Last night, during my ECMP 455 class, my classmates and I engaged in another Twitter Chat; however, this time the chat was open to all educators both nationally and internationally. Those that were participating in the chat were able to connect by attaching the hashtag (#saskedchat) to the end of each tweet. I have participated in a Twitter Chat before (the one conducted by our professor, Alec Couros, a month ago) so I was familiar with the process, but this experience was entirely different since I was connecting with countless others rather then my own classmates. Now, when I say countless, I mean countless. There were so many people participating in this chat (from all around that world) that is was overwhelming at times; I couldn’t keep track of or keep up with the questions, responses, mentions and notifications.
As mentioned above, the chat was very overwhelming at first. Not only does it go by very fast, but generally I am a slow reader, so I started to fall behind very quickly. This obviously led to some frustration because I just couldn’t keep up. However, it was like he was reading my mind, but ten minutes into the chat, Alec mentions through BlackBoard Collaborate that we don’t have to read every single tweet. Rather we can pick and choose what we want to read and respond to. This made the chat way more manageable and easier to participate in.
Throughout the chat, educational related questions would be posed by Kelly Christopherson (@kwhobbes), in which we were all inclined and encouraged to reply to. I was in the process of tweeting my responses (by incorporating the A# into my tweets), however, the feed and everyone else’s questions and replies would easily distract me so my own tweets were delayed. It was comparable to getting distracted by a shiny object. However, I managed to get my responses out their, resulting in some insightful conversations between other educators.
Many people who have Twitter are unmotivated or reluctant to Tweet. I am sometimes this person. However, and as exemplified last night, #saskedchat is a great way to relieve that reluctance. The prompts and friendly responses from other educators are welcoming and make the environment of Twitter feel much safer that is becomes easier to Tweet and collaborate.
Through this experience, I not only gained more followers, but I saw how valuable a Twitter chat can be. It is a great way to motivate, connect with other individuals and share your thoughts and ideas. As well, it is super easy to get involved. Just search #saskedchat and participate in the lively and passionate discussion among pre-service and experienced teachers. I guarantee that you will learn a lot, I did for sure! The chat opens your minds to new ideas and opinions and helps to build your digital profile in positive ways. Twitter Chat’s are a great way to connect with some pretty amazing people around the world. Even last night, individuals from India and Australia stopped by and participated. As well, twitter chats can be incorporated into your classrooms to connect with students in educational ways (whether holding discussion about educational topics or reminding them about homework).
The responses and connections are almost instant and endless once you put yourself out there. I highly recommended taking part in #saskedchat.