Friday, February 01, 2013

Book Club 2.0 Wiki + Papert and Dewey Virtual Events

I'm doing a show on Tuesday, March 5th, with +Ben Rimes on his Book Club 106 (the current book is Switch), and running virtual book clubs is something I've wanted to do myself, having talked with +Audrey Watters and +Gary Stager and many others over the past year about how we might do this.

So, the bonus of 1) my adoration of Wikispaces, 2) my current consulting for and similar adoration of Mightybell, and 3) my previous employment with Elluminate/Blackboard Collaborate, is that I can bring all three together as part of a Book Club 2.0 project.

First, I've set up a wiki at where you can list or find virtual book clubs for students, teachers, and anyone else in education. You can also share links to articles, books, videos, or anything else related to virtual book clubs there (you'll have to request membership in the wiki, but that's just to avoid the inevitable spammers). I just started it today, so hopefully we can make this a great resource.

Second, I've created a page for myself on the wiki called "Ed Classics" and have listed the books that I really want to have conversations about. It turns out that Mightybell is a brilliant platform for holding these virtual book club discussions (really, and not just because I do work for them!). I've set two of these Mightybell "spaces" up for now: one on Seymour Papert's Mindstorms and one on John Dewey's Experience and Education. You can see by clicking through on the links that Mightybell let's me create a conversation post for each chapter or topic/theme, add resource links, and generally allow for what I think are going to be not only well-organized conversations, but long-term repositories of those conversations for anyone wanting to drill down on the books at any later time. Both spaces are open for business, so those of you who have already read the books, or have been looking for an excuse to, are welcome to dive right in and get us started!

Third, I've scheduled live events in Blackboard Collaborate for the Papert and Dewey book club participants to come together and talk. The dates are March 14th and April 11th, and they are on the site calendar listing on the front page. My goal is to schedule one book a month, so stay tuned here or at Book Club 2.0 or for updates on these and, hopefully, the other clubs being run by our community.

If you're interested in using Mightybell to set up a virtual book club, go to Running a Book Club in Mightybell. To learn more about Mightybell for education, go here. If you're interested in using Blackboard Collaborate to hold a live meeting or meetings for your book club, contact me at

See you online, and happy reading!

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:18 PM

    Excellent idea & thank you for taking the time to make it a reality! Last week I encouraged a colleague teacher to reflect on why she felt it necessary to confine the literature her students read. She responded with a desire for post-reading literature circles. I reminded her that there probably isn't a book ever written for which you couldn't create/find an on-line literature circle. Hallelujah for today's technology which empowers students and facilitates a broader spectrum of education!


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