Re-Thinking the Edu Twitter Chat

twitThe other night, I was participating in another chat and I literally stopped one question in to reflect. I was so bogged down with “stuff”. I LOVE to chat but it seems as though we are all chatting the same topics/content over and over and then again repeating.

I sat a minute, stared and hit “Move to Trash”. I decided against that posting.  I thought about Jerry Blumengarten‘s words about why he chats..to keep the medium going because it is so important to education. I feel this way too and I believe that these meaningful conversations are what challenges us to grow. I don’t chat all day, I just have certain ones that I do. Even my minimal select choices are all running together.

This morning, I received an alert from Amy Strauss that my blog encouraged her to write what she felt. In her post titled, “Loading the Twitter shopping cart … and not finding yourself on the side of the freeway“, Amy writes…

My twitter ride this summer has surrounded me in Standards of Mathematical Practice, 3 Acts, Problem-Solving, Book Check-In Methods, Standards-Based Grading, Formative Assessment, Google Forms, Genius Hour, ISNs, and a general load of pirate reflection.

I now find myself like a child in a candy store or more specifically, myself in the middle of Ikea.  So many things I want to take home but just can’t due to space and need

She goes on to write about how instead of being overwhelmed with all of the twitter chatter, she will focus on what she can use that will make an impact on her classroom…her “biggies”. She is on to something. Maybe we should focus on specific ideals that will impact our classrooms/schools now instead of a shopping cart of ideas that seem to implode on each other.

There seems to be a gazillion chats. I think that we are down to a chat for every state, idea, educational acronym, teaching methodology, pedagogical concept, subject, technology, tool, job specific, standard and the pirate chat is just now 24/7.

Within those chats we talk about the same ideas. It’s a constant repeat of the same ideas…over and over and over…until I feel as if I am answering the same questions…over and over and over. I get that chatting & connecting is a choice but I have to wonder if Amy is on to something.

In our pursuit to bring teachers over to twitter, have we infiltrated our own land and bombarded us, them and our tweetdeck columns with endless chatter so much so that we’re leaving them, like Amy, trying to figure out which aisle of “edu twitter ikea” is which?

I appreciate the growth that twitter chats have brought. I am a better teacher and leader because of the reflection from what I’ve learned.

I just wonder if the current list of 1,000 chats is too much.

I welcome your thoughts…

Take a glance at the weekly chat schedule below and click HERE to see it live! A lot of work went into this!


Comments 15

  1. Rafranz, I completely agree with you that we are drowning in Twitter chats. Recently, several Historians and I, lamenting the fact that History could be taught using more inquiry, decided to look into creating a new twitter chat, calling attention to using more inquiry in History. I checked out the schedule that you have above to see when we could fit it in, but was disappointed to see that there were already so many chats. I then told my colleagues that we should go bigger, try to do something that no one else is doing. Problem is, a twitter chat is great for connecting people scattered all over the world, who are interested in a common issue. I would love to do something else, but right now cannot think of how else to connect like-minded teachers from all over the world. I will keep on brainstorming, but in the meantime, will probably go ahead with yet another chat, until I can think of the next thing. I think we can all put our ideas together to come up with the next big thing. Thanks for calling attention to this issue.

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      I love chatting. It is how I have met some of the people who “get” me best. It is how I have connected with some of my dear friends as well. I do some chats because the people that I connect with are doing them and I like the interaction. I feel that I am growing. The schedule is insane. However, there is a chat for everyone and that is amazing.

      I think that maybe we need to find a common way to communicate topics. I don’t even know if that is the answer. I just hope that we can come up with something that does not dis-encourage educators from participating.

  2. I completely agree. Although I am new to twitter and I am loving all the ideas and connections, it can be too much. Personally I could never participate in a 1000 chats:) My goal is to use it as an avenue to grow and meet great educators. I find so many great ideas even without the chat! You have been one of great inspiration and ideas!!

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      Brandi, your check is in the mail. 🙂

      I love that twitter has connected me to you and chats have been amazing at doing that. I LOVE the chat. I’m just kind of over the same conversations.

  3. Well, you know how I feel. 😉 I am wondering if some chats would be better served as chats but in #coffeecue style — shorter than the usual conference. A chat — shorter than the usual chat. The ideas, the inspiration, the sharing – all wonderful but perhaps just too long? I propose that not all chats have to be an hour. But perhaps I missed the rule in the twitter handbook that mandated hour long chats.

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  4. I personally like the varied chats. My schedule is such that I can’t always be a part of the same chat each week, so I try to join in with different groups when I can. The different topics allow me to focus on that topic, and I glean from it what I can. Although many of the topics are similar or in some cases the same, I’m still able to learn something new with each chat. At the very least I reaffirm the things I hold true to the kind of teacher I want to be.

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      Excellent point! Definitely need to consider that conflicting schedules are on of the main reasons from multiple chats! Thank you

  5. I would really love to see the chat schedule, but no matter what browser I try to open it in, I get “unspecified error”. Any thoughts?

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  6. It is very rare for me to engage in an online chat and for a couple of reasons.
    First, because they can be overwhelming to follow. It kind of reminds me of “party lines,” something that I recall from my youth. You make a phone connection to a certain number and you can hear the chatter going on of many voices. You have to train your ears to hear a specific tone or voice that you can follow and engaged with. Twitter chats can do the same thing. There is a bombardment of text voices, ideas, links, and answers to questions you don’t remembering hearing before. Too much confusion for me.
    The second reason follows this with, I don’t think as well at 9:00pm eastern, so I don’t attend and follow the points that are made. Often I (and many others I suspect) am lurking and simply reading. That is challenging enough if you are in a spirited room like #kinderchat.
    My best Twitter #chat experiences have been in smaller more intimate spaces like chats found in webinars and hangouts. I have also found a couple of chats in the middle of the day discussing topics that appeal to me – those are serendipity.

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