The #edcmchat Twitter book group is one year old this month. That means we've been meeting online once a month to use Tweet chats to discuss a novel or short story. The books have been based around the themes of utopia and dystopia that came out of the eLearning & Digital Cultures MOOC that we all participated in last year. Each month's chat usually veers off in lots of directions including education, human nature, technology, religion, psychology, politics, and philosophy. That's why it's so engaging - each person brings their own perspective or interpretation.
It started off as bit of an experiment, based on the original chat we developed in EDCMOOC, but has now carried on for a whole 12 months. I really look forward to the chats each month. It's a nice way to bookend each month - pardon the pun - and it's been great to carry on the momentum since the EDCMOOC course finished.
It's a bit different doing it via Twitter. Sometimes it's frustrating to not be able to say more than the 140 characters allows, but it's enjoyable none the less. It also increased our confidence in learning and connecting via a social media tool.
The overwhelming positive was the fizz and rush of ideas as you read people's questions and answers coming in. Each week someone new moderated the Tweet chat so it's also been a good way to learn how to use Twitter a bit more. As Kirstie says, "t's really opened my eyes to how social media can be used for personal dev and real virtual communities"
Tools such as Storify.com can also help you gather tweets together and pick out common themes.
During the year, whole new imaginative worlds of ideas have opened up before our eyes. We've visited the utopian lands of William Morris and Aldous Huxley, and the dystopian nearly-worlds of Cory Doctorow, Phillip K Dick, and Alastair Reynolds. Then there have been the unexpected treats - EM Forster's immaculately written short story of an imagined future in "The Machine Stops", and Daniel Keyes' eloquent and moving "Flowers for Algernon". I have watched films, read articles & essays, and listened to podcasts I would never have discovered otherwise. It's been a great outlet for ideas & new thinking.
Rob, Kirstie, Ping, Rick, Linda, Anne. Stephane, Asta et al , it's been a pleasure. To celebrate our first anniversary, I've made a collage of some of the books we've enjoyed over the year below.
Join us at #edcmchat on April 5th for the next one - Kurt Vonnegut's short story "Harrison Bergeron". If you want to have a go at moderating or would like to recommend a new book, let me know!
Our Twitter hashtag feed
Our edmooc Good Reads group