Immersive Workshops!

Dive in (or jump in!)
Immersive Two Hour Sessions for VT Fest 2016!

Workgroup and collaborative conversation themed! All of them! ; )

Full descriptions below or try the At-a-glance or Grid View.

Wednesday Pre-Conference Sessions

Join us Wednesday evening for one of these preview sessions — free to conference registrants.  Start at 5:30 PM.  


SLACK — The New School-IT?
Alan Steel

Come to get some hands-on work with Slack if you can’t make the Friday presentation, a communication tool you may find useful in your Districts

Becoming a Connected Educator and Building Your PLN
Bonnie Birdsall

Thursday Morning Sessions

Connecting the Whole Community Around Digital Citizenship
Bonnie Birdsall

Digital Citizenship is a topic that we need to address in schools and in partnership with our parent communities. In this session we’ll discuss and share what we’re doing, where we’re going, and steps to get there. Some of Common Sense Media’s resources will be shared, as well as others.

Challenges with Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirements
Diana Laufenberg

Essentially we’ve lived in a world to this point where a D- ‘proficiency’ can still equal a high school diploma.

It’s a great idea… PBGRs. What are some schools doing on this front? What are the consequences of these decisions? What is ‘proficient’ and are we prepared to enforce it? And how / what does this mean to post-secondary education?

The New ISTE Standards and what they mean to VT Educators
Peter Drescher

A conversation about the new ISTE standards and how they can tie to our work here in VT.  Be ready to explore the new standards, and delve into the connections between those standards, our VT work in the Education Quality Standards (EQS) and the Transferable Skills, our Federal work that is coming via the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and our upcoming Digital Learning Plan.  Participants should bring a connected device and expect to work in small groups to explore a variety of resources and together come to some conclusions about how the ISTE standards and other resources inter-relate.  Above all, we’ll have some fun thinking about the ways we see these resources as both challenges and opportunities.

Exhibitor Sessions

8:30 – 9:30

Scalable, efficient IT Asset Management
Whalley Computer Associates

IT environments are becoming increasingly more diverse and complex, and consequently, more difficult for you to manage. Mobility, along with more and more “smart” devices (i.e., the Internet of Things) has led to a significant increase in the number and types of devices that are connected to corporate networks; devices that you must inventory, manage and secure. The scope of this challenge becomes evident when you consider the number of different platforms you have to manage, including Windows®, Windows Server®, Mac® OS X®, Linux®, UNIX, iOS™, and Android™. Even if you’ve always believed you could “get along” without a comprehensive strategy, it is becoming imperative for your organization to make IT asset management (ITAM) and systems a priority.

Conquering Tech Grants: How to make your proposal WIN
ePlus Technology, Inc.

Learn about top tech opportunities and grant resources available to help make your application successful. This session focuses on a wide variety of steps to take to ensure you receive a win.  We will also look at tools available to help you narrow in on funding opportunities right for your district and how to determine your eligibility as well as a look at resource available to help you apply.

11:00 – 12:00

Apple Teacher and the Classroom App

We’ve designed the Apple Teacher program to help teachers build skills and stay inspired. And after completing online quizzes, you will receive an official Apple Teacher logo you can share with the world.  Additionally we will be providing a hands-on session with the Classroom App.  Classroom is a powerful new iPad app that helps teachers guide learning, share work, and manage student devices.

Teachers and students learning together: a whole-system approach to PLP and proficiency-based mindsets.
SchoolHack Solutions

Meaningful adoption of personalized learning strategies often requires us to rethink and rewire our instructional practices. Superficial solutions that don’t address the underlying systemic challenges only confuse students and creates initiative fatigue among teachers. What supports are needed to help educators confidently navigate the change process? Designed by and for Vermont educators, LiFT provides educators with a step-by-step approach to create true learner-centric systems in their classrooms.
Come hear how schools and districts across the nation are using this Vermont grown platform to set the stage for meaningful change.


Thursday Afternoon Sessions

Connecting Integration: Ideas, Innovations, & Issues
Kristen Courcelle & Jessica Wilson

Do you provide technology integration support for learners?  Whether you are a technology integrationist, teacher, media specialist/librarian, administrator, or lab supervisor—if you provide integration support, this session is for you!  Using the design thinking model we will tackle challenges that have been keeping you up at night.  Come connect with other integrators in the EdCamp-style conversations on professional development, leadership, supporting one-to-one programs, all things Google, digital citizenship, best of the best resources, and more.

Designing Open Education School Systems
Dan French

Vermont has several laudable education policy initiatives pertaining to personalizing student learning including PLPs, early college, flexible pathways, and proficiency-based learning.  Additionally, we remain focused on addressing persistent equity issues while at the same time increasing learning opportunities for all students.  From a historical perspective, all of these concepts can be described under a larger narrative of Open Education, the continued expansion of who has access to a high quality education.

This session will engage participants in an interactive exploration of three interconnected themes in order to develop a systems approach to designing an open education school system that can be instituted locally and also scaled across Vermont.  These themes are:

  • Open Opportunity: Open Education Resources (OER) offer students the ability to access an expanded curriculum and are shifting the role of teachers to be Designers of Learning.
  • Open Organization Systems – New organizational approaches such as Design Thinking allow schools to adopt a more open, dynamic and nimble disposition towards change.
  • Open Community – Technology is redefining community and creating new means for developing and sharing best practices across a distributed organizational structure.

Inquiry Based Learning – A Classroom Full of Questions
Diana Laufenberg

A classroom full of questions.

A classroom where collaboration is emphasized, and practiced… over and over again.

A classroom where teachers are promoting student voice.

What does that look like?

What are some strategies to make your learning time and spaces with kids more engaging?

Chromebooks and Google Redefining UDL, Differentiation, Personalization and MTSS
Patricia Aigner and Kyle Hutchins

In this collaborative session we will share how Chromebooks can redefine Universal Design for Learning, Differentiation, Personalization and MTSS.  We’ll talk about engaging digital tools, content, process, product and so much more.

Let’s hammer out ideas for

  • Re-imagining learning with Apps
  • Maximizing with Classroom
  • Producing creative artifacts
  • Kids collaborating effectively
  • Collecting data effortlessly

Exhibitor Sessions

1:15 – 2:15 PM

Endpoint Systems Management Security
Whalley Computer Associates

Over the last decade a lot of focus has been on the datacenter and infrastructure, but the reality is that most of an IT staff’s time is spent resolving issues around endpoint systems. Desktops have been replaced by laptops and tablets making the end user more mobile and less secure especially when they are outside the firewall, but this is the reality of how we do business today. Kace can radically reduce the time spent dealing with, and remediating endpoint related issues and strengthen endpoint security beyond antivirus, and give your IT Staff time back to work on the more strategic projects that you have.

2:30 – 3:30 PM

Promethean New Product Update
ePlus Technology, Inc.

As we shape the modern classroom of the 21st century, we are focused on providing teachers with tools for creating a highly collaborative learning environment that is inclusive of all. As a milestone toward that mission, we’re very pleased to announce the launch of the all-new Promethean ActivPanel which was recently awarded Tech & Learning’s Best of Show at ISTE 2016.

Join us and discovery these new teaching and learning tools, FREE evaluation products will be offered to those who would like to provide feedback on their fit in your environment.

Friday Morning Sessions

Pathways to Virtual Learning, Barriers and Beliefs
Jeff Renard and Natalie Searle

The first hour will focus on sharing and collecting ideas around virtual learning and dual enrollment pathways that exist for Vermont students. Participants will work in small groups to identify, catalog and share out where their schools and regions are in the opportunities that exist for their students.

The second hour will build upon these pathways by identifying barriers to student engagement while looking at where Vermont should be heading in order to offer these opportunities for students.

Building Communities and Schools Through Social Media
Michael Berry

How we use social media to connect with educators and our stakeholders, increase shared voice in our story, personalize professional development and improve the culture of our learning communities.

Craig Donnan and Alan Steel

Come explore and help launch a tool that could transform how we work together in the VT Ed Tech community.  This top developer tool aids in any kind of collaborative environment, and that’s what this community is!  Easily build a wiki and make the posts searchable, add supporting documents, organize by hashtag and theme, have parallel private chats, and this can also be a great workgroup tool for in-school teams of all types, tech or not.   Easy and powerful, come learn to transform your workplace and the way we communicate.

Learning Visually
Diana Laufenberg

Infographics work in the classroom because they grab students and allow an entry point to learning — and because they sum up pages and pages, even chapters, of information that would take a reader hours to process.  Interactive infographics make kids want to immediately start clicking around to see what’s what. For a teacher who prioritizes an inquiry-driven classroom, that’s a great starting point.  Infographics and Data visualization are not just for consumption though, teachers and students can also challenge the learning process by creating original graphics for themselves.

Exhibitor Sessions

Enabling learning inside and outside the classroom!

Intel will demonstrate new innovative technologies that enable and enhance student learning.  We will illustrate:

  • A world without wires – wireless display, wireless charging and wireless docking; and
  • How your voice and face can change the classroom and interactions with the PC; and
  • How you can take notes with a stylus, what are smart stylus application and how assessments are made easy; and
  • Other collaboration tools and cost effective innovations that provide many creative options for multiple learning styles.

Intel and SHI look forward to you joining the fun and interactive session.

Friday Afternoon Sessions

S.O.S  T   – Save On Software – Together!
Vince Gonillo

What software do we all buy? How can we identify these titles and work with vendors to maximize our savings in real dollars and soft dollar administrative costs? Let’s work together to find the answer!

PLP’s: Driving School Change and Student Empowerment in the Middle Grades
John Downes

In this session, we will examine how technology and PLPs have merged to catalyze school change that empowers students in their learning. This interactive session will showcase examples from Vermont middle schools, and provide hands-on opportunities to help you develop PLPs for student empowerment.

Open Education Resources and #GoOpen—Get your school started with OER materials
Peter Drescher with Andrew Marcinek

Building on our work with a group of OER Ambassadors, this session will be a working session where participants will be exploring Open Education Resource repositories and putting together units or lessons that capitalize on these dynamic resources.  We’ll learn about Creative Commons licensing and the various nuances to using copyright materials in an OER environment.  Be ready to take the plunge at tweaking, revising and reimagining updatable and much more relevant materials procured from the digital landscape under Open Education.  We’ll also talk a little about VT’s role in the national #GoOpen movement.

The Digital Backpack
Lauren Parren, Kristen Courcelle, Steve Webster

Join three tech integration specialists (K-12) in a two-hour work session designed to complete a Digital Backpack, a website designed around Vermont’s Transferable Skills.  Last spring at Dynamic Landscapes we shared the first draft of the Backpack with approximately 20 teachers from across the state and gained valuable insights about what might work and what could be improved.  Together we explored tech tools that might be used to help learners practice skills toward each Transferable Skill.  As always, we want to be sure that good pedagogy is at the heart of any use of technology, so we are back with a two hour session in which we’ll:

1.    Explore the backpack, including the Skills and Rubrics

2.    Examine the tools already listed

3.    Consider adding new tools

4.    Discuss what learning opportunities could provide evidence of success at meeting each skill.

5.    Decide on a format for submitting examples of learning to the Backpack.

Discuss next steps in moving forward, management, and maintenance of the backpack.

Exhibitor Sessions

12:45 – 1:45PM

Everyone Can Code

In this hands-on session we will be sharing the following resources with lesson activities, reflection questions and journal prompts so that you can provide a new coding experience to your students in middle school and high school:

  • Swift Playgrounds—a free app for iPad for first-time coders that provides a complete set of Apple-designed lessons.
  • The Swift Playgrounds: Teacher Guide
  • App Development with Swift

• The App Development with Swift: Teacher Guide

2:00 – 3:00

Let’s Have a Wireless Bake-off
ePlus Technology, Inc.

This session is geared for the IT Director, Network Administrator or anyone interested in learning more about today’s wireless technologies and what is right for your school.  We will look at the leading vendors and do a comparison of different architectures, models, and feature sets. This session will also include demos of some of the leading solutions to provide an opportunity to see these solutions in action to help you determine what is right for your environment.