SXSWedu Survival Guide for Educators + Organizer
What is SXSWedu?
SXSWedu (March 9–12, 2015) is an annual conference for education stakeholders that takes place in Austin, Texas. Last year, nearly 6,000 people attended including faculty, students, administrators and education professionals. There are hundreds of sessions covering a variety of themes, such as Teachers as Designers: The Great STEM Equalizers and Plunging the Perils and Pearls of a Social Classroom. If you are interested in increasing your PLN (personal learning network), meeting up with other change-makers in education and taking part in your own professional development, SXSWedu is a great conference to attend.
Who should attend?
Anyone who is involved in education and interested in changing the way we teach and learn, which includes teachers, students, NGO professionals, administrators, entrepreneurs, etc., should plan to attend. According to SXSWedu, last year’s attendance included 28 percent faculty and students, 25 percent administrators, 23 percent education business, 21 percent government and non-profit and 3 percent other. Attendees rated learning, networking and seeking inspiration as the most valuable aspects of the conference, and 90 percent said they would attend again. If you aren’t able to attend in person, you can follow the chatter in Twitter via the hashtag #SXSWedu and #sxsweduwin.
What to bring
Bag or backpack
Chargers for all electronic devices
Laptop or tablet
Valid ID and Badge QuickCode
Comfortable walking shoes
Sign up for and use your eduSocial account once you’ve registered
Download the SXSWedu App
Stay hydrated with water
Plan ahead (see some resources below)
Check the weather to ensure you wear proper clothing each day
Follow #sxswedu related hashtags before and during the conference
Learn who’s going via Teach.com’s Who’s Who at SXSWedu
Take photographs — follow these guidelines
Network with professionals
Follow up with people you met after the conference
Send feedback to the event organizers after the conference
Follow our USC Rossier + Teach.com Live Notes and add your own (update once live)
Use flash photography after a session has started
Film sessions once they’ve started
How to plan
With over 300 sessions including keynote presentations, feature programs, future15 talks and core conversations, there is a ton to choose from! In addition, there are multiple socials, lounges and summits, as well as an eduFILM lineup, a LAUNCHedu and a SXSWedu Playground you can attend.
While we suggest embracing happenstance once you arrive at the conference — you never know who you will meet or where you’ll end up — it’s a good idea to plan and create a tentative itinerary to ensure you make the most of your time at the conference.
How to use the SXSWedu Organizer
- Log into your eduSocial account. Go to Schedule and review all the sessions. As you go through the conference schedule, star the sessions you find most interesting for each day.
- Next, narrow down your list of top must-attend sessions for each time slot.
- Download the SXSWedu Organizer.
- Create your personal schedule.
- Post it on your website and share it! Don’t forget to tag it with #SXSWedu and @USCTeacher.
Not attending in person? Use this organizer to show which events you’ll be following online.
Transportation and lodging
By now, you’ve probably already booked your hotel. If not, check out the SXSWedu hotel page for suggestions on last minute accommodations.
As for getting around town, here’s a helpful list:
- Public transit: Austin Metro Planner
- Mobile apps: Uber, Lyft, Sidecar
- Yellow Cab Austin – 512-452-9999
- Lone Star Cab – 512-836-4900
- Austin Cab Company – 512-478-2222
- Bicycle: Austin’s B-cycle
Food and drink
Here are some other blog posts that might be helpful while you prep for SXSWedu:
- How to Survive SXSWedu (and Have Fun) – SXSWedu 2015
- How To Prep For (and Rock) SXSWedu – SXSWedu 2015
- Adobe’s Top Five Takeaways for Creative Educators – SXSWedu 2014
- SXSWedu’s First Timer’s Guide – SXSWedu 2014
- EdSurge’s Heard and Overheard at SXSWedu – SXSWedu 2014
- EdReach’s Catching up with Google Edu at SXSWedu – SXSWedu 2014
- EdFi Alliance’s Observations from SXSWedu – SXSWedu 2014
- Hack Education’s the Weirdness of SXSWedu – SXSWedu 2013