Top 10 Professional Development Opportunities This Summer

by Elisabeth Morgan

Charlie Edward/Shutterstock

Charlie Edward/Shutterstock

Summer gives teachers some crucial downtime. Reconnecting with family, nature, and your personal world is so important in a profession that demands so much of you during the other nine months of the year. But if you’ve hit a teaching rut during the school year, summer can also provide the hours you need to revamp your outlook. A lot of educators choose to take advantage of this time with professional development.

“A new study from Front Row Education found more than 40% of K-8 teachers will spend 20 or more hours on professional development this summer,” reports Education Dive.

Professional development offers educators insights into new tech tools, childhood development discoveries, and classroom management techniques. It also provides a social space to make connections with others to develop your professional learning network for years to come.

If you’re interested in using summer for professional development, consider registering for these professional development opportunities with leading education organizations. Have any other suggestions? Please share and comment on Facebook or Twitter!


Edcamp Foundation Workshops
National, Ongoing

Edcamps are organized by teachers, for teachers, and are always free. Each session focuses on a different topic in education, and Edcamps are hosted around the world. For a complete list of events, see their calendar. According to their bio, “the Edcamp movement has been recognized by countless organizations, including the United States Department of Education, the Bammy Awards for Education, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), the TEDx program and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.”


ISTE National Conference
Denver, June 26-29th

The International Society for Technology in Education’s annual conference brings together 16,000 educators. Keynote speakers Michio Kaku, Ruha Benjamin, and Michelle Cordy. Highlights of the event include three-minute flash info sessions, an opportunity to provide feedback on ISTE standards, and a Flexible Learning Session room with the latest classroom furniture innovations. For educators and administrators pushing to incorporate tech into their schools, this is the place to be this summer.


National Charter School Conference
Nashville, June 26-29th

The National Alliance for Charter Schools hosts this conference of over 120 sessions specifically geared towards charter school educators. Keynote speakers include Howard Fuller and Nina Reese. You can see if this conference would be beneficial to you through their program search tool.


Library of Congress Summer Teaching Institute
Washington, D.C., June-July

The library of Congress holds multiple weeks of professional development where teachers can learn to teach with primary sources, with their collection of millions of recently digitized resources. They also have a week devoted solely to STEM resources. Unfortunately, registration for these workshops is now closed, but you can participate in online modules with the same goal of educating educators on using primary sources. This could also serve as a handy back-to-school pd activity for history teachers!


New York, June-August

TEQ provides professional development in technology integration in schools, and awards certificates to teachers who’ve completed courses. You can earn a certificate in Google Education training, Interactive Whiteboard Usability, 1:1 Classroom management, and much more. For those in the New York and Long Island area, they’ve created a professional development program to obtain certifications, without having to organize a group yourself.


Ed Tech Teacher Workshops
Multiple Locations, June-August

True to its name, Ed Tech Teacher (partnering with Google Education) has organized 19 workshops this summer across the country to brush up on your school’s technology integration. Popular workshops in the past have included the iPad Classroom, the Chromebook Classroom, and Creating Innovators Design Thinking & Maker Spaces.


ASDC Conference on Teaching Excellence
New Orleans, July 8-10th

This annual conference is truly comprehensive, offering over 150 sessions for different experience levels and educational positions. A huge network of educational influencers  with skills in technology integration, leadership training, curriculum design, and behavioral issues, to name a few, will be hosting sessions. Keynote speakers include Andrew Miller and Darlene Axtell. Sponsorship opportunities are available.


NSTA Summer Conference
Reno, July 15th

The National Science Teachers Association hosts their annual Next Generation Science Standards conference to train teachers how to best implement standards in their classroom. Learning outcomes include developing cross curricular lessons, and using video or three-dimensional learning in your classes. Presenters include Mary Colson and David Crowther.


Building Learning Communities Conference
Boston, July 20-22nd

November Learning conferences focus on building professional learning communities and discovering innovative education solutions. This conference will bring together educators from over 25 countries, and will focus on building successful learning cultures, implementing edtech, building international relationships with other classes, digital storytelling, and more.


STEAM Integration Conference
Online, July 21st

This online conference leads educators through integrating the Arts into STEM studies. Teachers will learn about 3D printing, cross-curricular arts integration, making musical maker spaces, and other creative integration ideas. Speakers are educators and artists, and include Todd Whitaker, Emma Scripps, and Elle Luna.


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Elisabeth Morgan

Elisabeth Morgan is Kids Discover's content and community manager. She participated in the Teacher's Assistantship Program in France and was an assistant teacher at the International School of Louisiana in New Orleans before moving to New York to go to Columbia Journalism School. She joined the Kids Discover team in 2015.