Going to Vermont Fest is a great occasion. You see old friends and make new friends, aka networking. It's a time to re-energize. There are many, many topics being presented, for all levels of interest and ability. Vermont educators are among the most innovative in the nation and so willing to share what they've learned! It's a great way to see what new technologies are being developed and where the trends are heading. You always leave with a couple of new tips and tricks, as well as email addresses and Twitter handles. I'll share a couple of things I picked up on.
Learning is going mobile! Devices such iPads, Android tablets, and Windows 8 tablets, and yes - even smart phones, are appearing in classrooms across the state. These small mobile devices are feature-rich and do many of the same things we use desktop and laptop computers for. Combine ease-of-use with touch technology and you have computing devices ideal for 1-to-1s and small-group collaborations. Like the Chromebooks, the tablets make technology tools readily accessible for students when and where they need them.
Web-based apps are replacing traditional software installed locally. Anytime, anywhere access is key to the migration away from installed software. You can access the web apps from anywhere there's an internet connection instead of trying to find a computer with the right program installed. Software funds are being directed to subscription-based apps that are always up-to-date and give teachers more control over the features they want to use with their students.
If you missed Vermont Fest you'll want to mark your calendar for Dynamic Landscapes at Champlain College May 15 and 16th, 2014. It's a great occasion!