At geek tech conferences, there is almost always a “backchannel” going on these days over twitter. Audiences are sharing their thoughts in 140 characters or less, in real time about the speaker using a #hashtag.
In fact, almost every sporting event, television show, mass audience, now has a mass conversation tool. But, typically- its only for people “in the know.”
Now, we have teachers utilizing the hashtag to engage a classroom- with the conversation projected on screen in the classroom:
Teachers are always trying to combat student apathy and University of Texas at Dallas History Professor, Monica Rankin, has found an interesting way to do it using Twitter in the classroom.
Rankin uses a weekly hashtag to organize comments, questions and feedback posted by students to Twitter during class. Some of the students have downloaded Tweetdeck to their computers, others post by SMS or by writing questions on a piece of paper. Rankin then projects a giant image of live Tweets in the front of the class for discussion and suggests that students refer back to the messages later when studying.
I’ve started using twitter to take notes when at events, coming back to a tweet stream that captured in realtime not just what I was thinking- but feedback from my followers.
Watch as social media andÂ social networking in realtime and in real space becomes normalized behavior in more places over time.