Alright, we've all been there. We join a social media platform to expand our personal and/or professional horizons and we have no idea how to go about connecting with other people—let alone making sure those connections are legit. Let's take twitter for example. While scrolling through Ricky Martin's and NPR's feed, we may feel left out because we see others fully engaged in meaningful dialogue and we wonder: How can I become part of the conversation? Is there some sort of unspoken social media etiquette that I must follow? And, why are women still wearing leggings in lieu of real pants? Well, I can most definitely help you out with the first two questions. However, I am still baffled by the third.
the power of the hashtag
Fortunately for us teachers, there are fantastic educational conversations that occur weekly. These discussions bring dedicated teachers from all over the globe to share opinions, inspiration, successes, failures, advice, lesson ideas, resources, and everything in between. And unlike the fictional 'members only' crew from Mean Girls, everyone's invited!
So how are you able to actively participate in these chats?
1. Google and find teacher hashtags that best suit your needs and/or click here for some suggestions. Since I'm a foreign language teacher, I found #langchat
2. Once you know the chats you want to participate in, find out when they occur. #Langchat meets on Thursdays and Saturdays.
3. About 5-10 minutes before the chat begins, set up tweetdeck. If you're unsure how to do this, go here.
4. Right before the chat begins, the chat moderator will post the session questions and explain the response format.
5. Once the first question is posted, let loose! Oh, and don't forget to always include the group hashtag in every tweet!
3 charm school tips
4 more helpful tips
1. Curious? Or just want to observe? Twubs is for you. It allows you to follow the chat thread without actively participating
2. Chats are often extremely lively and fast-paced. You may feel overwhelmed with all the responses. That's OK. If you want a recap of all the action for #langchat, go here
3. Don't forget to follow people you find interesting and connect with
4. Eager to share something or see what others are saying during non-chat times? Simply add the chat hashtag to your tweets and search the hashtag for updates
I recently participated in my first #langchat and it was awesome! Lots of amazing input! I strongly encourage you to try it out. Hope to see you there!