Vita-Learn Leading Vermont in Educational Technology

Upcoming Events

Tech Pizza Logo

WHO: Tech Pizza is for school technology administrators and support specialists. In 2019, Tech Pizza attracted over 60 attendees representing 28 different school systems.

WHAT: We focus on technology management and implementation challenges—technical hands-on workshops, informational presentations, and policy discussions.


The Vita-Learn board of directors, conference organizers, and Black River Innovation Campus (BRIC) are working together to help keep our event participants safe and healthy during Tech Pizza 2021. BRIC is located on the top floor of a building shared with the Springfield School District and other organizations. On the BRIC floor, wearing a mask is not required, but those onsite who are unvaccinated or immunocompromised are expected to wear a mask. In addition, those individuals who feel more comfortable wearing a mask are encouraged to do so. In order to make attendees feel more comfortable, physical distancing of three feet when indoors will be accommodated throughout events, where possible. For more details, please see our Duty Of Care policy below.

Thank you to our sponsors

Trafera Logo
Connection Public Sector
Aruba Logo

Sponsorship Opportunity Information

If your company would like to participate at Tech Pizza 2021 and provide a workshop session, meet our attendees, and have some pizza, please consider sponsoring our event! Download for more information.

NOTE: At this time, all sponsorships have been sold. Our next in-person event will be Vermont Fest  hosted at the Killington Resort on November 3-5.

Duty of Care

Vita-Learn is excited to welcome you back to in-person events! Our concern for your health and safety is our top priority, and we want to make your experience at Tech Pizza 2021 is positive, and as professionally successful as in pre-COVID days.

Based on current recommendations from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we are planning to implement the following actions at the in-person, Tech Pizza 2021 event:

  1. Fully vaccinated persons are not required, but are welcome, to wear a mask or physically distance themselves during the conference.
  2. Unvaccinated and/or immunocompromised persons are required to wear a mask while indoors participating in conference activities, except while consuming food or beverages.
  3. Ribbons or stickers will be made available to identify your level of comfort in interacting with other attendees. Please indicate on the registration form if you are:
    • Red = Preferring some distance
    • Yellow = Comfortable with an elbow bump
    • Green = Welcoming hugs or other close interactions
  4. Hand sanitizer will be available at the registration desk for you to use. We encourage you to also bring your own and wash your hands often and thoroughly. The event hosts and registration team will do the same.
  5. Name tags will be pre-assembled to limit the amount of time you need to wait in line at the registration desk to check in, and interact with the registration staff.

Please be aware that these actions may change if deemed necessary to protect the health and safety of event participants. Event registrants will be notified if changes occur.

Sessions (schedule TBD)

Ransomware attacks are a growing threat to schools and can lead to significant costs and downtime for organizations that suffer an infection. Amid the chaos of shifting to remote learning, many districts may have overlooked their ransomware defense strategy. With the dust settling, now is an opportune time to implement a strong preparedness plan. Having a robust disaster recovery plan can significantly improve an institution’s chances of recovering from an infection without paying a ransom. Join the Synology session and find out how to set up a ransomware protection and disaster recovery plan before it is too late!

Presenter: Josh Douglas – Technical Account Manager

Joshua Douglas, Technical Account Manager at Synology, has been working directly with IT resellers and systems integrators to provide customized Synology hardware and software solutions. He has tailored solutions for educational organizations of all sizes to increase data protection and management efficiency.

Synology will be providing a DS220+ NAS ($300 value) as a prize to one attendee. Attendees need to complete a brief survey, a link will be provided during this workshop!

In this session, we will walk through the process of applying for and getting ECF funds to pay for your distance learning needs.

The FCC’s Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) is a $7.17 billion program that will help schools and libraries provide the tools and services their communities need for remote learning during the COVID-19 emergency period.

Presenter: Eric Ogden, Director of Field Marketing at Trafera.

In this hands-on session, attendees will be introduced to the power and possibilities of Google Data Studio, a free business intelligence solution that offers customizable dashboards with real-time data. Participants will be provided examples of the possibilities and hands-on practice with the support of session presenters. By the end of this session, you’ll walk away with a solid understanding of how to import data and build custom dashboards that provide easily accessible data-rich visualizations to help support effective data-driven decisions.

Attendees will need a laptop and a Google Account linked with Google Data Studio.

Presenter: Theresa Schneiderheinze, VT/NH/MA Alma SIS Regional Director at Alma.

1:1 programs have steadily grown in Vermont and the nation. COVID-19 accelerated the purchase of devices in schools, meaning more schools than ever before could implement 1:1 programs. However, the usual multi-year planning phases that are common never happened. Are you ready to deploy 1:1, especially in elementary schools? Jeff will share his thoughts on how policies can help and hinder your programs based on his 1:1 experience that dates back to 1993 at Brewster Academy in NH and later 12 years of experience with Maine’s MLTI.

Presenter: Jeff Mao, Executive Director, Vita-Learn.

The Annual Technology Survey is required of all Vermont schools in order to collect important data about many aspects of the education technology landscape in our schools. The survey enables the Agency of Education to observe patterns of technology use and infrastructure across SU/SDs. In this session we will examine the feedback from 51 SU/SDs regarding the 2020 school term. How did districts manage the pandemic? What practices remained unchanged despite the changing educational environment? Join us for a discussion of education technology in Vermont and what your peers may be considering for the upcoming school year.

Presenter: Lisa Helm, State Coordinator of Education Technology

In this session, we will explore the integration of security and device profiling into cloud management platforms.  We will take a look at Aruba Central as a single platform to manage user experience, security, wireless, wired, and gateways. We will also explore Aruba’s User Experience Sensors and how they can help you identify network issues and how to remediate before they become a problem.  We will wrap up the session with a round table focused on exploring best practices for network management, security policies, and problem remediation. 

Presenter:  Jason Cote, System Engineer Aruba Networks

Smart Bus-The Hot Ticket to Ride!
Did you know…Students spend an average of 40 minutes per day on their daily routes? That adds up to 180 hours every school year. Students who participate in extracurricular activities, such as athletics and clubs, spend even more time on the school bus traveling to and from events.

• When buses are equipped with WiFi, this time can be spent completing homework.
• For students without Internet at home, or for those with other responsibilities after school- time spent on the bus may be the only opportunity they have to complete online assignments
• Studies have found that there are significantly less behavioral issues and distractions on school buses when students are engaged; this means better driver retention, as well!
Now, Whalley partners with Kajeet’s SmartBusTM technology to offer a robust, customizable K-12 CIPA-compliant solution! It includes access to Kajeet’s patented Sentinel platform, where school administrators can manage devices, data allocations, filters and access controls.
The best news is, this significant school bus technology is an eligible offering under the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF), a new, $7.1 billion initiative, included in the American Rescue Plan. K-12 public and nonpublic schools and libraries nationwide now have the ability to buy laptops, tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, School Bus connectivity and other broadband connections to help students, teachers and library patrons access the Internet while off-campus. There’s an initial 45-day application window for purchases of eligible equipment/services, starting June 29; purchases can be made starting July 1, running through June 30, 2022.

Presenter: Jeff Bajgot, Whalley Computer Associates, Senior Consultant Program Development