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AAIE’s Annual Conference Gets Creative but Stays Practical
By Meadow Hilley 12-Feb-15
The 49th annual conference of the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE) has just wrapped up in San Francisco, California. Held from February 9-11 at the city’s Hyatt Regency hotel, this year’s conference centered on the theme “From the Creative to the Practical: Exploring Ways to Ensure International Schools are Safe and Dynamic Learning Communities.” A central part of AAIE’s endeavor to connect people, ideas, and resources worldwide, the annual conference brings together hundreds of international educators every year, introducing them to the latest innovative educational practices in an effort to help them solve problems and lead with confidence. This year, AAIE Board President Jack Delman’s welcome remarks were followed by a keynote presentation by Milton Chen titled “Six Leading Edges of Innovation in Schools.” As a senior fellow and executive director, emeritus at The George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF), Dr. Chen shared a few of the ways in which schools—including international schools—are reinventing themselves today, focusing on what he termed their Edges of Innovation. The 21st century is witnessing a revision of the very notion of “school,” according to Dr. Chen, whose book Education Nation: Six Leading Edges of Innovation in Our Schools was selected as one of the 10 best books of 2010 by the American School Board Journal. Dr. Chen described the “Edges” he has identified as 1) the Thinking Edge, 2) the Curriculum Edge, 3) the Technology Edge, 4) the Time/Place Edge, 5) the Co-Teaching Edge, and 6) the Youth Edge. Together, these represent areas in which we have witnessed in recent years fundamental shifts in our thinking about schooling. As examples, Dr. Chen cited the ways in which technology is transforming when, where, and how students learn, as well as major changes to the roles of teachers and students. International schools, with their emphasis on providing students with global perspectives and experience, offer excellent environments for these innovations, according to Dr. Chen. For more information about AAIE’s 49th conference, visit www.aaie.org.
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