Welcome to Austin, SXSWEdu & SXSW!

Welcome to Austin if this is your first SXSWEdu!  As a native Austinite, of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t say that conversation over food is one of our central tenets of life, so I wanted to share some tips about the conference and of course, some foodie tips!  This is by no means an exhaustive list, but a few suggestions as to where to grab food downtown and some conference tips, too. SXSWEdu is a fascinating blend of K-12 educators, librarians, administrators […]

Hacking education through libraries

Schools face change Schools face issues daily as they work to change and meet the needs of students.  Some problems are systemic and some are unique to each campus.  School leaders do have a powerful but sometimes overlooked ally in dealing with these issues–their teacher-librarian.   At SXSWEdu, Joyce Valenza, Miguel Figueroa and I examined some ways that libraries/librarians can hack these problems for their schools in our session Hacking Education through Libraries. Issues like equity, access, technology adoption, information overload, and digital literacies, and trends facing schools […]

Mindful partnership building — a SXSWEdu recap

In their SXSWEdu core conversation Schools and Libraries Together:  Rethinking Learning, Skokie Librarian Amy Koester and Graphic designer Vanessa Rosenbaum led the audience in a discussion of how to build richer partnerships between public and school libraries. While we might normally exchange booklists, Koester and Rosenbaum urged us to consider deeper sorts of collaborations which impact our community more effectively.   However, to begin collaborative work, we have to be open to the idea that we don’t necessarily know where we are going, but that we will learn […]

Where do we go next with wearables? A SXSWEdu Recap

SXSWEdu is over, and I’m unraveling my thoughts about this year and thinking about the breakout trends for next year.   Watching trends from SXSWi as well as the advent of the Apple watch and other devices, I predict wearables will be an even bigger theme at EDU next year(along with the privacy issues they raise). Beyond the neat In their “Wear to Learn:  Body as Interface” session, Emory Craig(College of New Rochelle) and Maya Georgeiva(Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning)  led an intriguing conversation on wearable […]

Tips for SXSWEdu

Coming to SXSWEdu in Austin next week?  Here are a few tips for dining, fun, and navigating downtown! First, my favorite thing–food.  Austin is a great food city, and there are so many choices that it is hard to go too wrong.  But the recommendations below are just a few ideas to start with because it’s hard to learn on no fuel! Breakfast Breakfast is hard to come by downtown, other than the hotel breakfasts, so if you can get to SXSW in time for the […]

Where is student voice at SXSWEdu?

During SXSWEdu, I heard a fascinating panel with Adora Svitak and Nikhil Goyal, along with Charles Tsai and David Cutler .  They were both articulate and passionate, and many participants crowded around to talk to them after their panel(not that they didn’t deserve that attention and interest).   It struck me how often we treat students who present at conferences as celebrities, or like a novelty. And yet students are the very individuals that we are at SXSW Edu (or any ed conference) to discuss, […]

Flip, Blend, Connect: A SXSW Edu Conversation

There’s a lot of buzz about flipped learning, blended classrooms and online learning–technology allows us to engage students with information in many new ways.  But is it really more effective (or as effective) as face-to-face instruction, and how can we just not replicate traditional classroom methods at home(like lecture), and turn it into something more transformative in terms of student learning? This was the subject of a core conversation that Stephanie Sandifer and I led at SXSWEdu last week, (Flip, Blend, Connect) attempting to address: […]

SXSWEdu — Mashing it up

SXSWEdu  is over and my mind is humming.  There’s been a lot of buzz about the strange and random blend of tech, business, young start-ups, academics, K-12 educators, and policy makers that was this year’s SXSWEdu and whether or not it works or whether the focus is what it should be. I think one thing that makes it a fertile conference is the tension between some of those areas and also the crossover between them.   All of these entities don’t mingle together too often […]

Animal, vegetable or mineral: SXSW Edu evolution

Having attended SXSW Interactive last year for the first time, I had certain expectations going into #SXSWEdu.  However,  a first glance at the program left me a little concerned that it was too tied to TEA Initiatives and not indie enough to meet #SXSW standards. And to be honest, the first day at #SXSW Edu left me a little befuddled about what SXSW Edu was all about.  There were some good and meaty sessions but also there were quite a few mainstream vendor sessions, like […]