Last week more than a dozen smart and funny educators gathered here at Diegueño for pizza and conversation. In an effort to promote our district’s weekly Twitter chat (#SDUHSDchat), we invited in anyone who wanted to learn more about Twitter, how to participate in a chat, and how to build their personal learning network (PLN). It was a ball.
We chose a conference room for the gathering, rather than a larger space like the library, and by the time we got started the room was bursting at the seams. With laughter drifting out into the rest of the admin building, some gifted teachers led the room through a series of silly questions, helping folks understand hashtags and Twitter conversations, not by reading about them or by being shown, but by doing.
The teachers and administrators who came were able to experience a chat with the support of other pizza stuffed, smiling colleagues. When someone made a good point, the room responded; when someone made a good joke, the room laughed. Wit filled the conference room as if it were Jillys and Sinatra was holding court with the rest of the Rat Pack.
By the time people left, I hope they understood some of the great things about a Twitter chat. They’d seen teachers and administrators who were not on site join the chat from other schools, and had a blueprint for how to participate. The question lurking in the back of my mind, however, was: “Would they come back?”
Would those smart and interesting folks who engaged with each other over pizza be game to log on from home after the pizza was gone and join the next #SDUHSDchat?
I’ll be honest, I have a vested interest: I’m moderating.
And so with high hopes of an evening of great professional connections, I asked myself what I could do to make it easy to participate on Tuesday 1/20.
A brief reminder of some of those Twitter basics seems like a good start, and a website that was given to me that did just that is: Mom, This is How Twitter Works.
Choosing an accessible topic was important, so I started with a question that every educator I know can answer with a smile: “Who was your favorite teacher?”
Knowing the questions ahead of time is another nice support, so here they are, at least in DRAFT form:
—> Q2: What are some of the things you currently do that you learned from a favorite teacher?
—> Q3: What are some ways you (and your approach) are different from your favorite teacher?
—> Q4: Do you have a colleague who has inspired you? What did she/he do to motivate you to do something new or different?
So if you’re reading this and feel like participating, I’d love to see you at #SDUHSDchat on Tuesday, January 20th, from 8:00-8:30 PM (PST). It’s a low risk, high reward, and fun way to connect with other educators, even if you’re not eating pizza.
#SDUHSDchat is on 1/20/15, from 8:00-8:30 pm (PST). This week’s topic: “Inspiration, imitation, and amazing teachers!”