Do you have the attention span to read an e-novel that spins its yarn in 140 character increments?
The latest edition of The New Yorker explains the new literary phenomenon in Japan: novels appearing in mobile-phone byte-sized chunks, a craze started by a young Japanese professional bored with her post-academic options.
In the U.S., fueled by the popularity of Twitter-sized communication bytes, two sites, QuillPill and Textnovel, have taken up said cause. What may be lucrative in Japan may not “translate” to American cultural radar, but there seems to be momentum to put information–and, now, “art”–in its quickest, most digestible form.
Is this a way to get your students finally to read Moby Dick, The Bell Jar, or Their Eyes Were Watching God?
Is it needed discipline or merely artificial constraint that provokes one to compose (and read) within such strictures? Is its impact to increase or reduce literacy in the digitally-saturated marketplace?
Stay tuned. Or logged-in.
Here is David Parry, about whom we wrote several days ago, talking through his use of Twitter, a popular “microblogging tool” which pushes information to a mobile device.
Carolyn Kraut, instructional designer for the Center for Online and Blended Learning, authors a lively and informative blog that will keep you posted on ways to use technology in your teaching, both face to face and online. Carolyn’s blog
Campus Technology reports
Pacific University of Forest Grove, OR has integrated its Facebook and Twitter accounts into its Omnilert e2Campus emergency notification system. This allows the university to send e2Campus alerts (called Boxer Alerts at Pacific U) automatically and simultaneously to the school’s Facebook and Twitter accounts without the need for logging into Facebook and Twitter separately. This also means students who haven’t enrolled in the school’s official alert system may still get the alerts through the social networking and communication sites.
Campus Technology offers free print subscriptions to university and college personnel. Their online version and updates are very useful for those involved in distance education and the deployment of technology tools in education. For the latest issue, click here.
David Parry, University of Texas at Dallas professor of emerging media, explains to Campus Technology how he uses Twitter to extend his classroom:
I’ll say two things about Twitter in academia. One, its uses in academia parallel its uses in the business world. It’s a networking, water-cooler-talk kind of environment, where you don’t see people every day, but you feel connected because you get updates on what they are doing in their life every day.
Also, it’s a mixture of the insightful plus the mundane. So students will send me “I am looking for rain boots” or “I am going to meet someone at a coffee shop to buy something that I just bought on craigslist” along with the insightful, where they’ll say something like, “Oh, I saw this news article on TV that relates to what we talked about in class.”
But is has to be both of those things for Twitter to really work.
Known as “academicdave” on his Twitter account, Parry suggests that new tools that begin as live journals with no “social value” are transformed into tools that “mix the mundane with the relevant,” and give student researchers an avenue for collecting data for later reflection.
Full article: Linda L Briggs, “Micro Blogging with Twitter,” Campus Technology, 3/5/2008, http://www.campustechnology.com/article.aspx?aid=59315