Ecolint: The International School of Geneva in Switzerland, steeped in history and tradition, provided the perfect backdrop for the much-anticipated User Group Conference 2024. This year’s event, held from 1-2 June, was a dynamic gathering that brought together educators, leaders, and innovators from around the world. Educators from various schools and the ManageBac community converged to explore the latest in educational technology and developments in IB programme management using ManageBac. The conference was filled with practical inspiration, insightful sessions, and networking opportunities, offering a transformative experience for all participants. Let’s take a moment to revisit some of the highlights from this event.

Day 1 commenced with a warm welcome from Faria Education Group’s CEO, Oleg Figlin and International School of Geneva’s ICT Campus Partner, Wolfgang Soeldner, setting the stage for two days of learning and collaboration. Dr. Conrad Hughes‘s keynote session on “Changing Assessment: The Key to a More Inclusive World” challenged traditional education paradigms. He highlighted the limitations of narrow academic pathways and emphasised the importance of recognising diverse human competencies. Dr. Hughes urged for a paradigm shift in assessment practices, stressing its implications on workforce dynamics, societal structures, and environmental sustainability. Attendees left inspired and empowered to advocate for change within their educational contexts, fueled by Dr. Hughes’s vision for a more inclusive future.

The morning unfolded with a diverse array of sessions, with Jennifer Oelz and Juliet Crossley-Nilsen leading a discussion on the “Paradigm Shift in School Project Management,” emphasising transparency and inclusivity in project-based learning. The following sessions offered unique insights into the evolving landscape of education, particularly in the realm of artificial intelligence (AI). Chris Clyde Green ignited imaginations with his exploration of “Using GenAI with ManageBac to Enhance Critical Thinking,” showcasing innovative strategies for integrating AI into curriculum design. Richard Allaway provided practical insights into “AI Tools for Students in the Classroom,” demonstrating how educators can empower students to leverage AI responsibly for research and content processing. Adam Morris wrapped up the morning sessions with a compelling discussion on “Leveraging Innovations in AI Responsibly,” highlighting the ethical considerations and best practices for integrating AI technologies into educational settings. These sessions not only highlighted the growing importance of AI in education but also underscored the collective commitment to harnessing its potential to create more inclusive and engaging learning environments.

The evening concluded with the vibrant ManageBac Happy Hour, which brought educators together to network and celebrate the ManageBac community. With Geneva’s skyline as the backdrop, it was a moment to unwind, relax, connect with peers and share insights from the day’s sessions.

Day 2 of the conference commenced with attendees gathering for a presentation from the ManageBac leadership team. Judy Peritz Wynne and Rebecca Kwiatoski took the stage to share company updates, recent releases, and exciting insights into the upcoming product roadmap and community initiatives. From new features to enhancements in user experience, participants gained valuable insights into the future direction of ManageBac. The session provided an opportunity for attendees to learn about the latest developments and engage directly with the minds driving innovation within ManageBac.

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Francesco Banchini’s session on “Divergent Thinking: A Path to Reimagining Education and Exploring New Directions in Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Strategies,” encouraged attendees to challenge conventional education paradigms. Through a series of thought-provoking discussions, he inspired educators to foster creativity and critical thinking in their teaching practices. Francesco’s session served as a catalyst for innovative ideas and lively exchanges among participants, setting the tone for a day filled with exploration.

Throughout the conference, attendees had the opportunity to engage in a variety of ManageBac workshops and training sessions designed to enhance their skills and proficiency with the platform. Workshops such as “Building Report Cards” and “Enhancing ManageBac Use” provided practical insights and strategies for optimising the platform’s functionality. Additionally, sessions like “Empowering Wellbeing” and “Developing a ManageBac PLC in Your School” offered valuable guidance on promoting student and staff wellness while fostering collaborative communities within schools. These workshops not only empowered participants with tools and techniques but also encouraged a culture of collaboration and growth within the ManageBac user community.

The User Group Conference in Geneva was truly a special gathering. From insightful sessions to engaging discussions, each moment was filled with learning and inspiration. The conference delivered on its promise of practical knowledge and innovative ideas, providing attendees with the relevant resources to enrich their schools and classrooms.

Looking ahead, we eagerly anticipate the next User Group Conference in Bangkok. There, we’ll explore new horizons and forge connections, whilst further inspiring one another. Until then, let’s cherish these memories and remain committed to educational excellence.

Super exciting conference, really great vibe with really friendly people..learned a lot, especially about the details of some functionalities of ManageBac and my particular interest in Portfolios.
Antoinette Blain, Teacher/Coach at Aga Khan Academies

View the full conference schedule here.

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