The learning or narrative trail, the storyworld or macro‐level which is taking place on this hashtag is also happening on a micro‐level. The specific tweets and conference addresses local events and the macro‐level the structure of the overall idea of IT Futures, the website, the course, the lecturers etc.
The participants, both tweeters and non‐ tweeters can use the hashtag archive in Twapperkeeper or the ‘given storyworld built at a given time’ (Campion 2006) to understand and interpret at a later date what has gone on at the conference. As John Seely Brown (2000) says “learning…requires immersion in a community of practice”. However, Brown (2000), whose study looked at the way engineers learnt from others through storytelling, goes on to say “…knowing is brought forth in action, through participation”. The engineers in the study used radios to ‘add a fragment’ to the ongoing ‘story’ of a particular repair or problem, thus reviving what we referred to earlier, as the oral storytelling tradition. Perhaps this is also what is happening on the #itf10 hashtag? Are those who are actively participating in the conference by tweeting about what they are hearing, ‘knowing’ or ‘learning’ in a more long‐lasting and sustainable way than the other 75% of conference attendees who took part in a more traditional manner? What sort of learning is taking place in Twitter? Cousin (2005) suggests that the nature of the technology and the context of the internet
“...can produce nomadic learners who succumb to an endless search for a knowledge oasis” If, as Walker (2006) says “…learning is...a continually refining capacity for humans and other animals to intelligently navigate an ever changing social, cultural and physical world." does narrative and storytelling provide the ‘knowledge oasis’ Cousin (2005) describes, within the ‘ever changing social and cultural…world’ of cyberspace or is Twitter even what Gee (2003) calls an ‘affinity group’? Conclusions In this paper we have reviewed the literature associated with narratology, cognitive psychology, the use of Web 2.0 technologies and the nature of the posthuman in cyberculture in an attempt to discover how we use narrative to learn and make sense of the world. This review has raised many questions, particularly about the role of social media such as Twitter in the use of narrative, as well as the nature of learning and thought when done through the medium of social learning. However, from my brief analysis of data in the #itf10 Twitter trend, the findings regarding the nature of activity taking place were: • Tweeting at conferences is an activity undertaken by only a small proportion of attendees • A small number of participants (tweeters) make the majority of the tweets with the rest making 1‐5 contributions, on average. • The major participants (tweeters) perform certain roles or functions in
In posthuman cyberculture, how do we still use narrative to learn and make sense of the world?