So, many people in your professional learning network (PLN) are telling you they find all their professional development (PD) on Twitter, but when you go on it, you either find nothing or it’s just a mess. Twitter can be overwhelming if you don’t know what to look for.
Principals moderate a wide variety of weekly and even daily edchat discussions on Twitter. When you commit to regularly following a chat, it becomes an energizing, transformational professional learning practice. Below are some tips for how to engage in a Twitter chat, and the best educational edchat hashtags we could find on Twitter.
Tips for joining a Twitter chat
- When moderators pose a question, they start their tweet with a Q for question, followed by the number of the question (Q1). When replying to the question, reply with an A for answer and the number of the question (A1).
- If you join the chat, introduce yourself, and use the hashtag of the chat for every response or tweet.
- Use chats for engagement. Pro tip: answer the even questions, and respond to other people during the odd ones.
- Retweet things you love, and follow people whose ideas you enjoy.
- If Twitter feels overwhelming, consider using HootSuite or TweetDeck. Both are apps make it easy to filter information based on your interests.
- It’s impossible to be part of every chat, but you can always search the hashtag to see what you missed.
Chatting with principals on Twitter
For many educators, #satchat is the port of entry into the world of Twitter PLNs. It’s hailed as the first educational chat of its kind, and was featured on NPR. Founded by administrators Brad Currie, Billy Krakower, and Scott Rocco, this chat encompasses a wide range of topics from educational technology to engaging introverts. There is a wide range of perspective and experience represented in this chat.
I tap this resource when I want to crowd-source ideas about how we might shape policy and guidelines around any number of school issues. There are also regional and international #satchats, and you should check to see if your state/region has a #satchat offshoot. #satchat is held every Saturday morning at 7:30am CT.
#ecet2 stands for Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers. It is a weekly chat full of practical tips for teaching and learning. The questions posed are immediately relevant to classroom teaching, and the takeaways are endless. This is a great resource for those who want to inject energy and fresh ideas into their daily practice. Three nationally certified teachers and an instructional technology coach moderate this chat. Starr Sackerstein, Amanda Zullo, Danielle Brown, and Ann Rose Santoro are a fantastic, engaging team.
The #eduGladiators weekly discussion is hosted by Marlena Gross-Taylor, a former teacher and administrator (now a speaker and consultant), and Dr. Ryan B. Jackson, an assistant principal in a high school in Nashville, TN. This group honors the fact that working in a school is difficult, and that good colleagues make it easier and more joyful. It’s a fun, quick-paced chat that jolts one into action—not unlike a strong cup of coffee. This weekly chat is on Saturday at 8 a.m. CT.
Founded by Dr. Nate Lang, a K-12 strategist and Jeff Veal, an administrator in Texas, #LeadUpChat is an out-of-the-box weekly chat that is though-provoking and exciting. The concept of “leading up” is that you can be a leader no matter your position is at a school—every person can build positive school culture. The group offers both philosophical and practical ideas about how to build strong relationships between parents, teachers, and students.
Moderators and participants in #LeadUpChat like to deconstruct traditional definitions of leadership. This chat frequently defines leadership as service to others and toward one’s community. Participants encourage one another to see their leadership as a journey, not just title acquisition. This chat is held on Saturday mornings at 8:30am CT.
Check out a full list of #edchats here.