SXSWedu Reinforces Leveraging Data to Support Students

Earlier this month, Helix Education attended SXSWedu, the nation’s leading edge educational conference. The program ran the gamut from classroom maker spaces to educational policy and the visions of well-grounded futurists helping us to prepare to inspire and teach new generations of digital natives.

Moreover, educational access was a big part of the SXSWedu conversation, with a strong focus on how and why so many post-traditional learners are simply falling through the cracks. The fact that data-driven solutions are the way forward was in little dispute.

In fact, during a panel discussion devoted to creating a data-driven culture in higher education, Patricia Greco, Superintendent of the Menomonee Falls District in Wisconsin reminded us that it is essential that we change the language we use when discussing the use of data in higher education circles. Data empowers institutions to respond to problems accurately and to intervene quickly, and that can only be a good thing.

Another reoccurring theme throughout the SXSWedu event was the refreshing reminder that education is a human enterprise, even among the growing ed tech space. Institutional staff such as advisors, coaches and faculty members who leverage ed tech solutions are often able to interact with students more efficiently and personably. While educational technology provides incredible data-driven tools, it’s the way in which institutions leverage those solutions to deliver a better student experience which matters most, especially to the most vulnerable students who need many touch-points of support in order to succeed.

As the SXSWedu program brought home, we educators are now empowered to extend our reach like never before – making this an immensely exciting time to be supporting students!