I propose a hybrid Talk-Make session focused on the creative and effective uses of social media platforms in the classroom. The humanities share a core knowledge structure that is both narrative and dialectical; therefore students of the humanities can benefit from experiential understanding of these structures. As some of us know (depending on our level of engagement), social media platforms engage and enable this same style of dialogue. Most students, however, engage with social media in a comparatively “shallow” manner—focusing more on people than knowledge. I’d like to explore the ways that we, as educators, researchers, and knowledge-makers, can help our students use what they know to discover what they have yet to know. As they do so, I believe they become active participants in new ways of meaning-making.
For the Talk portion, I would like to share briefly a project my students did this semester that utilized Storify <www.storify.com> to bring together digital information in a narrative format. I believe the framework of the project has applications across multiple disciplines. The Storify format allowed students to engage course materials with outside materials, placing them in dialogue with others while asserting their own voices. Along the way, we also utilized Twitter as part of the larger classroom landscape, which served as a springboard for ideas, a platform for discussion, and interactive gateway to the outside world. On every level, these technologies enhanced student involvement in the classroom, student learning, and – that thing every instructor seeks to achieve – student desire to pursue more learning. I’ll bring copies of the assignment and post a link to it and some student projects on our website prior to the conference.
For the Make portion, I want participants to
- Bring ideas, questions, and desired outcomes for classroom social media projects in the works;
- Share any successful projects they have developed;
- Leave with finished (or fleshed-out) products and a variety of useful materials from colleagues.
Some Platforms I am interested in hearing more about: Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, Vine, and Google+. I hope participants will add others.
Preparation & Follow-Up
I encourage participants to arrive pre-registered with a Google account for the use of joint Google docs; be prepared to collaborate and share. Bring your work on a flash drive and be prepared to Make! (Listening contributors are welcome, too!)
I’d like to create a centralized location online for continued collaboration on these, and future, digital/educational projects. We can discuss the best platform for this location in the session. One of our THATCamp coordinators has offered UF’s Digital Humanities Project Showplace <http://cms.uflib.ufl.edu/DigitalHumanities/UFDigitalHumanitiesProjects> as one viable option.