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The Use of Twitter as a Teaching Tool


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Improving groupwork and reading comprehension capabilities. Speech presented at the Training Week for Staff Capacity Building Perspectives and Modernization of Higher Education (Pavia, September 20-26, 2015)

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The Use of Twitter as a Teaching Tool

  1. 1. THE USE OF TWITTER AS A TEACHING TOOL Training Week for Staff Capacity Building Perspectives and Modernization of Higher Education (Pavia, September 20-26, 2015) paolocosta Improving groupwork and reading comprehension capabilities
  2. 2. SUMMARY - A community of people reading with Twitter - From Twitter to education - Towards a performance evaluation framework 2
  4. 4. TwLetteratura is a community of people using Twitter and its paradigms – brevity and sharing – to engage themselves in reading texts.
  5. 5. Texts are intended as any kind of cultural content: books, paintings, sculptures, musical compositions, movies, architecture and other artefacts. Photo: Chris Jones
  6. 6. We do not read texts on Twitter. We use Twitter as a social space where individuals can turn reading into a shared experience.
  7. 7. 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.
  8. 8. “The act of writing is literally moving language from one place to another, boldly proclaiming that context is the new content.” (Kenneth Goldsmith)
  9. 9. HOW DOES IT WORK? 9
  10. 10. The single rewriting may be paraphrase, variation, comment, free interpretation, as long as contained in the limit of 140 characters.
  11. 11. Tweets are recombined into a new meaningful paratextual apparatus, using online editorial platforms like Storify or Tweetbook
  12. 12. 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
  13. 13. TwLetteratura is currently developing betwyll, an app ‘as a service’ – web-based and fully interchangeable with Twitter – specifically designed for reading and rewriting exercises.
  14. 14. AT SCHOOL 14
  15. 15. In 2013 TwLetteratura decided to experiment with its methodology in schools, involving a number of teachers who were already close to the community.
  16. 16. Between 2014 and 2013 more than 70 primary and secondary schools (around 4,500 students) were involved.
  17. 17. In primary school children didn’t go online autonomously. Their experience on Twitter was mediated by their teachers, who created and managed group accounts for each class.
  18. 18. WHAT TO MEASURE 18
  19. 19. SOCIAL IMPACT - Encourage students to read books - Contribute to the prevention of school dropout - Leverage cultural heritage as an engine of innovation - … 19
  20. 20. LEARNING OBJECTIVES - Linguistic skills - Collaborative skills - Critical thinking skills and literary competence - Media literacy skills 20
  21. 21. LINGUISTIC SKILLS - Decoding - Fluency - Vocabulary - Comprehension 21
  22. 22. COLLABORATIVE SKILLS - Give a compliment - Accept criticism - Encourage others - Summarize our thoughts and our intentions - Clarify what we have in mind - Express empathy - Understand others’ feelings - Listen to others’ messages - Apologize in case of mistake - Deal with others’ anger - Avoid trouble with others - Respond to failure of the group - Complete a task as expected by others 22
  23. 23. CRITICAL THINKING - Objectivity, that means the ability of the reader to set aside presuppositions, personal opinions, or commonplaces - Structure-driven vision, that means the ability to recognize the structure of the text and the way it contributes to make it meaningful - Capacity of make implications and inferences, starting from the explicit content of the text - Ability of putting questions, challenging the point of view of the text 23
  24. 24. LITERACY - Figures of speech such as metaphor, simile, personification, hyperbole, epithet, apostrophe, oxymoron, metonymy - Narrative and poetic devices such as plot, story, character, point-of-view, setting; irony, satire, paradox; assonance, alliteration, rhyme, rhythm - Specific text features such as theme, style - Literary trends such as Classicism, Romanticism, Realism, Modernism - Literary forms such as the diary, the epigram, the heroic poem, the mock-heroic poem, the ode, the sonnet - Literary genres such as novel, play, short-story, poem, sketch 24
  25. 25. MEDIA LITERACY 25 Skill Description Impact Low High Play The capacity to experiment with the surroundings as a form of problem solving ü Performance The ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery ü Simulation The ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-world processes ü Appropriation The ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content ü Multitasking The ability to scan the environment and shift focus onto salient details ü Distributed cognition The ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities ü Collective intelligence The ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others toward a common goal ü Judgment The ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources ü Transmedia navigation The ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities ü Networking The ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information ü Negotiation The ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multipleperspectives ü
  26. 26. FURTHER INFORMATION - - @tw_letteratura - - @paolocosta 26