Events

What to See at SXSWedu 2017

Here are our picks for the sessions, workshops and panels that belong on your schedule next week in Austin.

If you're traveling to Austin for SXSWedu next week, you have probably already marveled at the sheer variety and number of sessions, workshops and panels on the program, not to mention films, meet-ups, mentor meetings and more. Particularly from the higher education point of view, it can be difficult to sift through the options and decide what belongs on your schedule. Here are our top picks:

Keynote: Paying the Price
Sara Goldrick-Rab, professor of higher education policy and sociology at Temple University, will speak about the high cost of college and the "outdated assumption underlies all side of this debate: If a young person works hard enough, they'll be able to get a college degree and be on the path to a good life."

Student Privacy in EdTech
Jenna Wolfe, general counsel for coding bootcamp Coding Dojo, will discuss issues around student privacy and digital data, including "the benefits of collecting student data, best practices for data collection, storage, disclosure and common weaknesses that can lead to breach."

Gen Z Is for Sensibility
"Generation Z, which is made up of kids born between roughly 1996-2010, is characterized as much more pragmatic, tech-oriented and realistic [compared to their predecessors]," says education consultant Alexandra Ellison. "Many of them do not remember a time when their families did not own computers and iPhones." Learn where that pragmatism comes from and what it means for Generation Z's education and future opportunities.

Let's Chat … Bots in Higher Education
For the past year, Georgia State University has been working with AdmitHub to assess the effectiveness of chatbot technology on college enrollment. Here, they will present what they've learned so far.

SkillsEngine: Convert Courses into Competencies
Michael Bettersworth, vice chancellor for Texas State Technical College, shares how his institution is using textual analysis to "rapidly translate traditional courses into industry-relevant skill statements" and "help educators analyze and align curricula to maximize student employability."

Big Data, Smart Ethics: The Rules of the Road
Learn about the ethical implications of predictive analytics and how two institutions — Georgia State University and Morgan State University — are using data to support underrepresented students.

Blended Higher Ed: How to Start Your Own College
Hudson Baird, executive director of PeletonU, will explain how his organization's educational model "has blended competency-based education with in-person coaching to provide an effective pathway to debt-free graduation."

Replace Testing with Learning
Can adaptive learning replace traditional assessment methods? Experts representing industry, academia and policy perspectives will "discuss the advantages, disadvantages and barriers to using adaptive learning systems to satisfy accountability requirements while supporting instructional and organizational improvements."

Designing Organizations to Support Tech on Campus
A panel of higher ed leaders will explore how to "support students, faculty, staff and administrators with rapid changes in technology in the traditionally slow moving domain of higher education." Topics will include creating organizational structures, centralized vs. decentralized, innovation hubs, digital first initiatives, faculty oversight committees, grants, assessment and more.

Postsecondary Privacy - Student Data Analytics
In another exploration of student privacy issues, this session will tackle the implications of "rapidly adopting new educational services and technologies that enable detailed data collection on student activities, learning success, and retention patterns," asking, "What rights do students have to 'own their data' and maintain awareness and choice about how it's used?"

The New Economy of Cheating
Essay writing services and fraudulent test-takers are just the tip of the iceberg. In this session, experts examine the rise of the cheating industry and how it threatens higher education.

Design Your Own VR Experience for EDU
In this hands-on workshop, a team from North Carolina State University will guide participants through the process of designing, storyboarding and producing virtual reality experiences for education.

Integrated Planning & Advising for Student Success
Hear how institutions involved with Educause's Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS) initiative are using technology to revolutionize student education planning, counseling and coaching, and risk targeting and intervention.

VR & Mixed Reality Trends: Insights for Educators
Emory Craig, director of e-learning at the College of New Rochelle, and Maya Georgieva, Digital Bodies co-founder and partner, explore cutting-edge trends in VR, mixed reality and more — technologies that may soon find their way into the classroom.

EDBOTS: Lessons from Pedagogical Chatbots
Another spin on a hot topic, this session will look at a $1M research project using "pedagogical chatbots" to trigger student engagement within courses at the University of Oslo and other Scandinavian universities.

VR Will NOT Save Education; VR Might Destroy It
Find out why Herb Coleman, director of campus technology services and adjunct professor of psychology at Austin Community College, thinks the rush to integrate virtual reality in the classroom — without considering instructional intent and outcomes — is a mistake.

Ending the Hunger Games of HigherEd
Collaboration is essential to innovation in higher education, according to Bridget Burns, executive director of the University Innovation Alliance. Learn how her organization's coalition of 11 public research universities is working to transform student success through sharing best practices.

The Premise and Promise of Hybrid Higher Education
In this "fireside chat," representatives from Georgia Institute of Technology and Udacity will discuss the high cost of college, the talent gap in the workplace, new educational models that merge online and offline learning, and what's possible for the future of higher education.

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