Vote now to send 4 groundbreaking, Pittsburgh-born ideas to the country’s coolest education festival

Four incredibly cool, Pittsburgh-born ideas are vying for a coveted spot at the SXSW EDU festival happening in March — and you can help send them there. 

As part of the South by Southwest festival, SXSW EDU is a special track created from the belief that “education has the power to inspire, elevate and change the future.” The presentations at this virtual and in-person festival share compelling stories, best practices and innovative ideas around education. They also create a space for educators, parents and community leaders to be inspired, interact and intersect — all with the goal of creating the best future possible for kids.

SXSW chooses events for its festival in a unique way: Members of the public visit their online “Panel Picker” to vote for ideas they think would make a great panel discussion. Now through Aug. 26 (that’s Thursday!), you can use SXSW EDU’s Panel Picker to “vote up” any proposals you think would be must-see conversations that could help families and schools. 

SXSW EDU is considering four proposals from Pittsburgh-based organizations and people, and you’ll find them all on the Panel Picker. We wanted to share these creative ideas — ranging from imagining out-of-this-world ideas for education to the lessons we can learn from Fred Rogers for today’s parents — and invite you to vote for the ones that inspire you. Which ones make you want to learn more and could even change your world? 


What We Can Learn from Fred Rogers’ Blueprints?: Fred Rogers was more than a nice guy in a sweater—he was also a learning scientist who was decades ahead of his time. In this talk, we’ll explore how Fred engineered Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood to develop the “tools for learning” that boost academics and well-being among kids of every background and age. We’ll also discuss how educators can use Fred’s blueprints to nurture those tools today. With examples from Remake Learning, we’ll share inspiring, actionable ways to follow in Fred’s footsteps.

RLDAA: Prioritizing Equity and Building Networks: Remake Learning Days launched six years ago in Pittsburgh, Pa., as the world’s largest open-house for innovative, hands-on learning in the many places where young people learn. Since then, annual festivals have taken root in 16 additional regions across the country. Learn how Remake Learning Days Across America has scaled nationally, provided an onramp for regions to establish their own learning ecosystems, adapted during the pandemic, and continues to prioritize equity.

Moonshots: Bold Ideas for the Future of Learning: The pandemic forced us to reassess nearly everything about learning. Now, Pittsburghers are looking 10-20 years ahead, envisioning hopeful futures based on current signs of educational change. With support from Remake Learning’s Moonshot Grants, 15 organizations launched new projects to accelerate us toward preferred futures of learning. From universal IEPs to reimagined public libraries, this talk will share insights from grantees on bold, experimental, and just post-pandemic learning.

Shifting Power in Educational R&D: Shifting Power centers the experiences, points of view, and curiosities of Black and Latinx educators to inform practice and innovation, in particular with/for Black and Latinx youth. However, educational research is typically driven by (largely white) researchers and institutions. Too often findings do not return to serve the very educators and students who informed the research. This initiative is working to literally shift the power dynamics inherent to education R&D. 

Voting closes this Thursday, Aug. 26. So make sure to get your vote in soon!