Educators listening to speaker at edtech conference session
Outside the Classroom

10 Must-Attend EdTech Conferences in 2016

What are your professional development plans for 2016? This year promises to be an exciting one, with some of our favorite annual edtech conferences and summits coming back bigger and better than ever. And you won’t have to travel far. There are events happening all across the country.

Not only do education conferences provide great networking opportunities, they’re also among the best places to learn about new classroom innovations and best practices you can apply in your own school or district.

This year, conference-goers will have the opportunity to connect with hundreds of edtech vendors to compare education products and services; gain new skills at fun, interactive learning sessions; hear inspiring testimonies from the industry’s leading figures; and so much more!

While I’d love to share details about all of this year’s events, there isn’t enough room to list them all here, so be sure to download a copy of our 2016 EdConference Guide. You can also see our ten most anticipated edtech conferences below!

pennsylvania conference

Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference

February 21–24, 2016
Hershey, Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference (PETE&C) is a statewide event that provides quality programs focused on technology in the educational field. Each year, hundreds of exhibitors showcase their latest technology products and services to the vast audience of teachers, administrators, technology directors, school board members and more. Monday and Tuesday mornings kick off with keynote speakers that will both educate and inspire you. Throughout the three days, you can attend concurrent sessions and student showcases. There is something for everyone at PETE&C!



SXSWedu 2016 Conference and Festival

March 7–10, 2016
Austin, Texas

The SXSWedu® Conference and Festival fosters innovation in learning by hosting a diverse and energetic community of stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds in education. The four-day event affords registrants open access to engaging sessions, interactive workshops, hands-on learning experiences, film screenings, early stage startups and a host of networking opportunities. By providing a platform for collaboration, SXSWedu works to promote creativity and social change.

SXSWedu is a component of the South by Southwest® (SXSW®) family of conferences and festivals that includes SXSW Music, Film and Interactive; SXSW Eco; and SXSW V2V. Internationally recognized as the convergence gathering for the creative arts, SXSWedu extends SXSW’s support for the art of engagement beyond musicians, filmmakers, and new media innovators to include society’s true rock stars: educators!


macul conference


2016 MACUL Conference

March 9–11, 2016
Grand Rapids, Michigan

MACUL Conference featured speakers are educational technology experts from across the country. They will present sessions on best practices, tools for the classroom, and in-depth training for educators of all levels.

Recognized as one of the most comprehensive conferences on the uses of technology in education. The annual MACUL Conference draws over 5,000 educators from around the region.



CUE 2016 National Conference

March 17–19, 2016
Palm Springs, California

The CUE Conference is the largest and oldest education technology conference in California, and among the largest in the United States. For over 35 years, it has been the best value.

Many sessions and exhibits will be of special value to those involved in Title I, School Improvement Program, Data and Assessment, Future Ready, English Language Development (ELD), Special Needs, and GATE. Thousands of teachers, administrators, students and parents, and other professionals will attend the three-day conference.



CoSN 2016 Annual Conference

April 4–7, 2016
Washington, DC

Technology is constantly changing the way students learn and teachers teach. School systems are in the midst of a digital leap, moving away from the traditional into the world of e-learning. The success of this shift depends as much on the people and culture of the system as it does on the technology used. The CoSN 2016 Annual Conference will focus on the ways that school systems can change their organizational cultures, embrace a culture of digital options, and accelerate success.



Washington Education Technology Policy Summit

April 6–7, 2016
Washington, DC

SETDA, in partnership with the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) will host the Washington Education Technology Policy Summit. The summit brings together educational technology leaders and other education advocates in the nation’s Capital to gain insight into education and technology issues that are in play in Congress and at the FCC, U.S. Department of Education and the White House.

The summit agenda features bipartisan speakers who focus on policy trends under consideration in Washington and often allow time for robust dialogue with you about the impact of these policy trends on the schools and districts in your state. Special attention in the agenda is always given to the current administration initiatives. For example, at past summits there have been in-depth discussions about policies related to the ConnectED initiative and E-rate modernization, the prospects for ESEA re-authorization, and the status of other federal educational technology funding.



ISTE 2016 Conference and Expo

June 26–29, 2016
Denver, Colorado

Unbelievable things happen at the ISTE Conference and Expo. Groundbreaking ideas are shared, new learning technologies are unveiled and collaborations form that will impact classrooms everywhere. Claim your seat at the table among education’s most innovative change agents. You’ll have more than 1,000 opportunities to create the learning path that works best for you and covers what’s important to you. Want to learn by doing? Check out a BYOD. Want to ask questions of the presenters? Attend an interactive lecture. Need to get really hands on? Join others in a playground!



Building Learning Communities Education Conference 2016

July 20–22, 2016
Boston, Massachusetts

Join educators from more than twenty-five countries to share in the joy and adventure of exploring practical innovation in learning. Led by Alan November, the BLC program is selected from among the very best educators, developers, and thinkers in the world. Social events, from the reception at the loft of FableVision atop the Children’s Museum on famed Boston Harbor, to informal meet-ups, to the Boston geocaching adventure, will give you the much needed informal social time to deepen your conversations and add to your professional network. You will return home renewed, globally networked, and ready to immediately apply successful practices.



2016 iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium

October 25–28, 2016
San Antonio, Texas

iNACOL’s annual conference is the industry’s leading event for K-12 online, blended and competency-based learning. Experts, practitioners, educators, policymakers, and researchers gather and work to transform education.

Attendees will find unprecedented networking opportunities and gain access to expertise, analysis, and trends in online, blended and competency education. Through thought-provoking sessions and information sharing, these leaders shape the future of education. The symposium includes more than 200 sessions, each with a specific track to guide attendees to choose the right sessions.



TIES 2016 Education Technology Conference

December 12–13, 2016
Location TBA

The TIES Education Technology Conference has been a leading conference in the Midwest for over thirty years. This is a premiere national professional development opportunity for all educators.

Over 3,000 teachers, technology coordinators, school and district administrators, technology experts, and exhibitors join the TIES experience to collaboratively learn and network.


There are a lot more events happening in 2016! Download our 2016 EdConference Guide to see more education and edtech conferences happening this year.

About the Author


Debbie Malone

Debbie is an Arizona native and longtime resident of the Phoenix area. She has always had a passion for telling a good story and decided to study journalism and mass communication at Arizona State University where she earned her BA in 2009. Following graduation, she spent four years working as a web content writer before joining the Edgenuity family in 2014. Debbie is proud to be able to share the story of her time at Edgenuity and the company's efforts to propel students everywhere toward academic success and achievement. In addition to writing (both professionally and for fun), Debbie also enjoys reading, gaming, archery, and avoiding sunlight.