I've arrived at VT Fest 2014 in Killington, VT. Exploratory workshops are already underway today. It's great to see many familiar faces, and equally great to see so many new ones as well.
Chris Lehmann from the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia cranks up with an opening keynote tomorrow morning, and Matt Dunne, Head of Community Affairs at Google is closing on Friday afternoon. In between there are mixed bag sessions for diverse groups and needs... introductory tools, more exploratory sessions, passionate projects, maker lab / space development, on through advanced pedagogical / philosophical challenges.
Twitter hashtags for the event... #VTed and #VTFest2014
I've been working on the VITA-Learn board over the last couple years as President to help push these conferences in some new directions. The first step was Dynamic Landscapes last Spring 2014 at Champlain College... Gary Stager did the keynote and Joyce Valenzia closed up. We introduced some great changes to there... full maker space staffed by experts and students, kids doing presentations, lots of hands on development, and mixed sessions, traditional presentations, un-conference collaborative sessions and immersive workshops. We've carried over some of that to VT Fest here this year... but we're just getting started. It's likely VT Fest will look very different next year ; )
We have a lot of ideas brewing already... and we've got a lot to discuss on these fronts. I'll be hosting a few impromptu round tables over the next few days to hear from folks what they'd like to see in the next few years in Vermont conferences.
If you're reading this post and have ideas, send me a note or if you're at VT Fest, pull me aside and let's chat on some ideas.
Keep challenging people, keep collaborating, keep moving forward...