Where You Need to Be at SXSW EDU 2020

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Headed to Austin in a couple weeks for SXSW EDU? We are too and we can’t wait to spend four days discussing and working on education innovation and the future of learning with fellow optimistic, forward-thinking stakeholders and leaders.

Below we’ve included a list of sessions our team is a part of, as well as a few we’re excited to attend. We also encourage you to check out the featured speaker line up and sessions for the conference. As usual, there’s a huge list of great educators and leaders coming to share their experiences and best practices to help push all of our thinking forward.

For the third consecutive year, we’re excited to be an SXSW EDU media partner. We’d love to meet up while we’re there, but if you can’t make it to Austin, stay tuned to Twitter (@Getting_Smart), we’ll be on the ground live reporting and can’t wait to share what we learn.

You can also follow along on our team’s social handles. Here’s who you’ll see in Austin:

Here’s where we’ll be throughout the week and we hope you’ll join us!

Getting Smart’s Sessions and Events

Pathways & Connections to the World of Work

When: Tuesday, March 10th, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Where: Hilton Austin, Room 410

  • Alexandra Lee, Executive Director, Sasaki Foundation
  • David Miyashiro, Superintendent, Cajon Valley Union School District
  • Michael Rubin, Principal, Uxbridge High School
  • Tom Vander Ark, CEO, Getting Smart
  • Elliot Washor, Co-Director, Big Picture Learning

What: The demand for authentic learning experiences has accelerated and schools are scrambling for solutions. To be successful, students need to learn the skills that are required by the world of work. How do schools manage partnerships for internships, provide mentor relationships, and generally expose students to real-world career pathways? It’s time-consuming and takes established relationships with industry. During this panel, speakers will share how their schools and organizations are working to make learning relevant, discuss what opportunities exist to impact students at scale, and shed light on resources available.

World Changers: Schools That Make a Difference

When: Tuesday, March 10th, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
Where: Hilton Austin, Salon A

  • Tom Vander Ark, CEO, Getting Smart
  • Emily Liebtag, Boundless

What: Schools that value routine and compliance around facts and formulas do not yield the personal agency and leadership skills demanded by a world full of novelty and complexity. In this session, we will highlight and learn from 10+ schools that are working to empower young learners to find their purpose and determine how they might contribute to their communities. Learn lessons from leading educators and students who have found their purpose and ways to make a contribution.

EDU Recess

When: Tuesday, March 19th, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Where: La Volpe, Austin
Who: Getting Smart, Education Reimagined, Altitude Learning, Digital Promise and Next Generation Learning Challenges
Whats: Join us for this networking event at the end of day two to mix, mingle, and enjoy a local Austin favorite! Be sure to click here and register.

Tell Your Story: Dream. Design. Deliver

When: Wednesday, March 11th, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Where: Hilton Austin, Salon K

  • Caroline Vander Ark, President and COO, Getting Smart
  • Manuel Herrera, Innovation Coordinator, Affton School District
  • Jessica Slusser, Director of Communication, Getting Smart

What: We all have a story to tell. Learning how to share and shape a narrative is a powerful tool. Our storytelling journey begins with understanding our ‘why’ and making reflection part of our daily routine. This workshop uses design thinking to develop a personable brand for your school, organization, or self and shows the power of differentiation. You’ll finish with a new, marketable narrative and reflective growth practice. Bring your paper and pens and get ready to doodle, draw and share!

Other Sessions and Events to Check Out

Another reason we love SXSW EDU is the activity opportunities they offer each morning. Whether you’re interested in a morning run or Barre workout, a HIIT class, or a hike, there is something for everyone.

Unlocking Opportunity with Digital Credentials

When: Monday, March 9th, 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM

What: Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is building the foundation for the learning ecosystem of the future. This means ensuring learners are equipped to meet workforce needs. Digital credentials allow learners to create their own pathways to success. Through the Google.org-funded “FEATuring You” project, SNHU’s merger with LRNG, and ongoing efforts to envision the future of digital credentials, SNHU is exploring innovative ways to help learners achieve their full potential.

Using PBL to Develop Critical Thinking

When: Tuesday, March 10, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
What: Organizations, including the World Economic Forum and the OECD, consider critical thinking an essential skill students and workers need for college and career success. Critical thinking can be enhanced through carefully designed activities folded into rigorous and relevant project-based learning. This workshop will introduce participants to a research-based framework, engage participants in hands-on activities that develop critical thinking, and explore tech tools that facilitate the process.

Leadership Journeys at SXSW EDU

When: Wednesday, March 11th, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
What: The path of educators and leaders of color is not without obstacles. They work in and with communities who themselves are often barraged with conflict. And yet, they’re often tasked with being courageous and stern in the face of adversity. To withhold love and mask vulnerability. We whole-heartedly reject this premise. Big Picture Learning invites educators of color and allies of the equity in education movement to join exceptional system leaders from across the country as they share deeply personal stories in a fun, interactive, standing room only celebration of their collective dopeness.

Trying to Plan Your Week?

First things first, don’t land in Austin without at least the start of a plan! Download the SXSW EDU app and start browsing. It’s super user friendly and allows you to start building your agenda by favoring sessions and searching by tracks, tags, formats and day.

If this isn’t your first time attending, you know there’s virtually unlimited opportunity to learn and grow at the conference. With so many great sessions and speakers it can sometimes feel overwhelming to decide where to be each day. Thanks to the SXSW EDU Recommends tool you can get a personalized programming and networking recommendation based on a variety of factors including events that you’ve marked as favorites.

You’ll receive recommendations to help you make the most of your experience and help you figure out your game plan.

For more, see:

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This post includes mentions of a Getting Smart partner. 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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