It’s that time of year again in Austin, Texas! SXSW, the internationally recognized music, film, and technology conference has kicked off with SXSWedu. SXSWedu is a four-day showcase of innovation in teaching and learning featuring interactive sessions, keynote speakers, workshops, and hands-on learning experiences.

Compass Learning is proud to once again welcome a group of student bloggers from area high schools to cover SXSWedu and provide their perspective on the conference. Day one kicked off with a vast assortment of sessions featuring today’s trends in instructional strategies, leadership, early learning, entrepreneurship, and assessment among other things. Our student bloggers toured the conference and shared their highlights with us:

Having adults listen to what we as students have to say about our own high school experiences is great and I appreciate that students are given the attention, focus, and importance that was given to me in every question I was asked today.

Adan Martinez

Our student bloggers set off to explore the various sessions and the keynote speech that kicked off SXSWedu:

Shanna Peeples

“The person doing the work is the person learning,” Peeples said.

“During the talk The Power of Student Voice in Today’s Classroom, Shanna Peeples spoke about giving students a voice using Sacratic Seminars. Peeples explained how the idea of student voice was not vital when she was growing up, and that she can relate to some of the problems that we, as students, deal with in today’s society. She wanted to make a change and allow for students to feel like their opinions matter, and she wanted to instate that in the best place possible, through their education.”

Estreylla Sierra

“According to Dr. Temple Grandin, the opening keynote speaker for SXSWedu 2016, one of the things she has seen students and people struggle with most is taking advantage of opportunities. A fear of failure can be one of the things holding students back from chances to move forward. New opportunities are chances to learn and grow and need to be embraced, rather than feared.”

Sam Zern

Some of our student bloggers explored the SXSWedu Playground, an innovative area featuring emerging educational technologies in the fields of making, STEM, gaming, virtual learning, accessibility, arts integration and more!
Allison Vicenzi
“My favorite thing was to explore the Playground area and play with various new technologies. While I was in the playground area I saw many different new technologies, including a 3D pen using small electric wiring to “draw” a small cloud. I never would have expected to have this much fun learning about all the new educational gadgets to make learning better for us and our younger generations.”

Gabriella Tello

At the LittleBits booth in the Playground I learned how a light changing circuits can be taught in the kindergarten classroom all the way through high school to help students understand the basics of a circuit.

Gabrielle Montalvo

“The best thing about this area is that it presents challenges. Instead of being told what to do, the people at the booths talked me through the process and asked conceptual questions like “What can you do next?” or “Is there another approach you can take that will work also?”

Nia Wright

We look forward to hearing more from our bloggers and hope you do too! Check back this week as we post roundups from every day of SXSWedu!


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