2016 SXSWedu PanelPicker is Open!

It’s that time of year again! Community votes and comments for what you’d like to see at SXSWedu are open on the PanelPicker from now until Friday, September 4. UPDATE: The PanelPicker voting deadline has been extended to September 7!

Take a second and give some awesome sessions the thumbs up! Unlike most conferences, public voting counts for 30% of the acceptance decision for the main event. If you aren’t registered, it’s really quick and easy to do: panelpicker.sxsw.com

Have sessions you are jazzed about not mentioned here? Share them with us in the comments below!

Smart Sessions

Bye PD, Hello LX: Connect, Design, Share

Why LX over PD? With Learner Experience (LX), we listen, iterate, collaborate and utilize high tech and high touch solutions to learn together. Today, you’re the learner. Bring your creativity, an open mind and devices to fully immerse in LX. You’ll craft an essential question to guide your inquiry, act on what matters by identifying core values, dive into the LX process and share the results of your investigation to leverage high impact at SXSWedu and beyond. You’ll also hone those qualitative and quantitative reasoning skills, immerse yourself in data and wrestle with big questions. Come for the peanut M&M’s and leave with LX and a project that impacts your school or organization.


ICYMI: Becoming a Social Media Ninja

Do you know what the majority of these mean: BRB, PRT, Pressed, TBT, Beetweet, TL;DR? If you do, then you are ready to let us take you to the next level of smart social media application. We’ll provide strategies and best practice for a variety of social media platforms available, then work with you to identify and commit to implementing at least one S.M.A.R.T. next step toward enhancing your personal brand and improving online engagement. Bring your device to this session to play along!


Inspiring Action Through Storytelling

Storytelling inspires action. From teachers looking for engagement strategies to EdTech startups sharing missions, storytelling is the connection of values. It’s the neuroscientific basis of community. Through our shared experiences, we connect across differences and build the courage and skills to take positive action. In the workshop, participants will build stories using the public narrative framework and practice telling their story in a podcast. The short podcasts will be uploaded and shared as we unpack our collective SXSWedu 2016 story and techniques to inspire action through our stories. The workshop will be recorded for a podcast for attendees and non-attendees.


Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning

What happens when you ask parents to describe the powerful learning experiences they want for their kids? They want student-centered, highly-engaged learning. Come ready to learn more about student-centered learning & ready to explore ideas for experiences that promote it. Are you a parent? Leave inspired and armed with resources for becoming a Smart Parent who knows how to create and advocate for powerful learning! Are you creating learning opportunities for kids? Find out what families want!


Friends & Partner Sessions:

A Data Driven Culture: Who’s Behind the Wheel
Sharnell Jackson, Chicago Public Schools
Mark Schneiderman, SIIA Education Technology Industry Network
Patricia Greco, School District of Menomonee Falls
Gregory Firn, DreamBox Learning

Character Strengths and the Heart of Learning
Jillian Darwish, Mayerson Academy
Lynn Ochs, Mayerson Academy

Create Successful Partnerships for Student Success
Renee Foster, Curriculum Associates
Tyler Bosmeny, Clever
Jordan Meranus, Ellevation

Cultivating Teacher Readiness in Next-Gen Learning
Jessie Woolley-Wilson, DreamBox Learning
Sanjay Sarma, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Arthur Levine, Woodrow Wilson Foundation
Liz Willen, The Hechinger Institute

EdTech: Increase Efficiency or Elevate Learning?
David Kanter, Kanter Learning Design & Research
Kathy Benemann, Kiyo
Lindsey Own, The Evergreen School
Bobbi Kurshan, Graduate School of Education at The University of Pennsylvania

Fractions! Fractions! Learn All About ‘Em
Erich Zeller, MIND Research Institute

Giving Hope: Overcoming Odds with Blended Learning
Robert Rayburn, Cesar Chavez Elementary School
Gayle White Wallace, Mount Vernon City School District
Kimberly Moritz, Randolph Central School District
Crystal Hill, Mooresville Graded School District

Innovations for a Million Students
Dave Ferrero, Vulcan Inc / Paul G. Allen Family Foundation

Lipstick on a Pig: PD that Brings Home the Bacon
Tracy Clark, EdTechWomen Austin
Abbey Futrell, The William and Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation

Math Your Own Adventure: Game Design for Learning
Ki Karou, MIND Research Institute

Middle School Math: Moving from Agony to Awesome
Karim Ani, Mathalicious
Rafranz Davis, Lufkin ISD
Tim Hudson, DreamBox Learning

Ready GO! Take Innovation from Concept to Practice
Lindsey Own, The Evergreen School

Save Teachers Time For What Matters: Instruction
Aurora Martinez, Curriculum Associates
Woody Paik, Curriculum Associates

Using Neuroscience to Better Reach Early Learners
Manjari Patel, MIND Research Institute
Monae Gascon, MIND Research Institute

Mickey Revenaug, Pearson ISDD
Connections Academy students

Why Startups Should Hire My High School Students
Dave Ferrero, Vulcan, Inc., A Paul G. Allen Company
Regan Drew, Riverpoint Academy
Michael Wierusz, Northshore School District
Scott Swaaley, High Tech High

For more on SXSWedu and other professional development information/opportunities, check out:


Connections, Curriculum Associates, DreamBox Learning, Mayerson Academy, MIND Research and Vulcan Inc. are Getting Smart Advocacy Partner(s).

Catherine Wedgwood

Catherine is a communication specialist.

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