Connecting with Participatory Culture: Clickers and Deep Learning

I’ve scheduled this post to appear on the blog just as I’m starting my keynote at the University of Louisville clickers conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

  • For those of you not at the conference, you can get a sense of what I’m talking about right now by checking out my Prezi below.  You’re welcome to weigh in on Twitter about these ideas.  Just tag your tweets with #ULclickers so I’ll see them.
  • For those of you at the conference, you’ll find below links to a few resources mentioned in my talk.  Feel free to explore these after the keynote!  (Or during… I’m cool with that.)

My talk is titled “Connecting with Participatory Culture: Clickers and Deep Learning.”  Here’s the abstract:

Today’s students vote for their favorite contestants on American Idol, “like” a friend’s wall post on Facebook, comment on news and events on Twitter, and engage in robust online discussions about World of Warcraft.  We live in a participatory culture, one in which voting, commenting, creating, and sharing are the norm and people prefer being contributors to being consumers.  Teaching with clickers is one way to tap into this culture, engaging students in ways that motivate them to participate during class in meaningful ways.  In this talk, Derek Bruff will explore ways that using clickers connects with our students’ participatory culture and how those connections can be leveraged to promote deep learning.

And here’s my Prezi:

Finally, some relevant resources:

Like Buttons / Student Perspective Questions

  • Matthew Freeman’s perspective questions come from this article: Campt, D., & Freeman, M. (2009). Talk through the hand: Using audience response keypads to augment the facilitation of small group dialogue. The International Journal of Public Participation, 3(1), 80-107.  Here’s my summary.

Text-to-Vote / Peer Assessment Questions

  • A description of Kori Street’s use of clickers for peer assessment can be found on pages 94-96 of my book.

Serious Fans / Misconception Questions

Event TV / Critical Thinking Questions


For more on the notion of a participatory culture, read Henry Jenkins’ white paper, “Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century” [PDF].  Also, here’s my blog post that got me started thinking along these lines, the one that references the Campt and Freeman article.

What are your thoughts on the ideas in my keynote?  Do we, especially our students, live in a participatory culture?  What consequences does that have for how we teach?

Image: “skates” by Flickr user marythom / Creative Commons licensed

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