#Lockdownreading and Virtual Literary Dialogue: Learning how Types of Online Book Club Platforms Functioned During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Abstract: Online book clubs function across multiple digital platforms and can be of use both in and out of formal classroom settings. This paper and presentation analyze the ways that book clubs in informal learning settings (e.g., museum-based and library-based) rapidly moved online in much the same way that academic settings were forced to move rapidly online in light of the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic. A preliminary analysis of popular media content using the database LexisUni and searching on social media and Google provided insights into the diverse digital platforms that were used to host informal online book clubs. A breakdown of major types of digital platforms, how they function for hosting and organizing a book club experience or series, and ways to consider use for both formal and informal learning contexts are provided. Overall, online book clubs can take place across many platforms including: social media (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook), real-time videoconferencing tools such as Zoom (synchronous discussions), and instant messaging apps (Whats App, Slack, or Group Me). Ideas for future research inquiry are also provided.
Presider: Geoffrey Lautenbach, University of Johannesburg