From Providence to Austin: SXL Squad takes on SXSWedu

Members of the Business Innovation Factory Student Experience Lab (SXL) are in Austin, Texas for the seventh annual SXSWedu conference. The SXSWedu® Conference & Festival fosters innovation in learning by hosting a passionate and diverse community of education stakeholders. They will engage in four days of compelling and informative sessions, workshops, learning experiences, film screenings, policy-centered discussions, networking, and much more. Like the annual BIF Summit, SXSWedu aims to spark collaboration, creativity, and action, and brings together a group of people who are excited to inspire change — and one another.

The SXL team is not just attending, they are also presenting two sessions.

Experience Designers Louie Montoya and Isabelle Y are hosting a summit called ‘Escaping Boring Learning’. Most students are trapped in classrooms where only boring lectures and rote memorization are occurring, and many dream of escape. This summit explores whether the very act of escaping from a classroom can become an opportunity for all sorts of deeper learning. Deeper Learning as defined by the Hewlett Foundation is a set of six interrelated competencies: mastering rigorous academic content, learning how to think critically and solve problems, working collaboratively, communicating effectively, directing one’s own learning, and developing an academic mindset — a belief in one’s ability to grow.

In the ‘Escaping Boring Learning’ summit, participants will take a trip to a “puzzle room,” where they will have a limited amount of time to collaboratively solve a series of puzzles in order to escape. Louie and Isabelle will then lead a debrief to unpack and hack the puzzle room experience focusing on how could we use available materials and space in our schools to create similar collaborative, problem solving experiences for our students?

SXL Director Sam Seidel and Associate Jessica Brown will be presenting ‘Teachers as Designers’.

“We live in a country where those who know the most about education, have the least say, and those who know the least, have the most say” — Pedro Noguera.

This workshop will put resources and power back into the hands of educators. Participants will be taught Design Thinking skills that will empower them to create, test and implement solutions that can transform education — from classroom activities and pedagogical approaches to professional development and education policy. Participants will use Teachers Design for Education (TD4Ed), a free, collaborative platform that the Business Innovation Factory’s Student Experience Lab co-created with teachers with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This workshop will allow participants to take their skills and platform and apply it to challenges within their schools and districts.

This is a great opportunity for the BIF team to both take in the knowledge from everyone at the event, but also a chance for us to share some of the work we do with this captivating audience. Look out for story telling pieces(thanks to Senior Digital Designer Sam K.) and follow us on Twitter @BIFsxl to keep up with all of the projects and activities coming out of the lab.

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