We’re excited for EDUCAUSE this week – one of the biggest conferences convening higher education and IT professionals and vendors. For people who work, think, eat, and breathe at the intersections of higher education and technology, it’s like a five-day Christmas.

With over 500 sessions over five days, choosing how to spend your time can be…overwhelming, as an understatement. But there are certain topics that have emerged as the essential conversations to hone in on: cloud computing, predictive analytics, and big data.

We’ve put together our top 6 picks for the most exciting, mind-expanding workshops, panels, and sessions at #EDU17 for Thursday, November 2. 


Skate to Where the Puck Is Going to Be: Advising Students Based on Real-Time Job Market Analytics

8:00am – 8:30am ET | Meeting Room 108A, 100 Level | Breakout session

Your students deserve the highest quality advising that you can give them – and, today, that involves cutting-edge technology. That means using real-time job market analytics to help advisors steer students towards a surefire job, and to help instructors plan relevant curricula. The session will be led by Eric Wellnitz and Raymond Blackwood of Campus Management Corp.


The Hottest Cloud-Enabled Education Trends to Watch in 2018

11:30am – 12:30pm ET | Learning Theater, Exhibit Hall A-C, 200 Level | Breakout session

You can barely walk five feet at EDUCAUSE 2017 without hearing the word “cloud.” This session – for cloud technology veterans and newbies – will help you understand the real ways that cloud technology is revolutionizing higher education. It’s led by Amazon Web Services and leaders from Instructure, Vocareum, and Triseum: Melissa Loble, Sanjay Srivastava, Andre Thomas, and Kam Syed.


Accessibility before Adoption: One Institution’s Approach to Ensuring Educational Technology Is Accessible

12:15pm – 1:15pm ET | Exhibit Hall A-C, 200 Level | Poster session

Accessibility has always been crucial – students increasingly choose a school based on its resources for mentally and physically disabled students. But sometimes accessibility gets lost in the conversations about instructional technology. We focus so much on providing the “right” educational technology for the “average student” without considering the broad range of students’ needs and abilities. This poster session, by Dean Brusnighan and Margaret Wu, shares strategies for the development and implementation of accessibility plans.


HP and Yale Team Up to Create a Blended Reality Future

1:30pm – 2:20pm ET | Meeting Room 113B, 100 Level | Breakout Session

Are augmented reality, 3D modeling, and virtual reality more than just a gimmick? Could they actually be game-changing tools for learning? Keeping students engaged has always meant being abreast of the newest technology, and deploying it in ways that the academy hasn’t seen before. Check out this session on how Yale and HP partnered to create the Yale University’s Blended Reality Applied Research Project, presented by John Eberhart, Johannes DeYoung, Gus Schmedlen, and Randall Rode.


Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism

2:40pm – 3:30pm ET | Exhibit Hall D, 200 Level | Featured Session

The prevailing myth is that algorithms are impartial, utterly logical, and devoid of the bias that humans fall prey to. In actuality, algorithms are equally (if not more) riddled with race, class, and gender-based bias. We’re excited for this session on Google search and algorithmic bias by University of Southern California assistant professor, Safiya Noble.


Do You Trust Me? Utilizing Big Data to Impact Student Success

4:30pm – 5:20pm ET | Meeting Room 204B, 200 Level | Breakout Session

Balancing big data collection with student privacy is one of the most intractable dilemmas facing higher education institutions. How do you balance the revolutionary potential of big data collection and deployment, with student trust?  The answer, we think, is in proven outcomes: if students can see the tangible ways that big data benefits them – jobs, internships, and real-time feedback on their academic behaviour – they’ll be more open to big data collection. Check out this breakout session by University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ Brent Drake, and Purdue University’s Jason Fish.


What sessions are you most excited for? Tell us on Twitter with the hashtag #EDU17. You can see the full Thursday schedule here.