Future Makers: Speakers at SXSWEDU 2015

William Woods EDU

Missouri educators, school leaders and curriculum designers who could not attend  this year’s SXSWedu 2015 gathering in Austin Texas can still enjoy a glimpse of the four-day event — packed with presenters who impact and inspire the field of learning. SXSWedu is a component of the South by Southwest family of conferences and festivals that includes SXSW Music, Film and Interactive; SXSW Eco and SXSW V2V.

Internationally recognized as the convergence gathering for the creative arts, SXSWedu extends SXSW’s support for the art of engagement beyond musicians, filmmakers and new media innovators to include school leaders and classroom educators.

Attendees enjoyed more than 300 sessions that ranged from panel discussions and future15 talks to workshops and core conversations. Other features included an interactive playground celebrating creative pursuits in maker, STEM, gaming, and the arts, along with LAUNCHedu, an education startup event showcasing some of the most innovative early-stage companies in a fast-paced competition that unfolds in front of a judging panel of practitioners, entrepreneurs and investors.

Summits, a new facet of programming debuting at SXSWedu 2015, will serve as an event within an event. Typically, lasting longer than a traditional session or workshop, attendees can anticipate summits to offer a more intimate and collaborative environment, with the end goal of actionable outcomes.

For educators in Missouri looking for new ideas in education, here are some presenters who generated buzz at SXSWedu 2015:

Sean McComb, 2014 National Teacher of the Year
McComb, a 30-year-old Maryland-based English teacher started a program at Patapsco High School & Center for the Arts in Baltimore County Public Schools to help students in the “academic middle” stretch themselves so they can succeed in college. As National Teacher of the Year, McComb will take a leave from teaching next year and travel around the country advocating for and representing his colleagues in the teaching profession.

Shelly Sanchez Terrell, author and education technology guru
Terrell told the SXSW audience that simply by using the pound sign “anyone becomes a coder by contributing to a conversation that is searchable and viewable online.”

Sanchez s one of the founders of #edchat, the original education “hashtag chat” on Twitter. She said thousands of teachers are engaging in these weekly online conversations on a vast variety of topics — special education, English language learners, teaching with technology and many more — and their voices are being heard by millions. She has written two books: The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching and Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology).

Michelle Riconscente, PhD, Director of Learning & Assessment, GlassLab
Riconscente has been a leader in bringing new technologies to the classroom, and novel design approaches to assessment. At GlassLab, she applies more than 20 years of experience in the design and research of educational technologies to create game environments and support materials that strongly link learning and assessment. Previously an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology and Technology at the University of Southern California, she authored the first controlled study of an iPad learning app. She spent a year as Deputy Director of Research for SciPlay at the New York Hall of Science, where she led efforts to study technology-enhanced playground activities for learning physics.

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