New school trends highlighted at the SXSW Education Conference
March 29th 2012
Most people associate South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas with music. But last weekend the SXSW Education Conference also took place highlighting all sorts of trends in education. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan attended as well as a bunch of other notables in the education space. Topics on the schedule ranged from using gaming to stimulate student learning to showing school districts how to best use social media. One of the coolest things though to come from the SXSW Education Conference was the increasing usage of digital text books in the classroom. With the ever increasing popularity of tablets, everyone knows it is just a question of time before they replace those big, clunky textbooks.
A representative from Pearson presented their most up to date digital textbooks at the conference which highlighted the several benefits to students using digital books in lieu of traditional textbooks. Some of the benefits highlighted were better connections made by students with the material as well as less resources used over time. Some of the downsides were also discussed including when economies of scale would allow wide spread usage and if students actually learned more by using the digital books.
But the U.S. better hurry if we plan on being the digital leaders in the classroom, South Korea has a goal for the entire country’s schools to be digitized by 2015. What do you think about using tablets in the classroom?