The perks of being a wallflower: Lurking and Trolling in online spaces

     In my English 3241 class, the entire class is based around the usefulness of internet resources both inside the classroom and out. We have spent a lot of time talking about the “Study Smarter – not Harder” concept and we have played around with the idea of remixing. I had the opportunity to “lurk” on one of the twitter chats about literacy and I was amazed at the amount of information and knowledge people can pack into 128 characters or less. The idea of “Remix” terrifies both students and teachers alike and the concept is a relatively new one being brought into the classroom. Or so we’ve thought. People have been remixing since the dawn of time; passing stories, songs, and concepts from one artist to another.

     When I think about remix, my mind automatically goes to Shakespeare . Shakespeare bored stories from the Romans, made them popular and has become the most iconic play-write in history. Since Shakespeare’s time, many artists have taken his ideals and transformed them into other works. Just think about how many love movies mimic the story of Romeo and Juliet (West Side Story, Beauty and the Beast, The Notebook, and Footloose, just to name a few.) The artists that composed these works took elements of Shakespeare’s works remixed them and created award winning works.

     Being a part of the Twitter Chat was truly enlightening for me. I was given tons of resources to use in the classroom and made many new friends in the education community. I cannot wait to participate in other chats and expand my new learning network even further. Literacies chats take place on Thursday nights at 7pm est. To view the twitter chat, check out the following link: http://literacieschat.wordpress.com/

     In addition to learning the ins and outs of Twitter, we were encouraged to expand what we have been learning in the classroom into the world around us. The assignment was to go on a popular news website and comment on a story in order to spark some sort of discussion. I was so excitred about this because I subscribe to many online news websites including one form my hometown called the Cherokee County Herald. I found a news story that I thought really interesting and jumped on the message boards immediately because itwas such a hot button issue.

     Just to give you a little bit of background about where I come from. I used to live in Cherokee County Alabama in a little town just across the Georgia Line. For years the county administration has been pushing for more efficient energy sources, such as biofuels, solar panels, and wind turbines. Finally a government agency has realized their efforts and has decided to help out by placing wind turbines in the empty fields in Leesburg, Alabama. Unfourtunately, the people who have been the biggest proponents of the alternate energy sources, are not happy about the new addition to the beautiful fields.

    Below I included a screen shot of my comments on the subject as well as the link to the full article. It took a few weeks, but this morning someone finally commented on what I said. Their opinions were quite different from mine and chose to tell me how wrong my view was. It was intersting to read all of the different opions of such a hot button issue. I really enjoyed this activity, and though I won’t talk about them here, I carried it over to other news sites as well. I was able to take whatever side I chose and be whoever  I wanted to be behind the keyboard.

     I think that this would be a fun acivity to do in the classroom, especially as an introductory activity to the idea of media in the classroom. I think it would be a nice was to introduce the ise of technology and allow the opportunity to discuss online etiquette, appropriate lengths of postings, and even various ways of posting. I think the idea of “trolling” has gotten a bad rep, but i think students can learn so much simply from watching and reading other people’s comments.

 READ MORE: Wind Turbines May Mean Huge Boom for Cherokee County

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