The Social Classroom

What is the definition of social reading?:

Reading and analyzing texts collaboratively

  • possible tools: good reads, social tagging (i.e. flickr)
  • Ancient jewish concept of Midrash of collaboratively commenting on holy texts by scholars
  • Comment Press–WordPress plugin for collaboration, annotation, alternative to Google Docs, must be run on your own server, comment on specific blocks of text.
  • Why use Comment Press or like technologies? Connecting students to scholarship of analyzing particular portions of text, close reading, giving students ownership.
  • Assessing students’ reading ability. Requiring students to write in books, text, direct interaction with text. Example, students that aren’t allowed to write in text, never given opportunity to have meaningful interaction with text, on deeper level than surface story. Deeper level, at zone of proximal development. Important as instructor to start at students’ knowledge base.
  • Using social tools with students, do instructors lose control of class? In good or bad ways?
  • What would an assignment look like that involved collaborating on a single piece of text?
  • Example of collaboration via twitter: The Atlantic Book Club using #1book140
  • Tool: Diigo for collaborating, marking up digital artifacts.

Social Media in the Classroom

  • Facebook groups-interacting with Students, discussion board
  • Facebook pages connected with Twitter to display on WordPress
  • Historical Role playing using Facebook accounts, ex-students playing the roles of slaves, Nat Turner, evangelical preacher.
  • What makes a classroom social?
  • Technology as a second avenue for participation. Students have different preferred modalities. Some students uncomfortable with public speaking but more comfortable with writing.
  • Activity example, taking poems by Robert Burns and rephrase into tweets. How does that change the text? And force students to reflect…socially?
  • What does technology do to allow students to understand/reflect about the medium? How should students reflect on their social interactions in these kind of learning spaces?
  • Early adoption stage, how do we get early adopters to say this has value, there’s an obstacle, but once you get past this obstacle, you can assimilate it into your learning.Tech is spread by word of mouth, by faculty members adoption rather than workshops. Better to invite faculty, rather than push out onto faculty. Seeding technology.
  • Gathering questions via web form before class. Asking students: What is your top question?
  • Just in time teaching” related to using Google Docs or Google forms.
  • Using Google Docs to teach summarizing articles, vetting writing, what counts as a good summary? Opening up the classroom to students.
  • Letting go of control to students with social media, at what point do you need to turn it into a lesson of what are valid sources of knowledge? Value of stepping in when you need to. Teaching students how knowledge is constructed. How then are misconceptions constructed? Must be careful about teaching students public dialog.
  • Gerald Graft–Teaching the Conflict. Allowing students to have a voice.
  • Exercise experiment via Dave Carroll (@davidcaroll):
  • FB for faculty, friending students? wait until you don’t have a class or until grades are turned in. Check privacy settings. What does friend mean on FB? It’s a verb now.
  • Some schools have specific policies for social media, FB friending.
  • search engine for public updates on FB.
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