Every chance I get to tell someone about the benefits of Twitter for an educators’ PLN, I take it. Twitter has truly become my go-to source of real time ideas, feedback, Q&A, etc., which allows me to connect with people from all over the country and the world. This is mainly a result of Twitter chats. In my opinion, Twitter is honestly the world’s best faculty lounge!
The biggest difference between a Twitter chat and just using a #hashtag in a Tweet is the chat takes place (usually for one hour) at the same time and day of the week every week (or every other week/once per month). During this hour, people are actively on their device, looking at the feed of tweets using the hashtag. You can do this by clicking on the hashtag in Twitter, which will create a feed of all tweets using that hashtag. You can also set up a search column in TweetDeck for the hashtag, which is essentially the same thing but is much easier to manage, especially in a very active chat. In order to keep the conversations connected, every participant includes the hashtag somewhere in each tweet. Anyone can use the chat hashtag throughout the week to connect with like-minded people, just know you’ll receive the most interaction during that designated chat day and time.
Last year, I led our faculty in professional development for Twitter. Last night I was participating in #edtechchat, when I received a notification from one of my teachers. She was participating in a chat on her own- I was really proud of her (go, Katie!) and excited to see another teacher reaching out, trying new edtech things, and growing!
She sent me a message and asked what is all this Q1, Q3, A1, A4 stuff? I was immediately taken back to the days when I first started chiming in and participating in Twitter chats. Catching on to all the character-saving lingo took some getting used to, and I still find myself Googling certain abbreviations every now and then to stay in the know. This inspired me to create the image in this post using Photoshop for a quick key/legend of some commonly used lingo.
If you’re interested in more resources for teachers to build their PLNs and classroom ideas using Twitter, check out my Twitter resources page. Cybraryman also (always) has some great resources you should check out, too. And of course, for a comprehensive list of educational Twitter chats, check out this list.
So, what popular Twitter chat terms did I miss in my key? How have you found Twitter chats helpful?
Tech To You Later!