Last week I attended SXSWedu, an education-centric pre-conference to South by Southwest Interactive. I came home with 13 pages of handwritten notes and an information hangover. South by Southwest Interactive is the now seemingly ubiquitous conference of music, culture, tech and hipsterdom held annually in Austin, Texas. SXSWedu is a smaller gathering which occurs the week before the big event, attracting thousands of teachers, entrepreneurs, policy makers and students. It packs a hyperbolic amount of content about teaching and learning into three days, but many sessions are available now to watch for free.
Here’s a list of items of interest to me, a long time librarian in higher education:
- Kahoot – flashcards & games (See our review from last December)
- Flipgrid – video chat discussion board (See our review from February)
- Skype for classroom – collaborate globally, take a field trip, earn certificates
- Youtube live – like Facebook live but on Youtube
- Future ready librarians: K-12 education uses the term “future ready” to describe goal of bringing districts, schools, and libraries into the 21st century and give kids the skills and opportunities they need to succeed in a fast-changing world. What does it mean to be a ‘future ready librarian’? This infographic explains. This panel had great online handouts.
- Library & out of time meet up – This session gathered librarians from higher ed, K-12 and public libraries, as well as vendors, museum curators, and random library fans together for informal conversations & shared brainstorming. It was an introvert’s nightmare, though I did meet the folks behind Mobile Citizen, a mobile hotspot vendor aiming to make wireless access affordable to everyone. They want to work with library systems to provide mobile hot spots for checkout.
- Open Educational Resources: At the “Ed Surge Lightening Talks” I heard a university provost describe how librarians and instructional designers at her school located & tagged open educational resources with learning outcomes to develop an OER Commons for their faculty. Here’s their LibGuide.
- Design thinking…for libraries: As overheard in a workshop, ADDIE is out, DT is in. Design thinking, or human-centered design, is all about starting with people — the users that visit your library, so you can start coming up with solutions to everyday challenges within the library. Stanford has built a 90 minute Virtual Crash Course in Design Thinking that you can facilitate yourself among a small group of learners
- Storytelling: Why tell a story? Some reasons include connecting to a curriculum, effective classroom engagement, and community-building. The Moth – a group of professional and amateur storytellers based in New York – offers tips for crafting your story – and an outlet through which to tell it
- Enterprise embracing the MOOC – Salesforce Trailhead embodies the classic features of a MOOC (badges, online, asynchronous, massive & free) to train up skills for their sales software
- “Digital Education is the oil of the knowledge economy” – just a neat quote
- Ed Tech moving into the East & South markets (China & Africa)
- New tools: DigiExam (digital exam platform), Zzish (mobile learning apps), Open Campus (“campus” (as opposed to course) management system), Practice (video platform designed to empower interactive, individualized learning for mobile, active learners, anywhere, anytime, and on any device – prototyped with surgery residents at UCSF)
Would I attend SXSWedu again? Maybe. It is close to where I live and professional development funding is available. But for the average health sciences librarian, SXSWedu might be one of those ‘bucket list’ conferences. Good for a one time visit, likely not a return customer.