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What to See at SXSW EDU 2022


Photo courtesy of SXSW EDU

Innovation and learning are at the core of the SXSW EDU Conference & Festival, coming to Austin next month. From March 7-10, the annual event for education professionals will offer a diverse array of sessions, in-depth workshops, mentoring opportunities, film screenings, art installations, performances and other learning experiences are sure to provoke discussion and inspire new ideas.

With more than 350 in-person sessions — many of which will be streamed online for virtual attendees — SXSW EDU certainly has something for everyone. We combed through the program to identify the most noteworthy sessions for anyone looking to delve into the future of higher education and IT. Here are our picks:

Must-see: Future-Proof Higher Ed: Serving New Demographics (March 7, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. CT)
The draw: The presidents of University of Maryland Global Campus and Rio Salado College — two public institutions known for their leadership in online learning — will share how "forward-thinking institutions must reimagine their approach to fit the needs and goals of an increasingly diverse set of learners."

Must-see: What Gen Z Wishes Higher Ed Knew About Us (March 7, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. CT)
The draw: In a live podcast recording, two Generation Z thought leaders will talk about the current state of higher education and what universities can do to improve the student experience for this multi-faceted generation of digital natives.

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Must-see: A Passel of Higher Education Privacy Perspectives (March 8, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CT)
The draw: Hear views on data privacy from a college student, a chief privacy officer, a chief information security officer and a privacy advocate. Panelist Brian Kelly, director of the cybersecurity program at Educause, appeared on the Campus Technology Insider podcast last year.

Must-see: Access and Opportunity in Higher Education (March 8, 1:00 p.m. 1:20 p.m. CT)
The draw: Dr. Mark Lombardi, president of Maryville University — also a former Campus Technology Insider podcast guest — doesn't mince words about higher education's challenges and the need for change. Hear his vision for the future and a "New University" model for lifelong learning.

Must-see: How to Launch Your Startup Successfully (March 8, 2:00 p.m. – 2:20 p.m. CT)
The draw: Startup culture is a big part of SXSW EDU, and higher education has a long history of incubating ed tech tools and bringing them to market. In this session, entrepreneur and Oculus co-founder Jack McCauley, who is also innovator in residence at the University of California, Berkeley's Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation, will share his experience and provide actionable tips on produce and growth strategy, including how to identify key partners, influencers and customers.

Must-see: The State of XR in Education: Trends & Insights (March 8, 2:30 p.m. – 2:50 p.m. CT)
The draw: Maya Georgieva, director of the XReality Center at The New School and co-founder of Digital Bodies, a consultancy specializing in augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence and immersive learning, will highlight the XR trends on the horizon and how the will impact the future of learning and work.

Must-see: Can Hip Hop & Academia Peacefully Coexist? (March 8, 3:30 p.m. – 3:50 p.m. CT)
The draw: Music and storytelling are another core element of SXSW EDU. In this presentation, A.D. Carson, assistant professor of Hip-Hop and the Global South at the University of Virginia, will "explore whether or not hip-hop and academia can work together to elevate our social discourse and bridge the divide between the university system and the communities it has played a role in historically marginalizing."

Must-see: Fun Times in the Human Cadaver Lab (March 8, 5:30 p.m. – 5:50 p.m. CT)
The draw: The challenges of remote learning have been particularly acute in the sciences, where labs and other hands-on projects are hard to replicate from a distance. This session will explore a practical use of virtual reality — using VR cadavers for anatomy and pre-med students — and how new technologies are enabling the move away from asynchronous learning to group experiences in VR.

Must-see: Transforming Higher Ed: Practical Tips & Insights (March 9, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. CT)
The draw: Higher education leaders will share the collective experiences of the University Innovation Alliance, a coalition of public research universities committed to increasing the number and diversity of college graduates in the United States. You'll learn from the nation's most innovative institutions about how to conduct transformational change to better support students.

Must-see: How Good AI Can Be AI for Good in Higher Education (March 9, 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. CT)
The draw: Representatives from academia, industry and the nonprofit community will discuss algorithmic bias, student privacy, data quality issues and more — and how to build trust and transparency around the use of artificial intelligence at the classroom and institutional level.

Must-see: Reimagining the HBCU Experience in a Digital World (March 9, 5:00 p.m. – 5:20 p.m. CT)
The draw: The United Negro College Fund has an ambitious vision for online education at historically Black colleges and universities, with the goal to build a shared online platform for community learning that will allow students, educators and staff to learn, develop and flourish from anywhere.

Registration for full-event, in person attendance is $625; virtual attendance is $209. Prices increase after March 5. For more information, visit the SXSW EDU site.

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