The Time to Innovate is Now

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Lead a Conversation

Submissions are open for conversation leaders at NovaNow 2015


NovaNow February 6-7, 2015.

Submissions for Lead Facilitators for the next NovaNow are now being accepted! Deadline is October 1, 2014.

 The Time to Innovate is Now!

Ever wish that you could chat with the “expert presenter” at a coffee shop instead of watching her PowerPoint in a large auditorium?

Ever wish that professional development involved critical thinking instead of following the latest fads?

Ever wish a conference was small, intimate, vendor-free, conversational, and actually located in a school?

Ever wish students themselves were part of professional development?

Ever wish a conference was the beginning of professional development relationships instead of the climax?

NovaNow is like that!


Rushton Hurley

Rushton Hurley:

NovaNow is proud to welcome Rushton Hurley as a featured conversation leader. Rushton  has been a Japanese language teacher, a principal of an online high school, a teacher trainer, an educational technology researcher, and a school reform consultant. Rushton is the founder and executive director of Next Vista for Learning, which houses a free library of videos by and for teachers and students at His graduate research at Stanford University included using speech recognition technology with beginning students of Japanese in computer-based role-playing scenarios for developing language skills. In the 1990s his work with teenagers at a high school in California led him to begin using internet and video technologies to make learning more active, helping him reach students who had struggled under more traditional approaches. Rushton has keynoted at conferences all over the United States and around the world.

Tired of getting talked at during “sit and get” professional development? NovaNow is a conference for educators of all kinds to share their best ideas, plans, and dreams about learning. It is also a place where thoughtful questioning and critiques are encouraged. Presentations are not given, but rather conversations are led around learning. Kent Innovation students are an important part of NovaNow. Not only do they help run the conference, but they are active participants in the sessions with the educators.

NovaNow will be a series of conversations about learning WITH students. Core beliefs include:

  • Learning should be student-centered and inquiry-based.
  • Learning should focus on collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication.
  • Learning is enhanced when meaning is constructed by learners in their community.
  • Technology supports learning, but should not be the focus.
  • Learning should not and cannot be contained in schools and buildings.

NovaNow will be held February 5-6, 2015 at Kent Innovation High in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Kent Innovation High is a Project Based Learning school attended by students across Kent County. It is part of the New Tech Network of schools and has been awarded Demonstration Site status as an exemplary model of PBL. 

Participants will tour the PBL school and interact with students on Friday morning. After lunch, conversations will start and continue on Saturday.