140 characters – Weeknote #38 – 22nd November 2019

140 Conference

Ten years ago this week I was at the O2 in Greenwich for the #140conf organised by Jeff Pulver. Why was it the #140conf, well of course back then the Twitter was restricted to 140 characters, not like the 280 we have today. This was the conference where Stephen Fry was crowned the King of Twitter. That was also the week that Stephen Fry passed a million followers on Twitter. Today he now has nearly 13m followers.

140 Conference

I was on a panel session with Shirley Williams (@shirleyearley), Dave White (@daveowhite), Drew Buddie (@DigitalMaverick) and Professor Sue Black (@Dr_Black) where we talked about education and the Twitter.

From what I remember the talk went down well.

From what I remember I did try and stir things up a bit, mainly putting across that Twitter was just a passing fad and really wouldn’t last long before we moved onto the next big thing in social media. Just shows how much I know… I really didn’t think ten years ago that today I would still be doing the Twitter, I was pretty sure that the Twitter would be defunct and long forgotten. In that same time frame we have seen services such as Jaiku, Google Wave, Google Buzz and Google+ all come and go.

So will the Twitter still be around in 2029, who knows.

This tweet from the time also made me smile

Those were the days when you had to RT by typing out RT and the actual tweet, none of this retweet button we have today.

Looking back over my tweets I see that I wasn’t too enamoured with the venue, but thought it was a great conference with great people.

O2 Arena

A week without travelling gave me an opportunity to undertake some research, some writing and and some development. I also reflected on the Advance HE PVC Network I attended last week and what this could mean for Jisc and possible opportunities and challenges.

I spent a lot of time working on the Technical Career Pathway developing further pathways and assessment criteria, as well as developing examples of assessment evidence.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

This tweet reminded me that there are lots of people out there who feel there is so much more that should be taught in schools.

An easier question might be, what things should NOT be taught in schools? It’s not that these things are not important, they are, but is school the right place to do this?

I was reminded of the list of things the media and others said should be taught in schools. The list was complied by Parents and Teachers for Excellence, which is a group promoting higher standards of education in schools across England. There were two hundred plus proposals in 2018 amounting to hundreds of hours on time. It included 68 proposals about health, 24 proposals about Finance and 22 proposals about technology.

When people propose things that should be taught in schools they often don’t consider why school should be the context for addressing the identified issue. They think there is plenty of free time at school which needs to be filled, even though the existing curriculum is full already. So what should we stop teaching in order to fill the timetable with these other things. Also do schools have the necessary resources or staff to make these things realistically happen.

There is already a list for 2019.

Found this article interesting about how it’s not just school that encourages children to go to university.

Having a desk to work at, good grades and high expectations from parents, as well as being happy at school, are key factors in encouraging children to go on to university, a study suggests.


And they say this suggests schemes to raise aspirations should be targeted at an individual rather than school level.

I have a busy few weeks ahead, so was organising travel and hotels, which always takes longer than you think it does.

My top tweet this week was this one.

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