A robust platform for the community to connect, collaborate, create and change how we teach and learn- SXSWedu is quickly gaining a reputation as a catalyst for change in education. The event welcomes the professionals making up the many different facets of the education ecosystem. Education stakeholders and practitioners of all backgrounds– including teachers, administrators, university professors and business and policy leaders– with the passion and commitment to create a better tomorrow make up the SXSWedu community.
Delivered by Distinguished Speaker Darline Robles, Professor at the University of Southern California. There’s a rising voice calling to our educators across the nation; it seeks access to the American dream; it seeks equity with other children; it seeks to speak into our future in new, daring, and exciting ways. Will we listen? Will we change? Will we embrace the change? For educators and educational entrepreneurs looking into the future of K-12 schools in America, Dr. Darline Robles will offer new insight into the “rising voice” of the Latino majority minority, which is even now entering kindergartens across the nation. Many of us already know the challenges inherent in closing the achievement gap, or effectively reaching English Learners. But can we say that we are truly culturally proficient? Are we developing the kinds of solutions they need to become engaged, informed and effective citizens? And in this new generation sweeping through our nation’s schools, are there echoes of the past—stories of success and equality—that can bring us hope, and guide us toward a brighter future?
Delivered by Distinguished Speaker Alan Gershenfeld, President of E-Line Media. Computer and video games have emerged as one of the most powerful mediums of the 21st century, generating billions of hours of highly engaged entertainment. A growing body of research is also highlighting the enormous potential of games and game-infused experiences to be a key driver of innovation in addressing some of the most pressing social, cultural, scientific and economic challenges of the 21st Century. Recognizing this potential, many leading foundations, academic institutions and government agencies are investing hundreds of millions of dollars to harness the power of the medium to further their learning, health, and social impact goals There is, however, a big gap between the potential for games to make a positive impact and the reality that most impact game projects struggle to transition from promising research pilots to meaningful, sustained impact at scale. This session will explore methodologies for closing this gap.
Delivered by Distinguished Speaker Maria Carstarphen, Austin Independent School District Superintendent. As the face of public education changes, educators must meet students where they are to prepare for the future—today. The Austin Independent School District serves more than 86,000 students amid changing demographics: Two out of three are from economically disadvantaged families; one in three is learning English; and one in 10 is in special education. For some, AISD is a high-quality pipeline to college and success. For others, AISD is their first connection with the U.S. education system. Serving this range of students in a competitive environment requires honest dialogue and innovative partnerships—from college-preparatory initiatives to Spanish-language, educational programs. Join Superintendent Meria Carstarphen to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing urban school districts through the lens of AISD, which is bringing its diverse communities together to strengthen support for all students. Learn about culturally relevant strategies to authentically engage communities and meet families where they are today—with a keen eye on the future.
Delivered by Distinguished Speaker Jim Shelton, Assistant Deputy Secretary at the US Dept. of Education. The U.S. and the world are facing increasingly complex issues and challenges, both of man and nature, that seem to be beyond the imaginations and even well-intentioned efforts of this and the last generation. This seems to be a part of the human condition, which is why Robert F. Kennedy gave timeless advice, “…rely on youth…not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease…” The question is how can we unlock the latent human potential that exists in this and every country and use it to overcome some of our grandest challenges.
Delivered by Distinguished Speaker Jaime Casap, Senior Education Evangelist at Google. The web has integrated into our daily lives. This is extraordinary considering that it happened in just a short number of years. Now imagine the integration of the web into our children’s lives. Those entering school this year do not know a world without the web. Our students are children of the web. It is where they manage their resources, where they manage their relationships, where they collaborate with each other, and where they go to learn. Think about what we can do with the web today and try to imagine what we will be able to do in two years, ten years, or 20 years. In this talk, we will examine how the web is central to new learning models that will help educators and students discover, collaborate, create, and transform what learning will look like for generations to come.
Delivered by Distinguished Speaker Sara DeWitt, Vice President of PBS Kids Digital We are living and learning within a technological revolution, but today’s children experience it through a very specific vehicle: GAMES. Research shows that well designed games can improve and enhance children’s ability to learn key skills including math, literacy, science and beyond. And new technologies such as body-input navigation through cameras and 3D-rendered experiences like augmented reality apps also help kids between the ages of 3-8 get up and moving while they learn. So how can developers be innovative to create unique and compelling gaming experiences across platforms that will engage children while building critical skills for learning – and are they game changers for education? What do teachers, caregivers and parents need to navigate this new terrain? Join Sara DeWitt, Vice President, PBS KIDS Interactive, for a discussion about the current research and new technologies in gaming, and the potential (or risks?) for young learners.
Delivered by Distinguished Speaker Rebecca Mieliwocki, 2012 National Teacher of the Year There is no more essential a profession responsible for shaping and safeguarding our future than that of teachers. Teachers provide our young people with the skills and knowledge they need to create the better world we all wish to live in. Yet, American public school teachers are unappreciated, tired, overwhelmed with responsibilities not typically theirs, burnt out, and under relentless attack. Fewer and fewer people see teaching as a viable profession that can sustain them financially or emotionally. If we hope to restore faith and admiration to the profession of teaching, we have to remind our teachers just how incredibly vital they are. If we hope to attract talented new individuals into this rewarding career path, they need to know more about the impact and influence great teachers can have. To truly elevate the profession we need to use our collective voice and energy to advocate for avenues for our skill and talent to be recognized, supported, and celebrated. But more than any of that, we need to remind everyone that teaching our young people is a uniquely human endeavor. The greatest gift we can give one another is the courage to be unique, to be human, to be different, to be incredible.
Delivered by Distinguished Speaker Nikhil Goyal, 17-year-old author and speaker. Every nine seconds, a student drops out of school. Why? For a majority, school is not relevant to them. The education system isn’t broken— it’s doing exactly what it was intended to do — create compliant cogs in machines. Students are desperately craving a learning renaissance where the old order of education is shattered and institutions are forced to either adapt and reinvent, or go extinct. Imagine if we transformed schools into social engines and public spaces for tinkering, hacking, and disrupting. Imagine kids loving school each and every day. We will examine these ideas and questions like: What role does inquiry play in learning? How can students take agency over their learning experiences? How can we reinvent schools from scratch?
Delivered by Distinguished Speaker Neeru Khosla, Co-Founder & Executive Director of CK-12 Foundation. Sticking out like a sore thumb in a sea of ed tech zombie ideas is the rapid growth of OER as the future of education. It is extraordinary to see the adoption of high quality, curated STEM content for K-12 from students, teachers — both in small private schools to public schools, parents — all actively participating in customizing and delivering OER content to improve learning outcomes. Imagine how marrying high value curated content + interactive tools can empower learners and teachers globally. In this talk, we will discuss how to discover and personalize this plethora of digital content to create FREE textbooks and also the future of concept-based (bite-sized) learning leveraging multiple modalities (text, videos, exercises,interactive learning objects) that will help students and educators transform learning experiences.
Delivered by Distinguished Speaker Dale Dougherty, Founding Editor of Maker Media. The growing Maker Movement, with Make Magazine and Maker Faire leading the charge, is a catalyst for change in industry, culture and education. Making is the magic that can transform us from passive consumers into active producers. In education, making is the magic that can turn students bored by traditional academics into active, engaged learners. As makers, students can be inspired and invited to design and create, build and tinker, explore and discover, fail and recover, all of which develop the kind of skills and mindset that we recognize in creative and innovative people. Making encourages us to see the world as filled with endless possibilities and problems worth solving. We must take advantage of this opportunity to transform standardized education into a wide-open workshop for innovation. We’ll look at the importance of creating makerspaces in schools, developing a community of practice around engaging kids as makers, and how online tools can enhance and extend the value of making to the broader community.
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will address the foundation’s U.S. education work, which focuses primarily on ensuring all students are prepared for success in college and career. The keynote will take place 10:30 A.M. Thursday, March 7, 2013 in Ballroom D of the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. “Bill Gates’ name is already synonymous with technology innovation and philanthropy and, driven by the work of the Gates Foundation, education is clearly a personal priority,” said Ron Reed, executive producer of SXSWedu. “Gates’ background as a global business executive and leading philanthropist gives him a unique vantage point into education, one we know will be eagerly received by SXSWedu attendees.” Education has been a core pillar of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation since its inception. Gates has been a vocal champion of using innovative technologies to widen access to quality education across K-12 and higher education.
G. Asenath Andrews founded and is currently the principal of Catherine Ferguson Academy, an alternative public high school for teen mothers that also provides early education services for the children of the high school moms. Both middle and high school classes are held at the academy, which boasts a 90 percent graduation rate, and the vast majority of those graduating attend 2-4 year colleges. For the school’s efforts, it was recognized as one of the 12 schools selected nationally as a Breakthrough High School by the National Association of Secondary Principals in 2004. Moreover, Mrs. Andrews is also adjunct faculty at the University of Michigan and Madonna University and is also a research assistant at Moore & Associates Market Research. Mrs. Andrews is actively involved in her profession and the community. She is both a board member and Trustee of Olivet College and has served as a board member for the Michigan Association for Art Education, Michigan Alternative Education Organization, and Young Audiences of Michigan. She is a founding member of the Detroit Professional Women’s Network and is a task force member of the National Committee to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. In her limited free time, she functions as a choir director for the Second New Hope Baptist Church and is also a founding member of the vocal group “One Mind.” Notably, Mrs. Andrews was honored as a Milken Family Foundation Educator of the Year in 1992 for her work at the academy. In addition, she received an award as a Fulbright Hayes Study Tour Teacher in Zimbabwe. Ms. Andrews has a B.A. from Olivet College, an M.A. in education from Wayne State University and an ABD in Educational Psychology from the University of Michigan.
In a special keynote conversation moderated by award-winning writer with The New York Times Laura Pappano, Coursera co-founder Andrew Ng and edX President Anant Agarwal will focus on massive open online courses (MOOCs), a rapidly growing interest in the education space, designed to offer large-scale participation through the web.
Delivered by Distinguished Speaker Michael Robbins, Senior Advisor for Nonprofit Partnerships at the US Dept. of Education The digital learning revolution is more than trading textbooks for tablets – it is an unprecedented inflection point in education – a critical opportunity to transform how schools, parents, and community-based organizations collaborate on education. It should spur us to rethink how we connect all the assets in a student’s life to advance engagement in learning and academic success. There is unprecedented investment in education technology and digital learning initiatives. Unfortunately, we lack the corresponding investments to evolve education culture and build family and community supports to make these transformations successful. This session will discuss bridging this gap through digital learning partnerships and will explore how education technology should advance collective impact in education.