It’s just over a week until this year’s edition of our InnovateELT conference in Barcelona and we’re busy getting the final bits and pieces sorted for the event.

After last year’s focus on the teacher, we wanted this year to place the learner at the centre of the sessions and conversations at the conference. We felt it was important for us to explore some of the following questions:

  • What does it feel like to be on the learner’s side of the classroom?
  • What can we learn about learning from learners themselves?
  • How can we help learners become more autonomous?
  • How can we improve the learner experience?
  • How can learning help us teach better?

The theme also ties in with a lot of the work that we are doing at ELTjam around learner experience design (LXD), an systematic approach for creating better products and services for learners. Over the last few years, since we started discussing the importance of a learner-centred mindset, we have started to see a shift towards product and service design that puts the needs and wants of the learner first and tries to solve problems in a meaningful way for our learners, both on and offline. This is a shift that we see generally across the world of EdTech and we are pleased to be helping facilitate that discussion in ELT through the Innovate ELT conference and our work on LXD. Until recently most of our work around LXD was focused on product development, but over the last few months we have been looking more at how the approach can be applied to the classroom. At iELT this year we are are running a Pre-Conference Training session on LXD for the Classroom; giving practical advice and tools to help teachers create a culture of curiosity and experimentation in the classroom.

What else can you expect from iELT this year? We have probably our best programme yet, with a really strong selection of talks, workshops and mini-plenaries, arranged into different pathways to help you navigate the options:

  • Learner Stories and Reflections
  • Young Learners and Teens
  • Theories and Approaches
  • EdTech Enthusiast
  • Coaching, Management and Mentoring
  • Classroom Tips

You can explore the full schedule here. Hopefully it appeals to you as much as it does to us!

This year we have evening parties thanks to our excellent sponsors, Cambridge English (Platinum) and ITN Edu (Gold), and you can expect craft beers from our lovely friends at Espiga. Thanks to Cambridge English we are welcoming international scholarship winners to the event this year too, and in a series of talks you can hear more about the learner-centred innovation coming out of Cambridge English. ITN Edu will be showcasing some of the work they are doing in creating engaging learning videos and activities, and they are running a competition to win a 360 VR Camera. You just have to fill in this survey before the 29th April, reviewing some of their content. Plus there will be loads of opportunities to meet other delegates, learners and friends old and new. There will also be group activities to keep you on track and give you a focus, should you need one! Plus, Berta informs us that it’s cold in Barcelona this week, so it’s practically 100% guaranteed to be sunny next weekend for plenaries and a party in the garden!

We hope that coming to the event this year will give people, whatever their role in the industry, practical ideas of how they can focus more of their attention on providing what learners really want and need; helping us to make learning more efficient, effective and enjoyable for our learners.

For those of you already coming, we can’t wait to see you there. For those without, there are still some tickets left; we’d love for you to join us.

The hashtag to follow for more info is #iELT17

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