During the first week of March I attended my first SXSWedu conference in Austin, Texas. A month later I am still wrapping my head around all the ideas and connections made during that week. I do wish that I had a colleague to debrief with at the end of each day and that my business card was some type of a cool sticker.
As a first timer to SXSWedu, I was appreciative of all the conference tools – App, Social Media, Networking Opportunities, that allowed each user to have a unique and positive experience. What was really impressive was the consistent WIFI access throughout events allowing me to engage and share using my laptop or my phone to make the most out of what I was learning.
Impressions that have stayed with me:
- Play is Important – everyone that I met at SXSWedu was there to learn, to explore, to play and that is what is so great about education, educator value learning, and exploring new connections on the Playground allowed educators to explore new technology and think about how it could be implemented.
- Honoring Accomplishments – whether certificate or badge students and teachers alike appreciate certificates, badges or micro-credentials that can be earned and given either physically or digitally for completing a learning activity or an online module. In education I also think this is important as it promotes ongoing professional development and encourages teachers to be lifelong learners.
- Less is More – I really enjoyed several of the Future20 presentations that I attended. I felt like I walked away with the big picture and resources to revisit or rethink the topic at a later time and since it was only 20 minutes I could attend more of those presentations.
- Modern Updates – I am not a fan of using technology for the sake of technology but I do think that it can enhance experiences. For instance I loved the display in the bulb booth. I didn’t fully explore their digital portfolio solution but loved how they framed interactive flat panels as a way to showcase digital portfolios.
I would say that attending SXSWedu was a success and is an ed tech conference worth returning to. Do you agree? What other ed tech conferences do you think are worth attending?