I wrote last month that I love lectures. As part of that post I highlighted the use of Twitter in the classroom by a History lecturer at The University of Texas at Dallas.
In a similar vein Purdue University have developed and are trialling a social-networking tool for the classroom called Hotseat. It allows students to give feedback, ask questions & have mini-discussions initiated by the lecturer (or themselves) while attending classes. The great thing about Hotseat is that students aren’t restricted to a particular input method, there are many ways students can contribute – via the website, SMS, Twitter, Facebook or MySpace. There also seem to be iPhone/iPod Touch Apps.
There are a couple of videos from Purdue explaining it further:
It’s not clear from the website whether Hotseat will be available to the wider world (for purchase or otherwise).