Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Why I Love Twitter Chats

What is Twitter chat? A Twitter chat is a live Twitter event, usually moderated and focused around a general topic. To filter all the chatter on Twitter into a single conversation a hashtag is used. A set time is also established so that the moderator, guest or host is available to engage in the conversation.

Why should you participate in a Twitter chat? Twitter chats can be a fun way to talk about a topic, meet some people interested in the same thing as you are, grow your own network and have some fun learning. "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."

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

  1. Use a tool like Tweetdeck or Tweetchat to follow the chat.
    • Before the chat begins, it is useful to warn your followers about an upcoming unusual number of tweets, so they are not surprised and don't unfollow you.
  2. It's okay to lurk (which means to follow the discussion, but not participate) at first. Lurking is learning!
  3. When participating in a chat, don't forget to include the chat hashtag, 
    • When you answer a question (Q1), tweet with the appropriate number (A1) so people know to what you are answering..  
  4. Some chats move very quickly and it can be difficult to keep up 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.
  5. Don't go off topic. If you want to start a different discussion with a member of the chat, do so separately.
  6. If you answer to a specific tweet, tag the original author with the @ sign.
  7. Don't hesitate to favorite and/or retweet posts that you find interesting, smart and useful.
Check out this list and infographic of my favorite Educational Twitter Chats:

13 Great Twitter Chats Every Educator Should Check Out -- THE Journal
Thejournal.com, '13 Great Twitter Chats Every Educator Should Check Out -- THE Journal'. N. p., 2015. Web. 11 May 2015.

Why You Should Participate In Twitter Chats
Social Media Today, 'Why You Should Participate In Twitter Chats'. N. p., 2014. Web. 11 May 2015.

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