Twitter Chats – Why and How

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When the principal of my children’s school first recommended Twitter to parents, I honestly thought he was crazy. Twitter is for celebrities, students/kids, and people who like to foursquare check-in and Instagram, or so I thought. I remember the day I asked my co-President how she felt about creating a PTA Twitter account; she and I agreed to go for it. That began my Twitter education.

Once online, I quickly learned about Twitter chats. I was hesitant but intrigued by the concept. An online discussion led by moderators where participants from all over the world share ideas. I had to try it. After the first chat, I was hooked. #PTChat, a discussion between Parents, Teachers, Administrators, Student, and guest speakers, has become a weekly ritual I look forward to every Wednesday. Chats are great opportunities to see issues through a different lens. As a parent, this opportunity has been not only helpful but enlightening.

To begin, the easiest way to chat is with a third party app like Tweetchat or Tweetdeck. Both allow you to sign on through your Twitter account. By typing the hashtag (#) of your chat, you will be brought into the discussion.

When you first join a chat, it is a good idea to tweet that you are participating in a chat and that your comments will be pertaining to the questions and comments for the allotted time. Once there, you will be asked to introduce yourself. The moderator will then begin the chat with Q1 – question 1. The appropriate response should begin with A1 – answer 1. This way the discussion is more easily followed by participants. When you see the answers, you can choose to favorite, retweet (quote the post to your account), or respond to the post. Oftentimes conversations will linger throughout the discussion as more thoughts are shared in response to original answers to the questions. The more participants on the chat, the quicker the chat will move. This is one reason I enjoy reading the transcripts or Storify after the chat concludes.

If you feel overwhelmed or unsure of what to say, you can always log on and read the chat as an observer. There is no harm in seeing how things work before jumping in. That being said, I wholeheartedly believe that the more you participate, the more you gain.

Please share your advice and thoughts on Twitter chats here!

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3 responses to “Twitter Chats – Why and How

  • You’re invited! #KSed Twitter chats coming soon! | LifePractice Learning

    […] Twitter Chats – Why and How (parentschoolpartners.wordpress.com) […]

  • Gwen Pescatore

    Good stuff does come from joining in on chats…as you said, it is enlightening.

    Why join a chat? I believe to expand your community of those you learn from and share with to the global community. You’re no longer limited to those you can physically meet with.

    How to begin?
    · I would say lurk first, see how the convos happen
    ·Test various sites:Tweetdeck, Tweetgrid, Tweetchat – it’s a personal
    preference.
    · Don’t be afraid to chime in with “strangers” – great things can come of it
    · Know that in busier chats – you aren’t going to catch every convo
    · Follow the people you meet & connect with during the chat

    And, yes, def the more you watch and contribute, the more comfortable you get and take away from it.

    • lisajdavis

      When the term PLN (professional learning network) is used, people don’t usually think of parents. But having a community of individuals with similar interests, and better yet access to experts is amazing! Well worth expanding your horizons!

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