Twitter chats continue to foster opportunities for educators to collaborate and share innovative ideas and inspiration.
However, may teachers still voice their fear of twitter! We often hear, “It goes so fast!” or “I just don’t understand what is going on!”
So, let’s clear the air! Have you ever been to a cocktail party?
Imagine yourself in a hotel conference room for a networking event. The room is filled with high-top standing tables ready for guests to mingle. As the room begins to fill, you notice small organic conversations forming. You first begin talking to a group to your left.
Like many events, there is a host that provides everyone with the night’s agenda, and helps get conversations started.
As the evening continues, you see a new friend walk in and choose to step away to converse with them – leading you to more people to converse with.Remember: If you forget to use the hashtag, it is as if you said something to the group, but they did not hear you over the noise. Oops! Click To Tweet
Many people can relate to this situation, because you can find this type of conversation occurring in many casual settings. But, how does this relate to twitter?
Remember that hotel conference room?
That is Twitter. Twitter is just the venue for the event.
Remember your networking event?
That’s your Twitter Chat. Just like most events, a Twitter Chat has a start time and expected length, and will typically have a theme or a specific topic that is being discussed.
Remember the small group you were talking to?
That is your #hashtag. Each Twitter Chat has its own hashtag (such as our #masterychat). The use of a #hashtag allows you to keep your conversation within that event (a search result feed on Twitter).
*Remember: If you forget to use the hashtag, it is as if you said something to the group, but they did not hear you over the noise. Oops!
Remember the event host?
That is your Twitter Chat moderator. Each chat will have a topic and series of questions posed to the group by the moderator. The question may alter your conversation with the group. However, if you are in an in-depth conversation over a topic, you are also welcome to ignore the question. It is simply there to foster conversation between those participating.[scroll down to keep reading]
Remember your new friend that joined the party?
On twitter, you have the freedom to be in multiple conversations utilizing the same #hashtag. Therefore, if a new friend joins the party, feel free to say hello! They may also choose to join in on your conversation, or start by answering the questions asked by the moderator.
Just like at a networking event, you don’t HAVE to do anything more than hang around and listen to conversations. You can engage with folks if you want, chat with a small group, or cruise the room and try to meet as many new people as possible. Twitter Chats are the same. You can choose to participate by answering all the questions, engage with others by liking or retweeting their responses, or you can choose to just watch the #hashtag and take in all the valuable answers others share.
So the next time you see a Twitter Chat being promoted, think of it like that networking event. You don’t have to try and talk to everyone, but it’s an opportunity for you to connect with other educators from all over the world!
So, what are some good #hashtags to follow?
We host a Twitter Chat EVERY Thursday 7CST/8EST using #MasteryChat. During this event, we cover a variety of Mastery Learning and Best Practices. These are always hosted by experts in the field eager to share new ideas and resources!