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Making Sense of a Reading Community


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Making Sense of a Reading Community. Lesson at ASK Centre (Art, Science and Knowledge) at Bocconi University about the social reading community of TwLetteratura.

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Making Sense of a Reading Community

  1. 1. Il social reading comincia dalle persone May 9th, 2016 Making Sense of a Reading Community
  2. 2. LET’S PLAY A GAME Warming Up 2
  3. 3. A Farewell To Arms By Ernest Hemingway 3
  4. 4. Read and Tweet •  Read the text •  Rewrite it in 140 characters or less, including the hashtag #Farewell •  Fill the form below with your tweet 4
  5. 5. Example 5 “The war was changed too.” No, Mr. Hemingway. The war never changes. #Farewell
  6. 6. Example 6 “ T h e w a r w a s c h a n g e d t o o . ” N o , M r H e m i n g w a y . T h e w a r n e v e r c a n g e s . # F a r e w e l l h .
  7. 7. Rules 7 “ T h e w a r w a s c h a n g e d t o o . ” N o , M r H e m i n g w a y . T h e w a r n e v e r c a n g e s . # F a r e w e l l h . One space per character No hyphenation at the end of a line Spaces between words
  8. 8. Findings 8 While summarizing, we select.
  9. 9. Findings 9 We (should) imitate the style of the original.
  10. 10. Findings 10 We take a position: we adhere to the original or we distance ourselves from it.
  11. 11. Findings 11 We move the original to a new context.
  12. 12. Findings 12 We adapt our style to the space constraint.
  13. 13. Findings 13 We talk about ourselves.
  14. 14. Findings 14 We connect to other texts or content.
  15. 15. Even More Difficult •  Rewrite in bureaucratic style (pastiche) •  Rewrite describing one sense in terms of another (synesthesia) •  Rewrite avoiding the vowel E (lipogram) •  Rewrite using all words which start with the same letter (tautogram) 15
  16. 16. Findings 16 While summarizing, we play and share.
  17. 17. Findings 17 The text is a proxy between people in a conversation.
  18. 18. “I wouldn’t take a single book to a desert island, because […] I must at least be able to say that I’ve been reading.” Peter Bichsel 18
  20. 20. TwLetteratura (TWL) is a community of people using Twitter and its paradigms – brevity and sharing – to engage themselves in reading texts.
  21. 21. The single rewriting may be paraphrase, variation, comment, free interpretation, as long as contained in the limit of 140 characters.
  22. 22. Tweets are recombined into a new meaningful paratextual apparatus, using online editorial platforms like Storify or Tweetbook.
  23. 23. BOOK READERS/REWRITERS COMMUNITY The text is dissected through the work of rewriting that is carried out by each member of the community. TWEETBOOKINTERNET A new content is published, which synthetizes the work of reading, decoding and interpretation of the community. CURATORS COMMUNITY
  24. 24. 24 15,000 user, 5,000 students and 120 schools engaged, workshops with universities, projects with local governments and cultural institutions.
  25. 25. Texts are intended as any kind of cultural content: books, paintings, sculptures, musical compositions, movies, architecture and other artefacts. Photo: Chris Jones
  26. 26. We do not read texts on Twitter. We use Twitter as a social space where individuals can turn reading into a shared experience.
  27. 27. While commenting, summarizing, and rewriting, we do not produce new texts. Our tweets are rather metatexts or epitexts: they refer to texts that already exist.
  28. 28. “The act of writing is literally moving language from one place to another, boldly proclaiming that context is the new content.” (Kenneth Goldsmith)
  29. 29. TWL developed betwyll, a web- based app designed for reading, annotating and sharing comments about texts. betwyll is currently available in invite-only private beta. Betwyll leverages the dynamics of gamification and an ad hoc user interface to improve the experience provided today via Twitter.
  30. 30. 30 Use cases for betwyll?
  31. 31. 31 CORPORATIONS Internal communication and change management
  32. 32. 32 SCHOOLS & EDUCATIONS Support to learning
  33. 33. 33 MEDIA & PUBLISHING Promotion of editorial products and audience engagement
  34. 34. 34 TOURISM & LOCAL GOVERNMENTS Promotion of cultural heritage
  35. 35. THE COMMUNITY Part Two 35
  36. 36. Social Reading Forum •  Between 20 & 31 January 2016 a panel of teachers provided feedback and discussed over 30 topics. •  We used a dedicated TWL-branded community platform set up and hosted by CMNTY, compliant with ESOMAR. 36
  37. 37. Respondents’ Profile •  All Italian residents and Italian speaking •  Women: 19; men: 1. •  Age: 30+, variety of professional seniority levels. •  Primary schools: 8; secondary schools: 12. •  Multi-disciplinary panel: teachers in literature & languages (predominantly), history, arts, mathematics. 37
  38. 38. 38 Key insights
  39. 39. Reading, A Way of Life •  Reading arouses a myriad of emotions and experiences. •  It relates to escapism, relax and dreams and thus ignites a heightened sense of freedom. •  It stimulates reflection and connection with themselves and with the world(s) outside. 39
  40. 40. Offline/Online •  Print books remain the preferred format, but teachers are fond of e-books as well. •  Teachers are all using multiple devices and social networks are commonly used. •  Teachers are convinced that they can help millennials to unleash the full/true potential of social media. 40
  41. 41. Literature in the Classroom •  Reading at school stimulates openness, dialogue, sharing of ideas and reflections, fantasy, discovery. •  It’s even better when it is done in the form of reading aloud. •  Otherwise it is an overwhelming “fatigue” related to attitudinal and economic aspects. •  Therefore it might result in a feeling of frustration and isolation. 41
  42. 42. Strength of Method •  TWL forces students to to pay attention to spelling, grammar and semantics. •  It enhances creativity. •  It encourages to formulate/exchange ideas. •  It increases self-esteem among students. •  It enables contacts with other schools. •  It stimulates books purchase or visits to libraries. 42
  43. 43. Community as a Brend •  Teachers who apply the TWL method feel part of a strong community. •  They see themselves not as mere users or contributors but experience their bond with TWL as a kind of co-ownership. •  The vast majority of the teachers who took part in the research are actual promoters, as the +86 Net Promoter Score demonstrates. 43
  44. 44. Net Promoter Score •  It measures the likelihood to recommend (on a 0-10 points scale). •  The score is the delta between the percentage of promoters (those giving a 9 or 10 on 10) minus the percentage of detractors (those giving a 0-6 score). •  In the case of TWL the score is based on n = 14, with 86% promoters and 0% detractors. 44
  46. 46. Measuring Impact •  First feedbacks from schools show that we make people read more and better. •  We are currently defining a protocol to get a quantitative measure of the impact. 46
  47. 47. Social Impact •  Do we encourage students to read books? •  Do we contribute to the prevention of school dropout? •  Are we able to leverage cultural heritage as an engine of innovation? •  … 47
  48. 48. Learning Objectives •  Linguistic skills: decoding, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension •  Collaborative skills •  Critical thinking skills and literary competence •  Media literacy skills 48
  49. 49. More @twletteratura / @paolocosta 49