CN ILCStudentIMG5279 Hero 245pxUpper school student Willow Y. shared her observations and some of the photos she gathered during her experience at the 2017 Innovative Learning Conference.

This past Friday, October 20, school was out — but the Hillsborough campus was still buzzing with activity and noise.

It was the second day of the Innovative Learning Conference, and the entire landscape of the Middle and Lower Schools was modified accordingly — long buffets laden with pastries and fruits; manned tents full of chip bags and cold drinks; tall, circular tables neatly adorned with small vases of flowers set right in the center of the Nueva blue tablecloths.

When I arrived it was 8:25 am, and already there was a host of people milling about: parents, professionals, speakers, teachers, and administrators from all over the Bay Area, checking their phones, eating, drinking, socializing. But soon the chattering crowd dispersed, off to one of the 14 talks during the 8:30 to 9:30 am session. I left to find talks of my own.

FS ILCStudentIMG5201 Embed 500pxWalking through perhaps nine presentations during that hour, I noticed a few recurring themes. For one, the majority of the speakers integrated civil rights and social equality into their talks, no matter the subject at hand — there were quite a few presentations that were based on using technology to further human rights causes. Another thing I noticed was the level of engagement and interest; it seemed as though almost all the audience was actively processing what the speaker was saying for an entire hour, a novelty in this age of short attention spans.

Regardless of whether they were old or young, male or female, new to ILC or returning participants, all of the people I spoke to said they wanted to come to the next ILC. And from the powerful prose of Julie Lythcott-Haims in Real American to the humorous, neurological take on musical creativity by Charles Limb, I, a fourteen-year-old, came away with a new list of books to read and another bucket list of things to try, having had a productive and busy day on my day off from school.

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Willow Y., Grade 9

Friday, October 27, 2017




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Hillsborough, CA 94010





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