Deposit Option Ends Tomorrow
Why Children Are Hiding Their Talents From Bullies
Yong Zhao, Keynote Speaker for the 2016 AERO Conference.
Zhao TEDx Talk
 Conference info here. Portland AERO Registration is only $225, but will rise soon. Workshop proposals now accepted here

One More Day to Make a $50 Deposit for the AERO Conference! 
A Word to the Wise:
I f you think you might want to go to the AERO conference this year you should at least reserve your spot at the current rate of $225 for the whole conference with a $50 deposit before it goes up. This is the last day you can send in a $50 deposit, ending midnight Monday Pacific time. The balance does not need to be sent until May 30th. If you wind up not going you've only made a $50 donation to AERO.   You can register for the conference with a $50 deposit here
You can do full registration here at the $225 early bird rate. 

Hotel and Food
We have negotiated something with the Holiday Inn Portland Airport which saves you even more money. There is no food package. So you can eat at the hotel restaurant, go out, or bring your own food. 

This hotel has a little less capacity than the previous one, so it makes sense to reserve your room soon. You can cancel up to 48 hours before the conference. We already have three groups that are planning training programs that include the AERO conference, so we may start filling up fast. Let us know if you have a group you plan to bring so we can give you a group rate. You can call the hotel at 503 256 5000. Mention the AERO conference to get the $119 rate. Otherwise it is over $200!
Workshops List and Application
We're quite blown away by the quality of the workshops that have been submitted for the AERO conference that will be in Portland, OR, from August 3-7. We have now approved 18 of them. You can see them summarized here. You can apply to present a workshop here.

On the 3rd of August we plan to have school visits and trips. The main conference starts on the 4th. 
We will accept only another 20 workshops because the format for the first day will be an exciting array of TED-like mini-talks. 

First Day Mini-Talk Form
We now have a form to submit a proposal for a 15 minute TED-like presentation on the first day of the AERO conference. These will be presented to all the conference participants. Some may be stand alone, but may also be introductions for people doing other workshops. Some will be eventually available on Youtube. To apply to do a mini-talk just click here. You can also still submit regular workshop presentations here. We're particularly interested in workshops that are experiential and interactive, and workshops for younger participants.
New Patron Registration
As you know, AERO has always had a policy of working hard to find a way for low income people to participate in the conference. Sometimes we arrange volunteer slots, give fundraising advice, etc. Now, in addition, we are featuring a new patron registration, which allows people to register at a higher rate, half of which is tax deductible. You can see more about it here

You can now reserve a vendor table here

Keynoter Poll
We like to have as our keynoters people who are important to our movement of learner-centered education. To aid us in this search here is a quick poll:
Send us the names of people you think are among the most important to our movement, people you would like to have as keynoters this year or in the future. Just reply to this e mail or write to We're lucky that our first keynoter this year was our first choice, Yong Zhao (see above right). 
Peter Gray Speaks in NY for Agile Learning Center
On January 28th Peter Gray, author of Free to Learn, spoke in Manhattan on behalf of the Agile Learning Center. It was part of a New York area tour of micro schools organized by Manisha Snoyer's Cottage Class program. One way that Snoyer describes her program is that it could become the Uber or AirBNB of schools.
Gray spoke about his research into the importance of play, anthropological research into cultures based on early empowerment of children, and his personal experience with Sudbury Valley School.
My personal experience with Peter goes back to the first school I organized at age 23 in 1965, in which Peter's mother became the first teacher.
There will be a group from the Agile Learning Center doing a training session in Portland as part of the AERO conference. So far two other groups will do a similar activity. 

Pupils Hiding Talents from Bullies, Survey Suggests

Nearly half of UK children have played down a talent because of bullying fears, a survey of 1,042 children aged 11 to 16 suggests.

And more than a quarter of those polled for England's anti-bullying week said they had quit an activity they enjoy for the same reasons.

One in 10 said they had played down their ability in science.

And nearly one in five girls said they deliberately underachieved in maths skills to avoid being bullied.

Fewer boys, one in 10, reported playing down their maths ability for the same reason.

Read the rest here.
SelfDesign Graduate Institute Webinars
SelfDesign Graduate Institute FACULTY WEBINARS
All webinars are one hour; all are free

January 31,   1 PM PST  - Integrated Learning and Leadership, with Peter Berg   Please register for the webinar here.

February 7,   1 PM PST -Dancing with Ambiguity, with Pille Bunnell   Please register here.
Links and Calendar
Thank you for your ongoing support. With  your help, we will make learner-centered alternatives available to everyone!

In Service,

Jerry Mintz
Executive Director
Alternative Education Resource Organization

Please consider making a donation to AERO to help support our work. Thanks!