In terms of cognitive psychology, how were the ‘readers’ or participants using the Twitter hashtag? What function did it serve in organising, categorising and making sense of the ‘experience’ of the conference and the learning which was taking place? Out of the 100 or so attendees at the conference, only a third were actively taking part in tweeting about it. What part did this third of ‘tweeters’ play in the ‘narrative’ of the conference? Were the other two thirds of attendees using the Twitter ‘narrative’ as support (i.e. as ‘tools’) to understand and remember what the speakers were delivering? Certainly questions to be pursued in the future. Twitterers at ITF10 Narratology, on the other hand is more interested in how events are sequenced. “The ultimate goal of such analysis (narratology) is to move from a taxonomy of elements to an understanding of how these elements are arranged in actual narratives, fictional and nonfictional.” (Pradl 1984) The agenda for the conference and the order of the speakers impose a certain structure but what is said within each talk is often
repeated, re‐interpreted and elaborated on by the listeners eg
Side comments on same topic
So here one of the major participants, in fact as I have dubbed her, the storyteller kicking_k, tells us that a stool has been designed so that you can share the secret space of your ipad with a partner. Two other participants comment to each other about how ‘secret spaces’ are created – ironically, a Twitter trend in this case, and speculate about whether the secrecy is the method or means, not the content of the message. The participants seem to be ‘building a mental model’ (Herman 2002) of the significance of the narrative about secret spaces for learning. Further, to quote Campion (2006) on Schutz’s concept of typification ‐ when hearing new things, gaining new information, people try to fit it into existing models or frameworks of knowledge. In this case the participants are tweeting as they try to align their current activity with the new knowledge they are acquiring. They are also using it as a tool for reflection, another important aspect of learning.