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#Phonar – Connected and Open Classes

Lab Contact: Jonathan Worth
Team: Katherine Wimpenny
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Overview

This short evaluation of an open and connected photography class involved 21 masters students. Students used laptops and were encouraged to tweet their class notes as a way of expressing their thoughts about key topics discussed.

 

Techonolgy Application

Storify was used as a way to pull together summaries of students’ tweeted conversation threads. This was found to be a successful way of compiling reflective notes and a broad range of ideas and concepts [from peers as well as wider professionals and public linked in to the class] that wouldn’t have been picked up before.

The role of the tutor was key in engaging the class through his enthusiasm and ability to draw in a range of students opinions, making the sessions ‘informative and thought provoking’, as well as ‘fluid and changing depending on students [technology] needs’.

Although students’ acknowledged at first to ‘hiding behind our laptops when asked questions’, it was evident that using laptops, ‘helps as it allows you to take notes quickly, but also you can research and look up things your unsure of’ and it was perceived easier ‘to catch-up using tweeted notes’ as using Twitter allowed them to be much more precise with the information they had to take away.

 

Project Implications

Students’ ability to use Twitter to engage, digest and concisely present their ideas and opinions with both peers and wider professionals suggests this approach to learning holds great interest for further application and evaluation, including continuation of the reflective conversation outside of class due to the website and social media availability.

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