Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa, Galena, IL | August 1-2, 2022


Join the LTC in picturesque Galena

for a two-day kick-off to the new school year.


Designed for teachers, principals, instructional coaches, and technology integrationists, EdTech Next offers a one-of-a-kind professional learning experience to help attendees take technology integration to the next level.

During the conference, we take a deep dive into the 4 Shifts Protocols, a discussion protocol intended to help facilitate educator conversations about deeper learning, greater student agency, more authentic work, and rich technology infusion. Through the lens of the 4 Shifts Protocol, we will help make lessons, units, and instructional activities richer, more robust, and more relevant for the global innovation society in which we now live. Attendees will also have an opportunity to network in person and enjoy an assortment of relaxing amenities around scenic northwest Illinois.

Seats at this intimate event are limited, so don’t wait to reserve your spot!


When and Where

Dates: August 1-2, 2022
Location: Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa, 444 Eagle Ridge Drive, Galena, IL 61036
Cost: $150 (not including hotel reservations)
PD Hours: 8

Who Should Attend?

EdTech Next is designed specifically for educators who want to attend forward-thinking sessions centered on edtech engagement pedagogy, integration strategy, and technology accessibility.


Please contact Ben Sondgeroth at bsondgeroth@ltcillinois.org with questions.

Session Schedule

Dive deep into edtech integration best practices during these sessions structured around the 4 Shifts Protocol.
Day 1 – August 1


8:00 AM – 8:10 AM – Presented by Ben Songeroth

Opening remarks from the Learning Technology Center


Back It Up with Understanding by Design‘s Curricular Planning Techniques

8:10 AM – 9:00 AM – Presented by Anne Kasa & Patricia Ferris

In this session, we’ll explore the three stages of “backward design planning”, as structured in Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe’s book Understanding by Design. To do that, we’ll begin with the end in mind and build a path towards creating learning experiences that connect to our standards, build critical thinking skills in our learners, and effectively achieve the desired result of moving towards enduring understanding.


Social Entrepreneurship as a Catalyst for Better Schools and Societies

9:10 AM – 10:00 AM – Presented by Eric Santos

Make it matter to students, and make the world a better place! By designing units around problem solving that enacts a positive change, you increase engagement, critical thinking, and authenticity.

Whether you’re teaching soil science, persuasive writing, area & volume, or historical perspectives, tossing a new app into your lessons isn’t necessarily improving student outcomes. Instead, redevelop existing lessons to focus on a meaningful end goal, and use technology to support the tasks they’ll do to reach that goal. Your students can build community gardens, advocate for social causes, and develop ADA-accessible products, but they need your guidance! Sprinkle in a little cooperation and competition, and you have a recipe for authentic, dynamic learning experiences with students in the driver’s seat.


EdTech for All: Creating Accessible Digital Content

10:10 AM – 11:00 AM – Presented by Joe Cipfl

As you’ve shifted your curriculum to include blended, technology-rich instruction, have you been creating digital content that is accessible to all students? Would your content be accessible to students with visual/hearing impairments or neurodiversity?

By intentionally and thoughtfully considering accessibility in the initial phases of content design, we can develop content that is readily available to all learners. Join us to explore the qualities of creating accessible digital curricular content that works for everyone. This session will focus on best practices for creating accessible titles, headings, formatting, hyperlinks, and visual content across a variety of digital mediums, as well as the edtech tools that can make implementing these changes a breeze.


Bringing Media Literacy into Your Classroom

11:10 AM – 12:00 PM – Presented by the LTC Staff

Media literacy remains a critical skill for all students to master, both in and out of the classroom. This session will help you better understand the scope of media literacy, as well as how to make it easier for students to understand its real-world implications.


Day 2 – August 2

Innovation Stations: Move with Technology

8:00 AM – 9:45 AM – Presented by Lisa Schwartz & Holly Kelly

During this extended session, we’ll explore different emerging technologies that districts can expect to see in the near future. As you move from station to station, you’ll get hands-on with several technology types that are already finding robust uses in the classroom, including programmable robots, coding, e-glass whiteboards, AR/VR, 3D printing, and artificial intelligence.

Student Work that Matters

10:00 AM – 10:50 AM – Presented by Elizabeth Byam & Brian Krause

Constructing authentic learning experiences is at the top of every teacher’s list, but many lack the time and resources needed to achieve fully-fledged authenticity. Real world connections matter to student, so it’s time to learn what it takes to make authentic learning an achievable part of your teaching toolkit. To do that, we’ll explore some of the tools, strategies, and practices that teachers can use to bridge the gap from the classroom to the future workplace.

Everyone’s an Influencer: Bring the Social Media Influencer Mindset into your Classroom

11:00 AM – 11:50 AM – Presented by Ben Sondgeroth

Do your students want to be influencers or YouTubers? While the influencer and YouTube lifestyle may look easy and glamorous, the truth is that it’s a lot of work, requiring real skills to create an engagement-ready end product. How do we capture that passion for creating and translate it into our curriculum?

At the same time, today’s businesses rely more than ever on social media to connect with their customers. So, how do we provide students the skills needed to become an online influencer, or more likely, a business’ social media manager?

No matter how old your students are, they have all been exposed to or inspired by, an influencer. This session will explore a set of online tools available to teachers that can get students thinking about and practicing the skills needed to be an effective influencer – no matter where their aspirations take them!


11:50 AM – 12:00 PM – Presented by Ben Sondgeroth

Closing remarks from the Learning Technology Center.

After the Learning Comes the Fun!

Afternoon Activities

Take a break from learning on Monday afternoon to join LTC staff at one of several activities around the resort. No additional fee required!

Experience the Ultimate Golfing Destination

Join us for an LTC-led golf outing at Eagle Ridge’s premier golf course! We will be playing an 18 hole, four-person scramble for golfers of all skill levels. If you don’t have a team of four, don’t worry! We’ll be able to put people together for an awesome networking opportunity! For this event, participants will have the chance to hit for the green on Eagle Ridge’s General course. With a 289-foot elevation change from the first hole to the 18th, it boasts spectacular views of the tri-state area and routinely ranks among the top 100 courses in Illinois.

Explore the Trails

Surrounded by over 20 miles of wilderness and paved hiking trails, Eagle Ridge is an outdoor lovers’ paradise. Bring your hiking shoes and the LTC will supply water bottles and snacks.

Shopping, Cookouts, and S’Mores!

Enjoy everything downtown Galena has to offer! Hop on to the free shuttle and enjoy the afternoon shopping, eating, and wandering around Galena’s historic downtown. The shuttle will also pick you up after a few hours and ensure that you are back at the hotel in time for our Monday grill-out dinner. If you arrive by Sunday night, you can even join us by the fire for s’mores!

Zip Lining with the LTC

This 2.5 hour excursion takes you through Tapley Woods, near the Galena Territory and Eagle Ridge. The tour begins with a UTV ride through the trees to the first platform. From there, the ziplines will grow progressively longer, including three ziplines of over 700 feet! As the tour goes on, you will soar at heights of 75 feet and speeds up to 40 mph. Finally, as the adventure comes to an end, you will rappel down two platforms and venture across the 140-foot sky bridge to reach the last and longest zipline – a full 1,230 feet long!

Giddy Up, EdTechers!

Enjoy trail rides at the Shenandoah Riding Center! With 40 miles of groomed riding trails, Shenandoah offers something for riders of all experience levels, from beginner to advanced.

Take Advantage of a Special Lodging Offer

The LTC has reserved a block of rooms at Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa for the nights of Sunday, July 31 thru Monday, August 1. These rooms are available at $169 or $199 per night, respectively, based on size.

To make a reservation using our special room block rate, please call the Eagle Ridge Reservations Department at 1-800-892-2269. After calling, select “Option 1” and mention the Learning Technology Center.

Interested in sponsorship?

Premier ($5,000) and Partner ($1,000) options are available. Complete the form below for the opportunity to reach 100+ of Illinois’ brightest educators, administrators, and technology leaders.

Questions about sponsorships? Contact Hope Hardin-Borbely at hhardinborbely@iltpp.org.