Adding Facebook and Twitter to student participation

Students at Purdue University are experimenting with a new application developed at the school called Hotseat that integrates Facebook, Twitter, and text messaging to help students “backchannel” during class.

The idea behind this isn’t new; using social media in conferences allow participants to engage the speaker(s) to exchange ideas and questions on the fly.

The difference here is that Hotseat (expect a Trademark on this soon?) displays real-time comments from Facebook, Twitter, SMS, and MySpace. As reported on the Mashable website, over 70% of the 600 students in the pilot classes are using the channel.

Purdue University have produced this introductory video, have a look;

While the application enables student participation, the study goes on to note that the tutors need to be “resilient enough to take any potential criticism or even corrections from students in real-time”, but it is also a

“… valuable tool for enhancing learning. The students are engaged in the discussions and, for the most part, they are asking relevant questions.”

Nice, I like this. It reminds me of the PowerPoint Twitter Presentation from SAP Web 2.0 where you can include a live Twitter feed into your presentation based on hashtags or other Twitter methods.

I strongly urge you to download this and take a look through it … hell, even try it out. If you are presenting at any kind of event in the next few months it’s guaranteed there will be a #hashtag assigned to the event, so use it and use it well.