My first day out at SXSW Edu, I attended a couple of workshops, which I will write about at more length, but on Tuesday, I attend the education Expo, where top universities, local schools – public, charter and private showcase their "goods." The Expo is opened for the public and several districts bus students in to explore. Teachers linger from booth to booth and the variety of new technology innovations, programs and ideas showcased is impressive. Creators from as far away as Japan and Ireland come to Austin to share – free and purchasable products.
LifePlan Labs, where I met Waylon (like the singer) and Ryan, looks to help students solve “the student debt crisis from square one.” Their program, still in the fledgling stages, works to help students and parents “proactively plan for success, not react to rising student debt.” Currently, LifePlan is in place for 9th grade students, - an excellent age to begin future life planning – and is working towards providing programs for sophomore to senior levels, with all courses “100% aligned with state standards.” One of the teams catch phrases is “LIFE HAPPENS” (nothing new), but they aim to prepare students, and not just for basic goals, but also to prepare for the unexpected to stay on track for success. I had a chance to talk to the team at length and as a 29 year veteran teacher, I am impressed.
LifePlan Labs uses real life scenarios, an easy-to-use LMS (Learning Management System) for teachers, tools for counselors and more. Bottom line, LifePlan has students and their futures in mind and on track. They aim to help students plan for higher education, figure out how to pay for it and to keep them on track for completion. These goals are the dream of every parent, all schools and most assuredly every college bound student. LifePlan takes the fear out of goal setting and goal achievement, by thinking forward and offering students the opportunity to succeed – for real! “LifePlan Labs exists to create a mindset of success for students through an innovative program” and I believe it WILL!