After two years of discussion, in 1997 the two major professional information technology educational associations in Vermont, the Vermont State Technology Council – VSTC and the Vermont Educational Telecommunications Consortium – VETC, merged to become the Vermont Information Technology Association for the Advancement of Learning – VITA-Learn.
One of the main goals of this merger was to set up a state organization that fairly represented and supported all Vermont educators and whose composition would be derived from five newly organized regional associations. Although the foundations of some of these organizations already existed, they would now be organized and supported under one state umbrella organization. The leadership from these regional organizations would become the board of directors of the state organization. One of the main tasks in front of those who guided the merger and formation of the new organization was to provide guidance and resources for the development of the regional groups.
Although both of the pre-existing organizations, VSTC and VETC, had delved into many areas of information technology support for educational institutions and Vermont educators, the main focus of the organizations that emerged was professional development. While the newly created five VITA-Learn regions of the state began to formalize their organizations, professional development would become the focal point of activity.
As VITA-Learn was organizing, the individuals who guided the plan wisely involved others representing key positions in the State Department of Education, the Vermont Institute for Science, Math and Technology – VISMT and key business leaders who had supported the state organizations in the past. This combination of individuals proved decisive for the successful debut of the regional organizations.
The partnership with VISMT and business provided additional leadership and resources to the state organization as well as the regional groups, which allowed VITA-Learn to grow into the vital organization that serves Vermont educators today.