Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Thought Provoking Sparks from SXSWEdu 2012

SXSWedu in Austin, Texas this week brought many innovative ideas to the forefront of discussion. If you need a quick catch on the trending topics, 6 Leading Trends at SXSWedu (from Sarah Cargill) is for you. According to 360KID, there are close to 10,000 tweets around this event.


(SXSWedu Word Cloud from 9,503 Tweets gathered over 3 days, made by 360KID)

For the most thought provoking sparks (from facts or opinions), we think these are the top 12 tweets:

johnmaeda ‏ @johnmaeda“History shows us that artists were scientists. Scientists were artists.” —Sarah Ganz Blythe via @stemtosteam #sxswedu

Office of Ed Tech ‏ @OfficeofEdTech: RT @arneduncan: We never debate the cost of putting people in prison. Why do we debate the cost of educating people? #SXSWedu

US Dept of Education ‏ @usedgov: A great teacher in a classroom will still make the biggest difference in the lives of our students. @arneduncan #SXSWedu

Mark Moran ‏ @findingDulcinea: At #sxswedu last week there were at least a dozen sessions on teacher-created education resources replacing texts. #elemchat#sschat

Lisa Thumann ‏ @lthumannWhat?!? By 2014 there will be more active cell phones on the planet than people #cosn #sxswedu #siteconf

Sandy Kendell ‏ @EdTechSandyK: Decentralization of schools is a strength of our system – leads to innovation – but can create barriers in spread of technology.#sxswedu

Marketplace K-12 ‏ @MarketplaceK12: Duncan pointing to rigorous teacher screening/compensation in Singapore as plan worth “stealing” for U.S. #sxswedu

Karina Linch ‏ @mslinch: HS teacher question to @arneduncan “We have all these wonderful tools that we can’t use because we’re busy teaching to the test.”#SXSWedu

Audrey Watters ‏ @audreywatters#occupyaustin protesting the Pearson CEO’s #swswedu keynote. TX teachers talking about the $550 million the state pays Pearson for testing.

Sandra Hines ‏ @k20: Learning Powered by Technology -imagine a Learning Positioning System, like a GPS, to guide student learning in digital learning#sxswedu

Kimberly Gonzales ‏ @kimmburrrlee:  @levarburton talking about the magic of reading is being actively involved in the creation of the narrative #sxswedu

Tech-Savvy Teacher ‏ @techsavvyteach: I like the notion from Maine that 1:1 and OER go hand in hand: spend $ on 1:1; use limited funds for content and use OER instead#sxswedu

If you are looking for authentic reflections from educators, visit ‘s blog, there are details of different topics from day one to the end(many posts). #SXSWedu reflections…from Stephanie Sandifer and Animal, vegetable or mineral: SXSW Edu evolution from Carolyn Foote are recommended too. The value of gaming in education is a hot topic this year, Gaming – waste of time? Or untapped educational tool? by Susan Raybuck is a summary from Jane McGonigal’s presentation. Another fascinating panel Thursday at sxswedu was the BizKids for young entrepreneurs ages 7-15, check out this post from Susan Raybuck.

Storify is a top free tool to use social media and internet contents to tell a story, it’s like a story prism(quote from Allen Weiner, VP of Gartner) to reveal stories from different perspectives. This story embedded below from  is a good recap, and Audrey Watters also gave a storified summary from a senior journalist’s point of view.


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Categorised in: Digital Textbook, Teaching with Technology

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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