There are those of you reading this who will immediately recognise the hash symbol followed by the word “chat” as being a weekly forum held twice on every Tuesday on Twitter.
The forum as its name suggests is for educators to chat together on a number of topics that you sometimes don’t get to know about until very near the time that the chat starts.
The two starting times are 6 p.m. Central European Time and 1 a.m. C.E.T. which equates to 5 p.m. for the first chat for us folks here in the U.K. and midnight for the second talk.
As I have a very busy schedule and am an inveterate early riser (and Twitterer) I do not usually catch the second chat but am an avid follower of the 5 p.m./ 6 p.m. chat.
Most Tuesdays I try and schedule my diary so that I am back home with my laptop open and on Twitter ready for the “off”.
At first I found it rather confusing as the discussion is very popular and within minutes there are tweets coming through thick and fast. It took me a while to realise that I could click on the “#edchat” symbol and see the tweets coming through from everyone in the conversation and not just those that I follow (a lot of whom are involved in the discussion anyway!)
I learnt that I could not possibly keep up with every single tweet but had to pick up on the ones that caught my eye. In the first couple of sessions I didn’t actually tweet anything myself as I was trying to get to know how to work this fast flowing barrage of tweet after tweet, many of them making brilliant points that moved the conversation on.
As can be expected from a group of “tech aware” educators the subject matter covers many aspects of the influence of technology on education. The discussion is always very interesting and can be very contentious since, within our ranks, there are many opinions about how we can bring education, kicking and screaming from the “Victorian” age to the 21st century.
A final point that I will make about #edchat is that it proves, if anything still needs to be proved, that Twitter is not just a “what am I doing now” application… it truly has power to influence, inform, bring like minds together and also provide a forum where real, interesting discussion can go on.
I will be rushing home today to make sure I am ready for tonight’s #edchat…. I will probably make a few points and will pick up a lot more…. if you’ve never tried it I recommend it… I wouldn’t miss it!