TTRPGkids recap of my time at SXSW EDU 2024

This is a quick review of some of the AWESOME events, workshops, panels, and more that I got to check out at SXSW EDU 2024! See what’s up with EDU and games, and get a feel for what the convention is like!

Jump to:

Also check out: resources supporting TTRPGkids events at SXSW EDU 2024

What is SXSW EDU?

SXSW EDU is a huge educational conference held every year in Austin, TX just before the SXSW music festival. The SXSW EDU convention is normally attended by over 40k teachers and educational innovators to share ideas through attending talks, panels, and workshops and through just meeting other teachers! If you’re on TTRPGkids, you’re probably pretty familiar with gaming conventions – this is like GenCon but for teachers to geek out about education.

Every person that I talked to, whether a presenter or an attendee, was doing awesome work in education and very happy to geek out about how cool and impactful and wonderful teaching can be AND how we can improve it and support each other. I made SO MANY great connections here!

SXSW EDU events that I attended

I was at the conference to present and mentor, but I also got to attend several very awesome events while there.

I attended the Wizards of the Coast talk on using D&D in classrooms, which quite literally made me cry more than once with the stories of how D&D helped students in Kade’s classroom. It was also absolutely wonderful getting to chat afterwards with Kade Wells, a teacher who has been using classroom D&D for a full 10 years, and Shelly Mazzanoble who, among working at WotC and many other publications just announced a new book on learning to parent via D&D – I am looking forward to sharing a pair of interviews with them soon on the site!

The Wizards of the Coast team talking about classroom D&D

I also really enjoyed getting to reinvent Tic-Tac-Toe with Chris Hopper during a workshop on designing games for social impact by making it fun for 3 people to play while still using similar concepts that were recognizable as the original game!

Re-invented tic-tac-toe prototypes!

Another favorite was the keynote event with Sarah Rose Siskind who taught everyone, with a fantastic presentation that demonstrated different concepts in the explanation, about introducing humor into your lessons and how positive and non-aggressive humor actually adds credibility to your work.

Sarah Rose Siskind teaching us about being funny with SCIENCE

In addition to these highlights, I also loved going to meet ups and just meeting PEOPLE and talking 1:1 about their work and ideas! I attended a panel on how to grow the scope of educational non-profits and a talk about the impact that the space program will have on education, learning, jobs, and technology here on Earth. And there were so many more that I wish I could have attended!

SXSW EDU events that TTRPGkids was part of

I said before that I was at SXSW EDU to present and mentor, and that part was also AMAZING.

For mentoring, I got to have five 1:1 sessions where I got to help bounce ideas around and give advice to some wonderful people who all had very different projects! I chatted about creating a classroom game for practicing life skills, talked strategy for a national organization using games in education, discussed introducing a Japanese school program to the US, talked about career advice for shifting from a traditional job to freelance, and dug into some very cool research being done on TTRPG actual plays with educational applications. This was such a cool experience to get to hear about the amazing projects going on and be able to be part of their discussion, make connections, and just generally help.

The pre-presentation set up!

I also gave a talk about using TTRPGs to teach engineering problem solving (EPS)! Intersecting my XP from engineering, teaching, and gaming, I framed an adventuring party solving a stereotypical TTRPG scenario as an engineering group going through the EPS process! And then the questions! I left a lot of time for questions because I wanted to really talk with the audience, and I am so glad that I did. The audience was firing off some amazing Q&A topics all the way to the end. I am both glad to have been granted the opportunity to answer those questions and am so energized by the enthusiasm that everyone has around this application for TTRPGs!

That’s me presenting!!

Looking forward to SXSW EDU 2025

And now, I am really hoping to go back to SXSW EDU next year to just continue to learn and connect with more educators. I learned so much this year and I want to keep that going.

If YOU want to go to SXSW EDU 2025, I recommend to keep an eye out on their website to submit a proposal for a talk or event that you could do! Specifically, submit proposals that are actionable (talking about tangible results versus concept-only topics), education-focused, and that you are passionate about! It sounds like they are really looking for workshops that attendees can actively participate in, which I think is a PERFECT medium for showcasing TTRPGs. Applications open in the summer, so watch the website!

I also want to give a MASSIVE shoutout to Chris Hopper and KP who hung out with me through the whole week, helped me get an awesome AirBnB, and were generally just the most wonderful people.

This was a great week and a great convention, and I am excited to see more educational TTRPG events next year too, so please get involved if you have an idea!

If you’d like to chat further or want to keep up to date on future TTRPGkids resources, events, etc…

Please sign up for the TTRPGkids newsleter here!

Connect on social media through the linktree here!

And send me an email at to chat!

Thank you for checking out my recap from SXSW EDU 2024, and happy gaming!

1 thought on “TTRPGkids recap of my time at SXSW EDU 2024

Leave a Reply