It resulted in this blog post and the follow-up comments.
There was only one way to find out: to experiment.
But how many would be in the lecture? How many would be registered on Twitter? How many would be holding a suitable device and willing to participate?
Surprise #1. The majority of first year students (based on this small and random sample) were already on Twitter and about half were prepared to give it a go.
I sprung surprise #2 on them. There were already a few people 'watching'.
We involved another through an @mention during the lecture.
Surprise #3 is no surprise at all. Employers – and consultancies in particular – are keen to work with digitally savvy students and graduates. I was able to announce a very appealing music industry internship with Rising Digital in the lecture.
So what are the lessons?
- Anything live is better than over-prepared, pre-recorded or the linearity of PowerPoint. My mistakes were visible for all to see, and we had fun
- Clay Shirky's 'publish then filter' was clearly a memorable concept, mentioned in several tweets
- We learnt about the use of hashtags to filter conversations
- Students enjoyed the shift in the balance of power: I spoke, but they chose what to say about it
- We should trust students more (the default setting is to ban mobiles in class)
- No one in that room will forget that Twitter is a public channel and that people are watching