Group 2 panels

Section 3 // 9:30 a.m. // #AssistantTech

Panel members: Jessa, Katy, Darien

Hashtag: #AssistantTech

Twitter questions:

Q1: Do you have one of these devices? What made you purchase it?
Q2: If not then why don’t you have one?
Q3: Would you ever consider purchasing one for your home in the future? why/why not?
Q4: Have you considered any devices listening to you when you didn’t ask for it to? Do you have any stories of strange responses?



Section 4 // 12:30 p.m. // ##Likes #Reactions #SocialMedia #MentalHealth

Panel members: Nah’ja, Olivia, Justina, Taylor.

Hashtags: #Likes #Reactions #SocialMedia #MentalHealth

Twitter questions:

Q1: Does the amount of likes you receive on a post seem to reflect your mood?
Q2: How do you feel social media is taking over our lives?
Q3: Do you feel as though the negatives of social media outweigh the positives?


Counter-technology: Space Phone Usage app (see Olivia’s blog)

Organizing & evaluating discussion

Today is our final planning day for panels. I will walk you through the Google Form our class will use to evaluate your work, as well as lead you through a model discussion on the sharing economy.

Evaluating your panel

Let’s take a look at the draft of this Google Form and make adjustments as needed.

Sample discussion: the sharing economy

  1. Chat on Twitter: Google Doc of questions and hashtags.
  2. Read: “In the Sharing Economy, Workers Find Both Freedom and Uncertainty” from a New York Times article published in the summer of 2014. Also see pdf version with annotations.
  3. In-class discussion: Google Doc of questions.
  4. Bibliography on sharing economy: Zotero.
  5. Counter-technology: Google Doc.

Homework for Tuesday, 10/31

Read assigned texts for Group 1 and post comments on Twitter Monday night.

Aligning your plan

Today we are reviewing your meeting notes, providing feedback on your progress so far, then pushing to organize your discussion online and in class.

Review meeting notes

  1. Find your meeting notes in this Google folder and take 5-10 minutes to update this document to reflect any decisions you’ve made since.
  2. Comment on the meeting notes from other groups in our class. As you do, you might consider:
    Pointing out moments that you would look forward to discussing or knowing more about.
    Asking questions — for clarity/knowledge, but also for discussion later.
    Suggesting a counter-technology, or liking one of the options listed
  3. Once you’ve read and commented on others’ meeting notes, regroup to review the comments that other made on your meeting notes. Share any new ideas you gained that might be useful to your discussion.
  4. Add a section at the end of your document called NEW IDEAS that lists them.

Planning for discussion

Once your group feels like it has a strong grasp on your phenomenon, you’ll need to align 4 things:

  • your reading(s), which should get at the complexity, history, and relevance of your chosen phenomenon
  • your Twitter chat questions, which should be focused mostly on our experiences with, opinions about, or responses to the phenomenon
  • your in-class discussion questions, which will be about the phenomenon, but more importantly the reading. These will build from the Twitter chat the night before.
  • your counter-technology, which will go beyond common-sense approaches you’d see on your local evening news broadcast.

By “align” I mean that these four elements should work together and not feel like a potpourri of topics. If you are feeling that way, it means your phenomenon is too broad; try starting with the counter-technology and work backward.

Activity: Choose a reading for your discussion and develop two sets of discussion questions: one set for Twitter and one set for in-class. Aim for 3-5 questions per set. Do this together in a Google Doc that you share with me.

You might want to review the document I shared last week on writing good questions and avoiding bad ones. You also might review the link I shared from Hootsuite on leading Tweet chats. One key suggestion is this one:

Most Twitter chats follow a Q&A format so you should also come up with five to 10 questions in advance, and try to predict answers so you have some responses prepared.

There should be a fair amount of flexibility for Twitter chats to develop on their own, but it doesn’t hurt to be as prepared as possible.

You can also create graphics or GIFs in advance to include in your chat posts, or even turn your questions into graphics to make them stand out in your followers’ feeds.

Homework for Thursday, 10/26

Finish your discussion plans: finalize your chosen reading(s) and have drafts of both sets of questions. We’ll continue to review these in class on Thursday and review the evaluation forms for your groups. Group 1 will lead us off on Tuesday, 10/31.

Writing discussion questions


Zotero, cont’d

For homework I asked you to:

  1. Make an account in Zotero, and download both Zotero Connector (for Chrome) and Zotero 5.0 (the desktop application) to your laptop.
  2. Join our Zotero group, WRTf17 and find your group folder, which is labeled by section and group number (i.e. Section 3, Group 2 has the folder labeled “3.2”).
  3. Have each member of your group add a reading or two to your group folder on a phenomenon they’re interested in (or one you are already pursuing together).
  4. Tweet out one of these readings with a comment. Use both the course hashtag (#WRTf17) and the hashtag(s) of the phenomenon.
  5. Respond to a classmate’s post using the same hashtags.

Take a few moments in your group to catch up: How did this go? Help those who could not get up to speed with this. Call me over if you get stuck.

Mapping your phenomenon

At this point, your group should have saved and tweeted a few possible texts for this project. How might you articulate these into a proposal? How might this phenomenon provoke discussion? One way to keep track of your ideas is to develop a mind-map with or Coogle. I recommend the latter since you can register quickly using your Rowan Google account, use it with groups, and embed maps easily:

You don’t have to organize your maps this way, but as you develop this project, aim to account for:

  • the definition of the phenomenon: what is it, who says, and/or what elements can be debated or resist consensus?
  • the history of the phenomenon: how does this phenomenon exist on a continuum? how is it a product or function of previous cultures, societies, and technologies?
  • hot takes in the news —  it’s likely that this is how you came across the phenomenon in the first place. why is it important now?
  • associated search terms —what are some related phrases or terms you should search as you seek to better understand this phenomenon?
  • counter-technologies — what tools, strategies, or literacies help us manage, expose, disrupt, or otherwise limit the malfeasance these phenomena cause us online and IRL?

So check in with each other. What are you thinking of choosing at this point? How much do you know about this and how it relates to other ideas? Use Coogle or another kind of map (you can use paper or the whiteboard too!) to develop a tentative plan or set of plans.

Discussion questions

Once you start focusing on a specific phenomenon, it’s time to begin thinking about:

  1. which readings you’re going to make us read and
  2. how you’re going to get us to talk about them.  As for the former, you should choose a reading or readings that help us understand the complexity, history, and newsworthiness of your phenomenon.

Aim to have us read 1-2 readings that total 2,500-3,500 words (not sure what the word count is? check out the Word Count Tool).

Once you have these set, you’ll want to develop a set of questions that will be asked initially over Twitter via asynchronous chats, but carry over into the classroom. In other words, while conversations will occur online before class, your group will have a chance to push on certain threads in class before unveiling your counter-technology. As such, we want to think about the kinds of questions that make group conversation meaningful. In your experience what makes a good discussion in the classroom and out?

This handout from a Canadian university walks us through some of this:


Let’s try this with a shared example.


Twitter chat

As part of this project, you are going to lead part of this discussion online through Twitter and IRL. So what’s a Twitter chat? This recent blog post from Hootsuite defines it as

a public discussion on Twitter around a specific hashtag … led by a designated moderator—brand or individual—who ask questions and facilitate the discussion at a predetermined time

While we won’t be having these chats synchronously, each group will choose a hashtag as well as a set of questions with clear labels (i.e. Q1, Q2, Q3) and post them to Twitter with our class hashtag, #WRTf17.

Before we meet in class, students will read the articles, find the group hashtags, and respond to your questions — and each other — using A1, A2, A3 so we can all keep track. Let try this with one of the above examples. Who would like to volunteer?

Homework for Tuesday, 10/24*

There is no class meeting on Thursday, 10/19; however, you need to meet as a group to develop your plan for the discussion. Whether that meeting occurs during class time on Thursday, at another time, or online is completely up to you. Your attendance to you meeting, however, will be considered when factoring your grade.

Keep me posted by having one group member email me a summary of your meeting, including a tentative plan for discussion that includes:

  • when and where you met and who was present
  • a 1-2 sentence definition of your proposed phenomenon
  • a ¶ detailing the history of the phenomenon
  • an evaluation of 3-5 articles in the news about your phenomenon — include links!
  • a list of search terms you are using
  • a list of 1-3 counter-technologies — with links!

*Please email me no later than Sunday night, 10/22.