I Thought Only Birds Could Tweet!

This past Thursday, I participated in my first ever Twitter chat. If anyone has worked with me in previous courses, you know that I am not a fan of Twitter. It appears too overwhelming to me visually and it is hard for me to get used to in terms of what to use it for. I honestly, do not understand the hype of the app by its users and followers at all. Therefore, prior to this week's Twitter chat, it appear obvious that I felt more than apprehensive of having to participate. I had never heard what a Twitter chat was and had no clue how it worked or what to do. I tried to do some research to prepare myself for the functionality of the Twitter chat ahead of time, but everything sounded like gibberish to me since Twitter is a confusing social media platform for me anyways.
For this experience, I chose to participate in the #ICEILChat on Thursday night at 8:00pm. As I logged on the night of the Twitter chat, I introduced myself while also explaining that I was a first timer when it comes to Twitter chats. I asked my fellow chatters to bear with me throughout the process. I instantly received several friendly notifications that welcomed me to the chat and offered support and guidance for when/if I had any questions. I was having trouble following the conversation and seeing the chats and personal messages coming in time order, so I sought out guidance by tweeting a question about how to make viewing the chat easier, and within seconds, I had responses suggesting that I use something called "Tweet Deck" to follow the chat conversations. I explored that on my laptop and it was super easy to set up. Once I was viewing the chat threads through Tweet Deck, I was able to view and see the chats in time order so much more easily! It was then that I was able to focus on and participate in the actual discussions.
There are about 7 questions that were discussed through tweets during the Twitter chat that I participated in. Nicole posted the list of questions ahead of time, so I had some thoughts prepared for how to answer the questions prior to the chat session. This made it easier to participate in the chat because they are very fast-paced. I definitely missed several responses from teachers, but the responses that I did see were excellent! Educators that were participating in the chat seemed to enjoy my comments and answers as well because I received several "likes" and responses to my posts as well. Some of the participants even requested to follow me, so I followed them back too! I rarely ever use Twitter, so hopefully I can try to find more ways to utilize it in a way that I feel is beneficial and not overwhelming for me.
To my surprise, once I got the hang of how the Twitter chat worked, I actually somewhat enjoyed the experience and can see myself trying out more in the future. In fact, I found this calendar that lists several education Twitter chats by day and/or month. There are definitely some topics on the calendar that I will try to participate in sometime. If you are interested in finding more Twitter chats on education topics, click on this link to explore!

Screenshot of Danielle Goebbert's participation in the #ICEILChat Twitter chat on Thursday, April 27

Comments

  1. Hi Danielle, what a good example you are for your students, that you persevered and tried something you didn't think you were gonna like. And now you know how some students might feel, when they are asked to try something new. It's kinda scary, but we'll never know unless we try. Thanks for the link to more chats, too. I'm definitely gonna check them out!
    Carol G.

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  2. Hey Danielle,
    It's funny, Twitter was the first social media platform I joined (and then ignored for a long time) and it along with Instagram continue to be two of my favorites. They seem much more positive and useful and less toxic than, say, Facebook. I pretty quickly realized using Twitter was like standing in a massive room with lots of people in it, all having separate conversations at the same time. You just have to select which ones you want to participate in and tune out the rest...until you "hear" something that catches your attention and you join that conversation. Like a cocktail party. Which makes Tweetdeck a godsend!

    I had a similar experience with the kindness of strangers welcoming me to my first chat. And it really did help to have those questions ahead of time for just what you said -- so I could do some thinking in advance and see a bit of what was expected. It reinforced for me how organization and structure are so vital for learning. They relieve some of the apprehension learners feel when trying something new and puts so much back within their control when they know what to expect and what's expected of them.

    So, are your feelings about Twitter changing as a result of this experience?

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    Replies
    1. Twitter has grown on me slightly because of this experience, but I still find it overwhelming and something I need to get used to for general use.
      Danielle

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  3. Great question, Doug. I'm so happy you were able to join us. The first thing I thought while reading your post was how Twitter chats are great "equalizers". You were in a chat with a superintendent, an executive directors, multiple principals and educators that were first year teachers to veterans with 20+ years- and your voice was equal to all of them! Everyone is welcoming and happy to help. Now, to Doug's question- do you think your opinion of Twitter may change now?

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  4. Wow - a lot of people participated in this same chat! I may have to check it out. I'm glad to see you had a positive experience. I too used Tweet Deck for the first time and found it to be overwhelming at first, but then a huge help once I got the hang of it. Thanks for posting the education chat calendar - what a great find!

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