Most student excuses that I've encountered for not completing an assignment range from sickness to sleeping-in, so it was a bit of a shock to have a student declare point blank that he was "morally opposed" to the week's assignment. But in fact, that was exactly what I faced, and have increasingly come to expect, when trying to bring the digital into the classroom. While some of the discussions on HASTAC have dealt with opposition from departments or fellow grad students - I feel student push back to integrating digital in the classroom is an important and overlooked issue in the dh community.
The assignment in question was a relatively easy one in my opinion. All I asked of the students was that they post two tweets with their reactions, thoughts or questions from the week's readings. From my perspective, this was an ingenious way to get participation from some of the quieter students, create a digital discussion, as well as set the basis for in class discussion. Yet my students by and large were incredibly skeptical, hesitant, and outright against the assignment. For some reason, using twitter was not 'academic', and thus was not treated as seriously as a written reading response. In all honesty, as much as I expected some push back, I was shocked by the reluctance of my students. This resistance got me thinking about why some digital tools are considered appropriate for the classroom, and how to get my students to see outside of this box. While I didn't come to any grand conclusions, I am wondering how do you, my fellow HASTAC'ers, get your students to 'buy-in' to the digital in the classroom?
Please feel free to respond with advice and/or horror stories.
Suffice to say, the students begrudgingly completed the assignment and we were able to discuss their ideas in class. Since that week, only a few students have used the class hashtag to post thoughts, but their willing participation is promising.
For those interested in using the assignment, you can find the outline here on the class website I built https://my.vanderbilt.edu/js256/2013/02/twitter-assignment-two-tweets-for-your-two-cents-on-js256/