Krista Jackman: Twitter and Tweeting; Community and Composition
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Krista Jackman: Twitter and Tweeting; Community and Composition



This presentation, part of the Social Media for Teaching and Learning, focuses on the anecdotal experience of Krista Jackman's use of Twitter in Freshman Composition at the University of New ...

This presentation, part of the Social Media for Teaching and Learning, focuses on the anecdotal experience of Krista Jackman's use of Twitter in Freshman Composition at the University of New Hampshire, English 401. Krista developed pedagogy that used Twitter for a dual purpose: as an experiment designed to facilitate a feeling of community, prior to the start of a Residential Learning Community, and to introduce the the function of critical analysis.



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  • Talk here, about exposure to academic use of Social Mediaat FITSI (2009) and then time spent pondering its place in my classroom. Building community is HUGE for me as an educator, and I felt an immediate affinity for treading a common path with my students. Concerns – technology / social media is occasionally used in the classroom for flash and dazzle, and without strong academic foundation. I wanted to introduce it – common ground with students, but I wanted it to be for a specific academic purpose.
  • I decided that I might give it a try, (student engagement) but had to give much thought to what I wanted to develop – what my objectives were in terms of my own pedagogy. My big concern was that I wanted to be sure that there was a strong academic purpose for my use of social media, not just technology for the sake of technology. I decided that I would consider the integration of social media along side of my analysis assignment.
  • Many alternatives, but had spent some time talking with one of the instructional designers at FITSI about Twitter. Its many functionalities pushed me in the direction of Twitter. Most importantly, I could link these functionalities to my pedagogical objectives. Twitter seemed to be the right choice.
  • This is an portion of the actual assignment. Look at the handouts so view the whole thing?I was in contact with students over the summer, via email. One week before class met for the first time, students began this “Twitter experiment”. My intention was to have students explore Twitter as a platform for communication. They’re all Facebook savvy, but for many, this was new. I wanted them to consider the implications and limitations of Twitter as a method for really “getting to know” someone.
  • This is an excerpt from the essay I have them read – “How Twitter Creates a Social Sixth Sense”, by Clive Thompson. The essay critiques Twitter as a form of communication – it suggests value, and worth. Students had spent the week previous exploring Twitter – many, for the first time. The essay doesn’t matter so much specifically, beyond the fact that it asserts an opinion about an activity that they’ve just taken part in. I WANT them to have a strong opinion about Twitter, about the assertion that Thompson makes… I want them to be critical of their own Twitter experience, and then further, about what Thompson says. I want them to agree, to disagree… and then have their own experience to fall back on as a seedbed for discussion. Here they are analyzing for the first time. I guide the beginning discussions so that they start using phrases like, “Based on my experience, I see that this is true…” “When I was tweeting, I discovered ….., which causes me to disagree with Thompson. This is the beginning of critical analysis. Not something just because you think it is true, but an assertion based on something you’ve read, something you’ve experienced.
  • The conclusion that I revisit over and over, is that it serves no purpose to simply present technology for the sake of technology. Social Media holds no allure for students, as they’ve all experiences the personal application. What sparks curiosity, is an academic application. It is engaging for students to really pick apart and examine the media they use every day, and seems worthwhile to have them explore the implications. What is this doing to my ability to communicate? How does it impact the conclusions I draw? The way I think, and further, the actions I take?

Krista Jackman: Twitter and Tweeting; Community and Composition Krista Jackman: Twitter and Tweeting; Community and Composition Presentation Transcript

  • Social Media for Teaching and Learning Sheraton Hotel, Boston October 19, 2012
  • Social Media in the classroom?  Why? Why not?
  • My Objectives • Use Social Media• Build a sense of Community in the classroom• Raise awareness of University Dialog topic• Introduce the idea of critical analysis• Launch the semester’s writing
  • Twitter • Social Media that allows posts of 140 characters or less. (writing component)• Build community by allowing users to “stay connected” to each other in a digital environment (builds community)• Can “follow” = subscribe to their Twitter updates (University Dialog Topic)• Student seem to LOVE or HATE Twitter… (critical analysis)
  • + MyObjectives =
  • One Week Before Class Started… Twitter is a microblog that allows you to express your thoughts, to share thehappenings of your life… in 140 characters or less, per post. Your task in thisassignment is to follow the musings (“tweets”) of your chosen classmates for thenext week, and to post your own... At the very least, please “tweet” and read “tweets” at least twice a day, so to insert yourself into this online classroom community. If you can tweet and follow more often, please do.Your specific task in the coming week is to use Twitter to get-to-know and be-known… to the extent that this technology will allow. What do you want yourclassmates to know about you? Next, choose a handful of to “follow”. Read theirtweets. “Listen” to what they’re doing, where they’re going… What is happening asthey prepare for university life? Is it similar to your experience? Different? Whatreactions and responses have they shared? Obviously the character limitationimpacts the type of material that is shared. Do you think that you are getting to“know” this person?
  • During the First Week of Class… “… when my four closest friends and worldmates send me dozens of updates aweek for five months, I begin to develop an almost telepathic awareness of thepeople most important to me.Its like proprioception, your bodys ability to know where your limbs are. Thatsubliminal sense of orientation is crucial for coordination: It keeps you fromaccidentally bumping into objects, and it makes possible amazing feats of balanceand dexterity.Twitter and other constant-contact media create social proprioception. They give agroup of people a sense of itself, making possible weird, fascinating feats ofcoordination…. “How Twitter Creates a Sixth SenseClive Thompson
  • Let’s Talk…  ~ Comments ~ ~ Questions ~ ~ Conclusions ~