Friday, 27 December 2013

The Power of Twitter Chat and My Journey to Starting #mbedchat

When I first starting using Twitter, I didn't join Twitter chats. This was not because I didn't understand them but because I found them too fast moving to get information out of them. Fortunately, I quickly realized the power of these Twitter chats. These chats give us a chance to connect with other educators who might share the same interests or views as us and also those who may not. I soon found that connecting with educators during Twitter chats allows me to share my passion for technology in the classroom as well as my views on education. It allows me to share my voice without rejection. I now have a voice that is heard. I can share my thoughts without a fear of complaints about my views on education that are not the traditional views. It is a way for me to feel less isolated up here in northern Manitoba.

The first Twitter chat I joined was #edchat shortly followed by a few #3rdchat discussions. These chats allowed me to connect with colleagues all over the world and at my grade level but they were missing one thing, they were created by American teachers so not all discussions were applicable. In April 2013 #cdnedchat jumped onto the scene and that problem was solved as there was now somewhere to connect with like mind-teachers that lived in the same country. People from other countries still join the conversations but the topics are all relevant to all Canadian teachers regardless of where you teach. BC (British Columbia) Edchat was founded this summer by some teachers in BC. It is a great chat that focuses on topics that most teachers can relate to but has some topics specifically related to education in British Columbia. This, of course, got me thinking about a Manitoba Edchat. I was connecting with other teachers and feeling less isolated but I still didn't have a group of people I could chat to about was going on specifically in education in Manitoba. We had our new province wide report cards coming up in November and teachers up here in Thompson were unsure about them and #cdnedchat couldn't weigh in. In September, I decided that it was time to take a leap and Tweeted out the possibility. Soon Manitoba educators were interested and I quickly had a co-founder. Tanis Thiessen (@tjthiessen) started helping me with the technical logistics and we were off and ready for a start up at the end of October. Georgette Nairn (@georgettenairn) joined us a co-moderator. These past two months of #mbedchat have been a great experience. I've connected with many like-minded Manitoba Educators and can't wait to start the chat up again after break.

Twitter chats and especially #mbedchat continue to give me the push to fulfil and pursue my passions in education. Thank you to all in my Twitter PLN. You make me a better educator.

No comments:

Post a Comment