Workshops photo by Debbie Finley

Daytime sessions and workshops encompass a dynamic array of themes and topics that challenge the passionate leaders at SXSWedu to rethink and re-imagine the world of teaching and learning. Session content, which is largely contributed by community submissions via PanelPicker, is delivered through a wide variety of presentation categories and themes.

Browse the listing of 2015 accepted sessions by categories on the solo presentations, panel discussions, core conversations, workshops, Future15s and problem solvers pages now!

Check out the past speakers page for a look at presenters who have participated in SXSWedu over the years.


The following themes are used to organize the many sessions at SXSWedu and represent leading issues in education. Attendees are encouraged to reference these themes as a navigation tool to find sessions of interest.

Achievement Gaps & Educational Equality Assessment, Accountability & Standards
Big Data & Learning Analytics Cognitive Process & Design Thinkings
Continuing Education & Workforce Development DIY, Maker & Hacker
Entrepreneurialism in Education Gaming & Virtual Learning
Instructional Strategies & Best Practices International Models & Approaches
Leadership & Empowerment Policy & Funding
SEL & Digital Citizenship Social & Mobile Learning
Special Needs & Accessibility Systemic Implementation & Scale


Session categories are used to highlight the various presentation formats at SXSWedu. Categories differ in duration and levels of audience participation. Attendees are encouraged to participate in multiple categories for a dynamic experience during their time at SXSWedu. The following categories are an hour in length unless otherwise stated.

Closing Program The 2015 SXSWedu Conference & Festival will conclude with a special closing summit on the afternoon of Thursday, March 12. This event will be open to all attendees, occur on a single stage and consist of a diverse group of speakers who impact the field of learning.

Core Conversations allow discussion leaders to facilitate an informal and open dialogue with attendees around a particular topic. Attend these sessions ready to share your insights.

Debates provide a platform for constructive, moderated discussion between two leaders of opposing viewpoints.

Featured Sessions are broadly aligned with overarching themes and trending topics. Featured speakers are thought-leaders in education, invited to inspire, inform and headline each hour’s collection of sessions.

Future15s are short, focused presentations. Spanning a duration of 15 minutes each, Future15 speakers deliver straight-to-the-point talks.

Keynotes are the apex of each day’s programming and present well-regarded leaders extending the frontiers of education.

Mentors represent experts in their field who engage in one-on-one meetings with a number of attendees seeking advice.

Playground Talks are hosted within the SXSWedu Playground and highlight discovery-based learning activities. (30 minutes)

Playground Hands On experiences showcase a particular idea within the SXSWedu Playground. (30 minutes)

Problem Solvers offer an interactive exercise designed to address a prevalent challenge that is briefly summarized at the beginning of the session. Leaders will facilitate a two-hour attendee engagement for a number of small groups to work on possible solutions and present their findings.

Panel Discussions provide a diverse conversation around a particular topic, including audience Q&A.

Solo Presentations allow a single speaker to dive deep into their presentation topic and share valuable insights with attendees.

Summits will typically last longer than a traditional session or workshop; they will offer attendees a variety of voices and formats. Summits will stimulate actionable outcomes

Workshops offer an in-depth, instructional program covering a particular idea or topic that supports hands-on engagement. Workshops have a longer, two-hour format to provide ample time for attendees to engage in fruitful discussions and take home valuable skills.

SXSWedu 2014 workshop photo by Debbie Finley.