The 140 Characters Conference (#140conf) is all about exploring the effects of real-time technology on our world and providing a platform for the social media community to listen, connect, share, and engage with each other. The #140conf in New York City had presentations about social media’s impacts on education such as Syracuse University’s Professor Anthony Rotolo’s talk about “College in Real Time.” The #140edu conference promises even more discussion about education in real time. The list of speakers covers a large range of individuals involved in education, representing superintendents, social media managers, educators, parents, activists, foundation leaders, and more. The schedule of speakers and topics has been released. The themes of the #140edu conference (as I have identified) are:
• Changing the School Model: Topics range from hacking to sustainability, but the core message is reimagining schools for the 21st century as places where students build skills and learn about what matters to the world and to them, not just a scantron.
• Building Community: Engaging communities and increasing involvement are providing outlets for education reformers, schools, and parents to have meaningful discussions and change student outcomes.
• Changing the Education Paradigm: What students learn and how students learn it is center stage at #140edu, especially with a large part of the conversation happening around the value of a college education and what the changing landscape for education outside of school means for the field of education. The cherry on top is having Chris Lehmann, Principal of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia and TEDx speaker, as the partner for the event. The #140edu conference is taking place August 2nd and 3rd at the 92nd Street Y. Student tickets are $15, regular 2 day passes are $140 until August 1st, and educators can apply to purchase a ticket for $1.40. Attending the conference, regardless of the ticket price, will be well worth the cost.