Saturday, October 15, 2016

10/12/16, Wednesday: Post First Twitter Chat; Updated Sat. 10/15/16!


It's hard to describe what my first education-based Twitter chat felt like: attending a conference in my own living room? A non-exhausting professional conversation? Meeting a bunch of smart, interested friends and colleagues and having a lively conversation but never saying a word?

I gained ideas, had some laughs, and enjoyed incredibly efficient professional development.

Whew. I need to go eat one of the toffee/chocolate/coconut bars I made on Monday and recover myself. What a blast!

Here are a few links I found to in my efforts to jump onto the Twitter train:

this one is interesting but has some false/outdated links.

This one is great, and led me to the #Edtechbridge chat that I participated in from 7 - 8 tonight.

I tried to find/join #currichat  as a chat, but all I found was a bunch of random posts. Ah well.

I will be back to Twitterland! This was a blast! Terrific PD--and a lot of rapidly-posted GIFs!

Sample shared below. . . .

Saturday, Oct. 15: To reflect a tad more. . . . and to fulfill Mod. 2, Communication Task #2!

1. Future participation: Yes, I think I will participate in Twitter chats again. As I said before, the edtechbridge chat was energizing and stimulating. I enjoyed the inspiration and hugely enjoyed the sense of being part of a community of educators, all with widely different experiences, educational settings, attitudes, etc. Even though our school has become more open and more of a PLN than in the "bad old days" of closed doors and "I teach X and I don't care what you do", we are isolated w/in our particular educational island. So: blasting the doors open via twitter was a huge rush of energy!

2. I can see using twitter chats as feedback for literary discussions based on individual responses or ideas (mostly around idea generation and/or viewpoint sharing; RL 1 or personal opinion); creating lists or records of favorites (songs, poems, stories, parts of a novel, characters, etc.). I don't see them as being so useful for thoughtful feedback or deep discussion of an issue that needs response and support. BECAUSE they are so rapid and multi-voiced, there is a loss (at least I felt there was one in my very humble experience in my very first chat!!!) of depth/grappling with key terms or ideas. For example, in #edtechbridge we were discussing the question of student portfolios as those those were a clearly defined "thing" like a standardized test or a multi-standard assessment. In fact, there is a huge variety of definitions of portfolios out there: they may be student chosen work, cumulative, designed to show student skills against a standard. . . . they could even be designed to show student growth over time for sentimental reasons! Though I posted my concern about that issue, because of the nature of the flow, we never came back and clarified exactly what we were talking about, so the sharing stayed, by default, hugely varied and general. I could follow up on individual questions w/ individual participants if I so chose, but the nature of the chat itself did not encourage or require that kind of deepening. So I would only use twitter in my classroom with general info collection/idea stimulation questions ("What's your favorite Hamlet quote? What's your favorite poem from this collection? What is one question you'd ask the author if. . . .") .

3. Questions I could answer:
Why do people use Twitter for pd? It is so much fun! It's so stimulating! I feel that I am beginning to define some contacts that I can use for resources (using the heart button helps pull out posts I want to return to) but also people that I could message and potentially set up deeper, more valuable connections with, like a pairing of classrooms when we start our blogs in CRW.
How do I get started? Easily! Once I found a twitter chat that was actually starting (lots of outdated info out there, which made it tricky at first) and worked up the nerve to join it, people were super friendly, funny, and engaging. I don't know as I'll ever be able to post gifs or links fast enough to add some of the glam that a lot of the participants did, but I think that's okay. It's also ridiculous to see how proud I felt when someone liked or retweeted one of my tweets. In the third Bridget Jones novel, she gets addicted to twitter, and now I can see why.

4. Questions I still have:
How does one deepen the interchange on Twitter?
How MIGHT I engage a class in a twitter chat, controlling the potential for misunderstanding and negative interactions? I have seen a few nasty exchanges sidebarred on people's twitter pages, and of course we've all seen the "How a Careless Tweet Ruined My Life" articles. That's something I'd really like to avoid!
I think that I might use Twitter with older students, maybe, for example, an AP English class. Hmmm.

So overall: I am feeling more positive about Twitter. At the same time, I do feel that it has a Pinterest-like potential to become a huge, distracting, alluring, stimulating time suck for me!


  1. I'm glad that you were able to experience the power of Twitter and see that it is more than celebrities posting meaningless stuff. I think that the power of Twitter is in the Twitter Chat, unfortunately they are underutilized. For us in rural areas it is an amazingly simple way to connect and share. I'm sorry that the resources are a bit outdated, it is challenging to find up-to-date lists of chats. If you come across any please share.

    1. It's funny that the lists of the chats are google docs, but they don't get updated! I guess the cobbler's children go barefoot, in this case!