Tech Tip Tuesday: Find an Educational Twitter Chat

by Kristie Burk

I admit it – Twitter chats can be very confusing the first time that you look at one.  I have discovered that I enjoy them more when I’m using my Twitter app instead of looking at Twitter on a web browser.  (Just my two cents.)  However, once you get the hang of it, you’ll find Twitter chats can be incredibly informative, supportive and helpful.

My best advice for people who are unsure about Twitter chats is to jump right in and try one!  Find a Twitter Chat that interests you and the hashtag that is associated with the chat.  For example, I participate in #edtechchat on Monday nights from 8-9 EST. Once you know when the chat is taking place, type the hashtag (#edtechchat) in the search box to see the conversation. I’ve “met” so many interesting people from across the country and around the world who are all interested in the same thing: educating our youth in the best way possible.

Do you want to join a Twitter chat?

First, you need to create a Twitter account if you don’t already have one.

Second, use this awesome link to find an educational Twitter chat that you like.   The link will open up a Google Doc, so you know that it is always up-to-date.

Here are some things to know when joining a Twitter chat:

  • Introduce yourself before you make a comment to the group. It’s polite and it’s a great way to find out where everyone is from. Please note that “regulars” don’t introduce themselves after a while.
  • Find out who is moderating the chat and what questions you’re discussing.  Questions are often marked as “Q1,” “Q2,” etc.  People’s answers are often (but not always) labelled in a similar fashion as “A1,” “A2,” etc.
  • Use the hashtag of the group whenever commenting so that everyone can see your input.
  • Feel free to retweet or favorite posts you like.
  • Respond to people individually if you want. (Click on “reply” at the bottom of the tweet.)

You should also “follow” some of the people in the chat, particularly those with insightful and helpful tweets.  It’s a great way to grow your PLN!

Most importantly, don’t forget that Twitter is a public forum and, therefore, it is open to anyone who wants to read it.  As my mother always says, “Don’t write what you don’t want read.”

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