Top 3 Takeaways from ATLIS 2019
By Drew Millikin | April 23, 2019
Three days in Dallas with hundreds of tech-minded educators? We’re in!
This year, I had the chance to attend the ATLIS annual conference for the first time, along with our Vidigami Pros; Mandy Chan (Founder and President), Naz Madani (Head of Service Operations) and Daman Arora (Customer Success Manager). Check out the team’s takeaways from last year’s conference.
Held last week in Dallas from April 14-17, ATLIS was a hotplate for the independent school technology community, bringing together more than 500 independent school technology professionals, including more than 30 vendors to learn, connect, and share knowledge.
Along with fellow Platinum Sponsors; Veracross and LearnPlatform, we had the incredible opportunity to tag-team with the ATLIS crew as Media Management Partner, once again opening up our private social platform as the dedicated portal for sharing event highlights, candids, keynotes, and other activities for ATLIS members.
Attendees had a great time posing for us with our lovely handmade props, and lots of other great moments were professionally captured and made available exclusively to attendees through a personalized feed. Here’s a Vidigami slideshow of some great moments captured, plus some contributions from all around ATLIS:
I also had a great chat with Mike Cobb, Head of School at All Saints Episcopal School in Tyler, TX. Hear his experience with Vidigami so far:
Having said, here are our some of our top takeaways from ATLIS this year:
1 – The Role of ‘IT Director’ is Changing
From my experience as an admissions professional for private schools, it is so interesting to observe how the role of the IT Director has evolved over the last 10 years. From technicians to leaders ensuring operational infrastructure and data management…today’s IT Directors play a much more strategic role in enhancing education. They are solutions architects, building and adopting new technologies every day, and the platforms and services that help fulfill the vision and mission of their school.
2 – Thinking of Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy
As technologies change, it goes without saying that privacy and security have become a massive consideration this past year alone. And, it has certainly opened the floor for a lot of discussion on what needs to be done to create a secure and responsible environment for today’s generation of students, parents and teachers. With dozens of sessions and panels planned on the daily, it was impossible to attend them all, but, here are a few that really stood out on Monday:
- ‘Your Life Online: Social Media Best Practices’ (Eli Forsythe, Saint Ann’s School, NY; Sarah Loyola, Ravenscroft School, NC)
- ‘Emerging Trends in Cybersecurity for K-12 Institutions’ (Shane Hihara from San Francisco Friends School, Chubasco Gaite from Prospect Sierra School, and Gabriel Baez from Windward School, CA)
- ‘Digital Citizenship beyond the Canned Curriculum’ (Holly Gerla, Charles Wright Academy, WA)
3 – The breadth and depth of the knowledge
ATLIS attendees are actively learning about technology, seeking to develop leadership skills and striving to help build schools that lead education. At each session block, there were at least a dozen options to choose from. Building Underwater Robots and the Sea Perch Program (by Leigh Northrup from Cannon School, NC and Scott Lieberman from Alexandria Country Day School, VA) was just an example of some of the incredible things schools are doing today in robotics!
To sum it up, I was blown away by the impressive community that makes up ATLIS. I had some sense of this based off of their excellent and highly active listserv, but it was truly something else to see it in person. I also can’t say that I have ever been to a conference where the organizers planned “eat-arounds” (dinners at various restaurants around the area, each led by a team captain) or open-mic nights!
With that, hope everyone had a great time, and looking forward to returning next year!
About Drew Millikin: Having spent 15 years working in admissions and advancement in both higher education and independent schools, Drew spent countless hours searching for photos on various servers and archives. Now, he’s joined the Vidigami Pros to help schools successfully organize and share their content in a private and secure manner, for marketing and communications, advancement efforts, and more.