A presenter at SXSW EDU engaging in storytelling

Explore student agency, storytelling, and more at SXSW EDU 2019

SXSW EDU offers sessions on the hottest topics in K12 education

Student agency is a form of personalized learning that encourages students to take initiative when it comes to their own learning experiences in the classroom. Therefore, students get to decide what and how they learn.

Students are presented with choices, making them more inclined to be engaged and invested in learning. Schools fostering student agency are preparing students to be successful, innovative, and independent thinkers of tomorrow. Student-centered learning empowers student voice and gives students a platform.

Understanding the importance of student voice is necessary for creating a culture of eager learners. As a result, there is a change in the students’ attitude toward learning that is both positive and receptive. We need to take a look at the impact of student agency and its effectiveness of providing students with skills and growth.

Student agency is an emerging, relevant topic in education and the sociopolitical climate, based on entries and selections via PanelPicker. This upcoming SXSW EDU will feature various sessions about student agency with focuses on inclusion, sexual harassment, social justice, and student voice.

Sessions include:
Youth Voice: Sparking Synergy for Inclusive Change
#StudentVoice: Why InventEd is a 21stC Essential
Classrooms & Beyond: Empowering Student Voices
Check out the 2019 SXSW EDU schedule to see the full list of sessions in this track.

Making the classroom work for each student

Every individual learner is unique and learns differently. Learning environments are working to improve to meet individual student’s needs and in the way they learn best. SXSW EDU 2019 programming will explore some of the ways education is evolving to personalize how students learn.

The Universal Design Learning (UDL) framework is one of the approaches using scientific insights to help classrooms adapt to meet different learning styles. The workshop UDL: Designing for Learner Variability aims to help participants learn the basics and enrich their lesson designs to help all students. Further explore the UDL framework in action in the hands on session Build a Better Book: Engineering with Empathy where you’ll learn how youth makers design accessible interactive books for children who are visually impaired or blind.

Personalized learning continues to be a topic that is working to further curriculum in all fields. In the panel CEO State of Play in Personalized Learning, hear from the CEOs from iNACOL, LEAP Innovations, Highlander Institute, and PowerMyLearning about their journey and how to continue to build capacity for personalized learning.

As technology continues to push the education landscape into the future, tools like AI offer an opportunity for the education environment to be more easily personalized to students. The panel Progress and Challenges for AI in Education will discuss AI in education and its boundless possibilities including adaptive learning systems. The talk Puppet & iPad: Measuring Early Literacy With Tech takes this idea further with looking at how to improve early literacy skills and help indigenous and non-indigenous students in Nova Scotia without bias.

Explore more sessions on personalized learning and universal design in the online schedule. We look forward to continuing the conversation with you at SXSW EDU 2019 in Austin, Texas on March 4-7, 2019.

Celebrating storytelling at SXSW EDU

Being able to tell a story, whether it is a fairytale or taking 30 seconds to make a persuasive argument, is a skill that every person learns to master. Common to all mankind is the lobe of a good story. Whether sitting around a campfire, or getting lost in a great book, getting swept up in a narrative is a universal truth. But storytelling can take many forms and the ability to engage your audience, whether that is one person, a classroom, or an auditorium, being able to speak with impact carries you through all stages of learning and frankly, any life stage.

This coming SXSW EDU, storytelling takes on many formats across many tracks. With session proposals on the topic doubling this year, storytelling is woven through a range of formats including Panels, Hands-On sessions, Workshops, Talks, and Future20s.

Following last year’s standing room only keynote, The Moth is back to help SXSW EDU attendees tell their story. Personal storytelling can play a key role in classrooms—connecting students to content, centering student voice, and developing essential skills. But how do we create the conditions for great storytelling?

Co-founders and leaders of The Moth’s Education Program, Micaela Blei and Catherine McCarthy, will lead a lively, on-our-feet workshop for educators to brainstorm and craft their own Moth stories, as well as reflect together on classroom strategies, The Moth in the Classroom: Telling True Stories.

In an informative and emerging tech workshop, Making Virtual Reality for Tomorrow’s Classroom, Kim Grenfeder (University of Miami), Elizabeth Miller (Concordia University) and Juan Carlos Zaldivar (Phonograph Films) will answer the question, “How can we as educators use VR to foster interdisciplinary learning and new media literacies?” This workshop is targeted to both content creators and educators. It will cover the production of VR projects across journalism, dance, theatre and ecology and offer practical advice on setting up a basic studio, scripting, sound design, and using VR as a teaching and research method.

In this Talk focused on student agency, A Tale of Two Learners, attendees will hear the compelling story of two learners: a young man from Alabama who was good at the “game of school” yet felt empty and disengage, and a young Iowan for whom school was a constant maddening struggle. At two ends of the “success” spectrum, neither was happy. Yet, through their unique journeys, they each discovered a new path that changed everything: learner-centered education.

With so much more to explore, SXSW EDU attendees can participate in a master class on leadership, attend professional development programs, as well as hands-on workshops where they will learn how to deliver an exciting story in :60 seconds. Pixar will be leading a workshop that centers on using storytelling in project based learning and how narratives can support language learning. Throughout all of these engaging programs at SXSW EDU, storytelling in all of its forms is at the heart of engaging the audience inside the classroom and in the workforce. For more information about all of the amazing content being offered at SXSW EDU please visit the schedule.

Join us March 4-7, 2019 at SXSW EDU. We can’t wait to see you there!

[Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in various articles on the SXSW EDU blog.]

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