SXSWedu Survival Guide: Higher-Ed Edition

SXSWedu Survival Guide: Higher-Ed Edition


If you’re like us, you’re counting down the days until you can meet with all the education practitioners and entrepreneurs of your dreams—fueled by barbeque and caffeine from the Hilton coffee shop. Yes, SXSWedu is less than a week away.

The four days of sessions, networking and happy hours are sure to fly by, so we narrowed down the FOMO-inducing schedule and put together our own list of higher-ed events to attend. These programs relate to our broad interest in understanding how technology can help higher-ed institutions better serve modern learners. (Check out our K12 agenda here.)

Now that you know where we’ll be, come say hello and follow along as we live-tweet from @HigherEdSurge. Next week is going to be busy. Catch up on "House of Cards" ahead of time.

Higher-Ed Sessions (Or, where you can find Team EdSurge Higher Ed)

Monday, March 7

11 a.m. Helping Different Kinds of Minds Solve Problems (keynote): Some people think visually, others are more verbal. Colorado State University Professor of Livestock Temple Grandin explains how to involve complementary mindsets in project design.

12:30 p.m. Wisdom of Higher Ed Pioneers in 7 Minutes or Less: Perfect for your busy schedule, this TED-inspired session features short talks from higher ed practitioners and thought leaders, including ASU President Michael Crow and U.S. Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell.

2 p.m. The Research University in the New Millennium: Former MIT Dean for Graduate Education Christine Ortiz paints a picture of what future research universities might look like thanks to advances in learning science, digital technologies and global collaboration.

3:30 p.m. Education and Employment in a Changing World of Work: Are education systems adequately preparing individuals for an ever-changing job market? A panel hosted by the World Innovation Summit for Education explores how educators can play a more proactive role in shaping tomorrow’s economy.

Tuesday, March 8

11 a.m. How Students Can Help Reinvent Higher Ed: A panel of more than 10 students and university leaders applies design thinking to uncover how students can play a more active role in shaping their educational experience. This three-hour summit is broken into two active blocks.

12:30 p.m. How Universities are Crowdsourcing Innovation: Eleven “frenemy” public research institutions have formed an alliance to scale innovation. Leaders from some of the members, including Georgia State University and the University of Kansas, will talk about how they’re quickly testing technology and ideas across campuses.

12:30 p.m. Beyond Buzz: Credentialing & Competency Revolution: (We’re double-booked!) How does a certificate from a coding bootcamp relate to a degree? Hear this panel discuss whether alternative models for credentialing and competency-based education can better align education and employer’s workforce needs.

2 p.m. ImagineCon: The Future of Student Success: This is your chance to get up close and personal with the latest projects in personalized learning funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Get your afternoon stroll on and wander the interactive exhibition—and be sure to say hello at the EdSurge Higher Ed booth!

4 p.m. Personalized Learning Town Hall Meeting: This “highly interactive session” will engage attendees in discussions around personalized learning’s role increasing access and promoting equity.

Wednesday, March 9

9:30 a.m. How to Think Like a Futurist (keynote): Some people look into crystal balls to see the future. We’ll be checking out this master class with game designer and futurist Jane McGonigal. She’ll share her techniques and divulge five potential futures for education over the next decade.

12:30 p.m. Two Perspectives of Personalized Learning: Personalized learning has different meanings for different higher-ed communities. Hear two consulting firms share their research on personalized learning followed by a debate on what the trending terms really means.

12:30 p.m. InnovationU: Unlocking the University-as-Incubator: (Double-booked again!) How come universities, hotbeds of research, haven’t played much of a role in developing edtech? Academics-turned-entrepreneurs discuss how universities can become “innovation playgrounds.”

2 p.m. Personalized Learning: Campus Leadership Insights: What better way to learn about personalized learning solutions than to hear from those who’ve tried a few on their campuses? This panel of faculty discusses success, failures and what they wish they’d known when implementing courseware.

3:30 p.m. Institutionalizing Student Success at Universities: Technology promises to improve advising services and support students at risk of falling off track. (If you’re into acronyms, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation calls this iPASS—integrated planning and advising for student success.) Three university leaders share their experiences of deploying comprehensive programs to improve student success

Thursday, March 10

7:30 a.m. Top Trends in Higher Education: Rise and shine with coffee and discussion about key issues college leaders will face in the coming year. Hosted by The Chronicle of Higher Education, this program will touch on findings from the publication’s recent trends report and ask attendees to share their thoughts on which issues are most pressing.

9:30 a.m. Breaking Universities from the Inside Out: How can universities build R&D labs to safely test ideas about teaching and learning? Hear how two university leaders are running pilots with edtech entrepreneurs and measuring results. Our very own Director of Higher Education Strategy, Allison Dulin-Salisbury, will lead the discussion.

11 a.m. Shark Tank: EDU Edition: This session hosted by The Chronicle of Higher Education is a little more cutthroat: a journalist, a college tech leader and an entrepreneur respond to pitches from companies and college leaders. Spoiler: Barbara Corcoran will have to sit this one out.

Can’t wait to see you next week! Remember: what happens at SXSWedu … gets posted on EdSurge.

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