What is a Twitter chat?
Here is what I know, Twitter chats are discussions, conversations, they are like what you would want your students to do in your class if they were actively discussing their learning. Twitter chats are held through Twitter (obviously). You need to have a Twitter account to participate, but that is not a difficult step. Chats are pre-determined topics held at a designated time, usually at the same time of the day on the same day each week. They can occur weekly, bi-weekly, or I have even seen once a month. The amount of people that attend a chat depends on if the chat is local, statewide, or national.
How do I join a Twitter chat?
Joining is easy as having a Twitter account. If you are new to Twitter I would suggest making yourself familiar to what Twitter is all about. This means upload a profile picture to get rid of your egg when you first "hatch" your Twitter account. Create and send out a tweet. First tweets do not have to be larger than life, but some first tweets by companies and famous people have been pretty profound, others not so much. I would also encourage you to follow others.
The conversations move at a pretty good pace, but I don't let the pace define how you answer the questions. I have always been one that takes my time answering questions to get the answer I want. Even if that means not answering a question after the chat. I do find that by interacting and asking questions of others responses that I am able to learn just as much from them, too. One of the best skills that Twitter has taught me is that my thoughts have to become more precise and to the point with only being able to use 140 characters.
So why should you join a Twitter chat? I really feel there are several reasons to join, but I am going to try to narrow it down to these points or thoughts.
- You gain new contacts and are able to expand your personal learning networks. This allows you to get ideas and advice that you can either like or dislike, but do it from your computer screen. Making that connection to other like-minded people is truly a way to get your thinking going in the right direction.
- There are so many things that can be learned from people around you, but imagine if you are able to expand that to a whole district as big as Des Moines (#innov8dmps), or include a state-wide chat like the Iowa Ed chat (#iaedchat) or national education chat (#edtech).
- It allows everyone a platform to share your opinions about the knowledge you have learned. It is a great place to tell your story and make connections to the outside world. It can provide confidence in your teaching and fire a desire to learn more about ideas you have been wondering about.
If you have thoughts or questions post comments below!