During the SXSWedu Conference & Festival, Cengage Learning hosted a meetup on the topic of the “digital difference,” addressing the topic of connecting your academic aims with your students’ digital desires. Members of TeamUP, Cengage Learning’s peer-to-peer faculty development group, facilitated the discussions and gleaned many insights and opinions from the attendees. Read on to discover what some of your colleagues had to say on these dynamic topics!


On the “flipped model” of instruction…  Cengage Learning SXSWedu Flipped Model

  •  “Connection is the most important thing. It gives purpose and meaning in our lives. Connect students to each other, the teacher, and their learning.”
  • “Not content delivery, but clarification and practice.”
  • “Class discussions for deeper learning & critical thinking. Authentic learning experiences [with] project-based learning.”
  • “Coaching, motivating, asking questions of my students.”
  • “You can spend more time on the things that matter and can’t be done at home.”



On creative ideas for mixing technology and teaching…

  •  “If knowledge is power, technology is the vehicle for empowering students!”
  • “Teachers ask good questions, then let kids figure out how to use the tech to answer!”
  •  “It is not about the medium but about the skills needed in the society of tomorrow.”
  • “Fail forward. Learn from your mistakes.”
  • “Students don’t separate virtual and real anymore—it’s just life.”
  • “Teaching is a technology!”
  • “Remember that technology is a tool. No one ever built a house with only a hammer… they first needed the knowledge and creativity to use it effectively.”



On the digital difference…Cengage Learning SXSWedu Digital Difference

  • “Teaching tools that will be obsolete tomorrow makes no sense. We must teach the skills of figuring out the tools.”
  • “We need to integrate technology like the rest of society—but we have to make sure that tech tools meet learning outcomes. Not tech for the sake of tech or as an afterthought!”
  • “We need to be on the cutting edge—so we teach ahead of the known.”
  • “If every student learner were permitted to use their smartphone during class to engage in discussion—teaching would be an adventure open to the open exchange of global ideas.”
  • “We need to teach students to build community and imagine a new tomorrow.”


Did you attend SXSWedu? What were some of your key takeaways from the meeting? If you didn’t attend, what might you have to say about some of these prompts? Share your thoughts in the comments!