Thursday, October 28, 2010

Twitter Tales

This week, I was exploring the use of social networking tools to stimulate or support creative writing with a class. I based one exercise on the Fortunately/Unfortunately wiki.

Originally uploaded by respres
I started the story with this tweet: "Unfortunately, while walking to school I fell down a hole!" and the idea was that the students would take turns at continuing the story alternating between "Fortunately" and "Unfortunately". I'll give you the link to the story so far in a moment but a couple of explanations are required to help you make sense of some of the extra messages in the archive.

First, I just posted my tweet with out explanation. As a result, two people expressed concern that I had fallen down a hole! One of the messages in the archive is therefore me thanking them for their concern and explaining what I was doing. The other problem is, not all of the messages showed up in the archive. As a result, I had to re-tweet them. Unfortunately, we ended up with three "Fortunately"s in a row before I re-tweeted. Despite these teething problems, I think the story is beginning to shape up:

Hashtag archive - #BEd42010 A Fortunately, unfortunately story created by BEd students

What do you think of the story so far?


John said...

This is a nice idea, I remember you joined in something similar a few years ago:
The Fortunately/Unfortunately wiki is a great find especially with glow wkis here on the horizon here in Scotland.

looks like twapperkeeper allows you to skip retweets, so it might be an idea to run 2 searches, one with and one without retweets.

The multiple reply thing is going to happen it could be taken advantage of to make a branching story, but I've not idea of how you would go about automatically displaying that?
This might be simply doable in the future:
I can imagine a page that displays a tweet and then branches to replies, replies to the replies and so on.

David said...

Hello John

I wondered about combining Twitter with Posterous and building the story there - that would allow for branching stories but could b=get more complex. I liked the simplicity of just using Twitter. In retrospect, it might have been wise to give the students a number, or a person to follow, so that they knew when it was their turn to contribute.

Another possibility would be to go for something like The Story So Far and set up a formal voting process to choose where the story will go next.

John said...

I like the simplicity of twitter too. I think when the api is added to it would be reasonably simple to do the branching stuff although the display would be a challenge. The Story so far looks good too but would require a bit of prep and administration.

Chris said...

And here was I thinking you'd merely lost a few marbles! Ah well...

David said...

Thanks again John

Hello Chris

Of course, it's possible that I have lost a few marbles as well.

Bob said...

Hi John - This is a great idea - I also found some other great ideas for using twitter in the classroom - Sweet Tweets and Twitter Parents

David said...

Thanks for the comment Bob and thanks for the links - two interesting educational uses of Twitter.