Frankfurt’s São Paulo Contec Conference Puts Literacy, Technology in Focus

The Frankfurt Book Fair has announced its schedule and opened registration for Contec Brazil, an international conference on technology, culture and literacy. With the theme “Shaping the readers of the future,” it is the first event of its kind conducted by Frankfurt in Brazil, taking place on August 7th and 8th, just before the start of Bienal do Livro de São Paulo (Sao Paulo Book Biennial).

The conference aims to discuss technology and readership, present teaching and leaning strategies for teachers and students at various stages of literacy, examine new technology-based models of education and present trends in cross-media content.

A broad range of professionals fall within Contac’s target audience: educators, students, educational administrators and managers, public and private educational technology experts, publishers, literary agents, authors, booksellers, journalists, librarians and media content organizations.

There will be speakers from Brazil and abroad, among them Tom O’Mara, from the National Adult Literacy Agency of Ireland; Juan Felipe Córdoba Restrepo, of the Colombian Association of University Publishers; Joanna Ellis, from The Literary Platform in the UK; and Brij Kothari, who represents the non-profit organization Planet Read, dedicated to reading and literacy development around the world.

Among the Brazilian lecturers are Sérgio Quadros, president of Abrelivros and Santillana/ Moderna, who will speak on “the literary marketplace’s contribution to global literacy”; Galeno Amorim, president of Fundação Biblioteca Nacional (Brazilian National Library), which will discuss policies for stimulating readership in Brazil, Thalita Rebouças, best-selling Brazilian author, on the panel discussion “Do Twitter and Facebook boost literacy?” among many others.

Tickets can be reserved on the website, which also presents further details of the program.

This is Contec’s first year, and the president and vice president of the Frankfurt Book Fair, Jürgen Boos and Marifé Boix Garcia, will also officially launch the 2013 Contec Brazil, which is an international exhibition — the first of its kind — with a program of conferences on literature, children’s content and technology education.

According to Boix Garcia, Brazil was chosen to host the event because of its high illiteracy rate — 9.6 percent in the general population, while 20.3 percent of Brazilians are considered functionally illiterate — and, at the same time, the prevalence of Internet access and the Brazilians’ great interest in mobile devices. The combination, Boix Garcia said, makes the debate over using new technologies to expand access to reading and learning essential for Brazil.

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