Here is an overview of what was at the Clair conference, this is my third year attending and again this conference is probably one of the best and most unconventional conferences you can experience. Clair is probably one of the best french educational conferences. I decided to write this summary in english since I assumed not many english reviews have been done but the video content is of course in french.
First we need to talk about the school that has been hosting the conference for 9 years. Le centre d'apprentisage du Haut-Matawaska, is a small 190 students, public K to Grade 8 school located about 30 minutes outside Edmundston, New-Brunswick. Their is a lot of magic happening at this school, mainly that everyone seems very focused on what benefits the students learning, not just the administration and staff but students, parents and the community as well. It really feels as if your part of the local family when you attend the school. Between speakers, we get performances by students some of which are outstanding, their must be something special in the water in the area.
Its starts off with a formal opening ceremony followed by a keynote, this year it was Margarida Romero who spoke about the development of 21st century competencies and how programming and robotics can be integrated into the pedagogical learning. We also had the company of both the minister of education of new-brunswick and quebec in attendance. Link to presentation.
The following morning we get to visit the school during a regular school day. The students showcase their projects, and you really get a sense that the students are engaged and love what they are doing. Even graduated students return during Clair to volunteer and help out, they love their school and they are really proud of their work. Small video Labo-créatif Ludovia
Right after lunch we got a keynote by Thierry Karsenti, a well known figure in the quebec edtech landscape. He is in charge of la Chaire de recherche du Canada sur les technologies de l’information et de la communication (TIC) en éducation.
We then break out in a sort of mini edcamp, people summit suggestions of topics, those similar are grouped together and assigned a room, people meet and discuss the subject. Its very open and you can go between subjects or have some time to reflect and discuss.
After dinner cocktail, a special ceremony was organized to award both the School for its outstanding contributions as an entrepreneurial community school receiving the first Quasar award and to its director Roberto Gauvin who received the Prix international Paul Gérin-Lajoie : Entrepreneur d’École, une distinction de grand mérite remise à une personne marquante, innovante, inspirante et engagée pour l’Éducation.
Right after dinner we got a a special ignite presentation, 6 presentations, 20 slides, 20 seconds each. These are quick presentations centered around an idea, each intended to inspire the audience. All the presentations are very good but I have to say NAO the robot was really cool. Link to presentation
The following morning is composed of two keynotes, the first was Pierre-Yves Rochat a swiss professor who worked a lot in Africa teaching students for years about electronics. He decided to develop a MOOC or Massive Open Online Course to try to reach even more students to his surprise his first class had gotten 160 000 students. Since then he has continued to work in Bénin, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, and Congo. Link to presentation
The second keynote to close the conference was by Maryus Bourgeois who spoke about leadership, because we are all leaders, especially to the students in the class. Link to presentation.
We ended with a nice "brayon" lunch before heading back to montréal.