I spent this week at SXSWedu, my first time. It was exciting and quite inspiring. The conference is huge, so much so that if you talked with someone, there’s no guarantee you will run into them again the rest of the 4-day conference. There is an interesting mix of academic researchers, policy folks, nonprofits, ed tech entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and foundations. They all have different perspectives on education (which often, I think, conflict), but at least everyone agrees on two things: education is supremely important, and it will undergo significant changes at a (relatively) rapid pace.
I went to several sessions on MOOCs and there was no more talk of MOOCs taking over the world–the honeymoon is over, but there were a lot of practical tips on how to make MOOCs work, some of the issues to be addressed (teacher incentives, measurement), and some interesting hybrid possibilities of MOOC-type formats used in different ways. A summary of some of the key points are in this Class Central blog post: