I seek the Land of A-Ha’s: that mystical realm of realizations, revelations and epiphanies where what you don’t know meets and mingles with what you what you do. Austin enjoys a reawakening of creativity every March, affording 2 opportunities for forward-thinking educators, trainers and learners of all ages: SXSWedu and STEAM3.
The 2 weekend days of STEAM3 gave way to SXSWedu on Monday. Though still young in the SXSW world (5 years old), SXSWedu has already outpaced the initial growth of the other SXSW festivals, with over 6,000 attending this year. I followed 2 main subject tracks, both highly intriguing: adaptive learning and creativity. This year at SXSWedu, though, I found the greatest value running into various colleagues such as Mary Crawford (UT), Mindy Jackson (Enspire Learning) and Lee Lefever (Common Craft). I finished my SXSWedu experience with an excellent visit with one of the STEAM3 speakers, Elizabeth Strickler of the Digital Arts Entertainment Lab, part of Georgia State University.
After any such event — much less two! — I want to linger as long as possible. Yet, I must return to the everyday world to apply any lessons learned. Many spiritual traditions talk of “Coming Down from the Mountain” after receiving wisdom — that sense of disappointment as you realize that you must still do the laundry, wash the dishes and take out the trash, even after receiving enlightenment. Still, once we see the Land of A-Ha’s, the memory pushes us onward, until once again, we’re off to seek the Wizard…
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