Twitter chats are a great way to connect with inspiring people and talk with them about topics you care about. If you are new to Twitter or have never tried a Twitter chat, the #teacherfriends weekly chat is the perfect opportunity to familiarize yourself in a safe, newbie-friendly, encouraging environment.
My friend Debbie Clement started the practice chat a couple of weeks ago because she wanted to bridge the divide between teachers who use Twitter and those who don’t. Debbie has encountered so many educators who are curious about but intimidated by Twitter. They don’t really get how it works but want to give it a try. I think that’s how ALL of us felt about Twitter at one time or another! I joined in 2008, but it’s only been in the past year that I really started to harness the power of Twitter and started looking forward to my interactions there.
Debbie wanted to create a practice chat is warm, supportive, easy, and FUN! And it truly is–I’ve joined in before and have been amazed at the kindness, honesty, and transparency of the participants. This chat truly attracts a special group of educators.
Here’s how it works:
1) Login to (or create your account with) Twitter.
2) Type the hashtag you want to follow (#teacherfriends) in the search bar, or just use this link.
3) You’ll see random ideas and links that people have shared throughout the week. People post to Twitter and use the hashtag to share interesting information with others who participate in the weekly chat.
4) A few of us will “arrive” at the chat early, and the tweet volume will increase a little bit. Once the chat begins at 9 pm EST, lots of tweets will be posted. Read the ideas as they appear. You’ll get new tweet notifications at the top of the page, and you can also refresh the page to see what new tweets have been posted.
5) You can introduce yourself, ask questions if you are confused at any point (this IS a practice chat, after all!), or chime in to the discussion. Be sure to put #teacherfriends in your tweet so that it will show up in the chat’s feed and other participants will see it. If you prefer to just read and learn, that’s great, too, especially for your first chat.
6) You can check the hashtag throughout the week and use it to tweet out ideas if you’d like, or just join in on Tuesday evenings if you have time.
You don’t have to be punctual for the chat, or stay the whole time. Drop in for just a few minutes if that’s all you have! And if you miss the chat, no worries. You can still read everything that was posted, and you have the opportunity to join on another Tuesday. You can also check this list of education-related Twitter chats and find a topic/date/time that better suits you.
This week is the perfect week to join, as I’ll be the guest and you’ll already “know” at least one person! Come chat about developing a resilient back-to-school mindset and gearing up for whatever challenges we might face in the new school year. I’ll also be giving away an eBook copy of Awakened: Change Your Mindset to Transform Your Teaching.
The chat begins at 9:00 PM EST. I will warn you, the pace can get pretty fast. If you are truly new to Twitter or new to chatting, you might want to arrive closer to 8:30 to get your feet wet while it’s slower. Chat with you tonight HERE!
UPDATE 8/6/14: The Twitter chat went GREAT, and I hope you will join us again on a future Tuesday! I stop by pretty much every week. Next Tuesday’s guest will be Matt Gomez–come chat with us at 9 pm EST!