While much of the tech world’s attention is focused on Las Vegas and the Consumer Electronics Show (and Microsoft’s lack of a keynote or exhibit space), the upcoming SXSWedu conference has announced its first keynote: Bill Gates.
SXSWedu is the newest in the family of SXSW (“South by Southwest”) events, which include the popular nine-day conference in Austin, TX covering the film, interactive and music industries. The fast-growing SXSWedu, focused on education and technology, is in its third year and occurs in Austin just before the other events, from March 4 to 7.
Gates is expected to be a draw less for his founding role at Microsoft and more for the focus that the Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has placed on education.
The Gates Foundation is well known in U.S. education circles for its attempts, not all of which have been successful, to improve college and career readiness of students in K-12 schools. Efforts have included grants and support for smaller schools-within-schools initiatives, teacher effectiveness research and integration of interactive tech in schools.
Gates is scheduled to provide the closing keynote on Thursday, March 7.
Frank Catalano is a regular GeekWire columnist who happens to also be speaking at SXSWedu.