Twitter Chats 101

Teaching requires not just having tools but also finding information and connecting with other educators. However, spending time in a classroom all day and having limited resources often means that educators aren’t able to travel to different conferences in order to engage in the most recent EdTech conversations. However, technology, such as Twitter Chats, can bring teachers from across the country together in meaningful ways that will help them become better advocates for their students.


What is a Twitter Chat?

Twitter chats are when a group of Twitter users all discuss the same topic using a designated hashtag at the end. For example, many conferences now have designated hashtags so that individuals not at the conference can engage in conversations with those who are in attendance. A perfect example would be the National Council of English Teachers has a #NCTE16 hashtag that allowed people to follow the attendees and see more about the kinds of exercises and panels.



How do I follow a Twitter Chat?

Many people like to use Twitter management tools that filter the hashtags for them. In other words, downloading an app or going to a specific website allows the teacher to insert the hashtag to be followed to begin reading the conversations and engaging with other like-minded individuals.


TweetChat: Sign in using a Twitter account, authorize the Twitter account, put a chat hastag into the required box, and read away! The feed looks pretty much like a regular Twitter feed, but it allows for a desktop interface to give an easy to follow view. For those not minding a web based platform, this feed aggregator provides some adds a few additional elements. Giving users an option of separating the feed into hosts/guests and others allows an easier visual follow for many trying to keep track of the main conversation. In addition, it provides a list of upcoming chats to the extent the user wants to find something new. For people looking for a quick, easy way to read chats without committing to saving anything, is the perfect tool. Similar to TweetChat, uses the login/hashtag/go forth model. However, it provides only the most basic options and lacks the personalization that TweetChat provides. For users not confident in their technological prowess, this is the perfect tool.


What Education Twitter Chats are the best?

#OneNoteQ: TweetMeets are organized by the Microsoft OneNote in Education team @OneNoteEDU in close collaboration with OneNote Central @OneNoteC. Every first Tuesday of the month, we discuss a new theme presented by a host from the educator community or from a Microsoft product team. These TweetMeets are very lively and popular. There are two events: one at 10AM PST and one at 4PM PST.  For more information check this blog post .


#MSFTEduChat: If you are an Educator interested in having incredible conversations around Microsoft tools, accessibility, and learning how to empower educators and students to do more well then this is the right twitter chat for you. Sometimes twitter chats are referred to as Tweetmeets. Follow the #MSFTEduChat and you will not be disappointed. #MSFTEduChat is organized every third Tuesday of the month, at 10AM PST and 4PM PST.


#TCRWP: Teachers College Reading & Writing Project is out of Columbia University and hosts a series of Twitter chats. Every Wednesday night, beginning at 7:30pm EST, the TCRWP community of staff and colleagues run hour long chats about writing issues for grades K-12. Click here to see more about #TCRWP


#TeacherFriends: Started by two elementary school teachers intending to share ideas with parents, #teacherfriends is hosted by Kim Vij and Amanda Boyarshinov. Every Tuesday night at 9pm EST,
#teacherfriends brings on special guests to talk with educators about new ideas and current hot topics.


#mathchat: #Mathchat, unlike the other two, is a hashtag used to support sharing among math teachers. Unlike the previous two, this one acts more as an informational aggregator on an ongoing basis so that even when the day has been too long to focus for a specific hour, math educators can still work together to learn from each other.


These are only a few suggested chats. However, a more comprehensive list of chats by day and time can be found here: