Education and technology are forever changing, and this means edtech conferences need to change with the times as well. Many conferences are coming up with innovative ideas to give attendees the opportunity to get more out of their time at the conference, and leave feeling that they had a great experience instead of a typical conference experience. But how does one conference stand out from the rest? Why should you attend one over the other? We’ve figured that out for you, and identified the top 10 edtech conferences in 2019, each of which offers something unique for attendees.
January 27–30, Orlando, FL
The National Future of Education Technology Conference (FetC) is taking place for the 39th time this year. Once again, FetC is focusing on the needs of the ever-growing technology-driven education community. FetC is jam-packed with four days of collaboration between those who share a passion for the transformation of technology in the classroom, as well as innovation, learning, and networking in a large expo hall. This conference has broken down their program into five tracks: Future of Ed Tech Administrators, Educators, Early Learning, and Inclusion & Special Education, and they even offer a track for Information Technology. FetC wants to provide more focus than ever before on leadership and IT content, which makes it one of the few conferences to offer sessions and workshops solely designed for CTOs, CIOS, IT directors, CAOs, and superintendents.
TASA Midwinter Conference
January 27–30, Austin, TX
The TASA Midwinter Conference is one of the most popular conferences of the year, and is acclaimed by Texas educators. It offers a time for educational leaders to come together to network, share ideas and practices, address administrator issues, and gain useful tips for their own schools or classrooms. This year’s tagline is “Inspiring Leaders,” and TASA hopes not only to inspire attendees, but to also remind them of their commitment to leadership development and responsibility to inspire others and prepare students for the future. This conference plans to do this by offering unique opportunities such as the Budget Boot Camp and the Aspiring Superintendents Academy for anyone seeking to become a superintendent, as well as preconference sessions led by industry experts.
AASA 2019 National Conference on Education
February 14–16, Los Angeles, CA
“Effective Leadership Creates Success” is the theme of this year’s AASA National Conference. This superintendents’ conference gives attendees the rare opportunity to learn and connect with like-minded individuals to build relationships and support with others in the same field of work. This conference has also amped up its expo hall this year. Attendees will be able to make appointments in advance with the exhibitors they want designated one-on-one time with. The expo hall will also feature the AASA School of the Future, Social Media Zone, and Knowledge Exchange Theater, all of which are unique to this event.
SXSW EDU Conference & Festival
March 4–7, Austin, TX
In March, Austin will host the ninth annual SXSW EDU Conference & Festival. South by Southwest is internationally recognized as the “converging gathering for creative professionals,” and its organizers believe that educators are society’s true rock stars, which is reflected in the planning and tone of the event. Anyone who has attended SXSW knows it’s not a traditional conference. This four-day event features sessions, workshops, exhibitions, and networking, as well as film screenings, start-up events, policy discussions, and competitions. Exclusive to this conference are three different competitions to help ignite emerging innovations: a pitch competition from early-stage start-ups, groundbreaking ideas presented through physical learning environments, and business pitches from enterprising high school students.
Spring CUE 2019 Conference
March 14–16, Palm Springs, CA
Once again, Spring CUE promises to be the go-to event for educational innovation. CUE will feature dozens of workshops, hundreds of sessions, and multiple networking opportunities. But the biggest feature of all is the opening keynote session on Thursday. For the first time ever, there will be a keynote duet. John Eick will moderate while Alice Chen and Martin Cisneros go head-to-head to try and out-ideate each other on a single educational subject. Alice and Martin will each have a timed slide to present, and will get the chance to improve upon each other’s idea. Another big headliner will be Eric Thomas, speaking at the Saturday keynote.
March 16–18, Chicago, IL
ASCD Empower19 presents attendees with the opportunity to meet challenges, elevate their schools, and secure their students’ futures. This year’s theme is Synthesize, and in order to prepare students and deliver innovative instruction, ASCD has put together an agenda that’s forward-focused, targeted, and personalized to each individual’s learning needs. Attendees are empowered to create their own personalized learning experience through revolutionary general sessions, featured session speakers who will introduce what’s new in education, learning sessions where they will explore practical solutions, and collaboration at the Reflection Pool.
Blended & Personalized Learning Conference
April 4–6, Providence, RI
The Blended & Personalized Learning Conference (BPLC) will once again take place in Providence, Rhode Island. Unlike many other conferences, BPLC gives attendees the chance to discuss and solely focus on blended learning as it currently exists in both the day-to-day implementation in classroom and the systems and strategies that support schools and districts. This conference offers many exciting and diverse opportunities to attendees, such as the EdTechRI Pitchfest (which gives edtech start-ups the chance to compete for a spot in Saturday’s “Shark Tank”), school site visits, sessions lead by student questions, and actual curriculum implementation.
ISTE19 Conference & Expo
June 23–26, Philadelphia, PA
The ISTE Conference & Expo is globally recognized as the most comprehensive educational technology conference in the world. This year, it’s estimated that over 16,000 attendees will be joining together at ISTE. This conference offers world-class keynote speakers, numerous session types, and an enormous expo hall. With more than 1,000 opportunities for attendees to personalize their learning path, everyone is sure to get the most out of their conference experience at ISTE.
2019 EdSurge FUSION Conference
October 2–4, San Francisco, CA
EdSurge FUSION will be taking place in the Golden City of San Francisco. FUSION is designed to be more intimate and selective than most other edtech conferences. An application or nomination is required to attend to ensure everyone gets the most out of their experience. The FUSION Experience is designed to be more manageable and not feel as large or as crowded as other conferences, and speakers and workshops are hand selected, which eliminates the need for things such as calls for proposals.
October 28–31, Palm Springs, CA
The iNACOL Symposium is the industry’s top event for shaping the future of K–12 education. This conference focuses on personalized and competency-based learning, giving attendees the opportunity to network and gain access to expertise and information for transforming the future of education. They offer more than 200 sessions, each designated to a specific track to help guide attendees toward sessions that fit their personal learning needs. Instead of a traditional expo hall, the Symposium features an innovation corner designated for a select few sponsors.