I guess I really don’t have a good understanding (once again) of how a librarian embedded via Twitter works.
As I understand it, the librarian is virtually present during the lectures and follows the Twitter feed and responds and/or anticipates accordingly by posting links, comments, resource suggestions. I don’t know if I would find that–I dunno–distracting (?): participating in a lecture and having to interact with Twitter posts. If the librarian posts a link to a website offering biographical information on an author/researcher/”person of interest”, am I to look at it immediately? Wouldn’t that fragment the class, in a way? Because then I’m giving my attention to a screen rather than the person or people around me. Isn’t that one of the major complaints by professors about technology in the classroom–having students glued to screens and not participating F2F?
I guess the argument could be that engagement and participation can take many forms but from personal experience presenting in front the class and seeing colleagues completing engrossed in their laptop, is–at best, discomforting and at worst, rude. No other word for it. But I suppose it depends on how the class is managed. If the understanding is that class discussions will include input via Tweets, maybe that creates a different learning zeitgeist. I haven’t had this opportunity so have yet to see it at work. I supposed in a large lecture hall situation, having comments via Twitter might encourage those who are intimidated (by speaking in front of a crowd) to share…
In terms of how the librarian interacts with the class blogs–such as by responding to comments–sounds great; it’s always validating to know that “someone is listening” (whether they agree with you or not). But then I read the quote from the student who commented on how important it was to have the librarian’s input into the course because she “…was able to provided outside resources that proved relevant to the class, a task which students would be unlikely to do at all…” (p. 80). The italics are mine. This is similar to my questions/concerns about the offerings on LMS–is too much being simply offered to students, instead of helping them cultivate the spirit of inquiry to search for things themselves, as well as arming them with the appropriate skills? I’m really struggling with this…
I guess it’s kinda like that proverb: “give someone a fish, and he’ll eat for a day; teach someone to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime”…Here’s to helping others learn how to fish!
Hampton Filgo, E. (2011). Embedding myself into a class via Twitter and blogs. Computers in Libraries, 31(6), 78-80.