LTC EdTech Next

Where Next Practice Meets Best Practice

Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa, Galena, IL | August 2-3, 2021

Keep your edtech integration momentum moving during this two-day destination learning event for teachers in picturesque Galena, IL!

Across Illinois, classrooms are beginning to offer renewed opportunities for in-person learning. But now’s not the time to slip back into old edtech utilization habits. Now’s the chance to establish a new normal and make today’s digital learning apps, platforms, and best practices part of every classroom’s pedagogy going forward.

EdTech Next by LTC is coming this summer to turn those aspirations into a reality. This two-day destination learning event in Galena, IL, will offer educators a one-of-a-kind professional learning experience geared toward taking the next steps in edtech integration. Attendees will also have an opportunity to network in person and enjoy an assortment of relaxing amenities around scenic northwest Illinois.

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

When and Where

Dates: August 2-3, 2021
Location: Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa, 444 Eagle Ridge Drive, Galena, IL 61036
Cost: $100 (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 emerging edtech, technology accessibility, engagement pedagogy.


Please contact Ben Sondgeroth at with questions.

Premier Sponsor

Partner Sponsors

Detailed Schedule

Sunday, August 1 – Day 0

Arrive and Relax

Attendees are welcome to arrive in Galena a day early and enjoy the town before staying the night at Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa. A special rate will be available for those staying one or both nights.

Those in attendance Sunday evening can also roast up some ideas around the fire while enjoying s’mores with their peers and the LTC team.

Monday, August 2 – Day 1

Using Technology with Purpose

8:10-8:50 AM – Presented by Ben Sondgeroth

Entering into the 2021-2022 school year, our schools are in a unique position of having technology more readily available than ever before. Many teachers have gone through countless hours of professional development to gain a basic understanding of how different tools operate and how they can transition lessons from analog to digital. The question we must now ask ourselves is this, how can we ensure technology is being used with our students in a purposeful way? The answer to this question lies in how we evaluate and design our learning activities. To do this we will look at the 4 Shifts Protocol by Scott McLeod and how we can design activities for our students around higher-level thinking, student agency, authentic work, and emerging technology.

How has technology changed my classroom?

9:00-9:50 AM – Presented by Ben Sondgeroth, with panelists Nik Broekemeier, Brett Richardson, and Malinda Hurt 

Technology affords teachers the ability to create new learning opportunities for their students that may have been previously inconceivable. It’s important from time to time, to reflect back on the impact technology has had on student learning. This session will pose this question to a panel of educators who will share their experiences and best practices in utilizing technology in the classroom.

Bringing SEL and EdTech Together 

10:00-10:50 AM – Presented by Holly Kelly, with panelist Tracy Schlepphorst

This past year has introduced students and educators not only to distance and hybrid learning, but to many other words, acronyms, and phrases. SEL, Social and Emotional Learning,  is among the top acronyms that many educators have been introduced to, even though it is present in many educators’ classrooms for decades, sometimes without knowing it. This session will explore what SEL is and how it can be incorporated into a classroom as well as strategies for using SEL with EdTech tools.

Flipping the Classroom Panel

11:00-11:50 AM – Presented by Lisa Schwartz, with panelists Stephanie Hodgson and Brian Sullivan

The flipped classroom is a pedagogical model where the traditional lecture and homework elements are reversed. Pre-recorded video lectures are viewed before class. In-class time is repurposed so students can inquire about lecture content, apply their knowledge, and participate in hands-on activities. Hear from teachers on how they flipped their classrooms and key takeaways on how you can flip your classroom, too!

Tuesday, August 3 – Day 2

30-Minute Morning Yoga Class

6:20 – 6:50 AM – Led by Anne Kasa

We invite you to begin the day with a gentle morning yoga session that promotes strength, balance, and mobility. This inclusive class welcomes participants of all skill, fitness, and experience levels. If possible, bring a yoga mat, water bottle, towel, belt/strap, pillow, and/or any other props you may have handy. Feel free to stay for the following SEL Wellness Workshop, too!

30-Minute Morning SEL Wellness Workshop

7:00 – 7:30 AM – Led by Anne Kasa

Are you looking to bring into your practice wellness and SEL strategies that can help your students focus their minds, regulate their bodies, and harness their inner strengths?  In this interactive workshop, we will explore several wellness practices and SEL strategies that you can integrate with minimal preparation. Bring a pen and paper and be ready to move comfortably with your fellow classmates. Don’t miss the morning yoga session taking place right before this workshop, too!

Engaging Lessons Showcase

8:00-9:30 AM – Presented by Elizabeth Byam and Amy Graham, with panelists Heather Brown and Brett Richardson 

Technology is used by teachers in many different ways and at various levels of effectiveness. When we evaluate how we are asking our students to use technology it is important to design activities that promote deeper learning and authentic work from students. This panel will showcase three amazing activities from teachers that go beyond memorizing facts and going through set procedures.

Making Learning Accessible to All

9:40-10:30 AM – Presented by Emily Breakfield and Chris Noble

Technology tools allow us to create a learning environment that is accessible to ALL students.  ALL of our students deserve to have access to the content we are teaching. A one-size-fits-all classroom is not practical for any group of students. Luckily, with the technology available to us, we can create a learning environment that makes the content accessible to all of our learners. Join us as we explore simple ways to differentiate activities and assessments in your classroom with built in tools, apps, and sites.

Emerging Technologies Panel

10:40-11:50 AM – Presented by Joe Cipfl, with panelists Donnie Chappel and Eric Eiess 

A conference all about what’s next in edtech just wouldn’t be complete without a discussion on emerging technologies. Join us for a glimpse into the future! This panel will showcase some bleeding-edge technologies with the potential to take your curriculum to the next level.  We will be talking 3D printing, prototype problem-solving, the Lu Interactive Playground, and robotics, just to name a few. We will demonstrate that the future of tech integration is not just screen time and students sitting in front of devices. Our panel will include innovative educators using future tech now in the physical education and STEM curriculum to get students active, motivated, and engaged.

Afternoon Activites

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 the first-ever LTC 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.

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!

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.

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.

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!

Stay at Eagle Ridge

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, August 1 and Monday, August 2. 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 Sponsoring this Event?

Contact Hope Hardin-Borbely, LTC Director of Strategic Partnerships & Communications, at or call 217-215-0386. Hope can provide additional details on ways your organization can participate in this fun-filled learning event and answer any questions about sponsorship opportunities.