#140conf: Real-time Education


One panel from the #140conf that I was very interested in was the one on how the real-time web can impact education.

In true 140 fashion, the panel was too short for a subject that I am very passionate and know a lot about (considering I've spent nearly seven years of my life working in education and another three or so representing education-focused clients).

You see, the education space is always behind the eight ball. It is always in need -- need of tools, technology, good teachers, content, students, active parents, etc. For such an important part of all of our lives, education (for the most part IMHO), doesn't get the attention it deserves in terms of the issues -- from the political end of things, technology issues, parental involvement, etc.

Education simple gets the shaft in my book.

So, when the panel started talking about how education needs to move from a teacher-centric learning experience, I was excited, intrigued and curious.

What does a classroom experience that's not totally driven from the front of the classroom look like? How does social media play a role in that?

The questions haven't been answered yet and the panel basically asked us, the people that use social media like it was our lifeline, to help figure that out and explore the options. It's more than schools across state lines collaborating on projects via Facebook. The experience is about injecting the classroom with real-world experiences in real-time.

Take the presidential inauguration for example. People all around the world, while not physically in Washington, D.C. on that cold winter day, were transported there by millions of tweets, twitpics, live video streams, etc. It was a legit, 360 degree experience.

While that was one of the biggest media events in history, imagine a speech given by a Nobel Peace Prize winner, which is streamed live into science classrooms around the world. During the event, students from all walks of life (that have access of course), can chime in with questions in real-time. Teachers can then ask students to do a video review of the speech and talk about their key-learnings as it relates to a subject they are studying for that specific course. Those videos can be shared within their schools, with other schools via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. And, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, will have a chance to review those videos, interact with the students on a one to one basis, etc. All of this creates a very rich experience for all those that are involved.

This and many other experiences are possible and can bring the world into the classroom with the help of social media.

It is up to us, the folks passionate about the space and interested in helping others, to keep this conversation at the forefront of the education debate happening locally in our cities and towns, states, your country and around the world.

How will you help?