It’s no secret that social media plays a pivotal role in our society. Here at TeacherTube, we’ve discussed the important role of social media in education, as both a teaching tool in the classroom, as well as some of the drawbacks, such as its role in issues of cyberbullying.
Another great way that social media is influencing the educational sphere is through #edchat – a twitter hashtag conversation that allows educators across the world the connect and collaborate on various topics in education, ranging from classroom management to education reform to teaching best practices.
Whether you’re a teacher or school professional, or just identify as an education connoisseur – participating in weekly #edchat conversations is a great way to get involved and informed on today’s education hot topics (and expand your professional network!)
The #edchat hashtag acts as sort of a chat room on Twitter, and take place every Tuesday at 12pm and 7pm EST – each hour hosting a different topic in education. (Follow @teachertube, @teachdotcom and @cybraryman1 to keep updated on the upcoming chat topics.) People ask questions, post ideas, and reply/retweet to other members of the education community focusing on the hour’s topic of discussion. Participating is easy! Just add “#edchat” to the end of your tweet. There are a number of ways you can follow the conversation (it goes quickly!) Some participants use platforms such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. You can also use website such as Tweetchat — you select a hashtag to follow, and will automatically include your hashtag when tweeting, which makes it easy to keep your innovative thoughts to the 140-character maximum.
#Edchat started in June 2009, and was created by Tom Whitby, Steven Anderson, and Shelly Terrell – three seasoned education professionals who recognized the important role that twitter and social media could play in the educational sphere. Through the twitter chat’s growth, #edchat has taken on a number of key players and moderators, including Jerry Blumengarten, Doug Green, Kyle Pace, and Nancy Blair.
Our friends at Teach.com post a weekly recap of the previous day’s #edchat conversations. Check out their blog series for more information on who is hosting and participating each week.
In a recent interview with our friends at Teach.com, #edchat co-founder Steven Anderson offered some advice to those looking to jump into the #edchat community:
“We recommend tossing out an idea or two and to see who latches on, or just engage with someone. For the most part, everyone who comes to #edchat is open minded and wants to discuss the topic and offer up their thoughts on it. So push someone’s thinking or better yet, have yours pushed back!
#edchat is just a small part of a greater education community that regularly engages in conversations to make learning better for kids. We are big believers in action after the chat and encourage our participants to go out and do something as a result of the chat. Blog/tweet about it, and share it with the world. The chat is our opportunity to engage and think and share, but it means nothing if we don’t do.”