WHAT ARE TWITTER CHATS?
Twitter chats are one of the best ways for educators to connect with other educators, exchange and debate ideas, ask for help and provide assistance, find new resources and take action.
You meet at a set ‘meeting time’ to engage in conversations by sending out tweets on a topic using a designated hashtag during a specific time on a certain day. Most chats last an hour and you’ll see others tweet their responses in real time. My favorite way to participate in a Twitter chat is to set up a twitter search for the hashtag in TweetDeck.
Step by step instructions for using Tweetdeck for Twitter Chats
A hashtag is any word on twitter that starts with the “#” hash (pound) sign. Hashtags make it easier to search and follow the twitter conversations on specific topics or during a twitter chat.
Everyone agrees to use a standard hashtag in their tweets and you set up a search for that hashtag using twitter, or a twitter search tool such as Twitter Search, Twitterfall or Tagboard to track the conversation.
PARTICIPATING IN A TWITTER CHAT
Twitter chats usually have a moderator who guides the conversation during the chat using a Q&A format. Prior to the chat the moderators decides on 5-10 questions to ask during the chat. Below is an example of a twitter chat using #moedchat (Missouri Educators Chat).
Participants respond by including the hashtag for the chat in their tweet (in this example all replies include the hashtag #moedchat).
Once introductions are finished the moderators will guide the conversation using their questions. Each question starts with a Q and number to indicate which question it is.
Replies start with an A and a number to indicate which question they are answering and the chat hashtag.
You can add your thoughts to anyone’s answer by replying to their tweet and including the hashtag.
Any tweets you want to refer back to later mark as favorite. Favorites have a small star icon next to the tweet. When you favorite a tweet the original person who posted the tweet is notified.
You access the tweets you have favorited by clicking on Me in the top right navigation bar via the web or on your Twitter app on your mobile device and clicking on Favorites.
Here is a list of popular Twitter Chats to help you get started:
- #edchat – normally takes place on Tuesdays around 12 PM EST (USA) and 7 PM EST (USA). Learn more here.
- #lmchat – For those interested in the topic of learning from one another and who want to discuss how to help other people learn in formal, informal, social and mobile ways (learn more here). Takes place Thursdays at 8:30-9:30 PM EST (USA)
- Complete list of weekly Twitter Chats