From Practical to Profound — THE Journal

Conference Review

SXSW EDU 2022 is preparing for a rethinking of education: from practical to in-depth

The hybrid event is scheduled for March 7-10 with more than 350 sessions, 800 speakers

As students began returning to class after the end of the pandemic, “bad news” continued to arrive: about the depth of distance learning during distance learning, about the deteriorating mental health of students, and about the alarming increase in disciplinary issues across the country. –12 schools this school year.

The effects of pandemic disruptions are also evident among adults in schools; teachers are burned out and bored, and more educators are saying they are considering leaving their careers sooner than ever before.

Behind the front line is a growing call for a “rethinking of K-12 education” by a wide variety of education experts, nonprofits, researchers, advocates of equity and accessibility, and even some elected officials. The phrase has been thrown away for decades, but as COVID-19 has turned the U.S. education system upside down, the movement seems to have come to a head. But what does “rethinking education” mean?

SXSW EDU attendees can expect to hear a lot of discussion about redesigning America’s public school norms when the event returns in person on March 7-10 in Austin. The schedule of the SXSW EDU Conference and Festival for 2022 includes more than 350 personal sessions, dozens of which will be broadcast online as well as for virtual attendees.

More than 800 speakers mention in their program information “Rethinking Education” – with key areas ranging from how schools think about student health and how counties count learning outcomes, to ideas for changing classroom learning to radically engage students and how to incorporate the science of how children learn into teaching methods.

The keynote speakers also offer forward-looking discussions on how to change the public education system in the country.

Keynote speakers U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and author and longtime journalist Dana Brown of A Starting Point will hold a talk on “Reviewing Education with Students at the Center” on Wednesday, March 9, at 9:30 p.m.

“The pandemic has caused a major revolution in our education system – from the transition to distance learning to the mental health problems faced by many students,” SXSW told EDU in its preview. “Starting point and the U.S. Department of Education will talk about how to put students’ voices at the center of our recovery and provide their expertise to inform how we are building an even stronger education system than before … and how we can create education systems that meet the needs of modern students ”.

The keynote speaker on the last day of the conference will be the well-known author of The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters Priya Parker and Emmy-nominated writer, activist and comedian Baratunde Thurston, starting at 12:30 on Thursday. , March 10th.

Parker, also an executive producer and host of The New York Times Together Apart podcast, is trained in conflict resolution, and for 20 years she has led leaders and groups in complex conversations about community, identity, and vision in times of transition.

Thurston, host of the award-winning How To Citizen podcast, bestselling author and former adviser to the Obama White House, “is unique in his ability to integrate and synthesize themes of race, culture, politics, and technology to explain where our nation is and where we can get it.” , – said SXSW EDU.

The conference opens with a keynote address by Puja K. Agarwal, Ph.D., author of Powerful Learning: Unleash the Science of Learning and a renowned cognitive scientist. She is the founder of, a resource for scientifically proven learning strategies, and she is an associate professor at Berkeley College of Music in Boston. Agarwal’s address at 9:30 a.m. Monday, March 7, will explore “teaching as an art form and tools that enhance the exchange of instruction and learning,” SXSW told EDU.

The 2022 conference sessions consist of 11 tracks

A wide range of themes and ideas at this year’s event are organized by “thematic tracks designed to help cover all major areas and allow participants to easily navigate the event,” said SXSW EDU:

  • Availability and inclusion: Explore initiatives and programs that focus on special education, differences in learning, and disability throughout the life cycle, including learning strategies, assistive technologies, universal design, and more.
  • Art and story: Explore art-based pedagogy and creative practice, including the performing and fine arts, the integration of the arts and the intersection of STEM and STEAM, and approaches to teaching and learning storytelling and creating the world.
  • Business and investment: Content focuses on the educational business, including entrepreneurship and startups, investment and finance, marketing strategies, corporate initiatives and partnerships, market trends and analysis, business adaptability and virtual opportunities.
  • Joint initiatives: Programs and projects aimed at empowering and connecting communities in the classroom and beyond, emphasizing work organized by public spaces and groups including libraries, museums, creation spaces, community centers, after-school and summer programs, and more.
  • New technologies: Research the development and implementation of educational technologies, including virtual teaching and learning solutions, artificial intelligence, XR, data privacy, coding, data compatibility, and issues related to equal access to technology.
  • Justice and fairness: Addressing advocacy for justice, equity, access, diversity and inclusion in education and beyond, including social and economic disparities, culture-based learning, anti-racism practices, LGBTQ + issues and more, to ensure equal opportunities and outcomes for all.
  • Global impact: Programs and initiatives that explore the importance of global collaboration in education and beyond, including international approaches to learning and business, language learning and ESL / ELL learning, cross-border programs, global partnerships, intercultural initiatives, and more.
  • Politics and civic activism: Address education policy issues through local, regional, national and international governments, including funding and standards, student data use, school security and digital policy, and economic development, advocacy and activism, and partnerships with public authorities.
  • Practice and pedagogy: The content focuses on learning and pedagogy throughout the life cycle of learning with an emphasis on innovative teaching and learning and institutional transformation, with topics including best learning practices for all levels of education and evolving curricula, leadership practices and innovative ideas.
  • SEL & Wellness: Further social emotional learning and education of the whole child, including initiatives aimed at mental and physical health, injury-based practices and health education with a focus on mental health initiatives for educators, students and families.
  • The work is reinterpreted: Programs and new approaches to skills development, corporate learning and talent development, including workforce revitalization and learning and career transition, as well as initiatives for adult learners and non-traditional students.


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