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Educational conferences are one of the quickest ways for a teacher to develop some intellectual capital (and refresh themselves on what that is) as well as to get a crash course on the direction education is headed. But the time and money you can allot for attending them is certainly more limited than the spaces at the conferences themselves — so we made a shortlist of the most important ones, with an eye to spreading them around geographically.
We go into more detail about each conference farther down, but first, here’s a quick look at the top fifteen conferences to give you an edge in the education job market.
Deeper Learning Conference
ASU GSV Summit
Serious Play Conference
ExcelinEd National Summit on Education Reform
Digital Initiatives Symposium
Even if you can’t get the time or funding freed up to attend, you should at least check out the programs to see what the future of education is and who’s discussing it. Does your conference make the top fifteen? Read on to the full list to find out.
Why you want to go: There are more than 900 presentations, workshops, and events scheduled over the five days that TCEA spans each year, making this one of the most comprehensive conferences on our list.
Technology is the future of educational leadership, and workshops on things like 3D Printing and Virtual Reality next to coding and computer science for all grade levels (and educational leadership) show why this is one of the most well-established and well-attended educational conferences of the year — this conference would be good for the networking alone.
2. Deeper Learning Conference
Why you want to go: As its name implies, learning and networking opportunity for educators has the aim of helping students to learn deeply. Though it’s younger than most of the conferences on this list, it lives its credo by imparting through interactive workshops and experiential deep dives.
Why you want to go: You’ve probably heard of SXSW’s other conferences — but this educational gettogether cultivates and empowers a community of engaged stakeholders to advance teaching and learning.
They’ve got a massive attendance with targeted workshops, and even though it’s one of the more expensive options on our list, it’s well worth the trip to Austin for this educational spectacle.
Why you want to go: With a mission statement that establishes goals of “cultivating partnerships, promoting collaboration, delivering high-quality information, and make technology accessible and enjoyable for educators,” the OETC is ranks high on our list for educators of every grade and level, plus higher education professors and everyone who is interested in learning more about what’s happening in ed tech.
OETC offers tons of hands-on and interactive learning and new technology for educators and innovators. It’s also affordable, with programs like Google for the classroom.
Why you want to go: Sponsored by ASCD, this conference is designed for anyone within the education field, whether a teacher, professor or administrator; it puts forth the expertise and formats you need to develop sustainable and practical plans of action that solve problems of practice. Instead of the typical conference style presentations, they have several different events, such as panels for discussion and debates.
Why you want to go: Edcamps are driven by the participants and demand confidence and willingness to speak up — these are free “un-conferences”, where event participants choose the topics, where “conversation and collaboration are paramount”. They put participation in your hands, where experienced attendees are encouraged to contribute.
Why you want to go: The educational landscape is changing, placing the NCSC firmly on the map. It gives attendees an opportunity to network with thousands of other charter school leaders and educators in well over a hundred breakout sessions and unique collaborative events, where participants can focus on general educational techniques as well as issues unique to charter schools.
8. OLC Innovate
Why you want to go: This one is interesting in its quality virtual attendance option, which makes it more accessible — that said, a major part of its focus is on online learning, so there you have it. As we said before, the landscape is changing, and knowledge of the best practices for distance learning you’ll be exposed to here can make all of the difference.
9. ASU GSV Summit
Why you want to go: Hands-on sessions are led by teacher experts in the field as well as technology hardware and software specialists meet up in Salt Lake City, UT to change the way you think about educational innovations in learning — where you’ll have access to the smartest and most influential Learning & Talent Tech minds from around the world
Why you want to go: This young conference is also one of the most innovative. Serious Play, a leadership conference that embraces the idea that games can revolutionize learning, provides a forum for visionary educators, chief learning officers and heads of training programs in health care, government/military or other fields that want to learn how to improve the effectiveness of their program with a focus on data-driven improvements. Attendees actively listen, share and participate in informal sessions revolving around the future of “serious games.” In their words: “We are all about helping teachers learn about and be a part of the future of education.”
Why you want to go: iNACOL is one of the leading events for K-12 competency-based, blended and online learning. Experts, practitioners, educators, policymakers and researchers gather and work to transform education — with more than 3,500 educators and experts exploring next generation techniques for students of every level through more than 200 sessions, tailored to their specific professional development needs.
Why you want to go: The eLearning Guild’s ed tech conference is focused on enhancing the learning experience, as are all of these — but this is really fun. Combining developers with student development, this is the place to have a conversation that is shaping the future of organizational learning and performance.
13. ExcelinEd National Summit on Education Reform
Why you want to go: The Foundation for Excellence in Education hosts this conference with an eye to education and societal reform, where nation’s sharpest education experts share insights on how to transform lives through education in this year theme, which changes each conference. This is far from limited to educators, as sessions cover high-level topics suitable for policy-makers, legislators, and public figures.
14. Digital Initiatives Symposium
Why you want to go: This affordable day-and-a-half conference at the University of San Diego features workshops and user group meetings for various digital repositories, with speakers from universities across the country focusing on the digital elements of library sciences and the evolving role of the digital repository./div>
Why you want to go: This massive conference is one of the best forums for learning professionals to learn about learning,where educators and school leaders go to learn about new tools and strategies for enhancing the educational experience. With more than 16,000 participants taking part in 1,000 sessions, this event is perfect for teachers, library specialists, administrators, and industry representatives alike.
Conferences also serve as an excellent means of networking and taking advantage of continuing education opportunities — and research shows that the single most important factor in influencing student achievement is the effectiveness of the teacher. Indeed, the quality of the teacher matters more to educational outcomes than class sizes, curriculum changes, infrastructure or any other factor.
But, another benefit is exposure to new technologies in the ever-changing educational landscape, so we factored in the presence of ed tech too. That’s all for this one, but there’s more to see here at Zippia, especially for teachers and educators.