Canada’s largest education technology conference and trade show Connect 2016 was held the last week of April in Niagara Falls – a spectacular backdrop to a terrific conference featuring a memorable keynote speech from Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield.
A large group of EdTech companies exhibited at the accompanying trade show, and ParentPaperwork was proud to be one of the firms selected for the Start Up Alley, a collection of up and coming EdTech startups from Canada and beyond.
The conference included many great sessions, ranging from integrating coding into the classroom to the many ways technology can enhance learning in the classroom.
Looking to the stars
Guest of honour Chris Hadfield took the audience from his childhood dreaming of space, through to his five months as Commander of the International Space Station, including his now legendary rendition of David Bowie’s Space Oddity.
Music has been a lifelong passion for Chris and he recounted what he considers the most remarkable moment in his life, playing guitar in a live simulcast in which 700,000 schools students participated.
He reflected on the powerful way music and technology combined to inspire the next generation of dreamers, explorers and innovators.
Excited about the future
The group of companies exhibiting in Start Up Alley along with ParentPaperwork were varied, all with a new twist or take on how technology can be applied in education.
My Effect, founded by a remarkable young woman, helps connect students with volunteering opportunities; 5-A-Day-Fitness (also at BETT in London in January) were showing their innovative fitness programs; while Riipen has a fantastic platform for linking tertiary students with businesses looking for new talent.
There was no shortage of school staff wanting to talk about ParentPaperwork, highlighting yet again how paper forms and manual administration processes are a bugbear in every school, no matter which country.
Representatives from several school boards, ranging from 5,000 to 60,000 students, also sought us out to discuss how implementing an online forms solution could have a major impact across an entire network of schools.
Attendees made sure they walked down to Niagara Falls just a few minutes from the convention venue. Truly spectacular, the iconic sight was worth braving the chill, and a wonderful setting for an inspiring gathering of Canadian educators ready to reframe their future.