Every year thousands of musicians, industry folk & fans roll into Austin for SXSW music – including a bunch of us from Berklee. Before the music portion starts, thousands of nerds roll in first for SXSW interactive & film.
Of course I mean nerds in the most awesome sense – designers, programmers, educators, social media gurus, and general Internet enthusiasts – and as Berklee PULSE’s Senior UI Designer, I certainly fit the bill.
You might wonder why Berklee would be at interactive at all, as a college of music? That’s just it – first and foremost we’re a school. The way we think about education has shifted drastically with the advancements of technology – gaming, social media, online courses & the availability of information through the web.
As a group of musicians, teachers, multimedia producers, designers, programmers and writers working on an online music curriculum, the PULSE team embraces the idea that learning should be an interactive experience. PULSE isn’t an online course, but rather what we think the textbook of the future should be: full of games, storytelling, multimedia & fun!
I arrived in Austin last friday, excited to learn about the latest and greatest in interactivity, discuss games and web interfaces, and hopefully meet some great people. My expectations were blown out of the water!
One of the biggest themes of SXSWi was how games are revolutionizing education! In fact, the Seth Priebatsch keynote on the first day dove right into that topic! I attended panels on casual educational games, game design as an educational gateway, designing stuff for kids, the future of education and game usability design (to name a few.)
I also met amazing people who are working towards similar goals! This afternoon, educators from around the world met to discuss what the classroom of the future will be (hint: the web plays a big role.) Although there were many friendly debates about issues such as privacy, the extent of online learning, and the role of gaming, everyone seemed to agree that technology was moving education forward in amazing ways.
The brilliant folks from PBS, WGBH, MIT and other educational institutions had awesome ideas about digital experiences to further education. Between the engaging conversations, thought provoking questions posed and ground breaking thoughts presented, I have so many great ideas to bring back to Boston.
I’m sad SXSW interactive has ended but really excited for the music portion & the arrival of Berklee friends. Stay tuned for continuing coverage of SXSW music & some more of my thoughts from interactive!
Read more about Berklee at SXSW 2011.