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Friday, October 6 • 3:15pm - 3:45pm
Hashtag Professionals: Teachers' Development and Negotiation within Affective Publics for Disciplinary, Political, and Personal Development

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Amidst the proliferation of digital technologies, there remains a gap in pedagogies that appropriately prepare teachers to use technology in transformative ways (Somekh, 2008; Ottenbreit-Leftwich et al., 2010, 2012; Hicks & Turner, 2013). Research points to a need for literacy teachers to respond more robustly to multimodal, multiliteracies (Ajayi, 2010; Cope and Kalantzis, 2000).

Our intervention at UC Berkeley course involved integrating participatory (Ito, Jenkins, boyd, 2015) learning elements including intergenerational social media experiences. Papacharissi (2015) argues that hashtags “serve as framing devices that allow crowds to be rendered into publics; networked publics that want to tell their story collaboratively” and on “on their own terms.” These “bonds of sentiment” are visceral and politically consequential. Twitter chat participants can attest to their unifying power, the instantaneous thrill of connecting with others. My work with preservice teachers evidences shifts in their response to the medium: from a space for leisure to one for which they identify serious professional learning potential.

Using qualitative analysis software to explore the social media patterns of students in my preservice teacher education classroom, this session will explore the potentials of Twitter as an affective public. In a national context where teacher burnout, turnover, and low morale are prevalent, teacher uptake bears political as well as disciplinary potential.

Affective publics, as an instantiation of affinity groups (Gee, 2000) with distributed knowledge, afford teachers ability to be aggregators of information rather than all-knowing experts. 

Implications of this work will be discussed in terms of potential for teacher development across disciplines, including technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge development (Mishra and Koehler, 2006). In keeping with the original theorization of affective publics, implications will also be explored for their political potential.

Friday October 6, 2017 3:15pm - 3:45pm PDT
Emerald Bay DE