The IB Global Conference, hosted in Toronto from 27 to 30 July, 2023, welcomed ManageBac as a Global Sponsor with a shared dedication to enriching educational experiences for educators, students, and parents across the globe.
A key focus for Faria Education Group and ManageBac is understanding and solving the challenges educators encounter in managing curriculum, lessons, assessments, and communication. To this end, our team was excited to share how ManageBac supports collaborative teaching and personalised instruction. With a goal of nurturing student achievement through our integrated software ecosystem, Faria streamlines school processes, underscoring our commitment to advancing global education for conference attendees and our schools worldwide.
Elijah Kurien, a recent DP graduate from Father Michael McGivney Catholic Academy who successfully completed the Psychology SL Pamoja Online Course, also joined us at the Pamoja stand, giving educators an opportunity for an in-depth conversation about the student experience, and providing valuable firsthand insights.
Education for an Inclusive Future
The conference theme, ‘Education for an Inclusive Future’, guided discussions on our evolving field. With its diverse sessions and networking opportunities, the conference brought together 1,300 IB educators from 48 countries to explore ways of enriching the IB experience and nurturing students into well-rounded global citizens. The event focused on brainstorming fresh concepts, teaching methodologies and best practices. In 95 sessions, participants engaged with experts, shared experiences, and connected with colleagues and exhibitors worldwide. Keynote speakers like Dr. Vanessa Andreotti, Liz Kleinrock, and Michelle Zimmerman added much to a rich experience.
Centred around a holistic agenda, the conference delved into key subjects, such as land acknowledgement, the significance of treaty people, the promotion of diversity and inclusion, the principles of sustainable education, the importance of anti-racism efforts, the enduring delight that stems from lifelong learning, and recognising the transformative impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on education. This multifaceted exploration exemplified the event’s dedication to forging a sustainable and technologically empowered future.
The IB’s Approach to Developments in Artificial Intelligence
Dr. Matthew Glanville, Head of Assessment and Practice for the IB, discussed the ethical and philosophical dimensions of AI, offering insights grounded in research and a forward-looking perspective towards the 2030 horizon.
In the context of student engagement with AI, powered by platforms like ChatGPT, transparency stands as a crucial principle. To ensure this, students must treat AI-generated texts as sources indicated by quotation marks, clarify their AI origin, and include details (including the prompt) in the bibliography. The approach, applicable to all AI-generated work, emphasises students’ clear sourcing and thinking. The new IB Academic Integrity Policy provides additional guidance in this regard.
Guiding good essay practice involves steps like considering the question, researching approaches, discussing and referencing, and deciding arguments. It examines the suitability of AI text generators (e.g. ChatGPT) as a proxy for discussion or search tools, highlighting the importance of not depending on it for the thinking process.
Education is at a crossroads of change focusing on two crucial aspects. First, reimagining how we assess students. As educators, we are embracing chances to align tests with our educational values, emphasising skills like thinking critically, noticing biases, and moving beyond just collecting facts to tasks that allow students to show what they really know. Second, considering how education might change to adapt to an AI-driven world. Students must be equipped with skills tailored to this era, such as managing AI-generated prompts. The focus is on grasping concepts deeply and thoughtful thinking, rather than extensive writing. If it is fed biassed data, AI has its shortcomings, which holds true for all data sources. Finally, we are empowering students who are good thinkers but may struggle with writing. This shift is all about reshaping education to fit a future in which learners are smart critical thinkers and ready for AI-driven challenges.
AI presents a promising potential for ethics integration in classrooms, offering a dual advantage of reducing teacher workload and serving as a valuable teaching assistant, thus contributing to a more efficient and effective educational landscape.
What’s New with ManageBac?
We introduced enhancements within ManageBac that are designed to elevate the educational experience. ManageBac Passport comes with an innovative Learning Platform that amalgamates a comprehensive Exam Question Bank (encompassing thousands of questions with solutions from IB and Pamoja exams) and is designed to bolster both study and examination preparation. The Study & Revision facet has been enriched with a spectrum of resources, spanning from flashcards and theory videos to comprehensive revision guides, covering the new Sciences as they roll out for first teaching.
Among our recent introductions, the AI-powered Online Assessment tool has taken centre stage, ushering a transformative approach to evaluations. Moreover, the pre-built curriculum and professional enrichment courses encapsulate our commitment to develop the expertise of educators.
We also presented our 22+ Pamoja Online Courses – we are proud to be the only IB-approved provider of DP courses online. These courses cater for students who face constraints in pursuing their preferred subjects and simultaneously address the challenges of teacher shortages and course viability. We take immense pride in our remarkable track record, boasting a mere 0.04 variance between predicted and final grades, coupled with an impressive 90.7% pass rate.
We were also pleased to announce our partnership with International Language and Literature Teachers’ Cooperative (ILLTC) to deliver additional services to schools in the form of improved support for mother tongue Language A study. We call it Pamoja Self-Taught Languages.
Experienced teachers help to contribute to the success of exam candidates. A challenge for many international schools is that they have students who require, or would benefit from, mother-tongue instruction, but they do not have locally-available qualified teachers; or lack the resources or contractual possibilities (such as work permit eligibility for temporary, part-time workers) to recruit and employ suitable teachers from abroad.
Pamoja Self-Taught Languages improve the educational experience of students by enabling schools to offer a broader base of mother-tongue options for families who seek this as part of the international education their children receive. Pamoja Self-Taught Languages can also provide an important reassurance of quality-control for schools that must rely on this ‘out-sourced’ service.
Please contact us if your school is interested in Pamoja Self-Taught Languages.
Another highlight of our presentation was the exploration of AI within ManageBac via AssessPrep. Our presentation delved into our enhanced AI capabilities with features such as Assisted Authoring, which generates custom questions tailored to specific criteria, drawing from a wide range of textual and video sources. Additionally, we showcased the auto-generation of step-by-step solutions, designed to provide clear and detailed explanations for each question. Grading, too, has undergone a revolution, offering accurate and insightful feedback on student responses. The innovative AI-powered Teacher Assistant, capable of generating text, posing questions, and offering creative insights, forms a pivotal component of our comprehensive AI integration, which we will announce in detail over the upcoming months.