Which Four Conferences?

In a given school year, which four education conferences would you most like to attend? I mean, which are essential?

Bonus points for considering this question from the POV of a lanky tech-curious math teacher looking to take a more active role in his own professional development this forthcoming school year.

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. Four hypothetical conferences you might enjoy.

    1. “Interesting, Compelling, Worthwhile and Instructionally Effective Uses of Technology in the Classroom You Haven’t Already Thought Of: Your Teaching Will Be Vastly Improved and This Is Not a Lie or Delusion.”

    2. “Motivating All Students to Success: There’s One Easy Step. No, Really. You’ll Kick Yourself When You Hear It.”

    3. “Actual Daily Uses of Math in the Real World You Haven’t Already Talked About in Your Classroom.”

    4. “Presentation Wherein We Describe Every Stable, Supportive, Tech-Friendly Administration Within California That Needs Creative, Demanding Math Teachers Interested in Their Professional Development.”

    That should do it.

  2. I think you should consider attending non-educational conferences, like BarCamp. You’re close to Silicon/SF where they hold a lot of them. The first tech conf I went to was a (small) local BarCamp. It gave me perspective about how the tools are used in “real life”. I think you would love the “Underwear Gnome” slideshow that Terry Chay did.

    I always wanted to see what the Asilomar conferences were like, but haven’t gotten a chance to go. You’ve been, so you know better about their worth.

    LACOE is doing a training at AFI in Hollywood on film making in the classroom with Frank Guttler that I had to forgo. You’d need to be employed by a public school district to get in on that one. I’ve seen his short version preso, and it was great, and everyone I’ve run across has raved about the trainings.

    You could come up to San Jose and watch me present at ILC in October about using Web 2.0 for English Language Development, but I’m not picturing you having a great time at a CUE conference for some reason.

  3. Good tips, people, thanks. My presentation just got the nod at Asilomar so that one’s automatically frontlisted. Filmmaking in the classroom is local enough and close enough to my heart to look into.

    (Thanks, everyone except for Benjamin, I mean. Those are hypothetical sessions, man. Gimme some conferences.)

  4. This summer’s PD for me…

    1) AP Statistics Reading – 9 days of being surrounded by 550 stat teachers from around the globe, 7 days of reading exams. Fascinating to visit with so many different teachers, both college and HS, textbook authors, etc.

    2) AVID week-long workshop – Amazing PD. Mornings are spent with the WICR strategies in your content strand. Best practices in math for me, of course…. Then afternoons are spent with my site team discussing issues within our own school and community.

    3) AP Summer Institute – another amazing PD opportunity. APSIs are week long workshops that are available for the AP courses and Pre-AP courses. I’ve always come away from these excited about the upcoming year.

  5. come across to shanghai next fall for Learning 2.008. probably going to be the best conference i know of in asia over the next school year.


    1. ~24 hours of travel one way
    2. jet lag
    3. the cost of a round-trip ticket ain’t cheap
    4. and visas to get into china are like 75usd
    5. chinese pollution is the equivalent of smoking a pack a day.

    1. i’ll be giving a workshop there. but don’t think any readers are the target audience for my “baby steps into the classroom: rss readers and blogs” preso.
    2. some pretty awesome web2.0 folks are coming out to headline. the list is on that ning site.
    3. observing firsthand the capitalist revolution in china. shanghai nightlife is crazynuts.
    4. i’ll buy you a drink atop the tallest hotel in asia, the shanghai hilton. flickr search it, i swear it looks just like the death star. i always get scared that darth vader is going to throw me over the balcony.
    5. i’ll find you some crazy awesome local chinese food. i read that shanghai is famous for its xiaolong bao, mmm.

    folks, if dan won’t come across the pacific you oughta! the upsides apply to the first three people to comment on my site. even though i haven’t posted in a freakin month…

  6. Hmm…David Jakes came to my school this year. I was….unimpressed. I had high hopes of learning something, but I think he had prepared for a much noobier audience. He almost fell out of his chair because I knew what “RSS” stood for. And he was like, there’s this awesome thing called….del.icio.us! Why does he get to go to China?

    Anyway this summer I’m going balls out to the 60 credit column on the pay chart. I am most looking forward to this summer institute.

  7. I’m a homer, so I gotta go with School 2.1 (Jan 2009) run by practialtheory’s (and fellow Philly resident) Chris Lehmann. 2.0 was fabulous, looking forward to more of the same next year.

    I know I am suppose to have 3 more. I’m not a Edubuff enough to even know the names of 3 other ones.

    2.) a conference with Alfie Kohn would be great.

    3.) ????

    4.) ????

  8. conference? puh.

    It’s all about the unconference now.

    Welcome to 2008.

    That’s what I was told a short time ago.

  9. Dan,
    After attending the NCTM conference in Salt Lake, I would say definitely include that!

    Such a huge range of options to sit in, technology, projects, everything on every topic.

    It is absolutely worth going to.