Pittsburgh at SXSW: Vote for These Panels to Represent The 'Burgh

Every year in late winter, Austin, Texas is transformed into a mega innovation hub with the arrival of South by Southwest. Thousands of people gather from around the world to learn, network and explore the realms of technology, film, music, and education. Wouldn’t it be great if Pittsburgh had some incredible speakers representing the ‘Burgh at one of the biggest conferences in the country?

Below are a list of SXSW panels proposed by and featuring Pittsburghers. Voting is open through Friday, September 4, 11:59 PM CT (12:59 AM EST on Saturday). You have to create an account to vote, but it’s quick and definitely worth it in the name of sending a worthy Steel City delegation.

Let us know who we missed and we’ll add them to the list!

SXSW Interactive

How to Use TEDx as a Catalyst for Social Change

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It’s one thing to tell a great story. Another to hold a great event. But sometimes the moment can create momentum. The TEDx platform, with the right strategy and community ties, can turn discourse to action. Oh, and it can be fun.

You’ll hear from speakers who provide street medicine to the homeless & teach anti-bullying through music & comedy and from local organizers on curating an inclusive event that connects and activates the community before, during and after.

Whether you’re an event marketer or TED enthusiast, this session will provide actionable ideas to improve audience experience, event branding, social & multimedia marketing and good old-fashioned storytelling.

Speakers:

Organizer: Kacey Wherley, Tech Stars

 

Legend of the Unicorn: Myth or Miracle?

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In a time when innovative marketing magic filled the world, there lived a unicorn. The unicorn was a splendid creature—equally adept at marketing, creative and technology. Although elusive, it bestowed infinite rewards on those who found it, blurring functional lines until no one knew where one ended and the next began. This resulted in products and campaigns of unforetold relevance and demand. Consumers rejoiced. Brands rejoiced. All was well.

Is the unicorn a myth or a miracle? Moderated by a so-called “unicorn,” this discussion explores hiring myths, realities and how to find talent that’s a strong fit for your marketing team with Netflix, Google, and Deeplocal.

Speakers:

Organizer: Heather Estes, Deeplocal

 

The Bombastic Brilliance of "Black Twitter" 3.0

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It was the headline seen around the world. “L.A. Times Hires Reporter to Cover Black Twitter.” There were cheers, jeers, moans and groans. But there was at least one person—-@drgoddess—who wasn’t surprised at all.

Like all things groundbreaking at SXSW, in 2012, Kimberly C. Ellis, Ph.D. aka @DrGoddess, gave the first, solo presentation on a community using the social media site, “Twitter,” which also launched at SXSW several years prior. Black Twitter is a phenomenon has taken the entire world by storm, not the least of which has been a movement with a hashtag, #BlackLivesMatter, presently shaping the Presidential election cycle in the USA. @BLCK is Social Media, Social TV & Social Studies. 

Speakers:

 

SXSW Education

Achievement Unlocked: Recognize Informal Learning

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Opportunities for learning exist in many places outside the classroom. How do you make this process visible to learners, employers and traditional education purveyors?

This session includes an in depth exploration of The Labs @ Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. We’ll share our framework for badges and badge rubrics, all of which are adaptable by other organizations. We’ll also discuss the importance of community partnerships when developing badges and our participation in City of Learning.

Session attendees will develop tools for growing the informal learning network in their community, and find ways to use learning badges to communicate their organization’s value to external stakeholders.

Speakers:

 

Level Up Your Classroom: Tools for Gamification

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Gamification is a powerful tool in an educator’s toolbox. Any person born after 1971 has grown up playing video games. As educators, we are better able to engage our students by using a language with which they are familiar. Games use tricks that are commonplace to educators; fostering competition, providing instantaneous feedback, and giving praise when students progress. Games can provide extrinsic motivation to help beginning students engage with course material.

Learning basic foundations skills, such as critiquing art, can seem like a chore to a beginning student. Gamification provides a way to help make practicing these basic skills enjoyable, and eventually intrinsically rewarding.

Speaker:

 

Promoting Diversity Through Project-Based Learning

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High schools, colleges, and universities are working to introduce problem-based and project-based learning into curricula. We have successfully implemented a framework for identifying clients and projects from both industry and academia, mapping projects to learning objectives and students’ interests, and allowing faculty to streamline project management processes.

This problem solver session will demonstrate how such a project management framework can be applied in virtually any domain, both in high school and in higher education, to promote collaboration between diverse populations. We will share our workflows, templates, documents, and personal experience with the session participants.

Speakers:

 

Supporting Learning in Youth Makerspaces

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What is it about spaces that enable making that also allows them to provide deep, rich experiences of learning? We will dive into an exploration of key considerations when creating or maintaining youth makerspaces (Purpose, People and Pieces & Parts) through a suite of tools and hands-on exploration.

We’ll share powerful case studies of youth-based makerspaces around the country that illustrate empowering and energizing potentials and use them as a springboard to discuss specific tips, tools and strategies to get started, equip the space with both human and material capacity and sustain the space beyond initial funding.

Speakers:

 

Learning by Design in Workforce Development

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Most cities provide summer youth employment programs (SYEPs). These programs provide valuable work experience and reduce summer violence. Seeing the value, Pittsburgh made a serious investment in a new SYEP called "Learn and Earn".

This new SYEP serves 1900 participants and offers credentialed, multi-year learning pathways. Beyond basic skills, "Learn and Earn" focuses on formative questions and personal growth. Participants design their futures, consider social capital, and map economic networks. A cross-sector partnership will share its work as a case study for the future of SYEPs. The case study includes a new curriculum design, badging system, and long-term research study.

Speakers:

Organizer: Timothy Cook, The Sprout Fund

 

Leveling the Maker Playing Field: A National Plan

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A new model for integrating making into schools promises to expand opportunities for hands-on learning on a national scale. Join Tim Carrigan of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and partner organizations, who will share insights about the framework to inform maker activities for learning—large and small.

Attendees will gain perspective on making as an equity issue; how to build community through crowdfunding; and how to forge partnerships with local institutions, including public and school libraries. Also on hand will be the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, which, with IMLS, is helping bring a maker program to 10 diverse schools and helping train master maker teachers.

Speakers:

 

Turning Students Into Creators and Coders

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We all know it's important to prepare students to become the creators, tinkerers, and innovators of tomorrow. It's easier said than done. How can schools break out of traditional education models and truly embed making and programming into teaching and learning? This is the challenge that Pittsburgh-area schools, entrepreneurs, and community organizations are addressing head on.

Through this hands-on panel, attendees will get a close look at how South Fayette and Elizabeth Forward school districts are incorporating coding, engineering, and manufacturing into their curriculum for all students from kindergarten to graduation.

Speakers:

Organizer: Melissa Gedney, Digital Promise

 

Make a Scene! Build a Startup Scene from Scratch

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So your city’s startup scene isn’t exactly Silicon Valley or NYC. Truth is, it’s never going to be. And that’s OK, because you can build a remarkable ecosystem that matches your region’s strengths. But it may take a trip down a daunting road to get to that point.

The focus of our session is to help you navigate it. On our panel are representatives from four cities who have begun their trek & are looking to help others get started – Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Detroit and Seattle. The ED of 43North, the world’s largest business idea competition, will act as the moderator. Together, they’ll discuss and lay out in great detail everything that goes into creating a culture of entrepreneurship.

Speakers:

Organizer: Brian Straka, 43North

 

Netflix of Learning: Unlimited Student Support

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Technology has completely changed the way that the world communicates, collaborates and interacts.

The purpose of this panel would be to discuss the different avenues that now exist to provide students with unlimited access to resources that help them succeed academically. With 24/7 supplementary support, students, teachers and parents can always be certain that the necessary online resources are available to help the students excel.

Using "Netflix" style unlimited models, many services have been successful at offering adapted worksheets, tutorial videos and private tutoring for students.

Speakers:

 

The Story Telling Beast: Narrative Frames Learnin'

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Narrative, embedded in our cognitive architecture, frames the way we learn. We investigate the commonalities in the design of learning environments in design thinking projects, fantasy narrative in gamification, contextualized social innovation projects, and how the documentation of learning creates its own narrative. Our case based studies detail the narrative structure elements necessary for students to immerse, define, and manipulate their environments as agents of their own learning.

Speakers: