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Breaking New Ground, Virtually

POSTED: November 27, 2020Category: AISA ArticlesBY: AISA Admin

True to the innovative spirit that defines Africa, AISA turned the current restrictions on hosting a physical conference into an opportunity to innovate; creating a virtual learning environment and event that upheld the high level of learning and networking AISA is known for.

“Virtual networking can never fully replace the interactivity, warmth and human connectivity of one-on-one relationship building, discussion and debate. However, during our virtual conference, we came close,” says Dr Peter Bateman, AISA Executive Director.

The almost 400 delegates, who joined the conference from all over the world, were able to network, share, inspire and be inspired in a full day programme of plenary and interactive sessions focused on important current topics in international schools and facilitated by AISA member school colleagues and internationally-renowned facilitators.

For the first time, AISA member delegates experienced the sharing and interactivity of Affinity Groups on topics such as Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC), plus groups Promoting Women in Leadership, The Future of International Schools in Africa, and Wellbeing for Educators.

The virtual, interactive Showcases featuring AISA’s valued learning partners, initiated much interaction while the Virtual Coffee Shop proved popular amongst delegates keen to further interrogate topics post-session.

“Our quest was to create and host a virtual conference that, due to the new reality, afforded us the opportunity to do things differently, yet still include all the bespoke features for which AISA is renowned,” says Peter. “Feedback from conference delegates has been most gratifying.”

Here is what a selection of delegates had to say:

I have never sat in front of a laptop continuously for hours, but today, I did not want to move as I felt I would miss something important. The sessions were well presented and interactive. The facilitators were very engaging and encouraging. The web page navigation was smooth and super easy. It is good to see AISA do all this to make sure the members are all included and catered for.” Saida Manane, Educator/Mentor, GEITA Gold International School, Tanzania.

If anything, 2020 taught us that smooth tech platforms are the way to go. This was the smoothest and most seamless process of an online system I have seen all year. Well impressed. Good job to the AISA team.” Mark Brookes, Director American International School of Lesotho.

A heartfelt congratulations to a well-run and organised virtual conference. I was really impressed by the learning platform.” Dan Jubert, Head of the American international School of Cape Town.

You can see recorded sessions here.

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