From the (CIC) Conference to the Classroom

The inaugural Talent Development Scholarship Program from AEP, supported by Jim McVety of First Step Advisors, is intended to help professionals new to the educational resource community learn, grow, and network at one of the industry’s most important events. Winners receive a full pass to AEP’s Content in Context (CIC) conference, as well as guided networking provided by veteran AEP members. Before and after the CIC, scholarship winners will contribute articles to Educational Publishing.

Here, scholarship winner Allie McKay, Acquisitions Editor for IB Publishing, discusses her goals for an engaging learning experience at the CIC that she hopes to translate into more effective materials for the classroom.

After attending a recent educators’ conference in Melbourne, Edna Sackson (one of my favorite teacher-bloggers) reflected on the contrasts between learning in the classroom and learning at a conference. What is most effective about education in each of these contexts? And what if, Edna wondered, professional conferences and primary schools looked more like each other?

Edna’s questions highlight the idea that kindergarteners and established professionals alike can be transformed by engaging, interactive, outside-of-the-box learning experiences. This spirit of continuous learning led me to the educational resource industry, and it also has drawn me to the AEP’s Content in Context Conference, which I’m honored to be attending as the recipient of a Talent Development Scholarship. While the conference will be another step in my lifelong learning, I also hope that it will ultimately enhance others’ learning by shaping the educational products that I develop for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization.

Lifelong learning is a key value at the IB, a non-profit foundation that has provided schools around the world with a framework of high-quality, student-centered education for more than 40 years. The IB recently began to develop resources to support this framework as well, and that’s where I come in. As an acquisitions editor in IB Publishing, I’m working to build a robust list of resources to complement the IB’s progressive approach to international education—e-books, video clips, and even an online teacher research journal.

Publishing these products for a diverse range of stakeholders around the globe requires careful consideration of both content and context. And as Edna hints in her blog posts, powerful education requires similar consideration—how can the context, the form the learning takes, illuminate the content? The CIC Conference will collect a variety of perspectives on these overlapping dimensions of publishing and education, and I’m eager to be a part of the conversation. While I learn first-hand from other professionals who are leading the way in the industry, I also hope to share the IB’s “Publishing 3.0”-style initiatives with them and hear their thoughts on our efforts, which I will relay back to my colleagues. In this way, the insights I gain at the conference will help ensure that the resources we develop meet both the current and future needs of the IB’s global community.

So although the CIC Conference may not resemble a primary classroom at first glance, I’m approaching it with a kindergartener’s enthusiasm for learning and sharing. By delving into the possibilities of “Publishing 3.0”, I believe that the CIC Conference will influence the innovations I develop to support lifelong learning around the world.

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