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EVAC 2016: Inquiry, Constructing and Connecting Knowledge

EVAC 2016: Inquiry, Constructing and Connecting Knowledge Mrs. Ana Cristina Lopez & Dr. Paula Gordon EVAC Committee Co-Chairs ISM – the International School of Monagas, Venezuela

The Eastern Venezuela Activities Conference (EVAC), a regional educators’ conference was hosted this year by The International School of Monagas (ISM). The theme was “Inquiry, Constructing and Connecting Knowledge.” The two-day conference took place on September 30 and October 1, and it consisted of two days of workshops and breakout sessions related to a varied spectrum of themes associated with student-centered approach of education.  These topics were all connected to the most recent and successful innovations in education.

Thanks to a generous grant by AASSA, it was possible to have an excellent keynote speaker: Dr. Michael Noble, who teaches at the University of Utah, and also works at Allen’s Chief Learning Officer since 2005. The conference hosted around 100 educators from all around the region who not only participated, but contributed to create an enthusiastic and enriching climate where all participants had the opportunity to immerse themselves in this important professional development opportunity. The conference was aimed to answer these essential questions: What is inquiry? How do we incorporate and apply these concepts to our classes?

During the second day, EVAC16 revolved around an EdCamp or “unconference” format that allowed teachers to summarize, synthesize, apply, and create understanding, as well as to share in a less formal way their questions, doubts, and any relevant information they had after the previous day’s session.  With twenty EdCamp presentations taking place, it provided an awesome forum for teachers to share and explore their thoughts, understandings and ideas. Also, during the weekend, #EVAC16 twittered and many valuable insights were shared on social media.

Our HS students volunteered during the conference, welcoming delegates and guiding them around our campus. During breaks our HS band performed and delegates had the opportunity to support our local artisans at our artisan fair, a shopping experience enjoyed by all! EVAC16 was a successful Professional Development opportunity for the region. Teachers from different international and local schools in this region had the chance to share ideas, pedagogical practices, research based best practices, projects, and teaching experiences with their colleagues.

The organizing committee was proud of their efforts in hosting a successful conference. We look forward to EVAC17.


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