Delaware and Innovation in the Spotlight at SXSW Education

March 8th, 2024

Category: Postsecondary Success

In addition to lots of great panels and keynotes at the annual SXSW Education conference, there was plenty of Delaware flavor this year, including one panel that featured Delaware State University president Tony Allen underlining the importance of HBCUs—and WRK Group CEO Logan Herring was in the house to support Harlem Children’s Zone. For my part, I had the opportunity to share the work Rodel, along with local educators and students, are doing to rethink middle grades with an eye toward career exploration.

Check out a recording of our discussion, which also featured Julie Lammers of American Student Assistance, Danielle Ongart of the Colorado Department of Education, and moderator Kayla Jimenez of USA TODAY.

(And check out some more recordings from SXSW EDU 2024 here.)

Beyond the panels, the Rodel team got a chance to visit the famous SXSW Expo hall, where innovation was on display. The experience really blew me away. I enjoyed a friendly chat with “Pepper,” a robot who can serve as an aid in classrooms—especially ones geared around learning to code. (But in the video you’ll see we stuck to a topic I’m more familiar with: Delaware).


I also learned about a broad array of new AI tools, virtual lessons, and interactive models that can teach folks to do just about anything—from plumbing, to autopsies, to milking a cow.


Perhaps the coolest moment was having a real-time conversation with colleagues in South Africa through a network of “global portals,” an innovation from Shared Studios that allows users to engage in live, and life-sized, conversations anywhere in the world.


With innovations from around the globe intersecting with innovations from the First State, it was an unforgettable week in Austin.

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Paul Herdman



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