This proposal is for a mix of question-asking and idea-sharing.
One of the fundamental tasks in many humanities classes is reading a text to discuss it with a group. Students are already bringing their own devices to class, and some campuses are starting to provide tablets or e-readers to students.
Is there an opportunity for technology to change how we do the very basic exercise of reading together?
What would be gained or lost with social reading?
What tools are available right now for successful social reading, and what would “successful social reading” look like to you?
For me, it means being able to read the text in my own way and then flip a switch or change a view to see how my colleagues have responded to the text, to which I can reply and contribute. People who read faster will see an update feed of the latest comments, and slower readers will only see comments relevant to the sections they’ve covered already. I don’t know of anything that fully captures this fuzzy ideal picture in my head.
Some social reading tools (to varying degrees) I am aware of include: GoodReads, LibraryThing, Amazon’s Kindle Public Notes, Kobo’s Reading Life, and Jeff Howe’s 1 Book 1 Twitter (#1book140) initiative.
What I hope to get out of such a session would be ideas for bringing social reading to the classroom in such a way that all readers can be included (whether they have a device or not) and adds an out-of-classroom dimension to the discussion of the work.