What's New for SXSWedu 2017: Quite a Bit!

Written by Jessica MacCall | February 10, 2017

SXSWedu photo by Diego Donamaria

We are humbled and honored to host the community's conversations about innovations in learning at SXSWedu. Each year we look for new and creative ways to encourage the types of conversations and the collaboration that pushes the needle forward. With that said, we are excited to share some of the NEW programming elements and events we've been working on for SXSWedu 2017. As you'll read below, much of this is inspired by the feedback that we've received from the greater community over the past year.

Learn more about what we have in store and don't forget to register to attend SXSWedu, March 6-9, 2017 before this Friday's discount deadline to save $150.

Monday is Moving to a Full Day

We don't want to let a single second of your time in Austin go to waste and frankly, we received so many compelling session submissions for the 2017 event this year in PanelPicker that extending Monday to a full day seemed like a no-brainer!

We're Introducing a New Destination for the Higher Education Community

One of the biggest trends we saw in last year's attendee survey was a desire for more higher education content at the event. Given the growth in attendees from the higher education community over the past few years, this makes total sense. So for SXSWedu 2017, we are thrilled to introduce the Higher Ed Hub!

While there will be plenty of other higher education sessions and events scattered throughout the four-day SXSWedu Conference & Festival, the hub will only take place on Wednesday, March 8 and is a concentrated space designed for administrators, professors and business leaders to learn and connect with their peers through sessions, booths and networking events.

A New Competition Celebrating the Way Physical Space Impacts Learning

There's an exciting new energy surrounding the impact physical space has on the way students learn. In a survey of the community this summer we discovered that 86% of respondents believe that physical design of the space affects learning most of the time. That same survey reviled key traits of innovative learning spaces to be collaborative, flexible, comfortable, simple and outside, among more.

This got us thinking ... and so for SXSWedu 2017 we are excited to celebrate organizations, designers, architects and others rethinking the learning environment with the Learn by Design competition. The Learn by Design competition will focus on design of physical learning spaces and how they have the potential to impact learning outcomes. Selected organizations will share their design work with a judging panel of industry experts, as well as a live audience at SXSWedu, March 6-9, 2017.

The Expo Will Be Two Days This Year

Traditionally, the SXSWedu Expo has been a free-and-open to the public event designed for Central Texas Students of all ages to identify and reach their education and career goals.

Based on consistent feedback from SXSWedu attendees, we realize that they would like a larger window of time to explore the Expo so for SXSWedu 2017 we are expanding the Expo to a two-day event. The first day will be open only to SXSWedu registrants and the second day free and open the public.

New Formats and Tracks Added to the Program

Each year, we do a refresh of the program tracks and formats used to organize all of the SXSWedu sessions and events. These changes are curated by SXSWedu team, based on trends we're observing within the community. New for this year:

New Format

  • Case Studies - An opportunity for individuals or organizations to present their research and analyses of projects, policies, institutions or other systems followed by an audience Q&A.

New Tracks

A Series of Performances Joining the Schedule

We are excited to introduce performances to take place throughout the event. The performance series will offer attendees the opportunity to experience and reflect on the value of performing arts as vehicle for deeper learning. The series will showcase performances from theatrical groups, literacy development programs, music groups and more.

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SXSWedu photo by Diego Donamaria.

Related News:

  • New for SXSWedu 2017: Learn by Design Competition
  • SXSWedu October Community Update Featuring PanelPicker Trends Available [INFOGRAPHIC]
  • Sara Goldrick-Rab Keynote, Playground Displays, 200+ Sessions and More Announced for March