Four can’t miss EdTech conferences (and one unconference) for K-12 educators

July 20, 2015

It’s not easy for K-12 educators to stay on top of emerging trends in educational technology.

Even if you are aware of new programs and apps that could potentially enhance the learning environment, you might run into barriers such as funding for equipment and training. Conferences are a great way for teachers and administrators not only to see what’s new in EdTech, but also to learn how to break down barriers to implementation.

Here are a few key events in the EdTech space that you should check out.


The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is a leading nonprofit organization that connects educators and education leaders with transformational, leading edge technologies. In its third decade, the four-day ISTE Conference & Expo brings together nearly 18,000 attendees and industry representatives for a massive EdTech idea exchange. The event is geared toward teachers, teacher educators, policy makers, administrators, and anyone else who may be interested in the EdTech sector.

Virtual attendance is possible through ISTE Live, which includes live streaming of keynotes, peer moderated chat sessions, and recorded archives. As an extra bonus, the conference often provides a downloadable presentation for teachers to use to make the case for conference participation funding.

Why Attend:

  • Stimulating and highly relevant professional learning opportunities.
  • Powerful keynote addresses from leaders and experts in the field of EdTech.
  • The opportunity to meet and network with experienced professionals in the field.
  • Access to the latest EdTech products and services.
  • Unlimited networking opportunities with over 18,000 professionals in the field of education.

2. SXSWedu

SXSWedu is part of the South by Southwest family of conferences and festivals. The four-day event provides a platform to encourage creativity and social change in the field of EdTech. You can expect compelling sessions and collaborative workshops for education professionals, industry leaders, and policy practitioners who are committed to innovation in teaching and learning.

Why Attend:

  • Thought provoking keynote and featured sessions.
  • Events ranging from panel discussions to workshops and conversations.
  • An interactive playground for hands-on learning.
  • An education startup event showcasing some of the most innovative early-stage companies.
  • Socials, parties, lounges, meet ups, and mixers.

3. Google Summits

Google for Education Summits are one- to two-day events primarily focused on practical uses of Google Apps for Education. Designed for school leaders, teachers, and IT professionals, the summits provide leveled training that can be immediately applied to the classroom. Workshops on other Google products, such as Google Earth, YouTube for Schools, and Google Search, are also available.

Why Attend:

  • Hands-on workshops teaching skills and tools that can be used in the classroom.
  • Beginner, intermediate, and advanced sessions on the core Google Apps for Education.
  • The option to explore all Google products and learn how to best utilize them.
  • Networking with and access to Google-certified educators and other leaders in education.

4. Edcamp

Established in 2010, the Edcamp unconference series is a grassroots, worldwide platform for educators to gather, share resources, and generate ideas for high-quality teaching and education. Edcamp provides professional development opportunities for educators through collaborative workshops, discussion of EdTech tools, and much more. Events are hosted all across the globe and are always unique and based on the needs of the attendees.

Why Attend:            

  • All Edcamp unconferences are free to attend.
  • There are no vendors and no sales pitches.
  • All attendees are eligible to present ideas.
  • Free thinking is encouraged and the agenda is decided on the day of the event.
  • In-person educational experiences are shared via the Web to encourage wider collaboration.

Learn how to organize your own Edcamp.

Searching for more ways to take your EdTech skills and knowledge to the next level? Learn more about Capella University’s Master of Education Innovation and Technology.

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