Our team spends a lot of time traveling to conferences around the country to learn from experts, facilitate sessions and cover various conference happenings. Throughout our travels, we continue to curate and update a list of our favorites that we think everyone should attend.

Here is the latest list of 27 can’t-miss education conferences in 2018:

1. iNACOL Blended & Online Learning Symposium 

iNACOL’s annual conference is a leading event for K-12 competency-based, blended and online learning. With over 200 sessions, it brings together over 3,500 experts, EdLeaders and educators to explore next-gen learning for K-12 students. Check out our Storify capturing the 2016 theme of Innovation for Equity. Check out our podcast of some EdLeader voices from this year’s event.

October 21-24, 2018; Nashville, TN

2. SXSWEdu 

The eighth annual, internationally recognized SXSW EDU will be four days of sessions, workshops, learning experiences, mentorship, film screenings, policy discussions and so much more all aimed at impacting the future of teaching and learning. The event hosts over 16,000 attendees, 1,200 speakers, 500 sessions and 200 expos and continues to stand out as a true thought leadership summit. Check out our look back at SXSWEdu 2017.

March 5-8, 2018; Austin, TX

3. ASU+GSV Summit

This annual conference is the “only conference during the year where you’ll have access to the smartest and most influential Learning & Talent Tech minds from around the world.” The three-day event hosts over 300 of the best and brightest in business, entrepreneurship, higher education and education innovation Check out what it meant for educators and 20 high impact EdTech enterprises, which we saw in our time at ASU+GSV in 2015.

April 16-18, 2018; San Diego, CA

4. BETT

With almost 35,000 attendees from 130 countries, representing 850 leading companies and 103 edtech start-ups, and thousands of exhibitors demonstrating the latest in EdTech, BETT is the world’s largest EdTech conference. Taking place in London, BETT believes in creating a better future by transforming education. This conference is premium, inclusive and game-changing. Here are opening day highlights from BETT 2017.

January 24-27, 2018; Excel London

5. NewSchools Summit

Next year’s event will be the 19th year for this annual, invitation-only gathering hosted by New Schools Venture Fund which brings together more than 1,000 entrepreneurs, educators, community leaders, funders and policymakers to share ideas on reimagining schools to prepare all students, from every background, for the future. We’re eager to see what next year has to bring.

May 8-9, 2018; Burlingame, CA

6. National Charter Schools Conference

NCSC is the best learning and networking event for school educators, leaders and advocates. At the 2017 event, attendees had an opportunity to connect with over 4,700 others in over 100 breakout sessions, 17 meet-ups, eight charter talks and five networking lounges. Participants walk away with an incredible learning experience and opportunity to share ideas and strategies for growing and improving charter schools. See the 2017 highlights to learn more. Registration opens on November 8th!

June 17-20, 2018; Austin, TX

7. ASCD

Next year’s theme for the 73nd annual professional learning experience is “Empower18.” Jill Biden, Colin Powell, and Manny Scott (freedom writer) will be amongst the session speakers. This conference is “for every educator,” aiming to gather the best minds in educational leadership including teachers, principals, superintendents, instructional coaches, university professors and central office staffers and delivering a revolution in education.

March 24-26, 2018; Boston, MA

8. ISTE

As the “epicenter of edtech,” ISTE Is where educators and school leaders go to learn about new tools and strategies. With over 550 companies, 1,000 sessions and 16,000 educators attending, this event boasts endless learning opportunities perfect for industry reps, teachers, tech coordinators/directors, administrators, library media specialists and policy makers. Check out our recap of some of the new and innovative edtech products announced at ISTE 2017.

June 24-27, 2018; Chicago, IL

9. CoSN

CoSN is the conference to attend if you’re a district tech director or leader. The 2018 event will be themed around the 4th Industrial Revolution and its Impact on Learning and will focus on the ways that school systems can change their organizational culture, embrace a culture of digital options and accelerate success. Sessions will cover three focus areas of ubiquity and access, vision and leadership and pioneering innovation. There are plenty of opportunities to network, share ideas and maximize professional development at breakout sessions, workshops and pre- and post-conference events.

March 12-15, 2018; Washington, D.C.

10. SETDA Leadership Summit & Education Forum

With the 2017 event wrapped up, SETDA looks ahead to its 17th year. As one of the most important convenings for state EdTech officials, SETDA brings together leaders from over 40 state departments of education to join leaders in EdTech, assessment, instructional materials and professional development to collaborate and engage in in-depth dialogue. Take a look back at the event archives.

November 4-7, 2018; Arlington, VA

11. BbWorld

2000+ thought leaders, educators and other great minds from around the world join to “exchange ideas, share best practices and address today’s toughest educational challenges.” Next year’s Orlando event will host over 200 valuable sessions, 50 technology partners and access to Blackboard resources, offering participants a chance to walk away with tools to foster success at their institutions.

July 16-19, 2018; Orlando, FL

12. PBL World

PBL World is the premier project-based learning conference, bringing together dedicated teachers, instructional coaches and school and district leaders who want to connect and learn more about PBL. Rather than a conference with short sessions by various presenters, this event is an institute where participants go through a continuous multi-day experience. The conference, hosted by Buck Institute for Education’s (BIE), stands by the belief that PBL transforms students and PBL World transforms educators. Check out our reflections from this year’s PBL World.

Date: TBD; Napa Valley, CA

13. Deeper Learning Conference

DL2018 is the 6th annual gathering of powerful educators focused on creating more opportunities for students to learn deeply. Attend this conference to experience deeper learning hands-on through interactive workshops, makerspace and deep dives. You can listen in to our podcast coverage from 2016’s amazing Deeper Learning conference here and a series of videos from the conference with a focus on equity and deeper learning.

March 28-30, 2018; San Diego, CA

14. New Tech Network Conference

NTAC 2017 was themed Making It Relevant—Connecting School, Opportunity and Equity, with the guiding belief that through the creative use of technology, collaborative project designs and empowering student voice, students can achieve academic and social development success. NTAC gives principals, teachers, and staff the opportunity to sharpen skills, share best practices and network with like-minded professionals from around the country.

July 12-16, 2018; St. Louis, MO

15. ExcelinEd National Summit on Education Reform

This year Governor Jeb Bush and the Foundation for Excellence in Education will host the 10th annual conference. The best and brightest policymakers, education leaders and advocates from around the nation will meet for the premier gather of education reformers to share information on evolving laws, new trends, successful policies and the latest innovations transforming education in the 21st century. Last year’s event was attended by over 1,000 education leaders from 47 states. Here’s a video archive from last year’s summit.

December 5-7, 2018; Washington, DC

16. FETC

FETC is the largest national independent EdTech conference discussing tech trends, strategies and best practices for student and school success. 2018 marks the 38th annual event focusing on the Future of Education Technology and gathering a group of dynamic and creative education professionals from around the world for an intensive and highly collaborative event exploring new technologies, best practices and pressing issues.

January 23-26, 2018; Orlando, FL

17. TCEA

Spanning 5 days with over 8,000 attendees, 1,000 sessions and workshops, and 450 exhibiting companies, TCEA is the largest state convention and exposition in the US. This year’s 38th annual event feature nationally-recognized experts with topics catering to every educator.

February 5-9, 2018; Austin, TX

18. CUE Conference

CUE is the largest and oldest EdTech conference in California and is targeted towards educators and EdLeaders looking to advance student achievement by using technology in the classroom. The conference has been a go-to event for educational innovation for almost 40 years and provides a best-value, three-day experience for over 6,000 educators.

March 14-17, 2018; Palm Springs, CA

19. Personalized Learning Summit

In its 4th annual summit, Education Elements is bringing together 750 innovative district leaders. In 2018, Education Elements is reevaluating what workshops at a conference can look like. Participants can expect engaging and dynamic sessions, professional development and networking opportunities, and even tours of some of the most innovative companies in the Bay Area. Here’s a look back at the 2017 summit.

May 2-4, 2018; San Francisco, CA

20. Blended and Personalized Learning Conference

Educators, leaders and innovators can enjoy this three day conference because it gives them an opportunity to discuss blended and personalized learning as it exists today in their schools and classrooms. At the 2018 conference, the Highlander Institute, the Christensen Institute and the Learning Accelerator will be showcasing the best classroom, school and district implementers from across the country.

April 5-7, 2018; Providence, RI

21. Serious Play

This will be the 6th year for Serious Play, a leadership conference that embraces the idea that games can revolutionize learning. Speakers from around the world share tips on how to move game-based education forward and their experience creating or using game-based learning. Attendees actively listen, share and participate in critical conversations about game design requirements.

July 10-12, 2018; Manassas, VA

22. Distance Teaching & Learning Conference

This conference attracts a broad range of professionals in distance education and online learning. In over 30 years, the conference has grown to over 800 participants and 130 sessions. Attendees can expect to connect with online learning leaders from across the nation and around the world and discover innovative ways to teach and support online learners, as well as best strategies, practices and solutions. We are staying tuned for more information on next year’s event.

August 7-9, 2018; Madison, WI

23. Annual Conference for Middle Level Education

A valuable and comprehensive PD conference for educators and administrators working with middle school students. AMLE features over 300 sessions in 60 topic areas with hands-on and meet-and-greet opportunities. Because AMLE knows everybody learns differently, the conference caters to the needs of every educator with a multifaceted approach—various session types and styles, opportunities for one-on-one discussions with the leaders, explanations and explorations of technology, and networking—for a most valuable and comprehensive professional development event.

2018 Date: TBD; Orlando, FL

24. Learning Solutions Conference & Expo

Learn about technologies that are changing the world of training and development and enhancing learning experiences. In 2018, the conference is expanding to focus on instructional design, delivering a world-wide view, and bringing real industry perspectives with more than 100 engaging sessions for training and learning professionals to connect with peers, develop practical skills, and gain knowledge to create effective learning experiences.

March 27-29, 2018; Orlando, FL

25. OEB 2017

OEB is a global, cross-sector conference on tech-supported learning and training held in Berlin. In the upcoming 2017 conference, OEB is focused on “Learning Uncertainty,” and how we can learn to live with, accept, manage and thrive on the defining characteristic of our age. Attendees can expect to learn from over 2,300 participants from over 100 countries in over 100 hands-on workshops, plenaries, interactive breakout sessions, debates, labs and demos.

2018 Date: TBD; Berlin, Germany

26. Advancing Improvement in Education (AIE)

This two day conference intends to inspire growth and reignite passion for increasing student outcomes. The mission: to connect leaders and inspire accountability, innovation and possibility for school improvement through partnerships and research-based best practices.

November 13-14, 2018; San Antonio, TX

27. LearnLaunch Across Boundaries

Now in its 6th year, the Across Boundaries conference hosted by the LearnLaunch institute brings together the edtech community – educators, administrators, entrepreneurs, investors, education companies and tech innovators – to drive innovation, transform learning and increase achievement using digital technologies. The conference has grown to over 1,200 participants from 33 states and an agenda full of engaging keynotes and informative breakout sessions.

February 1-2, 2018; Boston, MA

Did we miss one of your favorites? Tweet us at @Getting_Smart so we can check it out!


Getting Smart offers a variety of interactive conference services including podcasting, media coverage and social media amplifications. For more, check out Getting Smart Solutions. To learn more, email [email protected] and place “conference media” in the title. We’d love to help you create high levels of engagement at your conference and extend the learning opportunities for attendees after the conference is over. Want to learn more? Contact [email protected].

1 COMMENT

  1. EdRev in San Francisco- April each year
    Nueva Innovative Learning Conference, Hillsborough, CA – held October of odd-numbered years
    Learning and the Brain, Boston and SF

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