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This Summer’s Hot Educational Conferences

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 -- Scott Sterling

You might find yourself a little intimidated at the prospect of all your available summer free time. Two and a half months is a lot of time watching soap operas! However, most teachers would like to be more productive and professional during the summer. One popular way to accomplish those goals is to attend a conference (or several).

There are conferences about the technology of the classroom, the craft of teaching, finding out the latest research-based strategies, or getting your feet wet in flipped learning.

ISTE 2014

The annual International Society for Technology in Education conference is June 28-July 1 in Atlanta and might be the largest summer gathering of teachers, with over 18,000 educators in attendance.

This one is for the colleagues that are affectionately referred to as “nerds”. Education technology takes the forefront here. Here you’ll find out about all the latest tech tools, tricks to implement in your classroom, and new technologies like advanced blended learning models and augmented reality. Make sure you sign up for an interactive workshop or two to truly get the hands-on experience.

ASCD Conference on Teaching Excellence

You might know that the main ASCD conference is usually held in the early spring, but they also produce a respected conference in the summer that focuses solely on instructional excellence. This year’s version is being held June 27-29 just outside of Dallas.

A noteably great idea from this conference is that sessions are organized by the attendee’s familiarity with the topic at hand, so you never feel out of your depth. Topics include standards-based grading, assessment strategies, special strategies for ELL and disabled students, and much more.

Building Expertise 2014

Dr. Robert Marzano has a devoted following among educators who have experienced success with his research-based theories and strategies. The only conference dedicated to those strategies is Building Expertise 2014, June 18-20 in Orlando.

Featuring over 80 breakout sessions, keynotes, and networking opportunities, the conference will provide new insights into Dr. Marzano’s work. Many schools and districts subscribe to his methods and expect teachers to work under his guidelines. If you find yourself in one of these districts, this might be the most valuable conference on the list.

FlipCon ‘14

FlipCon ’14 is produced by the Flipped Learning Network, the organization established by flipped learning pioneers Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams. It’s hard to believe that this is their 7th annual edition, again being held June 23-25 at Mars Area High School in Pittsburgh.

It’s the smallest conference on this list, but it’s also the most interactive. Participants learn how to implement these hot new strategies from the leaders in the field and then practice those skills before returning to their own classrooms. If you haven’t yet tried flipping, this conference can help you get started. If you have, this can bring your game to the next level.