I spend a lot of time in literature classes doing class discussion. Often, we spend the entire 90 minutes of any given class discussing our reading (often a novel or group of poems), and these student-directed discussions move in very unpredictable ways (I don’t script discussions). I’m often disappointed that these discussions disappear into the ether, just like any everyday conversation, and what remains are fragments of memory and a diaspora of notes. I’d like to introduce technology into our class discussions (starting with Twitter) as a way of documenting the class meetings, but also finding other uses for it. Here are some ideas I’ve been kicking around:
1. Assigning students to Tweet class discussions. But what are some different ways to structure this? Can a version of inner/outer circle work? How many students should be doing this? A small group or anyone who has the desire? How do you archive and are there unforeseen problems with archiving? I’ve been running this through my head quite a bit, and I see a lot of initial structuring that has to be done.
2. If there is a successful and consistent way to accomplish the above, how might technology outside of Twitter give further life to that record? Storify is one obvious option, but are there other ways our class discussions, via technology, might become usable/interpretable texts of their own? Might they, instead of being relegated to the past, be reintroduced into the class in interesting, even creative ways? (For example, how might those discussions be used to “perform” the issues of our reading, rather than document them? Could something like a Timeline be incorporated?)
3. What might some advanced end point be? Is it possible to imagine a visualization that in some way documented an entire semester’s worth of discussion, made it a text of its own, much in the way people are visualizing social network interaction?
One final note: I’ve read all the proposals posted thus far and am interested in all of them. If this is too basic of a proposal, trust me, I’m ready to participate in other things!