5 Predictions on the Hot Education Topics of SXSWedu 2017

Macmillan Employee
Macmillan Employee
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What hot topics will have everyone at SXSWedu talking? We have a few predictions on the popular themes and trends that might take shape over the course of the week.

Of course, the team here at Macmillan Learning will be hosting several events that you won’t want to miss—but this conference will be full of interesting lectures and discussions that have the power to rock the education world as we now know it.

So, without further ado, here are our predictions on what’s likely to set this conference abuzz:  

Diversity and equality

Not only is this a hot topic in education, but the world at large, so we fully expect to see topics on diversity and equality woven throughout the SXSWedu. From lectures and panels to discussions in networking lounges, this is our chance to open up the dialogue and address the very real concerns we have in terms of making education accessible and equal for all.

Harnessing the power of data

As education continues to go digital, the amount of online student data will only continue to grow. The challenge facing many educators is what to do with all of that data—what are the best ways to process, analyze, and secure it? We expect to hear personal success stories regarding data from educators and entrepreneurs across the country.

The merging of arts and science

For years, it’s been STEM on one side of the coin and humanities and liberal arts on the other. As we move forward, however, we’re noticing a trend that weaves arts and science together. This theme will likely present itself throughout SXSWedu this year.

Maker culture

The maker revolution will be alive and well at SXSWedu. This tech-based branch of DIY culture can help improve classrooms simply with its think outside-of-the-box approach. There will be lots of discussions on maker ideology that can help educators do much more with less. In fact, the Macmillan Learning team hosted a session workshop, Design Your Own Learning App (in Just 2 Hours!), that provided participants with the tools needed to DIY a learning app catered to their classroom.

Virtual reality (VR) in the classroom

2016 was a banner year for VR as several new devices hit the market—from the affordable HTC Vive to the pricey Oculus Rift. 2017, however, will be the year where we find new and inventive ways to apply this technology to the classroom—and SXSWedu will be an open platform for brainstorming ideas with fellow educators.

So, whether the above topics turn out to be a hit or not, they are certainly themes worth exploring in the classroom. We’re eager to learn more about these topics so we can continue to provide high-quality educational content for educators.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns about where to find us at SXSWedu, send us a note. We hope to see you there!


Macmillan Learning's legacy of excellence in education informs our approach to developing world-class content with pioneering and interactive teaching tools. Through deep partnership with the world's best researchers, educators, administrators, and developers, we facilitate teaching and learning opportunities that spark student engagement and improve outcomes. We provide educators with tailored solutions designed to inspire student curiosity and measure progress. Our commitment to teaching and discovery upholds our mission to improve lives through learning. Learn more by visiting our website.