A Last Look at SXSW 2016 (from a DMA Presenter)

By Marcus D

(Editor: The SXSW festival wraps up this weekend in Austin, Texas. As this year’s show concludes, we offer a final look back from one of the speakers selected to present there, Digital Media Academy Instructor and Asst. Director of Curriculum Development Marcus Duvoisin.)

SXSW was awesome! We met over a hundred schools that we’re providing our curriculum to for free so they can evaluate it and help us keep improving!

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Marcus was part of a sensational DMA crew that also featured Regional Director Paul Lopez (right, on his home turf in Texas), with DMA Instructors Evan Ryker and Hillary Bielstein. Great job, everybody!

We also networked with other companies present at the conference. We met with big names like Shapeways (whom we presented with at SXSWedu Playground), GameSalad, LEGO Education, GoPro, 3D Hubs and many others. (Look for future news about DMA working with these companies.)

A NEW EDUCATION TREND

There is a new movement that is about to hit the general public: accrediting alternative education. In the last decade, the growth of parents investing in education enrichment (outside of traditional school system) has been multiplied by a factor of 7, with an average of $8,800/year today.

Where do those alternative education credits get listed? At least five largely backed companies presented at SXSW and talked about how they are implementing this for concept for the mass public. Coming soon: Kids and teens keeping track of their alternative education in an adopted platform.

We also noticed another trend. There seems to be this momentum starting with kids that it’s cool to be smart.

OUR PARTNER IN 3D PRINTING

We have some exciting news for our 3D printing courses this summer: We’re partnering with Ultimaker!

Ultimaker was a finalist for an SXSW Interactive Innovation Award this year, in the category of “Innovative 3-DIY.”

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Great news: DMA’s 3D printing courses this summer will feature Ultimaker’s excellent 3D printers!

This summer, DMA will have a 5:1 ratio of students to 3D printers, improved from a 9:1 ratio from last summer. This is the lowest student-to-printer ratio I’ve ever heard of for a classroom or summer program!

The Ultimaker 2 is also just a very high-quality machine that’s won many awards. This summer our students will definitely be using the latest and greatest!

“EDUCATION IS A LIFESTYLE, IT’S ONGOING AND IS FOR EVERYONE.”

President Obama appeared at SXSW and gave a talk about civic engagement and how our country needs to place more importance on social good.

We asked our curriculum developers this season to try and think of a project for their class that focused on social good. I’ve only seen a handful so far, but it’s a great start, since this is not an easy task.

I was also impressed by a non-profit organization at the conference called Kidnected World, which had some big ideas on how to step in and help us in this effort.

SHOWTIME!

The two-hour presentation I gave (Let’s Prototype Together! An Intro to 3D Printing) went really well! We had a turnout of around 80 to 100 people, including many people who are influencers in their industry.

The presentation began with a discussion about what is commonly understood about 3D printing. Then we looked at different types of 3D printers, including a live demo of FDM and SLA 3D printers.

Next we got into something really cool: the Design Thinking process used by the Stanford d School. We approached this through a creative exercise where participants were asked to redesign an everyday object.

We then covered an introduction to 3D modeling, specifically with Autodesk’s 123D Design. Our goal here was to take a sketch on paper and turn it into a 3D model.

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Marcus gave his SXSW presentation with Dan Grigoras of Shapeways.

I presented with Dan Grigoras, Director of U.S. Supply Chain for 3D printer manufacturer Shapeways, and we finished by offering some projections about the future of 3D printing.

It was great exposure for DMA, and a really awesome professional-development opportunity for myself, and I am very grateful for that. Good Morning America even shot the first 10 minutes for B-roll for their show!

Our thanks to Marcus Duvoisin for taking time out of his busy schedule to share his reflections on SXSW 2016!

LEARN TECH IN A TECH MECCA

We look forward to next year’s SXSWedu Playground and hope to meet you there.

And even if you couldn’t make it to Austin for the 2016 SXSW, isn’t it nice to know there are still (some) spaces available in DMA’s tech camps this summer?

Register now, while you can take advantage of camp discounts offered through DMA Spring Savings. It’s going to be a great summer at DMA!

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A final look at Austin. The city was a great host, as were the folks from SXSW. We’ll be back next year!