All Articles Education Edtech 2016 trends in education: A view from SXSWedu

2016 trends in education: A view from SXSWedu

2 min read


This post is sponsored by SXSWedu.

SXSWedu Conference & Festival fosters innovation in learning by hosting a diverse and energetic community of stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds in education. Our four-day event affords registrants open access to engaging sessions, interactive workshops, hands-on learning experiences, film screenings, early stage startups and a host of networking opportunities. By providing a platform for collaboration, SXSWedu works to promote creativity and social change.

In July, we received more than 1,300 proposals from the community, with speakers from all over the world and different pockets of the education community. This provides us with a vast amount of data to identify what ideas and themes are trending in the education community for 2016 and what the community wants to talk about.

So, what does the education community want to talk about at SXSWedu? These trending tags in this year’s PanelPicker proposals inform the popular trends for 2016:

  • design thinking
  • stem
  • technology
  • professional development
  • higher education
  • edtech
  • student-centered learning
  • innovation

We also saw some changes from 2015 based on the language used across proposals. One declining trend was “tech” dropping from 292 proposals to 140 proposals mentioning that term (52% decrease). However, we did find an increase in the proposals mentioning “new” (from 234 to 320 | +37%), “innovate” (from 90 to 223 | +148%) and “tool” (from 171 to 225 | +32%). So what are the new, innovative tools in the absence of “tech?” Is “tech” now implied in new learning practices, or is the community dismissing tech-centric tools altogether?

We found a rise in student-driven learning and community. Terms like “hands-on” and “community” also spiked for 2016. Does this suggest that the big picture is low-tech, high-touch in regards to best learning practices? Or does it suggest our conversation around technology in education is transitioning away from tech tools and toward something else completely?

The best way to find the answers, see what’s really happening in 2016 and to get a sneak peek into 2017’s trends is to attend this year’s accepted sessions–the sessions that were submitted and selected by and for the education community.

SXSWedu happens in Austin, Texas, March 7-10, 2016. It’s not too late to plan ahead, register by January 15 to save $100 off the walkup registration rate.