SXSWedu, a conference that began seven years ago as a Texas-focused event, has mushroomed in the true tradition of the Lone Star state into something much bigger and more ambitious.
The conference, which now draws more than 7,500 educators, ed-tech entrepreneurs, philanthropic leaders, and others from around the United States and the world, kicks off Monday in Austin, Texas and runs from March 5-8.
My colleague Michele Molnar and I will be on the scene, reporting on the event and taking part in a couple of panels on hot topics at the intersection of education, technology, and business. Please come by and join our discussions, the details of which are below.
The conference features discussions on education policy, films, cutting education technology and of course exhibits by companies of all sizes trying to impress K-12 audiences, potential partners, and investors. As such, many vendors look to SXSW EDU to network in meetings that don’t appear on the official agenda.
Keynote speakers include Jim Shelton, a former top official at the U.S. Department of Education, now the manager of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s education strategy; author and journalist Jessica Lahey; and international peace and economic development advocate Alaa Murabit.
Other featured speakers come straight from the K-12 space. They include Chris De La Cruz of the South Bronx Community Charter High School, and Crystal Duckert, of the Greenhill School in Dallas, both of whom will be speak at a session called “Stories of Schooling and Getting Schooled,” featuring teachers offering insider perspectives on their work inside classrooms.
Michele and I will be appearing on three panels at SXSWedu, all of them connected to the issues we’ve been writing about in entrepreneurship and education:
- David DeSchryver and I will be leading a session called “ESSA Takes Hold: What Companies Need to Know,” at the Hilton Austin Downtown, Salon F, at 11:30 on Monday, March 5.
- I’ll be moderating a session on “Breaking Down the International Ed-Tech Market,”at the Austin Convention Center, Room 3, at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 5. I’ll be joined by Din Heiman, of SquaredEdu, who has extensive experience working in the school arena in foreign countries, and Karen Parker, who helps companies try to establish a foothold abroad, as part of the U.S. Commercial Service.
- Michele will be moderating a session on “How to Prepare Kids for Jobs That Don’t Exist Yet,” at the Austin Convention Center, Room 10 A/B, at 3:30 pm on March 5. Her panelists are Liz Wamai of Facebook; Jacob Victorica of the Da Vinci Schools, and Evin Shutt of 72andSunny.
If you’re an educator or entrepreneur at the event, let us know about the issues that are shaping your work, and what you’re hoping to get out of the conference.
Photo: A scene from the exhibit all at SXSWedu in 2015, by Swikar Patel of Education Week.
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