Symposia, debates, panels, conferences, and motivational speeches are great opportunities for networking, learning, and knowledge sharing. These events may also improve prospects for landing a better job. However, if you are unable to attend in person, in many cases you might be able to follow them online. Or if the goal is to acquire additional skills, online classes, listening to TED talks, podcasts or reading books and magazines might be the answer.


It is time to mark your calendars in 2018 with new professional development opportunities. Here is a list of a few professional development opportunities in the Washington, D.C. area:

CoSN 2018 Annual Conference

March 12-15, 2018; Washington, D.C. 

The main topic of the 2018 event is designing learning in the 4th Industrial Revolution. Sessions will cover new technologies such as artificial intelligence, 3D printing, or robotics. It will further discuss its potential for having a transformative impact on industry, the economy and all of  society. Special emphasis is placed on peer-to-peer sharing and networking during breakout sessions, or team-oriented workshops. This conference will be especially helpful for tech leaders (Chief Technology Officers or Industrial Technology Directors) as well as industry, government and nonprofit representatives.

SETDA EdTech Advocacy and Policy Summit 2018 

March 14-15, 2018; Washington, D.C. 

This summit will bring together education technology leaders to discuss the future of updating student data privacy requirements and allocating funding for ed tech programs.

Serious Play

July 10-12, 2018; Manassas, VA

This 8th year of Serious Play is focused on the idea that games can revolutionize leaning. This conference is for professionals who create, teach or train using serious games and sims. Speakers from all around the world will share their experience about creating and using games in government, military, corporations, or classrooms. Attendees will actively participate in informal sessions in order to discuss the future of serious games.

SETDA Leadership Summit & Education Forum 

November 4-7, 2018; Arlington, VA

Previous summits brought educational leaders together with executive leaders from over 40 state departments of education to engage in in-depth dialogue about professional development, educational technology, assessment, instructional materials.

Cyber Security Conference 

December 6, 2018;Washington, D.C.

Data Connectors will be hosting the Washington, D.C. Cyber Security Conference. This conference will focus on “driving the future of business in the new age of the digital economy.” 8-12 industry experts will discuss current issues such as email security, LAN security, or cloud security. The goal is to “showcase the broad spectrum of new and emerging information security products and services to solve business’s complex IT security challenges.”

ExcelinEd National Summit on Education Reform

December 5-7, 2018; Washington, DC

Organized by ExcelinEd-the Foundation for Excellence in Education, this conference brings together local policymakers and education leaders and advocates. They will discuss new trends, evolving laws, successful policies, quality of education, use of technology and latest innovations. More information about previous summits and last year’s archive is here.

Other STEM events

Additionally, this calendar is full of events in the DC area with focus on STEM and learning opportunities. For example, on February 23-25 this summit (Teacher Leadership Summit: Attracting, Retaining, And Developing a Diverse STEM Teaching Workforce) will tackle the issue of underrepresentation in STEM education.