Over 30 educators and students from 8 local school districts to lead events during SXSW EDU this year

Educators in students from several local school districts will present at the 2018 SXSW EDU Conference and Festival.

Educators in students from several local school districts will present at the 2018 SXSW EDU Conference and Festival.

The South by Southwest EDU Conference & Festival is a series of workshops, panels, film screenings and other events that focus on education policy, innovation and networking opportunities. SXSW EDU launched in 2011 and grew to include over 7,500 particpants by 2016. This year’s SXSW EDU conference will take place from March 5-8. See which educators, students and faculty members from local school districts will be leading events in front of national and international audiences.

Austin Community College
Herb Coleman, an adjunct professor of psychology and student development at Austin Community College, will lead two events at this year’s conference: Fidget Spinners, Mindfulness & Flow and Higher Ed Solutions with Google.

Austin ISD
Deeper with Data: Evaluating SEL Implementation

Angela Bailey and Jason Littlefield, members of AISD’s Social and Emotional Learning Department and Lindsay Lamb, a member of AISD’s Department of Research and Evaluation, will lead a session about social and emotional learning using AISD as a case study.

Mindfulness & Student Voice

James Butler, AISD’s mindfulness specialist, will be joined by AISD students Teo Cardenas, Addison Green and Xavier Zamarron for a session about mindfulness and youth empowerment. James Butler will also host a book signing for his book, "Mindful Classrooms: The Educator Guide."

Leading Across Boundaries

Katie Casstevens works with Austin ISD to expand the school district's community schools model, which encourages family engagement. She will lead a session and panel about community school program effectiveness along with members of the Institute for Education Leadership.

The Dual Language Imperative

Dr. Paul Cruz, AISD superintendent, will lead a session on developing dual-language programs in urban schools along with other education leaders from across the state and the U.S.

Specially Designed Digital Instruction

Rita Fennelly-Atkinson, a technology design coach for AISD, will lead a session on increasing accessibility to educational technology for special needs students.

Grow Your Own Teachers

Kayla Ford, a member of Akins High School’s Human Services Department, Valeria Gonzalez, a Lanier High School student and a member of Texas Association of Future Educators, and Dani Luna, a staff member with Akins High School training team, will lead a session on training new and future teachers.

E3 Alliance

Austin ISD students Jaylen Wilbourn, Abby Larma and Rafael Villasana will perform an educational rap “Mo’ Math Mo’ Money” along with Leander ISD’s hip-hop dance crew.

What Do Early Childhood Teachers Want From Tech?

Dawn Carlton, an early childhood educator at Clayton Elementary School, will join other teachers from across the U.S. to lead a session on incorporating technology into early childhood education.


Jayma Vaughan a teacher from Travis High School will serve as a mentor during SXSW EDU for attendees to learn from her experience as an educator.


Del Valle ISD
Domo Arigato: Robotics in Public Education

Sandi Castro, Steven Muniz and Juan Orozco are members of Del Valle ISD’s Instructional Technology Department. The trio will lead a session about the growth of Del Valle’s robotics program and how similar programs can be implemented in other school districts.

Dripping Springs ISD
The Breakthrough of Drone Education

Marisa Vickery, a teacher at Walnut Springs Elementary School, will lead a session about ways to incorporate drones as educational tools for students.


Laura Roye a fourth-grade teacher at Sycamore Springs Elementary School, will serve as a mentor during SXSW EDU to share her experience with student-led learning and other educational tools.

Eanes ISD
#FailFest: A Learnshop on Risk Taking

Carl Hooker, director of innovation and digital learning at Eanes ISD, will lead a workshop about risk-taking and creativity. He will also host a book signing for his book, "Mobile Learning Mindset: The Coach’s Guide to Implementation."

Leander ISD
Thriving Makerspaces in Low Income & Rural Schools

Colleen Graves, school librarian at C.C. Mason Elementary School, will join three other educational leaders in leading a session about their challenges and successes working at low-income and rural schools.

Pflugerville ISD

Floridalia Zuniga-Gray of Pflugerville ISD will serve as a mentor for attendees to speak with and learn about bilingual education and other education topics.

Round Rock ISD
Learning Environments reDesigned to Inspire

Daniel Presley, chief of schools and innovation for Round Rock ISD, will participate in a panel about teaching students 21st-century skills like digital interactivity.

Startup: 21st Century Intrapreneurship

Tiffanie Harrison, equity leader and marketing educator at RRISD, and Sarah Sherrill, graphic design teacher at RRISD, will lead a talk about a print and design business started by RRISD students and how other school districts can encourage entrepreneurship in the classroom.


Melinda Schermerhorn, an eighth-grade science teacher at RRISD, and Kim Hassack, an elementary school deaf education coordinator for RRISD, will serve as mentors during SXSW EDU.

This list is not comprehensive.

By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.


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