I have been teaching for almost 4 years now, and throughout those past 4 years, I have become actively involved in the educational twitterverse and learned a lot from the many hashtag conversations happening on twitter regarding education. I am constantly scrolling through my timeline that consists of some pretty prominent educators that are constantly sharing ideas, thoughts, lesson plans, blogposts, etc. The educators that I follow include classroom teachers, instructional technologists, administrators, policy makers, professors, students, etc. All of these people provide valuable insight to me as an 8th grade Social Studies teacher. Sure I’m gone through my ups and downs on twitter…sometimes I can’t get enough and sometimes I don’t check it for days. However, nothing (including professional development, meetings, mentors, etc.) has done more for me as a teacher than the people I interact with on twitter on a regular basis.
One of my colleagues (@mrscienceteach) suggested that I get involved with twitter because it had really helped him grow as a professional. I had already signed up for twitter in the past, and I had dabbled in twitter before it really blew up, but I wasn’t convinced of it’s place in society let alone in education so I gave up. @mrscienceteach suggested that I join the online twitter conversation of #edchat to help me see the value of twitter for educators.
#edchat is probably best explained here and here, but in a nutshell, it’s a set time where a bunch (and I mean a bunch) of educational stakeholders meet to discuss a chosen topic voted on by #edchat participants. I have learned so much while participating in various #edchats throughout the past 3 and 1/2 years. My thinking has been challenged and accepted. My thoughts and ideas have been shared, critiqued, and improved upon. I was even approached by Edutopia to write a guest column on an #edchat topic that I participated in. You can read it here.
It’s a great space for anyone with a vested interested in education to join a positive and thoughtful conversation with like-minded people. The catch — as we are always challenged by the moderators at the end to do — is to make sure you go and do something about whatever we discussed during #edchat. The point of #edchat is not for these great ideas to solely thrive and live in cyberspace, but we are supposed to take what we learn and act. All participants are challenged to make a difference and being a catalyst for change in their own schools, districts, or learning environment.
Join the conversation…#edchat