Education Industry Thought Leader, Vicki Smith Bigham, Passes Baton at EdNET 2017 Conference

Bigham will retire leaving long 'ed-tech' legacy for future generations


August 30, 2017, Shelton, CT – Noted sociologist Malcolm Gladwell calls them "Connectors" —the people who know everyone and see the potential of introducing one person to another, and sometimes connecting people by the thousands. This is the legacy of MDR's EdNET Conference Manager, Vicki Smith Bigham, who ran the premiere EdTech industry conference for 26 years and will retire at the end of 2017.

Bigham is the essential architect-builder of the EdNET community and one of the most respected industry leaders today. She will pass the conference baton at the upcoming EdNET 2017 conference on September 17-19 in Scottsdale, AZ.In addition to the regular programming, a retirement celebration in her honor may last into the wee hours.

Anne Wujcik, MDR Senior Editor and Education Analyst for MDR and a long-time friend and colleague says, "I got lucky when I first met Vicki. She brought the best out in people. She was wickedly smart, hardworking, generous, and caring. Her vision for ed-tech was awe-inspiring and inspired everyone at MDR to take a leadership role in the marketplace."

Bigham's background in education, technology and business made her a "rare find" among MDR's staff of brilliant employees. "She was entirely committed to "lifting all boats," Wujcik adds. "She set out to use her masterful spirit of collaboration and knowledge to help others.  She saw how technology could transform education and was a true pioneer in building one of the largest networks in edtech today. "This is one of many accomplishments and a testament to how Southern charm, intellect and a smile as big as Texas could influence a movement as large as EdNET."

She devoted forty years to K-12 education. First, as a special education teacher, then a software developer, school administrator, university professor, author and industry consultant. A former founding president of two organizations, Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) and the International Society for Technology Education (ISTE), her astounding career and contributions shaped an entire industry. She was instrumental in advising numerous company leaders and start-ups. Her mission to support teachers, administrators and students through the effective use of technology in U.S. schools and districts well admired. Bigham also published scores of reports, curricula, and products for the industry. In 1998, she and husband George, wrote "The Prentice Hall Directory of Online Education Resources," a comprehensive roadmap to the edtech community and their offerings. The book quickly became the go-to resource for educators and companies. The virtual and print editions updated periodically also serve international audiences. She is also known in some circles as the " opens in a new windowSnoop" bringing a personal side to the industry through MDR's weekly EdNET News Alert.

Perhaps the most significant contribution for her is the EdNET professional development network and programming for business executives and ed-tech producers, now an industry valued at roughly 1.37 trillion dollars. Uniquely structured, EdNET incorporates uninterrupted face time for business leaders to network, partner and uncover new initiatives to emerging school market challenges, often bringing large returns on investments.

This year's theme is " opens in a new windowConnecting the Dots," apropos for the last official EdNET led by Bigham. There, she will once again lead the charge and serve the gamut of education stakeholders with a deep dive into pressing issues facing the U.S. K-12 market. She will introduce five keynote discussions and carry out multiple concurrent tracks on government policy and leadership, regulations and funding, education technology and innovation, marketing trends and professional development.

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