31 Can’t-Miss Education Conferences in 2020

Updated March 16, 2020

Our team spends a lot of time traveling to conferences around the country to learn with and 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 can’t-miss education conferences for your 2020 planning:


January 14-17, 2020; Miami, FL

FETC is the largest national independent edtech conference discussing tech trends, strategies, and best practices for student and school success. 2020 marks the 40th 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 22-25, 2020; London, England

With almost 35,000 attendees from 130 countries, representing countless companies, edtech start-ups and 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. BETT’s 36th annual conference will focus on six themes: innovation, wellbeing, empowering teaching & learning, inclusion, social mobility and SEND, future tech, and trends and skills.

3. LearnLaunch Across Boundaries

January 30-31, 2020; Boston, MA

In its 8th 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 3-7, 2020; Austin, TX

Spanning five 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 event will feature nationally-recognized experts with topics catering to every educator.

5. National ESEA Conference for the National Association of ESEA State Program Administrators (NAESPA)

February 4-7, 2020; Atlanta, GA

This year’s National ESEA Conference hones in on equity through over 100 different sessions on topics such as policy, leadership, and instruction. This two-day conference features a varied panel of education experts, authors of education materials, US Department of Education staff, and much more.

6. Habla Teacher Institute

February 21-23, 2020; Merida, Mexico

This year at the Winter Institute, join an experienced group of passionate international language teachers focused on community building, student-centered teaching, and arts integration. This year’s gathering, “Words in Motion,” will offer transferable, implementable, and engaging activities and best practices for reimagining the language classroom.

7. Digital Learning Annual Conference

February 24-26, 2020; Austin, TX

This is the second year for the Digital Learning Annual Conference (DLAC) and it’s sure to be worth attending. The three-day conference will not only explore online learning, digital learning, and the use of technology in education, but will be focused on the exploration of where attendees are relative to their educational goals, and how digital learning can be used to reach the next level.

8. Green Schools Conference

March 2-4, 2020; Chicago, IL

The Green Schools Conference & Expo is the only national event to bring together people who lead, operate, build, and teach in green U.S. schools. Through their 7 sustainability objectives, The GSCE is focused on minimizing negative environmental impact while being driven by a desire to improve the future for all children.


March 9-12, 2020; Austin, TX
This event has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

The tenth annual, internationally recognized SXSW EDU will include 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 recap of SXSW EDU 2019.

10. ASCD

March 13-16, 2020; Los Angeles, CA
This event has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Next year’s theme for this professional learning experience is “Empower20.” LeVar Burton, Kimberley Bryant, and Henry Winkler 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.

11. CoSN

March 16-18, 2020; Washington, DC

CoSN is the conference to attend if you’re a district tech director or leader. The 2020 event will be themed around “Breakthrough Mindsets.” There are plenty of opportunities to network, share ideas, and maximize professional development at breakout sessions, workshops, and pre- and post-conference events.

12. CUE Conference

March 19 – April 5, 2020; Palm Springs, CA
This event has been made virtual due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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.

13. School Redesign in Action 2020

March 23-24, 2020; Norwood, MA
This event has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

This years theme for the 11th annual SRIA conference will be “Equity in our Classrooms, Schools, and Communities.” The conference will be a gathering of success stories, best practices, and lessons learned from educators and other learning stakeholders on creating a culture of equity for all.

14. Deeper Learning Conference

March 25-27th, 2020; San Diego, CA
This event has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

DL2020 is the 8th annual gathering of educators and leaders focused on creating more opportunities for students to learn deeply. Attend this conference to experience deeper learning hands-on through interactive workshops, maker spaces, and deep dives. Here’s a recap from our time at the DL2018.

15. Personalization 2020

April 2-4, 2020; Providence, RI
This event has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Formerly the Blended & Personalized Learning Conference, Personalization 2020 reflects a new emphasis on relationships, culturally responsive instruction, and 21st century skills to develop self-directed students capable of tackling rigorous work. Hosted by Highlander Institute, this practitioner’s conference convenes innovative teachers, coaches, school leaders and district administrators from around the country to lead sessions on high-impact strategies, lessons learned, and new directions. School and community site visits are particularly valuable conference features. At the 2019 conference, there was attendance from 35 states and four countries, making it the most diverse one yet.

16. Boost Conference

April 28-May 1, 2020; Palm Springs, CA
This event has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Join the largest, most recognized and comprehensive global convening for after school, expanded learning, and out-of-school time professionals. Set in a retreat-like atmosphere, this annual, extraordinary event will rejuvenate your passion, boost your direction for quality programming, and provide tools and resources that will inspire you to create change.

17. NewSchools Summit

May 6-7, 2020; Oakland, CA
This event has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Next year’s event will be the 20th year for this annual, invitation-only gathering hosted by New Schools Venture Fund which brings together more than 1,300 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.

18. Personalized Learning Summit

May 13-15, 2020; Austin, TX

In its 6th annual summit, Education Elements is bringing together 750 innovative district leaders. Participants can expect engaging and dynamic sessions, as well as professional development and networking opportunities. Here’s a look back at the 2019 summit.

19. Horizons

June 9-10, 2020; New Orleans, LA

Horizons is a bi-annual conference that brings together trailblazers from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors to shape workforce and education transformation. With a focus on lasting change, the future of work and equity, Horizons is a conference with a finger on the pulse on the most important problems of our time. Here, you will be able to network with Fortune 500 companies, foundations, policymakers, leading educators, and game-changing entrepreneurs who dream big for a better tomorrow.

20. PBL World

June 16-18, 2020; Napa Valley, CA
This event has been made virtual due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In its ninth year, 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.

21. National Charter Schools Conference

June 21-June 24, 2020; Orlando, FL

NCSC is the best learning and networking event for school educators, leaders, and advocates. At the 2019 event, attendees had an opportunity to connect with over 5,000 others in over 130 breakout sessions, 10 charter talks, two networking lounges, and three general sessions. Participants walk away with an incredible learning experience and opportunity to share ideas and strategies for growing and improving charter schools. Registration opens in December!

22. ISTE

June 28-July 1, 2020; Anaheim, CA

As the “epicenter of edtech,” ISTE Is where educators and school leaders go to learn about new tools and strategies. With over 1,900 sessions this event boasts endless learning opportunities perfect for industry reps, teachers, tech coordinators/directors, administrators, library media specialists, and policymakers.

23. Big Bang

July 20-23, 2020; Hollywood, Florida

Hosted by Big Picture Learning, this conference is for school leaders and educators looking to discover strategies and best practices for advancing student-centered learning, student voice, learning from the community, equity, and activism. Big Bang has grown to over 600 attendees from around the world and perhaps our favorite part is that most of the panels are led or include students from the Big Picture network. This is one you will not want to miss in 2020!

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

24. OLC Innovate

July 21-24, 2020; Chicago, IL
This event has been rescheduled and made virtual due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Hosted by the Online Learning Consortium and Merlot, OLC Innovate’s theme for 2020 is “Education Reimagined.” Attendees will challenge their teaching and learning paradigms, reimagine learner experience, and ideate on how disruptions in education today can shape the innovative classroom of tomorrow through a ‘Now’, ‘New’, ‘Next’ framework.

25. Distance Teaching & Learning Conference

August 4-6, 2020; Madison, WI

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.

26. ASU+GSV Summit

September 29 – October 1, 2020; San Diego, CA

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 1,000 of the best and brightest in business, entrepreneurship, higher ed, and education innovation. Here is our recap of the 2018 summit.

27. CloseIt Summit

October 12-14, 2020; Santa Fe, NM

This three-day summit is a highly recognized gathering of education entrepreneurs and thought leaders in policy, HR, tech, and foundations. Renowned for the awesome networking opportunities and future forward approach, it’s a great one to add to the list toward the end of the year!

28. 2020 Aurora Institute Symposium (formerly iNACOL)

October 25-28, 2020; San Antonio, TX

The annual conference held by Aurora Institute is the 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. Here are 10 reasons to attend.

29. SETDA Leadership Summit & Education Forum

November 16-28, 2020; Arlington, VA

SETDA looks ahead to its 20th 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.

30. ExcelinEd’s EdPalooza

December 1-3, 2020; Virtual

For more than a decade, ExcelinEd has been a part of the movement across America to transform education. With the massive challenges created by the global pandemic—and renewed resolve to address educational equity—this year sounds an urgent call to action on behalf of students and their future. EdPalooza will ignite ideas, inform decision making and inspire change. This virtual gathering is designed to bring together everyone who believes that now is the time to retool education—and wants to get it right.

31. OEB 2020

December 2-4, 2020; Berlin, Germany

OEB is a global, cross-sector conference on tech-supported learning and training held in Berlin. The 2019 OEB conference focused on “incorporating learning technologies,” and giving insights on opportunities and challenges that are changing the world of learning. 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.


Getting Smart offers a variety of interactive conference services including strategic advising, podcasting, media coverage and social media amplification. To learn more, email [email protected] and place “conference media” in the subject line.

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Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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1 Comment

Ruben L. Williams

Such conferences are a great opportunity for improvement and progress. It has always been vital for me to show outstanding performance. And it does not mean that I’m the best out of the besties. It is just something I personally strive for since middle school. I like it when things are going well in different aspects of my life. For instance, when I wanted to enhance my writing skills, I found a writing service called PapersOwl — it is an education platform with professional writers who can help with your home assignments. Having some examples of first-class writing pieces, I can learn more about online writing and text mechanics.
Speed reading became my new obsession. I decided to improve my reading skills within a month. Luckily for me, it is easy to find lots of related material with hints and techniques on the Internet. When I discovered a speed reading, I found out that my attention sharpened considerably. Now, it is easier for me to concentrate on the most critical parts of the text. As a result, I can focus on any task now, whether reading a novel or solving a math problem. Importantly, my tutors also notice my progress.
Everyone will be surprised to find out that speed reading allows you to level up problem-solving skills. One of the things I practiced was to make connections within the text and analyze it faster. Several years ago, I had a horrible habit of distracting myself from the text: I started to think about anything but the words in front of me. It was very annoying as I had to reread the entire page. A speed reading helps to grasp all the essential facts, numbers, etc., and go on reading. Thus, I trained my brain to process data faster: it reminds me of doing a puzzle, where I seek each jigsaw to put it in the right place. It is thanks to this that I have progressed very steeply and now such conferences have become available to me as well.

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