Four Ideas to Explore the Future of PreK-12 Education at SXSWedu

Published August 12, 2016

Cast your Panel Picker votes by September 2nd to help set the agenda for SXSWedu 2017!

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Back-to-school season is just getting started, but it’s not too early to start thinking about SXSWedu 2017. The SXSW Panel Picker is open for public voting from now until September 2, 2016! SXSWedu’s Panel Picker process gives everyone a chance to help choose the sessions that will be on the conference agenda next March.

This year we’ve submitted four proposals for panels to explore some of the biggest ideas in preK-12 education today. Learn about our sessions below, and then visit the 2017 Panel Picker to review other proposals and vote for your favorite.

Teaching: Art, Science, or Both?

Educational outcomes today can be shaped as much by research and science as by the individual cultures and talents of schools and teachers. This session compares trends and changes in modern teaching that are rooted in data and research with those that emerge organically from the passion and creativity of educators. Should future education policies be defined more by the bottom-up art or the top-down science of learning?


Heath Morrison, SVP, Government Affairs, McGraw-Hill
Karolyn Belcher, President of TNTP (The New Teacher Project)
James E. Ford, Program Director, Public School Forum, and former North Carolina Teacher of the Year
Rebecca Mieliwocki, 2012 National Teacher of the Year

Why is K-12 Education So Slow to Change?

From smart phones to electric cars, innovations have reshaped virtually every aspect of our lives. Even in higher ed, digital instructional tools and flipped classrooms are changing the experience for professors and students. Why then have many of our K-12 classrooms remained so firmly rooted in the 20th century? Is there something inherently change-resistant about our K-12 schools? A visionary district superintendent, an ed tech industry leader and an educator discuss what change can look like when a school or classroom breaks out. How can educators and leaders ignite change in their schools and communities to truly transform instruction and learning? Walk away with a vision for change.


Peter Cohen, Education Technology Industry Expert (moderator)
Keith Krueger, CEO, COSN
Alberto Carvalho, Miami-Dade Superintendent
Catlin Tucker, Author, Blended Learning Educator

Researchers Share New Approaches to Teaching ELLs

English Language Learners (ELLs) are a growing yet still underserved segment of the U.S. student population and teaching these diverse learners presents a unique and highly complex set of challenges. This panel brings together researchers and learning experts to explore the latest findings and new approaches to helping teachers with second language and bilingual students. Can technology make a difference in ensuring equity for all learners? How can teachers specifically address the complex needs of ELLs?


Christine Willig, President of School, McGraw-Hill
Dr. Cristina Alfaro, San Diego State University
Minh-Anh Hodge, President of NABE, Director of English-Language Learners, Elementary Education and Leadership for Tacoma Public Schools

Can We Have a Waze App for Learning?

Can simple and beautiful visualizations unlock the power of learning? Big Data gets all the buzz, but data without Insights is useless. In this session we will demonstrate new frontiers in learning science and advanced analytics through the art of interactive visualizations. What if we view learning as a journey? How can we equip the driver or pilot with the best navigational tools? And if the instructor is air traffic control, how can they ensure that all planes arrive at their destination safely, effectively and on time?


Al Essa, VP of Research and Data Science, McGraw-Hill

Remember to vote for your favorite session proposals by midnight on September 2, 2016. We’ll see you next year in Austin!