LINC 2016 Conference was a big success!  We will post the videos of the plenary and panel sessions soon.
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LINC 2016 Pre-conference Workshops | Sunday, May 22, 2016

Make the most of your experience at LINC 2016 and attend one of the exciting pre-conference workshops on Sunday, May 22 for an additional fee.

LINC 2016 is proud to offer workshops, specifically designed for the Conference, and are hosted by world-renowned MIT faculty, groups and departments such as the MIT Media Lab, Edgerton Center, MIT BLOSSOMS, MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) and the Office of Digital Learning (ODL). In particular, these workshops will focus on MOOC development and various sectors of pre K-12 education.

Participants are welcome to register for the full-day workshop, or for one or two of the half-day workshops: all taking place on Sunday, May 22, 2016 on MIT Campus. We welcome you to attend a pre-conference workshop as a stand-alone course, or to enrich your LINC Conference experience at MIT.

Seating is limited and registration operates on a first-come, first-serve basis, so sign up today! Full program details will be sent out to participants early spring 2016. Included in the pre-conference workshop are morning, lunch and afternoon refreshments.


Full-Day Workshop – 9:00am-5:00pm

Workshop 1                                                                                        
MOOC Makers
Hosted by ODL’s Digital Learning Lab & MITx

Today, thousands of massive open online courses (MOOCs) are offered by institutions and businesses across over the world. The MOOC movement created a new generation of “MOOC Makers” who design and implement these courses both globally and for use within their own institutions. The MOOC Makers Workshop is a space to share lessons learned from working with and on MOOCs, showcase innovations in design, assessment, and implementation, and enable discussions and learning from others working on MOOCs.

The MOOC Makers Workshop will be a hands-on, discussion-based program, primarily designed for MOOC practitioners and those already engaged in the MOOC field.  However, researchers, administrators, entrepreneurs, technologists, and funders are welcome to attend and engage in a discussion with MOOC Makers about their work.


  • Create a space for MOOC makers to share their work, explore new collaborations, and network with peers from other institutions and countries.
  • Open the door for the international community to learn about the MOOC work going on both MIT and at surrounding institutions.
  • Provide an applied, hands-on workshop that gives MOOC makers an opportunity to explore and discuss topics critical to their work.

Themes: MOOC development, blended learning, MITx  | Click HERE to view the program agenda.

Morning Session Workshops – 9:00am-12:30pm

Workshop 2                                                                                         [

This workshop will introduce MIT BLOSSOMS, a ten-country partnership creating an ever-growing repository of free, online active learning video lessons for high school math and science classes ( In addition to their classroom use, BLOSSOMS lessons can also serve teacher professional development. MIT BLOSSOMS encourages universities around the globe to partner with secondary school educators to improve the teaching of STEM subjects. BLOSSOMS work with universities, ministries of education and high schools in developing international partnerships to improve STEM education worldwide.


  • To introduce MIT BLOSSOMS by providing an overview of the program;
  • To demonstrate how teachers use the BLOSSOMS active learning videos in their classrooms;
  • To discuss how these learning videos can be used for teacher professional development;
  • To examine the 6-stage process of creating an MIT BLOSSOMS lesson;
  • To review the process of becoming an MIT BLOSSOMS partner.

Themes: Online learning for secondary education, STEM education, Active, inquiry-based learning, High school teacher professional development, Global and cross-cultural education.

Workshop 3                                                                                        
Music Blocks
Hosted by MIT School of Architecture and Planning

This workshop is a hands-on introduction to the Music Blocks software designed by the Media Lab for teachers and learners to explore the fundamental concepts of music in a visual-coding environment. Music Blocks is both innovative and beneficial to music education in a number of ways: On one hand, it is a new method for understanding the fundamental concepts of music; on the other, it is a tool for learning coding and logic skills. It integrates both music and STEM fundamentals in a fun, scalable, and authentic way.


  • The goal of the workshop is to provide guidance and inspiration
    to teachers and learners in their use of Music Blocks. We introduce rich
    musical ideas that can be studied, analyzed, transformed, and re-imagined, they are ripe for open-ended explorations.
  • Participants will be given a power piece to work on, along with guided inquiry questions that lead to investigation about music and music integration.
  • Performances and presentations of musical creations at the end of a workshop should be playful, fun, and motivating. Facilitated dialogue after performances and presentations will provide opportunities for critical thinking and reflection.

Themes: music, coding, programming, and reflection

Workshop 4                                                                                        
Teach Cell Biology Concepts with MIT’s Kinesthetic DNA, RNA and Protein Models
Hosted by MIT Edgerton Center and the MIT Center for Environmental Health Sciences

Join us to explore how these MIT models can help your students experience what DNA, RNA and protein molecules do, not just what molecules look like. We will be manipulating models to perform the cell processes of DNA replication, mRNA transcription and tRNA translation. Chains of amino acids will be produced and then folded into working protein shapes.
Participants will be organized into teams of two. They will work together to do the activities taken from both of the basic and advanced booklets with the DNA/ RNA and protein kits. The models do the teaching of the cellular processes. The MIT protein models are also excellent for introducing protein structure, including all four levels of protein folding. With this kind of detail, it is possible to illustrate how a change in the DNA can alter a protein’s shape, which may in turn affect the protein’s ability to function. All the while, workshop leaders will demonstrate how to meet the needs of learners of different ages and abilities. This can be affected by using the same versatile models and adjusting the level of detail and vocabulary presented to the students.


  • For scientists who have not had a chance to learn modern cell biology yet, this workshop offers the goal of learning the key concepts about DNA structure, function and protein synthesis in a very enjoyable and memorable way.
  • To provide biologists an opportunity to experience the effectiveness of these tools for teaching molecular biology.

Themes: DNA structure, Protein structure, Central Dogma of Biology, protein synthesis, Hands-on Learning.

Afternoon Session Workshops – 1:30pm-5:00pm

Workshop 5                                                                                        
Sharing Best Practices: The Global Teaching Labs
Hosted by MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI)

The panel would bring together MISTI managers from programs currently offering Global Teaching Labs (GTL will be sending more than 190 MIT students going to 9 countries over MIT’s Independent Activities Period (IAP) in January, 2016), their in-country partners ( governmental institutions, foundations, principals; universities focused on changing education, mostly grades 9-13, through technology and participatory techniques) and some of the MIT students who have participated in the GTL.

The panel will discuss the accomplishments and shortcoming of the GTL, both as a way to diffuse access to best practices, and a way to improve residential education at MIT. In particular, the workshop will focus on what “travels well” across educational systems and cultural systems and what participants, both at MIT and abroad can learn from them.
International partners will be asked to present one or two major transformative education experiences that have taken place in their countries that could enrich the GTL experience.


  • The panel intends to be more than a commentary on the Global teaching labs. We hope it to offer many suggestions to improve and expand the program and building more solid partnerships with our international collaborators.

Themes: STEM, Online Materials, teaching in a foreign language/hands on methodology

Workshop 7                                                                                        
Social Tools to Support Online Learning in New Contexts: Unhangout and Learning Circles
Hosted by MIT Media Lab and Peer 2 Peer University

This interactive, discussion-based workshop will give participants a glimpse of the future of online learning. We will introduce two new open source initiatives developed by the MIT Media Lab Learning Initiative and Peer 2 Peer University, each of which seek to expand the promise of online learning beyond MOOCs and OER.

• Unhangout is a platform for running large-scale unconferences online.
• Learning Circles are lightly-facilitated study groups for learners who want to meet in-person and take online courses together.

After demonstrating each of these tools, the workshop will explore the pedagogical and technical considerations that went into their design and the educational futures that this represents. The goals for this workshop are threefold:

• To provide participants with the mechanisms and materials they need to introduce any (or all!) of these three tools into their communities.
• To brainstorm new applications for each of these tools to support informal and nonformal learning environments.
• To explore how these tools can create viable alternatives to formal education, and identify components that are still missing.

Themes: OER, peer learning, MOOCs, unconferences, libraries, facilitation, digital inclusion

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