#140edu 2011: Exploring the State of Education NOW
The #140edu Conference kicked off today at the 92nd Street Y in New York City and will continue on through tomorrow. #140edu is an event created to model the original #140conf, which saw its inaugural occurrence back in June 2009. The event zones in on education NOW and provides a platform for educators, parents, students, administrators, school boards, together with anyone and everyone with a vested interest in the state of education a chance to be heard, and it becomes a space for ideas to be shared and explored.
If you missed out today, you’re in luck, there’s a whole extra day tomorrow where you can network, learn about what’s going on in education, grow your PLN (Personal Learning Network) and work on your PD (professional development). Oh, and if you can’t make it, don’t worry they’re live streaming via USTREAM.
Today I experienced over 25 speakers ranging from parents to students to administrators to innovators to entrepreneurs to teachers — wow!
Here’s a recap of the top speakers I heard today:
- Jack Hidary (@jackhidary), entrepreneur: business, social, political
There’s nothing like a speaker who can get the audience up, engaged and interacting. Jack passed out a bunch of business cards made out of balsa wood and challenged us to get together in groups of four or five and create an object that would fly — but not just fly, fly far. The group with the farthest flying airplane was lucky enough to take home some nifty Apple products. Thanks, Jack, for getting us up and collaborating right from the start!
- Steven W. Anderson (@web20classroom), educator, speaker, blogger, #edchat co-creator, #character, NOW award winner, ASCD conference scholar
Tom Whitby (@tomwhitby), professor of education, founder: #edchat, The EDU PLN ning, Linkedin Technology – Using Professors et al
Both Steven and Tom were exciting to see right from the get-go. Not only have they created the largest, most popular education hashtag (#edchat), but they have helped shape educational chats on Twitter. #Edchat has become a way for educators to quickly grow their PLN and also work on their PD. It says a lot when two people very engaged in Twitter chats and education are willing to let their guards down and have an informal conversation with a large group. You rocked!
- Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu), speaker, author, educational innovator
From the start, Lisa had the audience engaged. Her first remarks were something like, “I’m mad at education….” Lisa encouraged her audience to question how schools are preparing young people for the world and why the world behind school doors is different from the world outside school doors. Her examples of students doing amazing work, like starting their own soap businesses and creating toys, were refreshing and eye-opening. Ask yourself this: If we want students to be successful in the real world, why aren’t we connecting school life to real life and giving students the freedom to learn?
See Lisa’s amazing presentation!
- Mel Rosenberg (@MelRosenberg), scientist, inventor, children’s book author, youtube newbie
Mel appeared on stage wearing a frog hat. You read that right: a frog hat. Mel’s storytelling ability was apparent as soon as he began. His focus on kindergarten and creativity seemed like a perfect fit — you’d never guess that he was a university professor and scientist in his past. Mel coined himself as a mis-fish — that’s right, your read that correct again: not a misfit, but a mis-fish — because, why not?! If you’re an odd fish out, you’re a misfish, like Mel. Mel has not followed a school of fish his whole life, but instead has explored his creativity and never forgotten to ask the question WHY. He said something that will stick with me: “Five-year-olds ask questions, we should be giving answers to students and letting them ask the questions. Answer: Four -– now you make up the question.”
- Adam Bellow (@adambellow), founder, eduTeacher
Let me just say, I’ve never seen anyone go through 100+ slides in 15 minutes and especially not this well! Adam was AWESOME. His presentation took us through new technology, politics, classrooms today, innovation occurring, innovation not occurring and everything in between. If you watch nothing else from this conference, watch his presentation! Adam is blunt and motivational. His quote of the day: “Any teacher who can be replaced by a robot… should.”
- Perry Hewitt (@perryhewitt), Director, Digital, Harvard University
Hat’s off to Perry for a great presentation on how Harvard is using social media in higher-ed. Not only is Harvard engaging students via Facebook and Twitter, but Harvard is also creating apps for their campus. Picture this: It’s a snowy day in Boston and you need to get a book out of the library, but you want to make sure that you go to one of the libraries in Boston that actually has the book you need. You’re in luck! With Harvard’s app you’ll be able to browse the many libraries to find which one has what you need and you’ll be able to reserve it right then and there. Really neat! Innovation in higher-ed is happening and we couldn’t be more excited!
- Marc Ecko (@marcecko), founder, Marc Ecko Enterprises
Marc is a realist who campaigns against corporal punishment in public schools. His great slide deck was encouraging, frightening and thought provoking. We need to encourage kids. If we believe in kids, they can do anything. This video Marc shared says its all: YOU CAN DO IT!
Thanks for a great first day! It has been amazing to finally put a face (in person) to a lot of Twitter handles. See you tomorrow!