2018 SXSWedu PanelPicker is Open!

It’s that time again! Time to vote for the panels you want to see at the 2018 SXSWedu, March 5-8 in Austin, Texas.

Community votes and comments for SXSWedu are open on the PanelPicker from now until Friday, August 25. 

If you aren’t registered to vote yet, it’s really quick and easy to do. Click here and sign up: panelpicker.sxsw.com.

Since public voting counts for 30% of the acceptance decision for the main event, take a second and click on the links below to give some of these awesome sessions your thumbs up. Then click the tweet boxes to share what you voted for and invite your Twitter followers to vote as well!

Smart Sessions

A Pathway to Global Education Through Dignity

With each day that passes our world seems to become increasingly more divisive. How can we encourage our students to change and challenge this rhetoric and lead dignified lives for themselves and for the communities, and world, which they will inherit? This session will show how teachers and students are spreading the message of global dignity and will provide strategies for how we can all work together to ensure a more dignified, equitable, and inclusive world.

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will learn global education strategies
  2. Participants will engage in conversations about global education and strategies to ensure equity and inclusiveness for all.
  3. Participants will hear from global education experts and students about how their experiences focusing on dignity has changed their lives and schools.


  • Janice Walton, Project Manager, Getting Smart
  • Emily Liebtag, Director, Getting Smart

[bctt tweet=”I just voted for dignity & #globaled in the classroom w/@JaniceWard09 @EmilyLiebtag. Vote today!” via=”no”]


Ask About AI – Living and Learning with Smart Machines

Ask About AI is about understanding the implications of artificial intelligence on education, economics and ethics. This workshop is designed to ask expert practitioners questions around the implications of AI, have breakout table-top discussions and collect thoughts with the larger group. Discussions will include what graduates should know and be able to do and how we might ensure that we can shape a future that works well for everyone.

Learning Objectives

  1. How is AI and enabling technologies like robotics changing sectors of the economy and society?
  2. What are the social implications of AI–both short term and long term?
  3. What should high school and college graduates know and be able to do?


  • Tom Vander Ark, CEO, Getting Smart

[bctt tweet=”I just voted #AskAboutAI: Living & Learning with Smart Machines w @TVanderark for #SXSWedu18. Vote today!” via=”no”]


Don’t Let Data Hold You Back

It’s time to give teachers their Sundays back. Data interoperability is a powerful tool to transform teaching and learning and empower parents and students with their own data. Join this workshop to hear school and EdTech leaders share steps they took towards making interoperability a reality. Through sharing of tools, resources and lessons learned you’ll leave with a blueprint for how your organization can enable innovation in classroom practices with interoperability.

Learning Objectives

  1. Build awareness around the challenges of data privacy and student learning in the existing landscape of education technology
  2. Define gaps in tools or resources to execute on interoperability
  3. Provide tools and resources that can be implemented to improve interoperability


  • Caroline Vander Ark, COO, Getting Smart
  • Erin Mote, Executive Director, InnovateEDU

[bctt tweet= “I just voted for this @SXSWedu session about #datainteroperability–check it out and vote too! @CVanderArk @ErinMote” via=”no”]


Get Social: Telling Your Story with Social Media

While social media can be a valuable way to keep up-to-date on the latest news and ideas, if you’re not using it to tell your own story you’re missing out on a big opportunity. In this session, join social media gurus to learn how to optimize for different platforms, enhance your personal brand, showcase your content, and tell your story–all while capturing hearts and minds. You’ll also have the opportunity to create a mini campaign you can implement today!

Learning Objectives

  1. An overview of best practices for using different social media platforms, with a personal “next step” takeaway.
  2. Storytelling that captures the heart and mind of your audience.
  3. Learn how to build a mini-campaign to share your content, story or idea.


  • Jessica Slusser, Project Manager, Getting Smart
  • Chris Jackson, Chief Communications Officer, Big Picture Learning

[bctt tweet=”I just voted for Telling Your Story w/ Social Media featuring @Cjacksonj13 @jess_slusser. Check it out and vote!” via=”no”]


Innovation in Learning

XQ moderates Industry Talk with Thought Leaders on National High School Redesign Initiatives with a focus on challenges and successes. This talk is a continuation of the XQ Expert Series: Technology and Learning for Interconnected World. Attendees will learn about initiatives that incorporating technology and other innovation to create meaningful experiences for students. Attendees will hear inspiring examples, stories and lessons learned from across the country.

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will learn about past national high school redesign initiatives and how to build on lessons learned from them.
  2. Participants will learn from national experts on current and upcoming trends on high school redesign.
  3. Participants will experience speakers reflect specifically on education innovation in technology and learning for an interconnected world.


[bctt tweet=”I just voted for the @SXSWedu session Innovation in Learning w @maryryerse @MicheleCahillNY @drmonie–check it out!” via=”no”]


Why Innovate Alone? Harness the Power of Networks

School networks are one of the most important innovations in modern era K-12 education. By providing design principles, curriculum, tech tools and ways to facilitate connected learning and improvement, networks play an important role in scaling high-quality learning. This design workshop will start with stories from network leaders and strategies for creating networks within your system, then you’ll work together to design and share a plan for how networks can empower you and your colleagues.

Learning Objectives

  1. Learn how to harness the power of networks to increase your ed innovation’s impact.
  2. Identify strategies to engage and connect with others to develop networks.
  3. Learn impact stories from network leaders and identify how you can use lessons shared in your own network journey.


[bctt tweet=”I just voted for this @SXSWedu session about the power of networks w @tvanderark @LydiaDobyns @Carlos_Moreno06″ via=”no”]


Friends & Partner Sessions:

Design Thinking–How Can We Make School Not Suck?

Employability and the High School Experience

  • Tessa Simmonds, One Stone student and member, 2017-2018 board of directors, One Stone

Evolution of an Educator: How to Get Real and Raw

  • Celeste Bolin, Science and Wellness Coach, One Stone

Flywheel of High Expectations

  • Pete Oliver, One Stone 2017-2018 Board Chair, One Stone
  • Joel Poppen, One Stone co-founder & legal affairs senior vice president, legal affairs, general counsel and corporate secretary, Micron Technology, One Stone

High Quality Project Based Learning

How Well Do We Know Our Kids? SEL and Gamification

It’s A Project Based World

Secret Sauce of a District’s Success: Data Chats

We’re Doing Gamification Wrong: Kids Want to Learn

  • Elliott Hedman, Experience Designer, mPath

Why “Just Add Games” Doesn’t Boost Engagement

  • Elliott Hedman, Experience Designer, mPath

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

This post includes mentions of Getting Smart partners. For a full list of partners, affiliate organizations and all other disclosures please see our Partner page.

Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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