It’s the end of 2015 and most Twitter chats are asking their participants to reflect on their year. I know this because I have joined many chats and I have probably answered the same four questions about eight times each. They are the 140 character educational equivalent of, “I laughed, I cried, and it became a part of me.” I am not saying that chat moderators shouldn’t do this, on the contrary, but it’s not what I wanted to do, and so I planned for Reflection with a Twist.
I find chats mostly uplifting, but as some of the sage educators amongst us have noted, we often come away with nothing more than good feelings and no actionable items. I wanted my participants to have something useful at the conclusion of the chat. I took my inspiration from Doug Robertson’s “WeirdEd Week 42 – Make a Thing,” a chat I joined after being on Twitter for not even a month. At Doug’s urging, I got onto that shared Google Document and tried my best to understand what was being asked of me; a GDoc romp is a lot less organized and chronological than a Twitter chat! The anonymous animals are also quite distracting!
The feelings I had back in February 2015 during #WeirdEd were the exact feelings some of the #LLLchat participants shared at the conclusion of last night’s chat. They were nervous, uncertain, and many totally bailed out and went off to another Twitter chat (there were a lot to choose from). The participants who stayed were glad that they did. They came away from the reflective lesson building activity each having learned something about the process and how students might be feeling when teachers ask something similar of them. If you want to know specifics you can check the chat or tweet and ask the participants. I can’t speak for them because learning is personal!
What have I learned?
- Being a chat participant is a lot easier than being a chat moderator.
- Participating in a sit-and-get chat is a lot easier than building something together from scratch.
- Rapport and trust are key and I still have a lot of work to do to build these with #LLLchat participants.
- If even one person gets something out of the Twitter chat then it was worth it.
Next week I hand over the reigns to #LLLchat’s first guest moderator, Clint Heitz. Will you be there?