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A Look Back at the 2023 NESA Learning Leaders Summit & Gallery

March 17-18, 2023 | American School of Dubai

Inspiring Innovation in Education!

The inaugural NESA 2023 Learning Leaders Summit, held in partnership with NAIS, took place March 17-18, 2023 on the campus of NESA member, the American School of Dubai, UAE. This two-day summit brought together learning directors, teacher leaders, and school leadership teams for a dynamic exploration of innovation in education based on the NAIS Innovation Journey Model.

The Summit kicked off with a welcome plenary titled "Innovation, Leadership & Well-being: Understanding the Intersectionality of these Three Essential Parts to our Journey in Transforming our Schools and Ourselves," delivered by educator Julie Stern and NESA’s own Executive Director Madeleine Hewitt. This keynote set the stage for the Summit, emphasizing the pivotal role of innovation, leadership, and well-being in shaping the future of education.

For more than half of the Summit delegates, this event was the culmination of a four-month blended NESA Networked Learning Series (NNLS) course, “Innovation in International Schools”, where school teams put their ideas into practice, advised by specialists using the NAIS Innovation Design Workbook to guide the process. School teams selected one of four strands as the focus of their innovation development work: Rethinking Time and Space, Professional Learning and Evaluation, Transdisciplinary Learning, and Blended Learning. Each team shared their innovation journey at School Sharing showcases held on Day 2 of the LLS.

The NNLS program participants worked on their School Sharing showcase with specialists Julie Stern, Steve Barkley, Ivy Yan, and Catlin Tucker in their respective NNLS Innovation Strand Cohorts, while first-time delegates attended a special "Leadership for Innovation" Cohort led by Tim Fish, Chief Innovation Officer of NAIS, and Maddy Hewitt, focused on understanding the innovation journey and mapping out innovation.

A highlight of the Summit was the thought-provoking panel discussion on "Chat GPT and AI Disruptive Digital Technology," moderated by Tariq Qureishy, with Russell Cailey, Raya Bidshahri, Tim Fish, and Catlin Tucker. The panel explored the impact of Chat GPT and AI technologies on education, discussing crucial topics such as humanizing principles, teacher readiness for change, ethical use of AI, and maximizing benefits while minimizing harm.

Delegates also had opportunities to attend specialized workshops on professional learning, transdisciplinary learning, blended learning, or rethinking time and space, tour the ASD campus and innovative learning spaces, and connect with like-minded professionals during the Social Soirée.

The NESA 2023 Learning Leaders Summit fostered new ideas, strategies, and connections to take innovation in education to the next level. Delegates left with a renewed commitment to enhancing student learning experiences and driving positive change in their schools and communities.

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