140 characters, really?

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Certainly, filling a white box with words seems easy on its own. Does this space have its place in the classroom? Certainly, it takes a little creativity to transform it into a real educational space.

Jean-Yves Fréchette is a retired college teacher. The pedagogical approaches he practiced in his communication and poetry classes led his students to work collaboratively on media as varied as websites (and this long before their time), a 160 km long paper strip and even a agricultural field.

He immediately saw the educational potential of the famous 140-character box. “The haiku, the proverb, the maxim, the motto, the telegram and the mathematical equation have been around for a long time. The fixed form of Twitter gives expression to its essential structural markers. When we use this concentration of meaning in pedagogy, in the form of a game or a challenge, it becomes extremely interesting ”.

Passionate pedagogue, he co-founded Institute of Comparative Tweet, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote awareness of twitterature, this brand new literary movement born with the creation of Twitter. “A lot of people were saying that we were going to reduce the intelligence of our students and shrink their neurons,” he explains. Twitter does exist, stop laughing at it. It's small and unassuming, but there is a whole body of stylistics, practitioners and daring productions. "

We can hear the same story at the Service national du RÉCIT in the field of languages. "The phenomenon is emerging," says André Roux. But we are starting to receive requests for nanoliterature ”. Teachers who attend workshops given by M. Roux and his colleague Sandra Laine explore the universe of these very brief writings and applications that allow them to be written and recorded.

Calibrating the constraints according to the level of learning also appears to be important for a successful integration of twitterature in the classroom. If write a text without "e" is a challenge that is more suitable for college students, producing sentences with "l", like the one led by Nathalie Couzon, seems more promising in secondary school. “The basic constraint with Twitter is 140 characters,” explains André Roux. The bravest will add additional constraints, constraints inherent in the text ”.

The expression “collaboration” predominates in the words of Jean-Yves Fréchette and André Roux. “It's interesting to see that new technologies do not oppose old processes, but complement them,” explains Mr. Fréchette. By networking the students, it allows sharing ”. "For me, when we talk about twitterature, we are talking about a collaborative effort and consistency," adds Mr. Roux. The individual activities date back to Methuselah. I would prefer a collaborative mode because they are enabled by the Web and are appreciated by the students ”.

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About the Author

Julie Beaupré
Julie beaupre
Julie is a primary ICT educational advisor and RÉCIT resource person at the Commission scolaire des Affluents. Also, blogger here and the.

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