We were excited to host the first-ever Faria Education Technology Conference: Best Practices with Education Technology on March 1-5, 2021! The conference consisted of 38 sessions that took place across multiple time zones.
The goal of the conference was to create small sessions that allowed for collaboration and networking. With 136 attendees from 103 schools in 48 countries, the conversations and ideation were rich. Many walked away with immediate solutions to take back to their schools.
Our keynote was delivered by Adam Morris, IT Systems Director at IGB International School. He challenged us to reflect on the past year and think about all the shifts, new learnings and process changes in order to meet the needs of student learning and teacher development amidst a pandemic. He shared some of the consistent shifts and asked what we would cherish, change or chuck as schools plan for next year.
This framework became the backbone of conversations and networking sessions over the course of the conference, challenging participants to think about what they cherish enough to move forward, what they like but should change and what just needs to no longer be.
Technology Directors and School Leaders from around the globe shared their insights on a variety of topics. Here is our Online Schedule with session details.
We had several sessions centered around APIs and many of the people that attended those sessions have already started using their learning and sharing their findings. Ryan Tannenbaum the Director of ICT at Overseas Chinese Academy Chiway Suzhou presented APIs and Beyond, where he shared strategies on integrating systems and using the ManageBac API to keep a robust system.
Antony Pulikottil Rappai the Technology Director at the Overseas School of Colombo presented Process Automations using APIs, which focused on using the APIs within OpenApply and streamlining their process for admissions. We heard from many who attended Antony’s session that they were going back to try his process immediately.
We also heard about the importance of creating a team and being thoughtful in staffing the right people and the right number of people to support the goals of the school. Lee Drury is the Regional Systems Manager at International Schools Partnership and he presented on Technology. . . . It’s about People, which tackled this topic.
Supporting teachers was another core theme. We heard from Matthew Barr, Katrina Davenport and Jessica Newby from Wayne Finger Lakes BOCES as they presented a session on School-Based Leaders Providing Support and Innovation Without Overloading an Overworked Staff. They shared how important it is to meet the teachers where they are with bite sized professional development and tech tips.
Their session paired nicely with Faria’s sneak peek of their newest service MiniPD, which is all about bringing personalized professional learning to educators through coaching, cohorts and courses.
Over the 5 days we had several opportunities for fast paced networking. Since we miss the opportunity to spend time together in person, finding the time to connect with others is key in a virtual event. Some of the ideas shared included:
- Collaborating on smoother onboarding processes
- Strategies for onboarding parents, specifically at the primary and middle levels
- Leveraging remote learning and student success by creating more independent learners K-12
- Shifting parent teacher conferences to have virtual options in order to have more parental engagement
- Creating clear communications with staff, through personalised professional learning, in order to provide them with the training and support they need
The conversation won’t stop at the end of the conference! The group is continuing the conversation through a technology network cohort via WhatsApp. Adam also shared another opportunity for Technology Coordinators & Directors through The Tech Director Talk – check it out to join the conversation!
Our team is busy planning the next conference and opportunities to collaborate with a dynamic group of technology leaders! See you in the Fall of 2021!
To view a list of our upcoming events, visit events.fariaedu.com.