I asked two of the tweetchat participants about their experience of our physical-digital tweetchat, as discussed in my previous post Weaving across the digital-physical space. To recap, myself and Sue Moron-Garcia co-ran a face-to-face workshop in parallel with a synchronised online tweetchat. I have noted how my priority was to protect the integrity of the physical workshop experience. However, I was keen to hear about the experience from the other side – the online tweetchat, especially about the integrity of that method as experienced by participants. Thanks to Sue Beckingham (@suebecks) and Chris Rowell (@chri5rowell) for responding so readily on a Sunday to my questioning. Both are highly experienced users of social media and the tweetchat method.
First, this is what Sue thought of the experience:
I felt part of the session and it was great to be able to participate virtually. This was helped by the fact that you tweeted in between questions to say discussion was going on, and also some of the people physically there tweeted photos of the post it approach you were using. Interestingly this I feel encouraged them to draw/mind map/SWOT analyse. There was interaction between participants there and with myself which again helped to create a sense of belonging within the session. You shared photos of the spaces you were in which helped to visualise the physical space. Often in #LTHEchat participants do this by sharing images of their chosen beverage (rather than a photo of them in their home).
Another thing to add about my experience was that I took part in the chat sitting at my desk in my shared office. A colleague came in to the office (as the chat was starting) and asked if he could speak to me. I replied not at the moment as I was engaged in an online event. He then continued to tell me what he wanted to talk to me about. I felt rude cutting him short. Now had I been wearing headphones, would this have deterred his insistence to talk to me right there and then? If I had been on the phone he would (I hope) not have interrupted me.
In my previous post I discussed the significance of the diverse real world situations of tweetchat participants and how, considering the tweetchat as a learning space, we need to develop our understanding of dispersed learning spaces. (nb: I must look at the literature on this). Chris also picked up on this. Let me say, that in both cases, I had no sense of where either Sue or Chris were physically located during the chat.
Chris tells me,
Hi Andrew I was on the bus dashing to a hospital appointment …and the bus was stuck in traffic and I looked at my phone just to take my mind if the fact I might be late… I was getting a bit stressed and then saw your questions pop up on the Twitter stream… I saw the SEDA hashtag so just assumed it was something to with a workshop you were doing… I think I came late to the chat so just [went] through the questions and answered them all in one go… whilst looking at other’s answers as I tweeted my answers… it took about 10-15 mins and my bus finally pushed off and I dashed off to my appointment …It was all really quick – it felt like reading an article in newspaper and then someone quizzing me about it…
The quality of the contributions (which you will see in the Storify when I publish it next Wednesday) were both really good: in my opinion they added enormously to the workshop. The workshop and the artefact we co-produced (the forthcoming Storify):
- Benefited from several external voices including Chris and Sue;
- Were enriched with media;
- Were enriched by accounts of experienced online networkers from the field of educational development (i.e. aligned to the focus of the workshop);
- Were given significance by the interest of people not directly involved in the conference event.
This little experiment has proven that such a inter-spatial method is viable without undermining the integrity of either space. It has also shown how the value of the physical and the digital learning spaces can be multiplied for mutual benefit.
Thanks to Sue and Chris for still being online to reply!