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Behind the Scenes: Choosing the Theme for ElliiCon2023

August 24, 2023

When organizing a conference, it is crucial to nail down a conference theme in the early stages of the planning process. In the first year of hosting our own virtual conference (ESVC 2021), our theme was Empowering Teachers in the Digital Age. Though it may sound generic now, this theme was significant to us then as so many teachers were just starting to rely on our platform for our digital tools rather than just our PDFs. We (then ESL Library) were transitioning into an EdTech company. It was the perfect time to try hosting our own conference to help foster connections in our ELT community.

"Omg, it was better than Cats. Thanks!"

—2021 conference attendee

Empowering Teachers in the Digital Age ESVC

In 2022 (now Ellii), our post-pandemic conference theme was Simplicity in #ELT. Teachers worldwide were struggling with burnout, and we wanted to do our part to help everyone (including our own team) take a breather and reflect on the basic essentials of language learning and teaching. Our staff and attendees embraced this theme, and the conference was a great success. ElliiCon2022 was just what we all needed to kick off last year's school year. It also helped inspire some of the simple features we created this year.

"ElliiCon was one of the best PDs I've attended in a while. It was helpful and FUN, and I'm already using things I learned from the conference in my classroom. Great job, guys."

—ElliiCon2022 attendee

When our team gathered to choose a theme for ElliiCon2023 back in January, ChatGPT was the only thing teachers were talking about. Our content creators, engineers, and designers began soaking up everything we could about this fast-moving technology. Like you, we began thinking about the future of language learning in a whole new way.

What did generative AI mean for the #ELT industry and what did it mean for our teachers, their students, and our own team?

Incorporating AI into our 2023 conference theme was a no-brainer, but we also wanted to keep Ellii's mission (improving communication around the world) in plain view. We looked at countless reviews and reflected on what teachers loved about ElliiCon2022. Did we consult ChatGPT to help brainstorm a theme that could inspire a similar feel? Yes, we did. But in the end, it was Ellii humans for the win! 

Humanity & Technology in ELT: Striking a Balance in the Age of AI

"There is such vibrancy in the air on Ellii! I feel people who work for your company thoroughly enjoy their work and passing knowledge to us! Way to go!!!"

—ElliiCon2022 attendee

Like our new name, this year's theme feels just right for ElliiCon2023. We hope you'll join us September 14–15 for this year's free two-day virtual conference to explore the intersection of technology and traditional teaching. Connect with attendees, speakers, and the makers of Ellii as we unpack what this new technology means for our classrooms and careers. 

ESL Library becomes Ellii

At ElliiCon2023, you will participate in informal chats on first impressions of generative AI and watch expert sessions on tried and tested AI tools. You'll get ideas for using AI for storytelling, pair work, and gamified vocabulary review and explore everything from the dangers and limitations of AI to easy-to-use integrations. You'll also learn essential strategies for teaching meaningful conversations and life skills. Finally, Ellii staff will demo some of our new, simple tools and share how we're cautiously experimenting with AI behind the scenes

"I loved getting to know the staff members, hearing their voices, and learning about their personalities."

—ElliiCon2022 attendee

Coffee Talk ElliiCon2022

Register now to reserve your spot and visit our blog for spotlights on this year's speakers: Nik Peachey, Angela Tribus Ramos, Jamie Keddie, Russell Stannard, Dr. Charles Browne, and Dr. Amin Davoodi.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Tara, VP of Publishing at Ellii

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