Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Atlantic Launches Twitter-Based Book Club

Still not convinced Twitter is right for you. Do you believe in the power of book clubs even if you are not a member of one? Well, The Atlantic Monthly, has launched an online book club, and the first selection, based on online voting, is Margaret Atwood's Blind Assassin. The club launches today, June 1, with online discussion beginning on Twitter a#1book140. Atwood herself on Twitter (@MargaretAtwood) indicates she won't join in, but she does have close to 2 million followers on Twitter.

Read about this powerful combination of book clubs and Twitter in the articles "The Atlantic Launches Twitter-Based Book Club and "Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin Chosen As Inaugural Title for Twitter Book Club."  To find out more about The Atlantic Monthly-Twitter, check: "Everything You Need to Know to Participate in Our Book Club."

And if you are still a Twitter doubter, think about how it brings people together, whether it is through book clubs and reading, or hundreds of other means. If you have heard of ways in which Twitter has contributed to literacy, social justice, helping others, and so on, let us know what you know about how Twitter is bringing people together for the good of humanity. For those of you looking for additional insights into the power of Twitter, check this post: "Is Twitter a Waste of Time." As you scroll through, you will find examples of how Twitter has helped humanity as well as some tips about how to use Twitter successfully.


Jess said...

I really want to like the idea of using Twitter for professional purposes, but so far I can only see its social uses. Certainly, I could be convinced to participate in an online book club, just as soon as I have the time to read a book for fun.

There were two aspects of Twitter that put me into the “denial” stage after our brief introduction. I was frustrated by the speed of the conversation. It was difficult to see how people were responding to each other rather than to the main topic. Indvik (2011) writes that “Howe will be authoring a series of blog posts to help bridge and contextualize the discussions taking place on each of those platforms.” In my opinion, the continuous conversation aspect is glaringly missing from the Twitter.

On the other hand, I am beginning to see the academic opportunities Twitter offers. Non-linear digital literacy is a focus of educational research today. I am interested in the way students bridge conversations and reading materials in a web-like way, rather than right to left and up and down. In terms of instruction, students could summarize the main discussion points in one discussion forum to show their ability to synthesize ideas from a complex set of information. I just think that I need to be immersed in this social network to really figure it out.

Chuck said...

I think there are a lot of new innovative activities that can come from Twitter. For conferences, AT&T have call in conferences with meetings you can have from your computer. All you have to do is call into the conference and go to the website and you are participating from anywhere in the world and can view the presentation via your computer.

With Twitter, there is a great way to form groups such as a book club and get some quick "hits." People who are too shy to go to book clubs in person to voice their opinion, may prefer Twitter. The only thing that would through me off is if the book club became too popular, it would be a mess trying to read everyone's posts, so they may need to make a limit of how many people are in each group.

Twitter is great for brainstorming with other people and listening to "chunks" of knowledge. Since there are not a lot of characters allowed with Twitter, words usually are not wasted and real information can be shared.

I see hope for this with doctors with discussing complex cases with each other as well or other meetings, where people can share their opinion and help each other out.

Also, things like bookclubs are a good way to enjoy books and learn other people's perspectives. I bet there are people who are reading their books on their Ipads and also using the same Ipad to discuss the book!

In the article they said, "More than 1,400 votes were cast in the final, three-day voting period," showing that Twitter was at least getting 1,400 people to participate and read the book. In the age where people say technology is killing books, this is an example of technology, such as Twitter, bringing books back.

There are opportunities for educational purposes with Twitter, but I do not believe they would allow the power to teachers yet to monitor all the aspects. It would be better to have an internal system or a modified system of Twitter that is designed specifically for schools.

Diana Coyne said...

Even though these articles were mainly focused on an adult book club, I am beginning to see the possibility for school book clubs to use twitter. In fact, I think it could be a cool "pen-pal" type activity as well. We've talked about how different classes around the world or even within the U.S. are partnering up to become "skype" pals. Well... why not take this to the next level? Maybe you partner up with a class across the country, you find out your curriculum is pretty similar or at least you have students at about the same variety of reading levels. Then you form your own literature circles in your class room, while the other class does the same. Then instead of just interacting with your own literature circle you bring the discussion to twitter with your skype class pals! There seems like there might be a lot of logistics to work out, but I think the "Everything you need to know..." article does a nice job explaining some of the basic logistics (of course you might need to clean up and simplify for your own class)

It is amazing to me all the possibilities that twitter holds for education!

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