By: Diane Stirling
The School of Information Studies at Syracuse University (iSchool) is being represented for a second year at The State of NOW/140 Characters Conference, with a contingent of faculty, students, and staff members presenting at and attending the June 19 and 20 New York City event.
#140 Conf events “provide a platform for the worldwide twitter community to listen, connect, share and engage with each other while collectively exploring the effects of the emerging real-time internet on business,” according to the website of conference founder Jeff Pulver.
The iSchool will be featured on the first day in two of the event format’s noted 10-minute talks, and on the second day in a panel discussion regarding regional 140 conferences. Assistant Professor of Practice Anthony Rotolo will speak about the experience of teaching college classes in real time. He will be followed by iSchool student Isaac Budmen detailing his viral experience on twitter. On the panel, Rotolo will show video highlights of April’s 140Cuse conference and recount how the iSchool’s “entrepreneurial spirit and social media leadership” in hosting that event “was met with an outpouring of support and attention, a testament to how we’re building community at the school,” he said.
While in 2011, Rotolo’s presentation introduced social media scholarship at the iSchool, this year’s talk will show the depth of impact from the school’s sponsorship of a #140Conf regional event, the first held on an American college campus. Rotolo observed that, “Last year, we were one of the first schools taking leadership on social media. This year, in my view, we’re a school that has defined the study of social media. We have a very strong presence and an operation here that is really delivering for students, and we have some real student success stories.”
Rotolo will also present information on the outcomes of real-time teaching and how that method is made possible by social media. That will include updates on how the use of social media in the classroom impacts learning and motivation—research that is underway with Ruth Small, the iSchool’s Laura J. & L. Douglas Meredith Professor.
The bookending of a student and a professor on the agenda “will illustrate the vision, execution and outcomes of social media education at the iSchool,” Rotolo believes. He noted that Budmen, whose 140 Challenge run-up presentation won him the student presenter spot at 140Conf in NYC, represents “not only a student who has become a product of his environment, but as a result of it, how he is helping to shape that environment.”
For his segment, Budmen also will talk about the “authentic learning” he and his Little Tinker Co. team have experienced the last few weeks at the iSchool’s entrepreneurial Student Sandbox, he said. “We learn something new every single day. We’re all teaching and learning something and we’ve all been swapping roles. Our ‘Drinkup’ game was fun, but we’ve moved beyond that and are doing things that are a little more delightful now.”
The group’s next project, the NEXIS gumball dispenser prototype, is nearly ready to launch, Budmen added. “The message from [our conversation with] Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley to ‘build’ really got through to us,” he reflected. “It’s an environment of learning and creating, and it wouldn’t have come to fruition if not for that talk.”
Conference speakers and events will be livestreamed during the event at: http://www.ustream.tv/nyc140conf.