In place of discussion boards via Blackboard, Edmodo, or other sites, this semester we’ll be taking our class (and out of class) discussions to Twitter. Each student will require a Twitter username (called a handle) and will post their tweets using the hashtag #ACTweet. Students can use an existing account or open a new one. Students: It can be obvious who you are, or it can be totally (well, mostly) anonymous.  (You should provide your instructor with your handle (username) by February 6 or February 7.)

In addition to opening public discussions on a popular subject, using the assigned hashtag will allow you to directly interact with other students in Acting 1 classes at CUNY colleges around the city.  Think of it like having the one-on-one attention of a smaller classroom, but the scope and breadth of the CUNY system.

[Your instructors may be reached at:

@eero_laine – Eero Laine, teaching Acting 1 at Staten Island College

@rayelz – Rayya El Zein, teaching Acting 1 at City College

@defyinggravitas – Barrie Gelles, teaching Intro to Acting and Acting 1&2 at Brooklyn College]

Assignment: Tweet, using the hashtag #ACTweets five times per week during the semester. At least three of the tweets should directly address the weekly prompt(s). See below for other tweeting options.

Tweets should respond directly to the prompt using the following types of tweets (note: if you’ve already responded to the prompt at least three times, share something interesting, inspiring, or otherwise worth noting). Try to vary the way you engage these discussions!

  • [Readings Tweet] quote or paraphrase assigned readings–be sure to mention your source!

  • [Spectator Tweet] reacting to specific pieces you see or act in this semester

  • [Response Tweet] responding to a colleague’s tweet

  • [Rehearsal tweet] notes from rehearsal–problems, questions, discoveries, ideas

  • [Research tweet] Links to acting resources, articles by actors on acting, reviews of great (or not so great) performances

  • [Ah ha! Tweet] an epiphany or revelation about acting, performance, and/or theatre

Etiquette:  Twitter provides the capacity for the quick formation of community. Within our (public) community, be warm, cordial, polite, and understanding with each other. If you can’t say something politely or positively, please reconsider your post. Think: would you want your parents or employer or friends or professors to see what you’ve tweeted? Ask questions, use affect (emoticons, etc.) to react, but remember, we’re all learning here. The prompts you’ll receive are not designed to produce a single correct answer, but rather they’re supposed to stimulate discussion and interaction. Be the community you’d like to see and be a part of.  And be creative!  How will you express what you want to say and what you think about the prompt?

Safety: Twitter is an exciting platform, that makes information, discussion, and debate mobile, local, and specific. Please remember, however, that it is a public forum. Never tweet personal details you don’t want others to discover. Be prudent about what kind of information you share with strangers. Your instructors are not liable for injury caused by engaging on the platform or with the services Twitter provides. If you are concerned, speak with your instructor and ask for help navigating the form. We’re all learning!

Some tips/guidelines:

1.  Hashtags (#) help organize the massive web of information and discussion on Twitter.  Clicking on a hashtag will show you all other tweets that contain the same tag. That’s how we will organize our discussions. Using the hashtag #ACTweet filters all of Twitter out and lets us see only each other. Remember, anybody on Twitter can do this. Using a hashtag does not make content private, it just sorts it.

Example tweet:

Daniel Day Lewis is getting awards for @LincolnMovie. I hear he does Method work.  Is that like Stanislavski? #ACTweets #SAGawards

This tweet would be seen on the page of the twitter account @LincolnMovie.

This tweet would show up on any search for #ACTweets AND #SAGawards

2.  @Messages allow you to reply directly to another user. Even though the tweet is directed at someone else, it’s still visible to the rest of the Twitterverse, and, if it is tagged, to that discussion. These are great discussion and debate tools! Replying to other users using #ACTweet is a great way for us to build and engage our community.

Example tweet:

@defyinggravitas Is it true that Daniel Day Lewis is a method actor?  #ACTweets

This tweet would post on the wall of @defyinggravitas.  She would see it and then answer.

3. You can share links in twitter.  However, because of the character limit, you might have to shorten them using a site like http://tinyurl.com/.  It is very easy to use, it converts a longer link so that it takes less characters within your tweet.

Example tweet:

Here is a CBS segment where Daniel Day Lewis talks about playing Lincoln: http://tinyurl.com/8nvh2qa #ACTweets

The link is a shortened url that will take you to: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504803_162-5


4.  DM’s (direct messages) are the only “private” messages on Twitter. They do not count as fulfilling the requirements for this assignment.

This is an experiment. None of the instructors has attempted this kind of exercise on Twitter before — an intercollegiate collaboration — but they are intimately familiar with the platform and are excited about its prospects as a pedagogical tool. We are making history, in a way!  We encourage you to trust the process, even if it feels a little weird as we all get used to it, and to share your reactions with us over the course of the semester.

Set up a Twitter account and send your professors your handle (hardcopy or email) by February 6 or February 7.  Start tweeting by Feb 13 or Feb 14.



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