Twitteresque discussion session in New Orleans…

I’ve continued to be intrigued by Twitter, the web app that asks, “Why do I keep using this?” Well the answer is that tucked in between rants about the Cubs, crying babies, solitary bicycle rides, and proclamations of insomnia, are nuggets of knowledge and pathways to learning.

One example is this twit from David Jakes…

Trying to wrap my head around Chris Sessums’ latest blog post.

When I see something like this, I go read it too. I wouldn’t have without being a part of this Twitter conversation — this twitter team.

So, I’ve been trying to figure out how to include this conversational technique into a presentation or workshop — and I couldn’t reason it out, because of the logistics of how partners are made in Twitter. So I stepped back to chats and found an open source Ajax driven chat application (AjaxChat), which I installed on my server.

So, after my keynote yesterday, we had a discussion session in one of the school’s classrooms and about half of the attendees had their laptops. So I pointed them to the chat app, and suggested that as we discussed the issues of the opening address, they also post comments on the chat. AjaxChat works really nicely, in that as comments are posted, they appear immediately on the screens of others who are there. I had it running through the the LCD projector as well, so that everyone could watch.

My idea was to engineer two parallel conversations that hopefully could intersect in some useful ways. I won’t say that I was disappointed, because it was my first try. There was one main commenter, one of the tech guys, who’s writings were so clever, that they may have intimidated other commenters. I couldn’t have topped him. Plus, I ran the EPIC 2014 video in the beginning as a way of starting the conversation, and this may have been a mistake. It elicited some fairly impassioned (and important) concerns about security, safety, declines in interpersonal skills, etc. and I wonder if this conversation drew so much focus that the underground twitteresque conversation got ignored. I don’t know.

At any rate, I’m going to try this again. I wrote a little program that will strip out all of the existing comments, create a wiki page, and insert them into the wiki, so that session participants can return and collaboratively work through the conversation.

Just another experiment!


Image Citation Ramirez, Luis. “Luisramirezuchile’s Photostream.” Twitter Mobile. 9 Jun 2007. 17 Jul 2007 .

Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.