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SXSW Update: ExcelinEd presents EdPolicy Leaders Online

• Samantha Tankersley

This is the final piece in a three-part series on our takeaways from the SXSWedu conference. Earlier this month ExcelinEd staff joined teachers, ed tech companies, district leaders and stakeholders at the annual event in Austin, Texas to discuss the most pressing topics in education, including personalized learning, student data privacy and classroom innovations.

Read the first part on student data privacy here and the second part on the need for innovation here.

Part 3: ExcelinEd Presents EdPolicy Leaders Online

ExcelinEd announced the launch of its new initiative, EdPolicy Leaders Online, at SXSWedu. EdPolicy Leaders Online is a series of free, self-paced online education reform courses designed specifically for policymakers. The courses, hosted on the Canvas Network, feature a variety of experts from across the education spectrum. They range from superintendents to senators, parents to policymakers, teachers to technology gurus and community leaders to CEOs.EdPolicy-Leaders-Logo

One of the first courses to come available is Data Privacy? Get Schooled! This course was developed in coordination with the Data Quality Campaign and will launch on March 23rd. Building upon the robust dialog that took place at SXSWedu, Data Privacy? Get Schooled! will discuss the value data brings to education, offer recommendations for addressing privacy concerns while promoting effective data use, and explore lessons learned from existing and emerging policies in education and other sectors.

At the Canvas Network Lounge, SXSWedu attendees were able to pre-enroll in the course and gain insight into what to expect from course presenter Aimee Guidera, President and CEO of the Data Quality Campaign. A number of Data Privacy? Get Schooled! course presenters served on data privacy centric panels at SXSWedu, including:

  • John Bailey, Vice President of Policy, Foundation for Excellence in Education
  • Neil Campbell, Policy Director of Blended and Digital Learning, Foundation for Excellence in Education
  • Olga Garcia-Kaplan, Parent Advocate and Blogger
  • Paige Kowalski, Vice President of Policy and Advocacy, Data Quality Campaign
  • Carey Markel, Data Privacy Officer, Colorado Department of Education
  • Jules Polonetsky, Executive Director and Co-chair, Future of Privacy Forum

To learn more about EdPolicyLeaders Online, read this post by ExcelinEd CEO Patricia Levesque or visit

About the author

Samantha Tankersley

Samantha is the Policy Coordinator for the Foundation for Excellence in Education’s new initiative, EdPolicy Leaders Online. Before joining ExcelinEd, Samantha served as an advocacy intern for the Foundation for Florida's Future while simultaneously pursuing her master's in Public Administration from Florida State University. Samantha has also served as a teaching assistant for international schools in England and Switzerland. She received her bachelor's degree in Education from the University of Central Florida in 2012.