Change the Way 2019!

A Student-Led, Student-Driven Human Rights Conference

Students, teachers, parents, community members, district leaders, and administrators came together this past January 10th for a powerful day of learning, knowledge building and social action at the Change the Way 2019, Human Rights Conference.

Students from Dundas Valley Secondary School in Dundas Valley, Ontario, took charge of every aspect of the event — from coming up with the conference concept, selecting and inviting speakers, securing and prepping the venue, and everything in between. The program featured contributions and presentations from guest speakers, as well as elementary and secondary students across the school district, who showcased their work on innovating solutions and ways to advance the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

Hear from the conference organizers about how Knowledge Building and Knowledge Forum helped them create Change the Way 2019!

 “I really liked how students started off the conference. When you go to school conferences or any school event teachers or someone else who isn’t a student will usually start off. The 11th grade students definitely were responsible and were ready to speak in a confident voice.  Really shows how much students can do when you give them an opportunity.” – Gr. 7 student

Student organizers welcoming participants.

The conference was also an amazing example of students bringing the international KB community together. Classrooms from Mexico, Singapore, Canada, and Spain all contributed their outstanding work to the conference. The international scope of the project stands as a wonderful extension of partnerships and classrooms collaborations already taking place between KB classrooms across the globe.

“It was very interesting to see all the different ages. We were the youngest, but we saw elders and teenagers talk about the UN Sustainable Goals. I would recommend [this conference] because it teaches stuff you would learn when you are older, so you can explore it now so you can learn it earlier.” – Grade 6 student

“It was interesting to see students of all different ages  and  their projects including their experiments and research on Human Rights initiatives. One class got water from Flint, Michigan and compared it to Toronto’s water. Another group of students recycled pop can tabs to make wheel chairs. One parent made sleeping mats and pillows from recycled milk bags. It was nice to see many young students get together to save the environment.” -Grade 6 student

“It was wonderful to witness and be a part of the Change the Way conference. Gathering many students and teachers (as well as community members) from various school boards provided an opportunity for students to share and build off of one another’s research and knowledge. From this new knowledge, students are now able to move forward in developing and creating solutions to world issues such as Climate Change and Human Rights.” – Darlene Martin, Junior Division Teacher

Students Reflect!

Christine Vanderwal’s Gr. 7 students have written blogs about their experiences and thoughts on the day, which you can read here, here, here, and here!

A Grade 7 student blogs about their experiences at the Change the Way 2019 Conference

Check out the article presented below, written by a Max Kaplan, a Grade 11 student and conference organizer (Notice his shout out to KF!)

Highlights from the Twitterverse!

Students Taking Charge at the Highest Levels

Grade 9 students from Sant Pau Apostòl school in Tarragona, Spain are part of the global community of Knowledge Building students who are working to tackle the UN Goals for Sustainable Development. This group of students came together and decided to focus their efforts on Goal 13: Climate Action.

Hear from Kacper and Marina as they introduce their work and classmates in the video below!

During the course of their KB work, students worked together to propose and advance their ideas and theories, consulted with experts in industry and academia, and built their ideas on a Knowledge Forum community that was open to collaborating teachers and classrooms all from over the world!

You can watch the evolution of the students’ KF community in this video, which captures the KF Timeline tool in action.

Their teacher, Dr. Pere Boluda, is an expert in educational technologies, and has been working with Knowledge Building since 2007. Dr. Boluda is part of a community of Catalan researchers exploring Knowledge Building processes and practices. He is also the Catalan coordinator of the Knowledge Building International Project (KBIP) in Catalonia, which brings together teachers from across the region every month to share practices and advance practice and pedagogy.

The powerpoint below describes the overarching goals and guidelines of the Climate Action project, which was developed as a flexible framework to support Knowledge Building work over time.

The presentation below describes the students’ online discourse, with examples of student created rise-aboves and Knowledge Forum assessment tool visuals.

Knowledge Building: Pedagogy Meets Technology


On October 27th, educators Lori Belford and Emily Horner from the Halton District School Board (HDSB) presented their amazing work with Knowledge Building and Knowledge Forum at the HDSB 3rd Annual Innovation and Technology Symposium.

Their presentation, Knowledge Building: Pedagogy Meets Technology, shares their journey with Knowledge Building in the classroom to create a more collaborative community of learners, driven by student voice. They also explore how Knowledge Forum can connect 21st century pedagogy and technology in the elementary classroom.

Thank you to Emily and Lori for sharing their presentation. Explore their wonderful work below!

Knowledge Building: Pedagogy Meets Technology cover slide

Quote: How can KB and KF practices support and empower our students during inquiry-based learning?

Wonder Wall images


Screenshot of KB trailer video


KB Discourse - moving beyond sharing to building knowledge


Images: KB scaffold sets


Images: KB Circle progression


Knowledge Forum overview








In 2015 a hackthon/desing jam was organized at Aeres Applied University (UAS) Wageningen in the Netherlands (De Jong, Matszuzawa, Teplov, Bodong, Aalst, et al.; 2015). Some of the learning analytics in the current KF6 result from that week. Participants were enthusiastic and intended to do this over again in the future. The next activity was the symposium at CSCL (De Jong et al., 2017) It took me some years to find some sponsoring again, but I had a little success this year. So, in the last week of November (25-30) we are organizing a second Hackathon/jam design week. During KBSI2018 this week became part of a bigger process of upgrading the KF user interface, for which some activities will organized In Japan (March 2019), during AERA 2019 annual meeting in Toronto and of course throughout Knowledge Building 2019 meetings.

The Hackathon/design jam week in November 25-30, 2018 at Aeres UAS Wageningen in the Netherlands will focus on the one hand making the learning analytics more user friendly for teachers and students. On the other hand to ‘design-on’ and making some of analytics more semantic analytical. Participation will be face-to-face collaboration at Aeres UAS and virtual.

The weeks start on the Monday with input from teachers and students with their experiences and ideas for improvement and needs. End the end of the week results will be demonstrated to them. In between participants will work on the ideas, virtual meetings will be held for input, collaboration, feedback and feedforward from those who are interested to bring in their expertise and experiences.

At the moment the following participants will participate in Wageningen: Yoshiaki Matsuzawa (KBDex; KF-code, software engineering) School of Social Informatics, Aoyama Gakuin University, Japan; Prof. dr. Sylvie Ratté (Linguistic engineering Knowledge representation, Formal language ,Visual language, Ontology, Semantic interpretation of natural languages, Artificial intelligence)Laboratoire d’ingénierie Cognitive Sémantique, Ecole de technologie superieure (ETS), Montreal, University of Quebec, Canada; Erick Velazquez, Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering;natural language processing and data mining), Postdoc at University of Potsdam, Germany; Veronic Segarra Faggiono Ph.D-student Laboratoire d’ingénierie Cognitive Sémantique, Ecole de technologie superieure (ETS), Montreal, University of Quebec, Canada; Prof. dr. Therese Laferriere Sciences Education, Universite Laval, Quebec, Canada; Gabriel Demers Sciences Education, Universite Laval, Quebec, Canada; Simon Duguay

Sciences Education, Universite Laval, Quebec, Canada; Dr. Ole Smordal Head of EngageLab, Department of Education, University of Oslo, Norway; Richard Nesnass MSc. Developer, software engineering (implementation of Talkwall) at EngageLab, Department of Education, University of Oslo, Norway; Jan van Aalst, Associate Professor Faculty of Education, the University of Hong Kong. Teachers and students from AERES Wageningen and VET-schools. Rik van Steenbergen, AHW BA-student doing his BA-thesis on learning analytics.

On-line participation: Prof. dr. Carl Bereiter & prof. dr. Marlene Scardamalia OISE/University of Toronto, IKIT, Toronto, Canada; Fernando Díaz del Castillo H. Director de Innovación y Desarrollo Gimnasio La Montaña, Colombia; Bodong Chen Ph.D.Assistant Professor, Learning Technologies, College of Education and Human Development

University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, USA; Chris Teplov Ph.D. Lecturer & Research Scientist, School of Information, University of Michigan North Quad, USA.

If you are Interested to participate at Wageningen or on-line virtually please let me know by e-mail: and