Saturday, February 13, 2010

Backchanneling again

In my dotage, or vigilance, as I like to think of it,  I have occasionally railed against the notion of backchanneling, e.g. here and here and here. But hey, if this is the future, who am I etc?

Now the superb Educause Learning Initiative series "7 Things You Should Know" addresses this concept - so repugnant to old-school geezers like me - in an attractive 2-pager.  Here's a summary, certainly much fairer than anything I could muster.  ("add another dimension to learning"  - yeah, right):

Backchannel communication is a secondary conversation that takes place at the same time as a conference session, lecture, or instructor-led learning activity. This might involve students using a chat tool or Twitter to discuss a lecture as it is happening, and these background conversations are increasingly being brought into the foreground of lecture interaction. Digital technologies allow background discussions—which have always been a component of classes, conferences, and presentations—to be brought out of the shadows and, perhaps, incorporated as a formal part of learning activities. Instructors and presenters alike should be aware of this dynamic and the opportunity it presents to add another dimension to learning. 


1 comment:

  1. Members of our city council got in hot water because they were texting during meetings, while their discussions are required to be only on the public record. (And, to their greater political harm - when the messages were exposed with a FOIA request -, many of the notes were sophmoric).