Interactive Spectatorships

Media Viewing Practices in the Digital Age
 

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Social media and learning: Student perspective

Posted on March 22, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Being part of a research project into the potential of social media, especially twitter, founded a new interest in how my generation lives. The fact that I, and most my peers, use social media sites every day to document our lives is a slightly scary phenomenon. However, I found the concept intriguing that this social media take over could actually be used as a positive part of our education. That instead of it being taboo to be on Twitter during a lecture or screening it could be actively developed and encouraged as part of the learning experience. My initial research, aided by Dario, helped me understand the potential of Twitter, which is already being used widely in conferences through ‘backchat forums’. Thus the concept that it should be used within film screenings to aid engagement seems very plausible. I know from personal experience that some student film screenings are hard to connect with on an emotional level. With older films and foreign films students perhaps do not have the context or knowledge of certain themes and ideas, or the film in question may seem very distanced from our culture and interests. This, I am sad to admit, can make it difficult to remain connected throughout the screening and therefore also hinder my ability talk about the film it in seminars.

 I very much want to appreciate and understand such films on an intellectual level as a student, and if I was able to discuss the themes and other factors of the film on Twitter during the screening it may make it more enriching and enhance the learning experience. One has to acknowledge that my generation especially is becoming more impatient, we want everything instantly whether it’s an answer to a question through Google or to voice our opinion. Social media sites can give us this and having the technology at our fingertips during the screening, whether it is through smart phones, tablets or laptops, may be a way to counter this impatience. Also waiting for the seminar after the film screening to voice and discuss our opinions is often too long, by that time interest may have waned or specific details may have been forgotten. Also Twitter has the possibility of helping to involve those who do not attend screenings as it could create a range of instantaneous responses through peer discussion, which can also be reflected on later in seminars as it becomes documented. It is this potential that I will be researching on this project. I soon will be running a pilot screening asking level 1 students to participate and give feedback about the experience. In the mean time I will be blogging and tweeting regularly and any thoughts or questions on the project would be most welcome.

@GoodwinEllie

Elly.g@hotmail.co.uk

Categories: Student blog

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3 Comments

Reply Jamestit
8:40 PM on February 3, 2018 
Thanks for the site, it is filled with so much handy info. This helped me a lot.
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Reply Dario Llinares
2:26 PM on March 27, 2012 
Thanks for the comments Ian. I think politeness is one aspect of it but I don?t want to advocate a set of rules, rather I want to develop a system in which engagement with the film becomes easier and has a recognisable outcome for students in terms of their learning. There is a difference between a normal screenings (i.e. for entertainment) and a screening on a film studies course. This difference many students seem to have difficulties negotiating. I take you point about what might be the positives and the negatives of such a system. Will it actually work is the main issue. I think it will probably be more useful on specific courses where technology and spectatorship are key issues but these questions will be part of the research. As far as remembering the film I think that whoever you are it is difficult to make assertions unless you make notes or watch the film several times. So my idea is aimed to try and give a specific way of translating the thoughts and ideas of the students to the seminar discussions in a useful way.

Ian Padfield says...
Interesting points! I think there is a whole lot of potential for this technology, which doesn't even need to be developed mechanically - just socially, eg cultural rules of what's polite to do in a lecture. I can see that it would be of help educationally, if it is accepted. Then it can be developed further. A lot of research should be done into the cons as well as the pros though. Will it for instance add to 'dependence on the machine' and increase the inability to remember a film straight after seeing it?
Reply Ian Padfield
6:17 PM on March 26, 2012 
Interesting points! I think there is a whole lot of potential for this technology, which doesn't even need to be developed mechanically - just socially, eg cultural rules of what's polite to do in a lecture. I can see that it would be of help educationally, if it is accepted. Then it can be developed further. A lot of research should be done into the cons as well as the pros though. Will it for instance add to 'dependence on the machine' and increase the inability to remember a film straight after seeing it?