With my degree in elementary education I generally understand the regular trade shows that teachers and administrators often attend (such as ISTE, NSTA, IRA, ASCD… the list goes on!) However, I wasn’t sure what to make of a show like SXSWedu – which is relatively new as far as trade shows go – and to be honest I’m not sure it’s a trade show to begin with – but instead an aggregator of enthusiastic change-makers in edtech.
SXSWedu…from my point of view
The event on Monday kicked off with Melissa’s presentation, “Inspire the Imagineer within Every Child“, hosted in the Playground Area. From this presentation and the other participating vendors in the room, we made some fabulous new connections with similar values and goals as ourselves at iCreate. I’ve highlighted some of these below:
Dave Basulto, a media and film teacher in California, that invented a sturdy and practical iPad case called iOgrapher. We’ve been on the search for iPad cases to recommend to teachers using myCreate in their classroom, and this model certainly fits the bill for useful, “classroom-proof” , and affordable! And what teacher doesn’t want to use something invented by another teacher?
Jeff Freeland Nelson, the Founder/CEO of Play from Scratch. Their flagship product is YOXO, simply elegant cardboard connector pieces to enable kids to build and create with recycled items. They launched from a Kickstarter, recently closed a Series A, and really making moves to disrupt the learning through play market.
Andrew Coy, Executive Director of the Digital Harbor Foundation. The DHF fosters innovation, tech advancement, and entrepreneurship by helping kids develop digital age skills through maker activities and tech workforce development. One of the highlights at their station was a student that custom designed iPhone cases with DHF’s in-house 3D printers and has since built out his own company called Frozen Lava.
Outside of the Playground Area, it was awesome for me to finally meet in person the folks I communicate with regularly through the social media channels. Putting a face to twitter handles! These included Andyshea and Ricky from PledgeCents here in Texas and Shawn Rubin of the Highlander Institute in Rhode Island.
SXSWedu was inspirational on both a personal and professional level for me, and I look forward to representing iCreate at future conferences!