It's time to get down and dirty and if you start to get lost or I'm rambling, then stop and email Kate or myself and we'll go through this together - once you've got the hang of the technical mechanics you'll be able to adapt everything else confidently and hopefully you'll choose to feed your adaptions back into the design process.
There are three softwares to get yourself familiar with beforehand, if you learn on the job in session 1 you won't be able to enjoy the session or focus on your teaching.
Twitter , Storify and a blogging platform - I suggest using WordPress through Reclaim Hosting because it's run by Jim Groom and Tim Owens and they'll literally walk you through the process (Jim is an Open and Connected pioneer in his own right and has forgotten more stuff than I know about connected teaching and learning).
Familiarising yourself with Twitter and Storify.
Step 1. Sign up to Twitter and use that account to log into Storify.
Step 2. Choose a unique hashtag for your class to use in addition to #CClasses *tip use advanced search to check and make sure your hashtag is unique, it'll need to be unique for you to aggregate your class's notes and the fewer characters the better, so #351MR would be better than #MyAwesomeClass.
Step 3. Choose a live and televised event, such as your favourite show, sporting thing or a current news topic and search for the hashtags that are associated with that event, so if Game Of Thrones is playing then #(alt+3 on a Mac) #GoT50 would be one hashtag you could follow, or #Breakingnews or combinations of hashtags such as #Breakingnews #Europe. Once you've filtered a clear signal through all of the twitter noise put that search term into storify.
Step 4. Storify will now aggregate your flitered Twitter feed everytime you refresh the search and you can scroll through for historical tweets, drag them across into your Storify "story".
Step 5. Use the other channels available in Storify to draw across other content, bring a news article from BBC, a video from YouTube, an audio file from Soundcloud and a picture from Flickr.
Step 6. Add in a comment from yourself.
Familiarise yourself with your blogging platform.
Step 6. Embed the Storified narrative into your blog.
Step 7. Make tea, dunk at leisure, feel smug. Pat back.
Session 1 Preparation
- inform students that it will be an experimental session supply information sheets and consent forms (this link is to a zipped file containing three forms in multiple formats)
- inform students they will need a Twitter account (pseudonymous is optional but must be consistent)
- advise then to either bring two smart devices or a laptop (it’s hard to listen and Tweet on a smart device, but okay on a laptop)
- direct them to bring headphones/earphones
- ask students to do questionnaire
- YOU should listen to the session content beforehand and make your notes (*tip draft your tweets in advance so you can drop them in later)
- YOU should make a slide with #CClasses <your unique hashtag> and the Twitter id's of anyone featuring in the session content
- YOU should make a map of the class room and number each of the seats
Session 1 on the day
- Introduce session as you would normally do
- Discuss "the digital" and talk about informed consent:
Here's a related video about data privacy by the Green Party, the opening line of which is "If you agree with the content of this video please check this box"
The connected class is about making the internet and the digital work for us, rather than us being products of it. Julia Angwin has a great book and accompanying website if you'd like to learn more about this stuff....
- Collect consent forms.
- Map class seating, gather Twitter handles and blog addresses
- Project slide with #CClasses <your unique hashtag> and the Twitter id's of anyone featuring in the session content
- Frame session with your big question.
- Direct students to listen to your content and remind them that they have plenty of time to stop, rewind,comment/converse via Twitter and that this phase is more re-active than reflective.
- Launch Storify (ideally projected at the front of the class) and stream the class notes. Listen along adding your notes and comments and begin to drag across selections of the tweets plus any other material you feel appropriate.
- When time's up direct students to take a comfort break (make them get up - get a coffee, anything but make them move)
- Finish Storifying
- Bring class back together and use the Storified class notes for a face to face seminar/discussion
"so a number of you were commenting/ questioning that......" (this is a great opportunity to highlight contributions from participants who would not normally thrive in the face to face class dynamic, both by using their content as the basis for discussion and by visually locating their tweets around more popular/academically succesful participants. Equally one can throttle-back the impact of participants who might otherwise negatively dominate the class dynamic at the expense of others).
- Remind class of your big question
- Set Homework
- Everyone should make a Storify of their own that draws on all of the class notes and add in additional content reflecting their personal take on the big question.
- Everyone should blog a reflective account using the Storify as a resource.
- Everyone should comment on at least two other people's blog posts prior to next session (this means you must blog at least one day prior to next session to give other participants time to comment on your post).
YOU should review and comment on blogs (this formative feedback and helps tighten the feedback loop and if you're going to spend a lot of your time on it I would always use the word "feedback" a lot and remind people constantly that this is feedback so that when they fill out those module review questionnaires they are cognisant that they've been receiving constant feedback. My student-review feedback has always been that this is more valuable than a summative chunk at the end, so I would give relatively summative feedback but a lot of formative to keep things sustainable).
Review of session 1 and reflections, highlight and encourage positive practice.
Describe roles Connector, Collector and Curator and Reflector and assign those roles to students. Try to assign according to student's existing patterns of behaviour (even if it means uneven groups) and make the point having a role does not stop you from doing other things, it just means that this role is your primary responsibility for our connected class.
(1) a Collector - someone who finds additional materials relevant to the class discussions and introduces them into the twitter stream or class conversation (see how this student regularly draws other, materials, threads of conversation and people in with his tweets)
(2) a Curator - someone who edits the twitter streams into threads that focus on identified themes (using storify)
(3) a Reflector - Someone who considers the discussion and writes up longer form opinion pieces in the form of blog posts (see this student who begins a vlog review of her classes by saying she's new to both twitter and blogging)
(4) a Connector - someone who uses all of the above to enable new and appropriate people to join the conversation, predominantly by commenting on blogs and engaging in Twitter dialogue. (see how this student from the same class constantly draws people into the conversation with their tweets by RT-ing and using other people's id's. This is not someone just tweeting notes to self.)
Repeat as per Session 1
Review of sessions 1 and 2 including reflections, again highlight and encourage positive practice
Re-assign seating so that the assigned roles are spatially co-located (sitting together)
Repeat as per previous sessions
Review and feedback TBC
nb. Simon Thomson adds : "it might also be worth discussing more openly the inter-relationship between physical space, virtual space & their co-existence as part of connected classes. In my experience “academic staff” tend to see them separately and treat them as separate elements. But the real value is connecting the face-to-face with the online/open spaces both synchronously and asynchronously - happy to support these discussions"