Information Communication Technologies & Digital Media Sector Team

Building on the success of last year’s event, nearly 300 educators from across California traveled to Cisco’s headquarters in San Jose Jan. 6-7 to learn about the latest trends in the ICT field and find opportunities for collaboration across colleges and regions at the WASTC 2020 Winter ICT Educators’ Conference.

The conference is organized by the Western Academy Support and Training Center (WASTC) and included attendees from 47 California community colleges, as well as faculty from community colleges in other states. Industry representatives from Google, LinkedIn, Red Hat, VMWare, and many other companies also attended.

The event’s theme was “Workforce for Tomorrow,” and it included session tracks on best practices, industry insight, tech skills, and cybersecurity. Keynote speakers included Dr. James Whittaker of CTO of Biscuit Labs, Laura Chappell, Founder and CEO of Chappell University, Lance Ford, Education Technology Advocate for Cisco, and Ryan Zervakos, Relationship Manager at LinkedIn.

One new feature this year was a trip to the Cisco store, to check out the new virtual reality technology built into the store.  Attendees received a tour of the space, which had the option for enhanced viewing through virtual reality headsets.

Karen Stanton, WASTC coordinator and conference organizer, said this year’s event was better than ever.

“We also had some wonderful additions like the Cisco Store tour and a virtual reality demo in the hall,” Stanton said. “But, always, my favorite part of this conference is the magic that the educators bring.  Educators share what they know, then they share what they don’t know.  That’s when the good stuff happens.”

The networking opportunities were also key for Bob Quant, who traveled to the event from North Idaho College.

“I met so many awesome people who were all really eager to help me out as a new instructor,” Quant said. “What a great group, I wish I could have gotten involved ten years ago.”

The WASTC 2020 Winter ICT Educators’ Conference was hosted by WASTC, Cisco Systems, and the ICT-DM Sector Team. For more information, visit

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