Design for Real-World Learning

Audiences: ES School Leaders , MS School Leaders , HS School Leaders , District Leaders
Levels: All Levels

Session Description

This case study of real-world learning opportunities will consists of 3 mini-breakout sessions during which participants will dive deep into the leadership strategies that support personalizing the student experience through authentic learning opportunities. Following an introductory discussion and presentation, breakout groups will explore 3 examples of real world learning initiatives currently underway at BWRSD (Real World Learning Challenge Collaborative via Digital Promise / CZI, Sail Bristol Warren, Generation Citizen). Participants will then engage in a group discussion about leadership moves that enable and promote these types of learning experiences. The breakout groups will then ideate and design takeaways for their schools/districts/organizations.

District Information

The Bristol Warren Regional School District educates the students of the towns of Bristol and Warren, RI, educating approximately 3,300 students in four elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. Through its efforts to increase student achievement and personalize learning for the whole child, BWRSD has been recognized by Digital Promise (League of Innovative Schools), Future Ready Schools, The US Department of Education (NCII/DBI Program) and several other organizations as a model district across the New England Region.

Tom Driscoll

Tom Driscoll is the Digital Learning Director for the Bristol Warren Regional School District in Rhode Island. He has also joined the team at EdTechTeacher in 2017, providing schools, districts, and educational organizations a range of consulting and professional development services aimed at transforming teaching and learning with technology.

Previously, Tom taught high school social studies in Connecticut while also regularly speaking at conferences and consulting with school districts across the nation. He has also authored chapters for several books on instructional technology including "Flipped Learning: Gateway to Student Engagement" and “Flipping 2.0.” Tom has a Master’s Degree in Computing in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and continues to research how innovative applications of emerging technologies can fundamentally transform teaching and personalize student learning.

Tom lives in Coventry, RI with his wife Michaela and two young children. He can be spotted across Rhode Island coaching the sport he loves (former Vassar College Basketball player) as well as every other rec and travel team his kids end up involved in.


Diane Sanna

Diane began her career in elementary education and has also served as a K-12 Director of Curriculum and Instruction. She is currently Assistant Superintendent of the Bristol Warren Regional School District. Diane has a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and is a PhD candidate at Lesley University in the Educational Studies program.


Dr. Mario Andrade

Mario J. Andrade, Ed.D. is an educational practitioner who has had over 19 years experience in private and public education. He has a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Johnson & Wales University, a Master of Science in Special Education from Simmons College, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Connecticut. Dr. Andrade has held a variety of administrative positions in public education. He has been the Assistant Principal at Newport Public Schools, Principal at Central Falls Public Schools, the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment for the Bristol Warren Regional School District and is currently the Superintendent of the Bristol Warren Regional School District (BWRSD). Dr. Andrade possesses extensive leadership and staff development experience in the areas of professional learning communities as well as curriculum mapping related to the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. He utilizes this knowledge as a foundation for training and developing good pedagogical skills amongst his teaching staff. Dr. Andrade leads BWRSD's involvement in the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools, most recently as a core member of the Real World Challenge Collaborative.