Using the Medium as the Message

11 Feb 2010

Thanks to Blackboard’s digital classroom, I’ve been able to hold class this week for both my ENGL 041: Turn of the Century Fictions class and my HUMW 011: Nice Work class. The virtual classroom is a chat room function available to all students that requires no microphones, web cams or additional software.

Interestingly enough, our HUMW readings for this week addressed the question of whether the Internet is changing the way we think. The medium really was the message as we discussed the assigned readings real time during our regular class period.

Although there were some slightly chaotic moments, the students identified two key benefits (besides the obvious benefit of being able to keep up with the syllabus):

  1. All 20 students talked, which doesn’t always happen in our face to face meetings.
  2. I recorded the session, which means there’s a transcript that students can refer back to as they review material and develop arguments for their upcoming papers.