Big Ideas Fest To Design Solutions To Nation’s Toughest Educational Challenges

175 Innovators and Educators Focused on Transforming U.S. K-20 Education To Meet in Half Moon Bay on Dec. 5-8, 2010
Nov. 30, 2010 - PRLog -- HALF MOON BAY, CALIF., November 30, 2010 – Learn about the relationship between physical space and learning. Discover how technology can create powerful learning environments for disconnected young adults through video games. Explore new directions for the nation’s education system with those who have led transformational changes in schools, corporations, and the nonprofit and public sectors.

More than 175 educators, students, policymakers, researchers, entrepreneurs, technology pioneers, and corporate, non-profit, and foundation leaders will gather for three days to design and develop new ideas, implementation plans, business models, and policy frameworks designed for a new era of learning.

“Our education system is at a crossroads. We need big change, but our reform efforts produce only marginal improvements. We tinker with an education system that was designed for an earlier century, when what we really need is to create new hybrid ways of working together,” says Lisa Petrides, president of the Half Moon Bay-based Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME). “The Big Ideas Fest is purposely designed to help people from diverse sectors work across the boundaries of their fields and empower education champions to create scalable solutions to a host of challenging educational dilemmas while placing learning front and center.”

The Big Ideas Fest, an immersion into collaboration and design with a focus on modeling cutting-edge thinking in K-20 education, will tackle some of education’s most intractable challenges: How can we help schools and colleges break free from conventional modes of learning? How can we ensure that innovation and new technologies flourish? How can we make education relevant to all of today’s students, at all levels of learning?

The event will be held from December 5-8, 2010, at the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, CA. The event is produced by ISKME and sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, MetLife Foundation, GE Foundation, Red Hat Inc., and Microsoft Research.

The list of speakers includes international experts in innovation, technology, and education.  They include:
•   Sugata Mitra, keynote speaker and professor of educational technology, Newcastle University in the UK
•   Jennifer Anastasoff, president and founder of EnCorps, a nonprofit that is working with international corporations to develop a corporate “Peace Corps”
•   Stephen Breslin, an executive in the fast-moving technology sector and currently CEO of Futurelab
•   Maya Enista, CEO of, a veteran in the public service sector
•   Sharon Gabriel, principal at Florida’s State Demonstration School for Technology and the largest middle school in the 10th largest district in the nation
•   Salman Khan, founder, Khan Academy, a not-for-profit organization with the mission of providing a free world-class education to anyone, anywhere
•   Erin McKean, co-founder of Wordnik and former chief for American dictionaries at Oxford University Press
•   Diego Navarro, a former research manager in the computer industry who is founder, director and instructor at Academy for College Excellence
•   Constance Steinkuehler, assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who studies massively multiplayer online games from a learning sciences perspective
•   Curtis Wong, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, co-creator of the Worldwide Telescope
Click on this link to find the full list of speakers and the program (

See last year’s speakers at the Big Ideas Fest YouTube Channel:

The Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (, located in Half Moon Bay, CA, is a global leader in research and practice around information use and knowledge sharing in education. An independent non-profit organization established in 2002, ISKME is well-known for its OER Commons initiative (, as well as its award winning international research on information and knowledge use in the education sector.  

For more information about the Big Ideas Fest, please go to:
For more information about ISKME, please go to
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