TechFest 2018 Logo

The TechFest education conference is coming back to the Pacific Northwest this fall, October 26th, 2018. This event will showcase the latest technology being used throughout schools in the area. Attendees will be able to fully emerge themselves in the latest tools and learning how districts are currently using them.

Take part in this event as a district and meet with other Superintendents, Technology & Curriculum Directors, Principals, and many other industry professionals.

Keynote Speaker: Thomas A. Furness III, Grandfather of Virtual Reality

Thomas A. Furness III profile

Tom Furness is an amalgam of Professor, Inventor and Entrepreneur in a professional career that spans 52 years. In addition to his contributions in photonics, electro-optics, human interface technology, he is an original pioneer of virtual and augmented reality technology and widely known as the ‘grandfather’ of virtual reality. A former Air Force officer and developer of virtual interfaces for military aircraft, Tom is currently a professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering with adjunct professorships in Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Human Centered Design and Engineering at the University of Washington (UW), Seattle, Washington, USA. He is the founder of the family of Human Interface Technology Laboratories at the University of Washington, Christchurch, New Zealand and Tasmania, Australia. He is the founder and chairman of the Virtual World Society, a non-profit for extending virtual reality as a learning system for families and other humanitarian applications. Tom and his students/colleagues have spun off 27 companies with an aggregate market capitalization of ~$10B that have formed the core of the VR/AR industry. He is a Fellow of the IEEE. .

Furness has been highly recognized for receiving the first-ever lifetime achievement award for 50 years of service within the field of virtual reality and augmented reality from the Augment World Expo in Santa Clara, California in 2015.Thomas Furness Airforce

Furness built the first helmet mounted displays used by the United States Air Force pilots at the beginning of his career path. Ever since then he has been advancing his skillset to stay up-to-date with all the advancements virtual reality has to offer.

Being present for Furness’s keynote presentation will allow you to hear from the Grandfather himself, an individual who has carved a path for the future in science and education technology.

Featured Session: Mandy Manning, 2018 National Teacher of the Year

Thomas A. Furness III profile

Mandy has taught for the past 18 years, six of which have been in her current role. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Eastern Washington University, a Masters of Arts from West Texas A & M University, and a Masters of Fine Arts from Northwest Institute of Literary Arts. Mandy is a National Board Certified Teacher. In her classroom, Mandy uses experiential projects like map-making to help her students process trauma, celebrate their home countries and culture, and learn about their new community.

“All of us together make this world interesting and good. We must teach our students to overcome their fears and seek out new experiences. The only way to teach fearlessness is to show it. We must show kindness by getting to know our students, learning about them, and showing them how to connect,” she says.

In this session you will learn how districts can participate in her ongoing effort to encourage educators to teach their students to overcome their fears and seek out new experiences.

TechFest will introduce workshops, where educators will be learning about new technology and ways to incorporate them into the classroom, and companies will have booths set up throughout the entirety of the event to answer questions and get you excited about advancing students through technology.

Virtual Reality will be apart of our Keynote Address, presented by Thomas A. Furness III a professor at the University of Washington (learn more below). This session will provide insight on how VR and AR are helping students learn at a faster rate.

Having the opportunity to engage with technology through a lens is out of this world! We will have a few VR stations setup throughout the venue so you can get your hands on the latest devices.

TechFest may not last all day, but that doesn't mean you have to leave right away.
Even the Resort is on board with new tech! Attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy the luxurious hotel rooms including LED reading lamps, and no-fog mirrors. There is also an award-winning restaurant options, upscale spa, and premier casino right alongside the hotel.

If any of the technology excites you, then we are sure that the outlet mall next store will as well. Seattle Premium Outlet has over 100 stores to choose from, surely, you'll be able find what you're looking for.

Event Schedule

TIME EVENT ROOM
08:00 - 09:00 AM Breakfast / Vendor Exhibit Orca Ballroom
09:00 - 10:00 AM Keynote Address by Thomas A. Furness III Chinook I-III
9:00 - 2:45 PM Vendor Exhibit Orca Ballroom
10:30 - 11:15 AM Breakout Sessions #1 Chinook I-IV
11:30 - 12:15 PM Breakout Sessions #2
Chinook I-IV
12:00 - 1:00 PM Lunch / Vendor Exhibit Orca Ballroom
1:00 - 1:45 PM Breakout Sessions #3
Chinook I-IV
2:00 - 2:45 PM Breakout Sessions #4
Chinook I-III

Breakout Sessions

"Q&A Session with the Keynote Speaker"

Breakout Session #1 10:30am - 11:15am

by Thomas A. Furness III, Grandfather of Virtual Reality - HIT Lab

Virtual reality is emerging as vital teaching tool of our age. Much of the seminal research in this field has been led by UW Professor Tom Furness over the 52 years of the his profession career. As an original pioneer of virtual and augmented reality technology Tom is widely known as the ‘grandfather’ of virtual reality. In his keynote Tom will share the lessons learned during the development of VR and its application for education and training and include practical examples of how VR technology can be applied in classrooms and other educational settings.

"Session with the 2018 National Teacher of the Year"

Breakout Session #1 10:30am - 11:15am

by Mandy Manning, Teacher / Writer / Coach - Spokane SD

Mandy has taught for the past 18 years, and strives to create connections between her students and the community inside and outside of the school. In this session you will learn how districts can participate in her ongoing effort to encourage educators to teach their students to overcome their fears and seek out new experiences.

"STEAM with VR, Immersive and 3D Printing Technologies"

Breakout Session #1 10:30am - 11:15am

by Mike Belcher, Director of Education Technology - HP

Mike will cover the current challenges in STEM+ Learning, how new technologies (Like VR/AR, Immersive computing. 3D printing) are at the core of changing multiple industries and rethinking how we improve Instructional strategies.

"Creative Way's to Support Teacher's Technology Use"

Breakout Session #1 10:30am - 11:15am

by Josh Benedict, Amie Parker, Brandon Tepley - Mukilteo SD

During this session you will learn how the Mukilteo School District utilizes their resources to provide a comprehensive technology model for staff and students. This plan includes differentiated professional development, identifying technology leaders, and an example of how to create a year-long plan aligned to district goals and the ISTE standards for students and staff.

"ITIL Practices for Better Communication and Teaming"

Breakout Sessions #2 & #3, at 11:30am & 01:00pm

by Brooke Trisler, Chief Technology Officer - Mukilteo SD

By leveraging best practices for IT service management, we can communicate clearer, onboard quicker, and get our teams to work together better. Come and gain some simple steps you could take to do the same in your district!

"North Creek High School: A New Approach for a New School"

Breakout Sessions #2 & #4, at 11:30am & 02:00pm

by Shelby Reynolds, Instructional Technology and Library Services and Tech Staff - Northshore SD

One year ago, Northshore opened its first new school in two decades: North Creek High School. From inspiration to construction and ribbon cutting, NCHS has become a symbol of the innovation and dedication to open concept learning Northshore is embracing. In this session, participants will engage in a virtual tour of the school and have opportunities to learn about the design process, the technology implementations, and the things we’ve learned after a year of the school being open.

"Vision. Action. Transformation"

Breakout Sessions #2 & #4, at 11:30am & 02:00pm

by Abbey Zenk, Chief Instruction and Assessment Officer, along with a panel of 8th and 10th grade students of Renton Prep Christian School

As a newly selected Microsoft Flagship school, Renton Prep has been transforming itself through purposeful actions both with teachers and students. Hear one teachers transformation story from a traditional classroom environment to a member of the leadership team focused on inspiring and mentoring teachers with technology. Hear from and interact with students that attend Renton Prep about how their learning has been transformed in this environment. Learn about how our 10 year vision is shaping our leadership, our teachers, our classrooms, and our students starting right now.

"Want to build an inclusive classroom? Learning Tools is your superpower"

Breakout Sessions #3 01:00pm - 01:45pm

by Shannon Davenport, Director of Professional Learning and Crystal Cameron of Everett SD - NCCE

We know how important it is for educators to design authentic activities that acknowledge and accommodate for all variations of learners. Learning Tools brings advanced accessibility options for a wide range of students with proven success in reading and writing achievement. See how this and other tools bring the content to the student while removing barriers to learning.

"Educational Technology Departments...We Don’t Just Fix Stuff"

Breakout Session #3 01:00pm - 01:45pm

by Tracy Dabbs, Jim Logan, Andrew Reese, Gerrit deHoog, Technology & Innovations Team - Burlington Edison SD

Ed-Tech departments need to shift away from just service and become fully integrated team members to support education. Creating systems that seamlessly integrate technology into vision development, planning, implementation, and ongoing support ensures your district will be able to focus on innovative support for students and learning. Come hear what we have done in the Burlington-Edison school and discuss ideas with our staff.

"Strategies for Implementing the Updated State Technology Standards"

Breakout Session #3 01:00pm - 01:45pm

by Dennis Small, Educational Technology Director - OSPI

Washington state’s Educational Technology Standards are now based upon the 2016 ISTE Standards for Students. This session will share successful practices in implementing these updated technology standards, with an emphasis on strategies and resources that schools may find helpful.

"Advanced Topics in E-rate: Utilizing Category Two Funds"

Breakout Session #4 02:00pm - 02:45pm

by Eric Chambers, Director of E-rate and Special Services - NCCE

"As you may know, this year is the last year to utilize your Category Two fund allocation to improve your District’s technology infrastructure. Most Districts across the country have not used or underused these funds, even though in many cases they purchased eligible hardware during the budget period. In this session we will review strategies for utilizing (and maximizing) these funds. Topics include: Writing Form 470s and RFPs, Communicating with vendors, Facilitating walkthroughs, Selecting vendors, Responding to PIA questions, and Project implementation."

"Change Management for the Cloud Classroom Transformation"

Breakout Session #4 02:00pm - 02:45pm

by David Olinger, Director of Education Technology, along with Education Design Team - O'Dea High School

"Integrating cloud technologies in schools is hard but necessary for schools preparing students for the future. Learn how to prepare and create a change plan to harmonize your faculty, staff, students and families during a digital classroom transformation. Pulling from their experience of O’Dea High School’s rapid digital classroom transformation the presenters will speak about learning space design, 1 to 1 roll out, and transitioning to a cloud based digital curriculum. With a focus on integrating cloud technologies, this session will cover strategies for creating a shared vision, communicating, dealing with resistance, and building teams to develop a culture of innovation."

Sponsors & Exhibitors

Vendor Expo


Each year we bring the top education technology manufacturers in the world and have them demo their products to our attendees. This is your chance to see the latest solutions and tools to see if they will work in your districts.

The top representatives from each vendor will be able to quickly walk you through their product line, with snacks and drinks offered on the sides of the venue!

MicroK12's TechFest 2018 Vendor Booth Map