NovaNow Conversations

This week is the ISTE conference in San Antonio. It is the largest ed tech conference in the country (or the world?). It has thousands of people attending, big names, great sessions, huge vendor hall (someone has to pay for it) and everything else an event of that size can offer.

I will not be attending but this is not a bitter post about that. ISTE is great I’m sure and would enjoy being there. But today I want to talk about my school’s conference, NovaNow. It is the opposite of ISTE in many ways. It will be small, intimate, vendor free, conversational, and actually located in a school. NovaNow is about conversations with great educational minds in the MidWest. There will be no “sage on the stage” (we don’t have a stage actually). Attendees are a vital part of the conference because they ARE the conversations.

I want to highlight a couple of conversation leaders coming from outside of Michigan to join our conversations that you will get the opportunity to hang out with:



Shelly Blake-Plock is a former social studies teacher who started the blog TeachPaperless. He is currently building @AnEstuary, a new way of professional development for teachers. He also helped launch @DHFBaltimore, an after school tech program for inner city Baltimore students. Shelly is interested in merging digital/physical space, human-centered tech, and poetry.




John Spencer is a middle school teacher in Phoenix, Arizona. He actively blogs and sketches at Education Rethink about education and life. John has authored five books, including: Pencil Me In, an allegory for educational technology; Teaching Unmasked, about the impact of paradox; Sages and Lunatics, a memoir and critique on factory education; and A Sustainable Start, a realistic look at the first year of teaching.




Theresa Shafer is the Online Community Manager for New Tech Network. If you have ever interacted with New Tech Network online you were talking to her! She is the energy behind all of the social media resources and an expert on connecting people. Theresa also started and hosts #PBLchat weekly. Theresa blogs at





Brian Bennett is Customer Solutions for Education for TechSmith. He is a former high school science teacher who “flipped” his classroom. Brian created the #flipped chat and is passionate about student learning. He blogs at



The full lineup can be found on the Conversation page of the NovaNow website. I hope you will join us! This will be a weekend that you won’t want to miss!

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