23 Free & Low Cost Summer Conferences for NJ Teachers

Summer is the perfect time for teachers to invest in themselves and learn something new. With lesson planning and grading on the backburner all summer, teachers can fully indulge their own passion for learning while also growing their professional learning network (PLN). To help you seize this  summer’s learning opportunities, we’ve compiled a list of local and national conferences where you can advance your professional practice.

Think about how you might incorporate these primarily free and low-cost workshops, conferences and trainings into your plans for summer trips to the Shore, extended book reading and other relaxation activities! These primarily free and low-cost conferences are perfect for NJ teachers and educators looking to advance their PD and grow their PLN this summer.

Summer Workshops offered by NJ Department of Education, Colleges & Universities, and Professional Associations

Master Teacher Institute in Holocaust Education

The Rutgers MTI program is offering a five day  training for NJ educators who wish to strengthen their practices in teaching historical content and advance the critical literacy of their students, while learning from Holocaust scholars who are actively engaged in research.  This institute is hosted at the Bildner Center of Rutgers University.

Location: New Brunswick, NJ
Dates: June 26 -June 30, 2017
Pricing: Free

Understanding of the Holocaust and Social Justice

This week-long summer institute hosted by CHHANGE at Brookdale Community College gives educators the opportunity to study local issues of social justice and civil rights, with an emphasis on culturally responsive pedagogy. The New Jersey Summer Seminar is free; however, an application process is required for attendance.

Location: Lincroft, NJ
Dates: July 10-14 2017
Pricing: Free

NJEA  Summer Professional Learning Institute

The professional learning experiences offered this summer by the NJEA  are designed to help educators reimagine their teaching. Teachers can elect to learn the Art of Participatory Leadership, develop skills in Design Thinking,  advance their knowledge of the Understanding by Design framework. and/or bring the maker movement into their classrooms.  Register for this Institute and start “Designing the schools we deserve!”

Location: East Windsor, NJ
Dates: July 12, 2017
Pricing: $25 for NJEA Members


At this highly affordable workshop, you can spend all day learning about SMARTBoards or divide your time building proficiency with Google Classroom, integrating STEAM Across the Curriculum, using Edmodo, learning about Virtual Reality, and planning for a MakerSpace classroom. This learning event is held at Stockton University and co-sponsored by  the Southern Regional Institute and Educational Technology Training Center (SRI&ETTC) and Stockton University Master of Arts in Instructional Technology Program

Location: Galloway, NJ
Dates: July 19, 2017
Pricing: $25

2017 Amistad Commission Summer Institute for Teachers

Work in collaboration with knowledgeable historians and scholars at this year’s Amistad Commission Summer Institute for Teachers. Attendees will experience multimedia history-based presentations and using primary resource materials provided by the Amistad Commission and its team of experts in the field. The institute’s content will focuses on topics relevant to America’s history with the African-American experience.

Southern Region

Location: Galloway, NJ
Dates: July 24-26, 2017
Pricing: Free


Northern Region

Location: Union, NJ
Dates: July 31-August 2, 2017
Pricing: Free

Summer Business, Finance and Marketing Teacher Institute

College and Career Readiness is every teacher’s business, so consider registering for this three-day workshop offered by the New Jersey Department of Education’s (NJDOE) Office of Career Readiness, in collaboration with Rutgers Business School. In addition to business & finance topics, the Institute will offer sessions addressing Project-Based Learning; How to Succeed in College; How to Prepare Students for College and Career; and more.   

Location: Piscataway, NJ
Dates: August 8 -9 2017
Pricing: Free


Summer EdCamps

Edcamps are participant-driven professional learning experiences that allow content to emerge organically as an “unconference” format.  We’ve compiled a list of Edcamps taking place this summer, and all within driving distance of NJ.

EdCamp Exit 8A-Learning to Lead: Leading to Learn

NJPSA/FEA, NJASCD, and The Madison Institute are teaming up to host the 2nd annual EdCamp Exit 8A. Open to teachers, principals and district leaders, seats at this EdCamp go quickly, so register right away.

Location: Monroe Township, NJ
Date: July 13, 2017
Pricing: Free

EdCamp Jersey Shore

This event is limited to 300 participants, so reserve your seat immediately.  Like at every EdCamp, the day will consist of participant-driven professional learning.  Coordinators promise attendees are shore to learn at this year’s EdCamp

Location: West Long Branch, NJ
Date: August 24, 2017
Pricing: Free


Similar to an EdCamp, TeachMeet is an unconference event which encourages teachers to share their knowledge of tech or web 2.0 tools that might benefit colleagues.  Morning sessions are capped at 20 minutes, keeping to the event principles of fast moving, tech sharing, friend making, & never boring. What’s more?... Anyone can share!!!

Location: Beachwood, NJ
Date: August 17, 2017
Pricing: Free

Edcamp Hershey

Requests for this year’s follow up Edcamp Hershey began before last year’s conference even finished. What can be better than learning in this sweet setting?

Location: Hershey, PA
Date: August 7, 2017
Pricing: Free


Local Workshops & Conferences

SB Summer Technology & Learning Conference 2017

The South Brunswick Summer Technology & Learning Conference (TLC) was inspired by educators who are passionate about sharing and learning innovative ways for teaching students how to search, think deeply, invent and self-direct their own learning. This day was designed for educators to come together for an inspiring day of new ideas, conversation and collaboration.

Location: South Brunswick, NJ
Dates: June 27, 2017
Pricing: $40

EdTech Team Google Summit

EdTech Team is offering a two day-long conference will focus on deploying, integrating and using Google Apps for Education and other Google learning tools. The conference, comprised of keynote speakers and breakout sessions, is co-hosted with Parsippany Hills -Troy District.

Location: Morris Plains, NJ
Dates: July 26-27, 2017
Pricing: $329

NJAET's Summer #TechSplash 2017

The 2017 #TechSplash offers teachers and IT professionals an opportunity to learn new skills and practice using technology in a relaxed atmosphere.Topics include Twitter, iMovie, Google Classroom, Google Apps and more! This is a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) day. Free WiFi will be provided.

Location: Allentown, NJ
Dates: August 1, 2017
Pricing: $35

All Things Google Conference 2017

On August 2nd, educators from across NJ will come together for a one day training that will immerse them in Google tools and implementation strategies. This learning event co-sponsored by the Southern Regional Institute and Educational Technology Training Center (SRI&ETTC) will be held on the campus of Stockton University.

Location: Galloway, NJ
Dates: August 2, 2017
Pricing: $178

Learning Forward NJ Summer Conference 2017

Attendees at this summer’s Learning Forward NJ conference will enjoy an eclectic mix of professional experiences. The conference will feature traditional sessions, unconference-conversations, and short ignite presentations.  Alex Kajitani  will keynote this innovative learning experience.

Location:  Princeton, NJ
Dates: August 3-4, 2017
Pricing: $315

Games in Education 2017

Games in Education Symposium is a two-day event focusing on the use of technology to supplement & inspire education in the classroom. The symposium has run annually since 2007 and is free for educators to attend.

Location: Albany, NY
Dates: August 3-4, 2017
Pricing: Free

Improving Your World Language Teaching

This interactive, hands-on workshop series will explore current best practices in the teaching of World Languages. Topics will include the World Readiness Standards for Learning Languages, the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines, and current Second Language Acquisition theories and concrete best practices. West Morris Central High School is the location for this conference.

Location: Chester, NJ
Dates: August 14, 2017
Pricing: $110


National Conferences

ISTE 2017

This three day education technology conference and expo is jampacked with 1,000 professional development sessions of varying formats. With more than 16,000 attendees annually, this event is considered by many the premier tech event for innovative educators, thought leaders and education companies.

Location: San Antonio, TX
Dates: June 25-28, 2017
Pricing: $380-$535

NEA Conference on Racial & Social Justice

The goal of the conference is to provide a unique space for educators, students, parents & families, organizers, community members & leaders to unite for the advancement of Justice in Education. Through interactive workshops, sessions, panels and plenaries, attendees will have the opportunity to access information, resources, plan, strategize and engage on issues that impact educational opportunities for communities of color, LGBTQ and women.

Location: Boston, MA
Dates: June 28-29, 2017
Pricing: $150

2017 ASCD Conference on Teaching Excellence

The  2017 Conference on Teaching Excellence promises proven solutions, game-changing ideas, and the tools you need to transform student learning. ASCD warns educators that this is a roll-up-your-sleeves professional learning experience, so be prepared to be hands-on.

Location: Denver, CO
Dates: June 30 - July 2, 2017
Pricing: $463 - $529

NCTM Interactive Institutes Summer 2017

NCTM will hold two intensive workshops this summer to help educators gain in-depth mathematics education knowledge and learn practical classroom strategies to promote student success.. Designed for pre-K–grade 12 teachers and school leaders, these interactive institutes include  Facilitating Meaningful Mathematical Discourse (July 17-19) and Supporting Students’ Productive Struggle (July 20-22)

Location: Baltimore, MD
Dates: July 2017; dates of workshops varies
Pricing: $465-$565

International Literacy Association 2017 Conference

Thousands of education professionals will convene annually at the International Literacy Association  Conference & Exhibits to discover new teaching methods, materials, and tools for literacy development. Their 300+ sessions and 200+ exhibitors to draw 6,000+ attendees each year

Location: Orlando, FL
Dates: July 15–17, 2017
Pricing: $429-$559

AFT TEACH (Together Educating America’s Children) 2017

This biennial event brings educators together for in-depth, hands-on experiences that provide them with concrete strategies, tools and materials they can use in the classroom to meet students’ needs. Session offerings include two- or four-hour intensive hands-on Boot Camp sessions; along with thought-provoking plenary speakers. Plenty of formal and informal networking sessions are also part of the event.

Location: Washington, DC
Dates: July 20 -22, 2017
Pricing: $150 -$300

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Heather Ngoma

Heather Ngoma has over 20 years experience collaborating with educators across New Jersey to drive education innovation. She currently serves as the Director of Rutgers University's Alternate Route Teacher Training Program at the Center for Effective School Practices, a program which helps career changers, recent college graduates and other aspiring education professionals become licensed teachers in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter @heatherngoma.