidates in elections to public office.

Conference Advisors:

Dave Blanchard (Chair), St. Cloud State University, School of Education, Teacher Development: Information Media

Brian Cashman, Coordinator, Alternative Programs – Goodhue County Education District

Jennifer Dugan Director, Statewide Testing Minnesota Department of Ed

Danijella Duvnjak, Director of Teaching and Learning – HCPA

Angie Freese, Founder – Playmakers, LLC

Jessica Moore, Secondary Coordinator of Curriculum – ISD 742

Will Remmert, Elementary Principal – New Prague Area Schools

Jim Smith, K-12 Consultant – No Limits Learning