T&L Advisor Guest post by Carl Hooker, Director of Instructional Technology, Eanes Independent School District
I'm in the midst of hipster-geek heaven. SXSWedu started this week and it's come a long way in its short lifetime. This conference started three years ago in a hotel at the University of Texas campus. Back then it felt like a mix of sessions thrown together at the last minute and just tagged with the "SXSW" moniker. Fast-forward to 2013 and this event is finally starting to have the feel of what SXSW truly embodies. Sessions are voted on by the masses and the range of topics have expanded from K-12 to a much broader focus on education in general. At the LaunchEdu event, start-up companies have a chance to pitch their Ed-related product ideas. Other additions this year that give it that an unconference feel are the informal learning spaces including several different lounges, a Fab Lab, and something called "Makerspace." They've even introduced a film component to the event this year with regular education-related films being shown at the local theater. While it's clear this is still not SXSW (as noted by all the construction taking place to prepare for Friday's launch of that event), this conference is now really starting to look and feel like its namesake.