Summer is the most popular time for educators to engage in professional development, add new tricks to their trade, and collaborate and network with colleagues. A lot of this learning occurs at conferences. Although there are dozens to choose from, here are a few that cater to both the broadest swathes of educators and today’s hottest topics.
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®) Conference and Expo is the world’s largest education technology conference with over 16,000 attendees annually, and ISTE 2016 is being held from June 26–29 in Denver, Colorado. ISTE has a strong focus on edtech, and these days, technology in the classroom is top of mind for most educators. Different interests and levels of concern are all catered to with the conference’s 1,000 different sessions. This year’s keynote speakers include Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist, author, futurist, and television personality.
Perhaps ISTE is too broad for you and you’ve fully adopted the iPad® tablet as your device of choice. Or perhaps you would simply rather not find yourself in the midst of the chaos of thousands of attendees. If so, consider iPadpalooza. This smaller-scale conference is being held from June 22–24 in Austin, Texas, at a high school. It will focus specifically on how iPad mobile devices can inspire creativity, social collaboration, and engagement in the classroom. If you have great Apple-based ideas on these topics or if you’re in search of some creative new ideas, this is the place to share and discover.
The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) is holding its annual conference in National Harbor, Maryland, on July 6–8. It’s the largest gathering of elementary and middle school leaders in the country. This year, NAESP’s keynote speakers include Daniel Goleman, the father of the concept of emotional intelligence. This conference is open to not only principals and assistant principals but also teachers and educators and district and state administrators, and it is a must-attend for anyone interested in education leadership.
Building Expertise is the country’s premier conference for those educators who work under the research and insights of Dr. Robert Marzano. He is the host and principal speaker, but he is also joined this year by assessment expert Dr. Dylan Wiliam and cognitive neuroscientist Dr. David Sousa. The conference is being held June 15–17 at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
The Flipped Learning Conference (FlipCon) is the oldest gathering of those interested in or practicing flipped learning. It’s being held July 19–21 in Allen, Texas, and features a focused agenda and manageable number of attendees to make sure that everyone gets the most out of the experience. If you’ve already flipped your classroom or are considering doing so, this is a great way to become more familiar with one of the hottest strategies in education.
Can’t make any of this summer’s education conferences? Check out these ideas for do-it-yourself summer professional development!