As professionals we are always working to expand our skill set and engage in much needed professional development. Since beginning graduate school I have developed a large group of educator professionals with whom I have corresponded through blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. Their support and expertise helped to expand my understanding of school psychology and education beyond the experiences I had in my textbooks and classes. I was able to share thoughts, ideas, tips, and tricks with the members of my own professional learning network (PLN) and learn from their daily experiences as a school psychologist.
In the ever-growing world of social media there are a variety of ways to develop and get involved in your own PLN. One specific way to expand your PLN is through Twitter chats. A Twitter chat is when a group of individuals come together online to engage in meaningful discussions on a specific topic or interest area. These chats are flagged using hashtags, which is recognized on Twitter by using the pound key (#). Moderators help to guide the discussion during the hour long chat in order to encourage participation and learning. Questions and answers are also identifiable by using a “Q1, A1” format. A steady stream of dialogue, discussion, and learning happens, which are all linked together using the specified hashtag.
Given the increasing popularity and convenience of Twitter chats, a new education-based chat has emerged with a focus on bringing together educators in Connecticut: #ctedchat. Conversations take place on Thursday nights from 8:00-9:00 and are co-moderated by Tom Brant (@TomBrant) and Charles Dumais (@CharlesDumais). Tom Brant is a school psychologist at Newtown High School and President of CASP. Charles Dumais is the current Newtown High School principal and incoming Region 5 Superintendent as of March 1, 2014. Members of the education community are encouraged to guest moderate a chat in their area of expertise. Invited Twitter chat participants range from school psychologists, principals, and teachers to students, their parents, and others interested in discussing education.
The inaugural #ctedchat took place on December 12, 2013 with the focus question of “what is the appropriate amount of pressure for students?” Since the inaugural chat topics have included student leadership, final exams, school vacations, school climate and global education. Over the next two #ctedchat sessions, participants will cover social-emotional learning and teacher evaluations. Both of these are hot topics in education. We hope to see you there!
To join the conversation, check out this how-to guide created by Thomas Murray (@ThomasCMurray), the co-founder of #edtechchat and the Director of Technology and Cybereducation in the Quakertown Schools. For more information on other education Twitter chats, check out the following links: weekly Twitter chat and 13 Twitter Chats Every Educator Should Check Out.
I hope to see you there for conversation and professional development! See you Thursdays at 8 EST!
Until next thyme,