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Social Media | Feature

13 Great Twitter Chats Every Educator Should Check Out

twitter chats for educators 

Education Twitter chats take place when a group of educators "meet" on Twitter at an agreed upon time, using an agreed upon hashtag, to discuss topics of interest in education. Twitter chats range from small discussions with only a few participants to huge conversations with dozens or even hundreds of educators taking part! They provide a unique opportunity for educators to discuss specific topics of interest and connect with colleagues around the world.

The word from educators in the trenches is that these chats are making a profound difference in how educators are improving their professional practice, providing ideas, resources and inspiration in ways never thought possible. 

Interested in giving Twitter chats a try? Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Use a tool like Tweetdeck, Tweetchat, or Twubs to follow that chat. On a mobile device, you may find an app like Hootsuite to be helpful.

2. It's okay to lurk (which means to follow the discussion, but not participate) at first. Lurking is learning! At the same time, don't be afraid to jump into the conversation. If it's your first chat, say so! You'll likely find a very supportive group.

3. When participating in a chat, don't forget to include the chat hashtag, prefaced by the # sign, or else chat participants will miss your Tweets! Some tools, like Tweetchat, will append the hashtag automatically. It's easy to forget when you are deep in a discussion, so get in the habit of double checking your tweets before hitting "send."  

4. Some chats move very quickly and it can be difficult to keep with all the chatter. Don't be intimidated or feel that you have to read everything! Just catch what you can. Many chats are archived afterwards and can be a gold mine of valuable information and resources. Often, a link to the archive will be shared at the end of the chat. Or, just do a Google search for the chat hashtag and the word "archives." For example, a search for "edchat archives" brings you quickly to the #edchat archive at edchat.pbworks.com

5. Participating in Twitter chats is a great way to build your Personal Learning Network. Twitter chats attract passionate educators who are dedicated to lifelong learning, improving their professional practice, and sharing resources with others. Follow people with whom you interact, or who tweet helpful resources and/or comments that resonate with you. Chats provide terrific opportunities for relationship building!

This list of popular chats is a great way to get started, but is just a small sampling of the many education chats available. For more, check out this comprehensive list of Twitter chats and start exploring!

#edchat: Considerd the "grandfather" of educational chats, #edchat is one of the most popular chats and is held on Tuesdays from 12 to 1 and 7 to 8 pm Eastern Time. This fast moving chat attracts participants from all over the world to discuss a variety of topics related to education. You'll also find interesting discussions and resources shared by searching for this hashtag during the week. Learn more at edchat.pbworks.com.  

#edtechchat: is dedicated to all things related to Education Technology and takes place Mondays from 8 to 9 pm Eastern Time. If you are interested in education technology, you'll find inspiring discussions and valuable resources here. Archives are found at edtechchat.wikispaces.com and podcast discussions of each week's chat can be found here on the Bam Radio network.

#tlap: Looking for inspiration?  #tlap was inspired by the fabulous book "Teach Like a Pirate" by Dave Burgess (@burgessdave) and attracts passionate, creative educators seeking to improve their professional practice. Set sail with yer fellow pirates on Mondays 9 pm ET. Ahoy, matey!

#satchat: Fascinating discussions about education and leadership are held on Saturday mornings from 7:30 to 8:30 am Eastern Time. This chat attracts a great combination of teachers and administrators, with inspired results!

If you aren't up that early on weekends, you can catch #satchatwc (Satchat West Coast) at 10:30 am ET. For a uniquely global discussion, #satchatoc attracts a lot of international participants and is held Friday nights at 8:00 pm ET. Learn more at the satchat website

#flipclass: Interested in flipping your classroom? Join the #flipclass chat on Monday nights from 8 to 9 pm. Exchange ideas, resources, and best practices with enthusiastic educators participating in the flipped classroom movement. Archives and more information at flippedlearning.org/domain/26

#sschat: This can't-miss chat for History/Social Studies teachers takes place Mondays from 7 to 8 pm. English teachers should check out the #engchat discussion held at the same time.  On the last Monday of the month check out #engsschat, when the two combine communities in a shared chat. Learn more about the #sschat community on its ning and about #engchat at engchat.org

#ptchat: The goal behind #ptchat is to encourage a transparent & collaborative dialogue between parents & educators. You'll find these fascinating and thought provoking discussions on Wednesday nights at 9 pm ET. Learn more at efacetoday.blogspot.com/p/parent-teacher-chats.html

#kinderchat: If you are interested in early childhood education, check out #kinderchat on Mondays at 9 pm ET. This popular chat recently added an additional discussion at 3:30 pm ET to accommodate overseas participants. Learn about this inspiring community on the kinderchat website.  

#digcit: This chat discusses best practices in teaching Digital Citizenship and Literacy on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month from 7 to 8 pm ET. Find out more information at gonevirtual.org/digcit.html.  

Want to learn more about Education Twitter chats? Jerry Blumengarten (@cybraryman1) has some terrific resources on his website. For specific tips, check out his "How to Chat" page and his "Twitter Chat" page. 

Hope to "see" you at a Twitter Chat soon!

About the Author

Susan Bearden is the Director of Information Technology at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy in Melbourne, FL, and is the co-moderator of #edtechchat and #digcit chat. Follow her on Twitter at @s_bearden.

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