I’ve been hearing so much about the value of Twitter chats for professional development ever since I joined Twitter professionally in August . But I had always been too intimidated and/or busy to try one. I finally decided to take the plunge last week. I started out by reading up on the basics of participating in Twitter chats. I then found more resources plus an insanely detailed list of chats and yet another list of hashtags.
My first attempt at a Twitter chat (#plpnetwork) didn’t go so well, because I had thought that I could multi-task while chatting. Oh was I wrong. When you’re in a Twitter chat, things are moving so fast that it’s impossible to do anything else. For my next chat (#edchat) I blocked out some time where I knew I could be at my computer with no other distractions.
I chose to use TweetChat as my tool to help me follow the chat. Basically what it does is sign you into Twitter, then only shows you tweets with the hashtag you select. You can pause the feed if things are moving too quickly, and you can also hide all retweets (do this!). Even then, the pace can still be insane. My brain felt like it was going 90 miles an hour during the chat.
And yet, it was awesome. I’m already working on some new ideas I got from the chat. I favorited tweets I wanted to look back at and jotted down ideas and inspirations after the chat. I networked with about 10 educators I have never met before, and now we’re all following each others feeds. It was a very valuable experience, and it’s one that I plan to repeat a lot.
I’m going to look at other, more specific chats to participate in. I’m also going to experiment with some other Twitter aggregator sites, although I liked the simplicity of TweetChat a lot. Once I get more comfortable with it, I plan on presenting on Twitter to my faculty, and I’ll be able to give them plenty of solid reasons as to why Twitter can be amazing for your professional development.
If you’re on Twitter, come follow me @DianaLRendina. I’d love to say “hi”.