2014 Education Conferences: Where To Go and Whom To Follow
The Benefits of Education Conferences
Education conferences give teachers the ability to hone their skills, recharge and discuss topics that may be taboo during regular staff meetings. Even if you cannot attend in person, following the speakers or leaders of the conference can spark new ideas and provide teacher-to-teacher discussion year round. In a recent #edchat, teachers highlighted the invaluable benefits of an engaging education conference, but they also admitted how difficult it was to find and attend a conference in person. Here are our tips on what to do before and after the conference, and a list of education conferences and conference alternatives you won’t want to miss!
What To Do Before the Conference
Before signing up for a conference, be sure to do your research to make sure that it is the right conference for you.
- Once registered, make the most of your time at the conference by planning ahead. Scan the program and pick out the sessions/speakers you don’t want to miss.
- Find other teachers going to the same conference, and make a plan of action to connect at the conference — coffee chats? Lunch? Happy hour?
- Make sure your assets are in order: Do you have your business cards? Twitter handle? Do you know conference #s and @s?
- Set a few simple goals for yourself by answering this question: What do I want to get out of this conference?
- Most importantly, be open — stepping outside your comfort zone is the only way true learning will occur.
What To Do After the Conference
Staying in touch after the conference is a great way to increase your network and provide mutual support for teachers across the country. After a conference, follow up with the people you met. These ongoing conversations and collaborations will reap the greatest rewards.
Education Conferences in 2014 (April–November)
This year will feature a variety of great education conferences in the United States, around the world and online. Here’s a look at some of this year’s not-to-be-missed conference opportunities.
|US News STEM Solutions||Focused on developing strategies in STEM education.||Washington, D.C.||4/23-4/25||$450–$895||@STEMsolutions #STEMSolve|
|NSTA 2014 STEM Forum||For K–12 teachers interested in STEM education.||New Orleans, LA||5/14-5/17||$175–$305||@NSTA @riceSTEMscopes|
|T3 Summer Institutes||For math teachers interested in integrating Texas Instruments technology in their Common Core curriculum.||Various locations||early May-late August||$125–$350||@TICalculators|
|infoCOMM2014||For educators and professionals interested in the latest technology.||Las Vegas, NV||6/14-6/20||Free-$1,999||@InfoCommShow|
|UBTech Conference||For higher education leaders and technology professionals.||Las Vegas, NV||6/16-6/18||$450–$550||@ubconference @EnableTech|
|2014 ASCD Conference on Teaching Excellence||For K–12 teachers with a focus on teaching excellence.||Dallas, TX||6/27-6/29||$429-$493||@ASCD @cat3y|
|ISTE Conference 2014||For K–12 educators interested in infusing technology into instruction & increasing student engagement.||Atlanta, GA||6/28-7/1||$199-$448||@isteconnects @AshleyJudd|
|National Charter Schools Conference||For anyone who works in or supports charter schools.||Las Vegas, NV||6/29-7/2||$250-$750||@charteralliance @khanacademy|
|RSCON5 Reform Symposium Free Online Conference||Held in Blackboard conference rooms for all educators & covers technology in the classroom.||Online||7/11-7/13||Free||@RSCON5 @learnrevproject @web20classroom|
|CSTA Annual Conference||PD for K–12 computer science & information technology teachers who need practical, relevant info.||St. Charles, IL||7/14-7/15||$75-$100||#CSTA14|
|BbWorld||For educators that currently use, or are interested in using, Blackboard.||Las Vegas, NV||7/15-7/17||$175–$1,050||@Blackboard|
|Building Learning Communities Education Conference||For all educators focusing on innovative teaching practices.||Boston, MA||7/16-7/18||$595-$795||@NLearning @MichaelFullan1 @alasmedia|
|EDUCAUSE||For higher education IT professionals interested in today’s toughest technology.||Orlando, FL + online||9/29 – 10/2||$75-$1050||#EDU14|
|Bring It Together||For K–12 educators interested in learning about best practices and technology.||Niagara Falls, Canada||11/5-11/7||$125-$375||@BIT2014 @rmbyrne|
|Annual Conference for Middle Level Education||For educators working with students in grades 5–9.||Nashville, TN||11/6-11/8||$129–$549||@AMLE|
|Global Education Conference||Celebrates diversity and shares best teaching practices.||Online||11/17-11/22||Free||@globaledcon|
|NCTE||For educators in English Studies, Literacy and Language Arts||Washington, DC||11/20-11/23||$100-$275||@ncte|
Education Conference Alternatives
There are two ongoing education conference alternatives: #Edchat and Edcamp.
#Edchat happens on Twitter every Tuesday at noon and 7 p.m. EST. Teachers vote on the topics, and anyone can participate using the hashtag #edchat. These weekly discussions are free to attend and easy to follow. Each discussion introduces a new topic or issue that is relevant to the education community. We’re on #edchat at @USCTeacher on Tuesdays at noon. If you are relatively new to Twitter, check out USC Rossier Online’s information on Twitter for Teachers to learn how to get started!
Edcamp is an (un)conference created for teachers by teachers, where educators meet up to share ideas. The conferences are always free, and they are completely planned by the participants themselves. They take place around the world, and you can even create your own. Here is the list of upcoming Edcamps, and you can follow on Twitter @EdcampUSA.
Share Your Experience
Have you attended any of these education conferences in the past? Is there a conference you love that isn’t on the list? Do you participate in #edchat or Edcamps? Share your experiences and suggestions in the comments section below!