Themes from SXSWedu: Mobile, Privacy, Special Populations, the Science of Learning, & More!


At SXSWedu 2015, we are pleased to hear echoes of several themes from our new book, Mobile Learning: A Handbook for Developers, Educators, and Learners.


Privacy is a hot topic in education: we found at least 13 sessions on student data privacy. The two sessions we attended focused on the need to standardize language, badging, or endorsement of privacy to easily communicate how data is used, stored, and accessed. We were pleased to hear so many people thinking about classroom implications and trying to enable school districts to pre-approve edtech based on standardized privacy implementations so teachers can move forward; these efforts will minimize classroom inconveniences that interfere with learning.

Special Populations

Liani Yirka, from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, presented a Future15 talk, Not Your Parents Science Museum Audio Tour App, about the app we created in conjunction with the museum.



Science of Learning

SXSWEdu has done a great job bringing in experts on the science of learning. Several sessions focused on the importance of grounding pedagogy, app development, and tech-integration strategies in proven, research-based solutions that align with the cognitive processes responsible for learning.


Collaboration Between Educators and Developers

Year after year, one of our favorite themes is the synergy between developers and educators. Our relationship with and feedback from teachers is something we value at SAS Curriculum Pathways. Why? Because they are at the heart of our mission: building what educators need the most in emerging technology.

Professional Development

Although SXSEdu focuses on innovation in the education space, we continue to hear the conversation point back to the importance of professional development. The success of any tech integration is especially contingent on the quality of PD that supports the initiative.



About Author

Scott McQuiggan

Scott McQuiggan leads SAS® Curriculum Pathways®, an interdisciplinary team focused on the development of no-cost educational software in the core disciplines at SAS. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from North Carolina State University in 2009, where his research focused on affective reasoning in intelligent game-based learning environments. His research has been published in more than 30 journal articles and refereed conference proceedings, and been recognized through several best paper nominations including Best Student Paper Award at the International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction.

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