HOT TOPIC: 2007 Top Summer Conferences
Volume 3, Issue 29 - April 8, 2007

"When educators think of summer, they think of vacation, beaches, new destinations, time with family and friends, and the opportunity to rest and renew. All worthy pursuits after a well-taught school year! Still over the years it has become apparent to me that summer is also the best time to take advantage of the kinds of professional development opportunities that can transform my professional practice. Rest. Renew. Transform.

The best and most diverse offerings occur in the summer. Yes there are big events held by nationally respected organizations throughout the school year, and many of them offer outstanding learning experiences and changes to network. But during the school year it’s much more difficult to get away from work responsibilities and the weather isn’t always cooperative!

Seriously, the best conferences occur every summer. Consider Alan November’s Building Learning Communities conference in Boston. It showcases the future of education with attendees from around the nation and the world. The inclusion of new technologies makes it that much more fascinating; I walk away every year totally exhausted and full of ideas! Then there’s NECC, the biggest ed tech event of the year. Not only are the biggest names in educational technology in attendance, the exhibit hall is so huge you can spend entire days just navigating its maze of aisles! Then there’s Willard Daggett’s Model School’s Conference held this year in our nation’s capital. It’s the most popular event of the summer and it targets education reform for K-12 educators. Everyone should attend at least once!

Beyond this, of course, there are a number of other great offerings to be held at wonderful venues that allow you to both sharpen your professional practice and vacation while you’re visiting: the ASCD’s Summer Conference on Differentiating Instruction in Salt Lake City, the Character Education Conference in St. Louis and the Association of Small Computer Users in Education in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

This week’s D12 offers more than a dozen of the very best professional development opportunities being offered during June, July and August 2007. Now’s the time to plan and register for an event that will make a difference in how you return to the classroom next year!"

©2005 Walter McKenzie

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