ISTELive and the ASCD Annual Conference Combined: What You Need To Know

(Image credit: ISTE)

Educators and school leaders will get two conventions for the price of one next year when ISTELive and the ASCD Annual conference join forces in San Antonio, Texas, from June 29-July 2, 2025. Those who register for either conference will get access to both, which will be held at the same facilities and operate as a two-in-one event. 

Jennifer Ragan-Fore, ASCD + ISTE Chief Experience Officer, says the decision to co-host ISTELive and ASCD was made for the same reasons the two organizations decided to merge in the first place. 

“It’s really about being able to bring together people across the entire instructional spectrum — leaders all the way down to classroom teachers and coaches,” she says. “The events for both organizations are obviously an exclamation point, and each year we’re bringing that educator community together.”

ISTELive and the ASCD Annual Conference Co-located: What That Will Look Like  

Some aspects of the 2025 co-hosted ISTELive and ASCD Annual Conference are still coming together, but participants will be able to register through ISTE or ASCD, and though that, registration will provide access to all events. Various talks, panels, demonstrations etc. will be branded as either an ISTELive or ASCD conference event. Broadly speaking, each of these types of events will have their own flavor. 

"On the ASCD side, there's been a lot of focus really on thought leadership, really deep learning longer format sessions,” Ragan-Fore says. “On the ISTE side, it's been a little bit faster moving shorter sessions, more hands-on things, lots of public space workshops and playgrounds. What we hear a lot is the audience is really there to find those sparks of inspiration to go back and try in their classrooms.” 

Excitement From Educators  

With the events now hosted together, leadership-focused educators will have the chance to sit-in on more classroom-centric events and classroom-focused educators can listen in on some broader curriculum focused workshops and discussions. Various team members from the same district will also be able to attend together and discuss what they have learned, Ragan-Fore says. 

At this year’s ASCD conference there was lots of excitement about the plan. “We got a lot of great feedback from folks, lots of people coming up and saying, ‘We have limited budgets, and every year, I'm trying to decide, 'Can I send this subset to this event, and this subset to this event?' It’s going t be super exciting to bring a whole team together and be able to kind of experience this across the board,’” Ragan-Fore says.

Advice For Conference Attendees  

Whether attending the co-located conference next year or ISTELive this summer, Ragan-Fore recommends planning ahead to ensure you choose correct conferences. 

For next year, Ragan-Fore says the team is hoping to unveil an AI recommendation app that can help participants choose the best events for them. But even so, she says, it’s also good to have a second pick for each time slot in case you arrive and that event is full. 

And no matter how great the events are, one of the true highlights of this, or any other conference, is connecting with other educators. 

“You're learning from other people and hearing their reflections on things,” she says. “Even if you're part of the team reach out and hear other perspectives from other schools and districts, and if you're going individually really try to take advantage and make the most of those [networking/connecting] opportunities.”  

Erik Ofgang

Erik Ofgang is a Tech & Learning contributor. A journalist, author and educator, his work has appeared in The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Smithsonian, The Atlantic, and Associated Press. He currently teaches at Western Connecticut State University’s MFA program. While a staff writer at Connecticut Magazine he won a Society of Professional Journalism Award for his education reporting. He is interested in how humans learn and how technology can make that more effective.