ECIS Annual Conference

This weekend I was able to attend the ECIS Annual Conference in Nice, France.  This was my first time at the conference. I have to say that I am very glad that I was able to go. For me this was a very validating experience. This is the first time that I have been to a big conference, and I felt like “Yep, we are in the right place and heading in the right direction.” 

While at the conference one of the things that I did was to sit on a panel for a roundtable discussion about the role of IT in the IB curriculum. I was a bit worried when I looked at the names of the other panelists, three heads of IT at big schools and a Vice Principal at another, then little ol’ me! I was very pleased though to have been able to answer all of the questions with confidence.  

We had a very small audience which allowed us to answer questions and ask questions of them as well. We even had the Curriculum Manager of Online Learning at International Baccalaureate on Google Hangouts while we had our discussion to listen in and comment about what we were saying.  

During the rest of the conference I attended a great maker workshop by Francesca Zammarano @fzammarano who teaches for the United Nations International School and has created a great maker space called the CoLaboratory. She got me thinking about some projects that I could do with my Geek Squad and how my nephew would have loved to have her in his school to teach!

I decided to stay until the very last session for a workshop called “Putting Cool Tech in the Hands of Students” and boy, am I glad that I did! I met Dan Reedy @Reedy Dan works at the Leysin American School in Switzerland and has an after school coding club. He showed us some of the stuff that he has done with those kids and some of the ways that they have approached running the club. It has given me the courage to go ahead and offer a coding club after school next semester along with my Geek Squad.  

He showed us the website for Treehouse which he uses with his kids to get them interested in coding.  I have already emailed them and asked about the ages that their site is designed for.  

Over all it was a great conference and has given me the courage to ask for permission to present at the ECIS Tech Conference in March in Munich!  Stay tuned to find out if I get to go!

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