Georgetown to hold panel at SXSW (yes, you read that right)

When did Georgetown become hip and indie? Well, maybe when it was asked to present a panel at Austin’s SXSW this March (though Vox still has its doubts about the University’s indie rock talents).

Although South by Southwest is most famous for its festivals featuring famous musical acts, film features, and showcase of emerging interactive technologies, the company runs three other conferences, one of which is a conference on educational innovation called SXSWedu.

Georgetown will have a panel at this year’s SXSWedu, which will be held in Austin from March 3-6, this spring. Georgetown’s panel will be called “Designing the Future University from the Inside,” and will focus on how new and emerging technologies are rapidly changing education at the university level.

SXSWedu’s goal is “to drive meaningful conversation and collaboration around promising practices to improve teaching and learning.”

Georgetown’s panel will include Provost Robert Groves, CIO Lisa Davis, and Michael Wang (MSB ’07), Program Manager for Innovation & New Media Strategy.

Specifically, they will address two topics in two separate parts: ideas and action. In part 1, they will share thoughts and ideas about how Georgetown will try to modernize alongside new technologies while staying true to its Jesuit mission and values of the past 225 years; discuss the Initiative on Technology-Enhanced Learning, which is responsible for Georgetown’s edX courses; and address the future of Georgetown Hackathon. In part 2, the panel leaders will answer questions on how universities should work together in dealing with similar challenges regarding technology and academic values; and, talk about how Georgetown Hackathon can be adapted to work on other campuses.

Groves said that a university has three purposes: help students find “their authentic selves,” allow faculty to “advance scholarship,” and maintain a commitment to the common good.  “Those are vastly different notions of what universities are about,” he told the Voice. “What we’re after is not rejecting the tech . . . we’re going to do all of those three things in more powerful and efficient ways.”

Georgetown leaders will try to continue reconciling these age-old values and moral philosophies with the modern educational challenges in its panel at the festival.

“It’s such a dynamic audience,” Wang (MSB ’07) told the Voice. “There are foundations there, there are start-ups, there are CIOs, there are other universities, presidents, provosts, there’s people working for for-profit. Catering something that will be palpable for all of them with definitely be a challenge, but I don’t think it’s insurmountable.”

Vox is still hoping Provost Groves is secretly in a really cool rock band, and the panel was just an excuse for him to perform at the SXSW music festival.

Additional reporting by Grace Brennan

Photo: Darren and Brad via Flickr

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>