To join a Twitter chat, you just need to know what hashtag is being used, and when to tune in. A hashtag is simply a way to search topics on Twitter and is recognized as a word preceded by a “#.” We use #INedchat to identify relevant education tweets. Once you’ve logged into Twitter, you can use the search box to find us. This allows you to see relevant tweets from people you don't usually follow on Twitter, and in this way, help you make some new connections.
While you can simply participate using Twitter's website or app, there are a number of tools such as Hootsuite and TweetDeck to help you keep track of the #INedchat tweets as they are posted. You can use these to configure a column that always displays what is tagged with #INedchat. Using these apps, you can watch the conversation develop, and when you are ready, they will help you add your voice as well. The critical thing to remember is that when you post a tweet, you need to include the #INedchat hashtag so that others who don't follow you will see it.
Throughout the week, searching the hashtag will yield a stream of resources, announcements, and opportunities that Indiana educators have tagged (i.e., added the hashtag to). Once a week, we turn this asynchronous stream into a live, real-time discussion by encouraging everyone to watch the feed at the same time. #INedchat's live chat happens each Wednesday at 8pm ET (7pm CT). Watch the hashtag during this period to see the conversation develop.
Some chats are fast paced and it's important to note that you aren't expected to read everything. For #INedchat, our moderators will help you find your place by structuring questions with a number system. Usually, during a 30 min chat, you'll see the moderator use the following shorthand:
- W - Welcome, a call for participants to introduce themselves and share where they are.
- Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4 - Questions, usually there is time for a moderator to pose 4 questions for consideration.
- R1, R2, R3, R4 - Responses, participants (and usually the moderator as well) will start their response with R1 to indicate that it is a response to question 1. In a fast paced chat, some questions and responses may overlap - this helps reduce the confusion. Some other chats might use A1, but we aren't looking for "answers" to the questions, so much as a thoughtful response and dialogue.
- WU - Wrap-up, this is the signal that the chat has come to an end and calls for any closing thoughts before participants sign-off.
Click here to download the #INedchat one-pager.
For more questions about #INedchat, eMail Holly Stachler, Director of Communications.