I have noticed people tweeting about #edchat and not really understood how it worked. I assumed it was just another hashtag to sort and order tweets. Until today, when I saw tweets announcing #mathchat about to start. What better way to learn? So I asked the simple question on twitter , “How does #mathchat work?” and immediately had responses from 3 or 4 people advising that all I need do is add a column for #mathchat in Tweetdeck and go with the flow.
So I watched, as simple questions were asked and a wave of information and more questions flowed in. It went for an hour (although I didn’t manage to stay tuned that long). People suggested strategies, ideas, links and thoughts about teaching maths – indeed today’s subject was Differentiating the Maths Class. I could not keep up with it and felt a bit overwhelmed. Thankfully, I found out that the chat from these events are recorded and provided for later review on Wikis. These Wikis are also the organisation tool for the chats. Once again this highlights to me how generous these educators are with their time – it takes time to set these things up and administer them and I am grateful for the people who do it. I guess our gratitude can be shown by getting involved and encouraging the conversations and contributing both questions and answers.
The chats are scheduled weekly and the wikis I have found so far for Twitter chats are ( I assume there are many more) :
#edchat This seems to have been the first (but I may be wrong). A good description appears on Shelly Terrell’s Teacher Reboot Camp
#mathchat Just new but if the first session was anything to go by it will be popular.
#elemchat Topics with specific interest to elementary teachers. Tania wrote about this on her blog , saying “My reasons for wanting to help start #elemchat were really quite selfish – I was hoping to learn from other teachers, get some leads of effective strategies and approaches to improve my own teaching.”
I believe it is quite the opposite, most definitely not selfish, Tania has provided another avenue for teachers to connect. No teacher can feel that they cannot get help when avenues like this exist! All it takes is taking the risk and asking the first question or offering the first piece of advice.
Next time I see a hashtag with # —chat, I will have a slightly better understanding although still plenty to learn.