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Big Ideas Fest Engages Half Moon Bay Teachers

Cabrillo District teachers attend Big Ideas Fest, an annual convening of innovators in education, redesigning the future of education.

An “Education Renaissance” is happening in Half Moon Bay this week, and Cabrillo Unified School District teachers, Abigail Foster and Rosabelle Lynes, are taking part in it.

It’s the Big Ideas Fest, an annual convening of innovators in education held at the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay through Dec. 5 and hosted by Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME), a nonprofit education institute pioneering technologies for open access to learning that’s based in Half Moon Bay. ISKME’s annual event brings together teachers, policy makers, researchers, entrepreneurs, students, and funders who are championing the transformation of K-20 education. 

Foster, a kindergarten teacher from Alvin S. Hatch Elementary School, and Lynes, an English teacher at Half Moon Bay High School, were awarded scholarships to attend the conference thanks to funds raised by Brazzle Berry Yogurt and ISKME.

The three-day gathering provides an interactive and game-changing experience for some of the nation’s most creative mavericks in education, from government, public and private schools, universities, colleges, think tanks, and educational tech companies. The final day of the conference will highlight the solutions participants have designed to address some of the foremost challenges in education today. The moderator for this event on Wednesday will be Lisa Petrides, founder and president of ISKME, which is hosting the Big Ideas Fest as part of its role in advancing research and innovation in education.

The Big Ideas Fest also features speaker Naif Al-Mutawa, founder of The99 superheroes cartoon that’s sweeping the globe to unite young people of different cultures and faiths through a message of tolerance.

Sparking the creativity of the more than 200 participants will be Kiff Gallagher, founder of the Musician Corps, which brings musicians to public places, including schools, and Nirvan Mullick, a filmmaker inspired to shoot a documentary about a 9-year old name Caine, who built an arcade from cardboard boxes and inspired builders everywhere.

The opening keynote on Sunday about creating the conditions for participatory learning was delivered by Karen Cator, Director of the Office of Education Technology, U.S. Dept. of Education, and on Dec. 5, cognitive linguist George Lakoff will cap the event with a keynote on “Creative Intelligence: What the Brain Tells Us About the Importance of Teaching the Arts and the Humanities.”

A grant will be awarded to three teams that prototype promising Big Ideas in Beta 2012, and a new prize, the Innovation in Action Award, will be announced as well.

For more information, see www.bigideasfest.org.

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