This post is sponsored by SXSWedu

The New Year brings new programming at SXSWedu, and with it even more reasons to attend the event. Educators, policymakers, entrepreneurs and innovators will come together in March to offer some of the most dynamic programming to-date. Still looking for a reason to attend? Here are three!

1) Delve into emerging trends in education

SXSWedu programming does not simply showcase prominent speakers, but shines light on up-and-coming voices and issues that will play a role in the future of education. Discuss topics such as developments in SEL, the relationship between hip hop and school culture, equity in standardized testing, or education policy in the 2016 election, to name a few.

2) Create new connections

SXSWedu offers many opportunities to network in your area of interest. You can participate in the mentor program, in which, as a mentor or mentee, you get to engage in a one-on-one conversation about a shared passion. (read more…)

This post is sponsored by NCCE.

There is no doubt that social media is changing the way we connect with information and with each other. From Twitter to YouTube, information, experts and colleagues are a mere click away and travel alongside you anywhere, anytime.

In this time of advanced technology and access, many wax poetically about the power of social media to connect. We couldn’t agree more that this toolset is powerful and connection-oriented, but even we know that social media cannot completely replace face-to-face experiences.

Our personal and professional learning networks are important to teachers and our professions, but the rich experiences that conferences and summits can provide are still unparalleled. Whether it is ISTE, CUE, META, or our favorite NCCE, connecting face to face with educators, administrators, IT directors, scholars and even students provides a much deeper learning experience than can happen in 140 characters. Don’t get us wrong. (read more…)

This post is sponsored by TCEA.

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barringtonTCEA 2016 closing keynote speaker Captain Barrington Irving will inspire you to empower your students with technology and help shape the future of teaching and learning. Make plans to connect with your peers and other education technology leaders February 1-5, 2016 for a week of learning, networking, and discovery at TCEA 2016 Convention & Exposition.

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Barrington Irving was 23 years old when he became the youngest pilot and the first African-American ever to fly solo around the world. When he landed in Miami after his record-breaking flight, he chose to use his experience to change the lives of others.

Through his non-profit, Experience Aviation, and his Flying Classroom project, Irving is bringing hands-on learning to students all over the country. His message to educators trying to encourage interest in STEM is simple and powerful: Sell the finish line.

“Kids are hungry to do something, but many are uninspired,” Irving contends, “They want to know ‘What will my future look like? (read more…)

This post is sponsored by SXSWedu.

SXSWedu Conference & Festival fosters innovation in learning by hosting a diverse and energetic community of stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds in education. Our four-day event affords registrants open access to engaging sessions, interactive workshops, hands-on learning experiences, film screenings, early stage startups and a host of networking opportunities. By providing a platform for collaboration, SXSWedu works to promote creativity and social change.

In July, we received more than 1,300 proposals from the community, with speakers from all over the world and different pockets of the education community. This provides us with a vast amount of data to identify what ideas and themes are trending in the education community for 2016 and what the community wants to talk about.

So, what does the education community want to talk about at SXSWedu? These trending tags in this year’s PanelPicker proposals inform the popular trends for 2016:

  • design thinking
  • stem
  • technology
  • professional development
  • higher education
  • edtech
  • student-centered learning
  • innovation

We also saw some changes from 2015 based on the language used across proposals. (read more…)

This post is sponsored by VSTE.

“I would go back to high school if it meant going to a school like this,” commented my companion as we toured the Warrior Tech Academy, a school within a school administered by Henry County Public Schools in Virginia. We were being led by four Warrior Tech students — sophomores Charquise Smith-Stultz and Kaitlyn Thompson and juniors Delinda Nguyen and Ana Caro — and the pride in their innovative learning space was evident. The Academy’s classrooms and hallways, carved out of a media center, have turned traditional classroom design on its head. Windows face into the hall so classrooms are bright and transparent. Classroom walls are whiteboards where students are encouraged to brainstorm and communicate. Chairs and tables in the classroom are portable and the hallways include comfortable small group planning areas with overstuffed chairs and small display screens.

The careful attention to space demonstrates the commitment to collaboration that underlies Warrior Tech’s project-based learning curriculum. (read more…)