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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (SXSWEdu 2014)

This spaghetti western is one of my favorites...but also appropos to my time in Austin last week. Something about SXSWEdu actually felt a little bit like throwing spaghetti against a wall to see what would stick. It is an event that is trying to piece together representation from all aspects of the education sector, with topics that range from civic engagement, to shark tank style startup pitches, to leadership/inspiration. And speakers? Well, they ranged from Diane Ravitch to Michelle Rhee and Wendy Kopp. It is an event that is like our education system - edtech companies new and old, policy makers, philanthropists, teachers, students, parents, school leaders all coming together with sometimes similar, sometimes wildly divergent solutions to a complex set of problems. SXSWEdu was a microcosm of the system for three days. Three, unseasonably cold days, in Austin. Good thing there were lots of heated debates inside the conference walls!

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