PHILADELPHIA -- Jordan Shapiro's class last week delved into a weighty discussion of Plato's allegory of the cave and shifting perceptions of reality.
Front and center on the classroom wall behind him flashed a constantly shifting series of posts on Twitter, all under the class hashtag of #Mosaic1.
With her Nook and phone at hand, sophomore Kaylyn Christian, 20, tweeted: "Are you really happy if you live a successful life in the shadows?"
Shapiro's Temple University classroom is definitely not the norm in academia, but it could be a harbinger of the future.
While many professors at Temple and beyond ban tweeting and texting in class, Shapiro, a full-time instructor who started last year, encourages it.
Even more so -- he counts it as classroom participation. He often tweets back.
"Please tweet. Please do it," Shapiro, 35, tells students at the start of the semester.
Christian, a psychology major from Princeton, is happy to comply.
"I always like to look up at the screen," she said, "and see what others are saying, too."
Dressed in a sleek black blazer and jeans with a woolly mop of hair, Shapiro looks and acts the part of the hipster instructor. He says on his Twitter page: "Doing my best to un-educate students at Temple University."