microblogging · reflective practice · tcrwp · technology

I survived my first Twitter Chat!

Some prefer Ironman,
or Wonder Woman and her jet.
When looking for real heroes
There’s a much better bet.
They make reading exciting,
and writing is so alive.
For literacy heroics, check out
Tweet Force Five.
–Written & illustrated by Cornelius Minor

After you co-author a book on the importance of reflective practice, you best believe you engage in it habitually. Therefore, this is a follow-up post to the confession I posted a few days ago about my lack of Twitter Chat experience.

So, I survived my first Twitter Chat experience. I got a lot of support from Cornelius Minor who created a podcast and shared a link (in the comments section of last Sunday’s post) about the basics of Twitter Chats. Deb Day left a comment explaining how to use TweetChat and TweetDeck simultaneously. About ten minutes prior to Monday night’s chat I signed up for TweetChat and figured it out in time for the #TCRWPCoaching Chat. Using the two resources together was helpful since the chat moved at lightening speed.

The topic of my first TweetChat was “How do we get students (and ourselves) ready for a productive and relaxing summer?” Cornelius moderated the chat and asked seven thought-provoking questions, which helped all of the attendees reflect on the year that was and think about the upcoming school year.

To begin:

  • Some of my Tweeps (I never thought I’d use that word in a sentence I crafted!) greeted me at 8:30 p.m., which instantly made me feel welcome. Many thanks to @MaggieBRoberts, @azajacks, @teachkate, @mentortexts, & @MelanieSwider cheering me on!
  • Being surrounded by like-minded educators from all over the country.

What went well:

Overwhelming aspects:

Post-Chat Peppermint Tea
  • The pace was ridiculously fast! An hour in my life hasn’t gone that fast in a LONG time. I couldn’t believe it when Cornelius started thanking everyone for participating at 9:30 p.m. Quite a few people told me it would move incredibly fast, but I didn’t realize just how fast it moved. My heart was racing afterwards and therefore I wasn’t able to turn in to go to sleep at my usual (insanely early) 10:00 p.m. In fact, I had to make myself a cup of herbal tea and sit on the couch in order to stop my mind from thinking about all of the incredible ideas people exchanged. (Now I understand why archives using Storify are so helpful! Click here to read the Storify from Monday’s chat.)
  • I couldn’t answer all of the questions since I was so busy reading other people’s answers to the questions. This made me think it is often smarter to talk less and say more rather than to talk most and say less.

A few smart things I said:

  • @teachkate Is there a way to roll out something like this for kids in the summertime, http://bit.ly/16YupF9 ? #tcrwpcoaching
  • A3: I think it’s useful to do home visits over the summer. Talking w/families about literacy in their home breeds excitement. #tcrwpcoaching
  • A5: I want to get better at helping Ts new to WW understand the basics w/o overwhelming them. There’s a lot to take in @ 1st. #tcrwpcoaching

Ridiculous tweets I wrote:

  • The sky is an ominous gray-green, but I think it’s safe to be on the comp. for my first-ever chat! #tcrwpcoaching
    • We were under a tornado watch here in PA on Monday night. Under normal circumstances, my computer would’ve been off. However, I was a lady on a mission and therefore, even once I heard the thunder, I kept on Tweeting!
  • @teachkate Along with #bachelorette. @MisterMinor, that’s pretty big!
    • This was in reference to the hash-tag for the Twitter Chat trending. I can’t believe I included a hash-tag for “The Bachelorette” in the same tweet as one about an educational discussion.
  • @teachkate How ’bout lemonade stands with a space for book trades?
    • See the reference under the smarter things I said to understand why this idea might not be so practical.

Moving Forward:

  • I found some new like-minded educators to follow on Twitter. You can find them by looking at my education or professional development lists.
  • I will participate in other chats like this again even though I felt as though I was on an elliptical rider at level 10 for an hour trying to keep up last night. (Truth be told, I work-out on level three on a good day!)
  • Other educators on Twitter were welcoming and supportive. I am grateful for the collegial atmosphere I found during this chat and look forward to more discussions about literacy in the months to come.

Need help with Twitter? The TCRWP staff created a document that will help you set up a Twitter account and learn how to take advantage of their Twitter chats and live tweeting. Click here to view it now.

10 thoughts on “I survived my first Twitter Chat!

  1. Thank you so much for this! I have been on Twitter a couple of months but don’t know what I’m doing. As a children’s author, I’m interested in chatting with teachers and librarians–it’s so helpful to hear what they’re doing, what challenges they’re facing, what they love, etc. I picture a Twitter Chat as all of them sitting around in a coffee shop sharing and debating while I sip my Diet Coke, listen, and learn. Thanks for these resources. Maybe I’ll get my nerve up to try a Twitter chat soon:>) Congrats on surviving yours!


  2. I need some help and I am hoping someone here can help me. I am a “blog stalker” and read this one quite frequently. I recently I read a poem written on someone’s blog about reflecting on the end of the school year. She referred to it as taking a hike with a backpack that gradually got heavier as the year went on. The last line talked about summer and already thinking about hiking. Well, now I can’t find this blog and would really to revisit the poem. I would appreciate it someone can lead me there. By the way, I enjoy reading everyone’s comments and blogs and am very envious of your writing/reading communities. I can only hope to someday take the jump and join in!


  3. Loved your post, Stacey! And don’t you just love the TweetForceFive cartoon!??
    BTW, NONE of your tweets were ridiculous. It’s, well, fun, to have a little fun during a chat! And please don’t feel the pace was too fast because you were new- it WAS fast-paced! Wait til you join the #titletalk chat!
    I’d also like to invite you to join the last of our 3 Notice And Note chats next Thurs., June 20 at 8PM CDT. Even if you haven’t read the book by Kylene Beers and Bob Probst about close reading, you’ll still learn a lot! #NNNchat


  4. I’ve only tried chats a few times, partly because I felt, like you, overwhelmed by how fast they go! I felt like I missed some things, and by the time I’d figure out what I wanted to say, the conversation would be on a whole different topic! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who feels that way. (Also, some of the chats are past my bedtime… lol!) Using TweetDeck and TweetChat at the same time sounds like a good idea. I used TweetChat but felt like I missed too much… maybe TweetDeck would help with that! Thanks for being so open and honest about your experience!


  5. You did great, Stacey. I lurked around during the chat. The pace of chats is ridiculously fast and I often feel like I miss a lot. I started very slow. Would only comment a couple of times and mostly just read what others wrote. Obviously, I do more than that now. What generally happens in large chats is that I talk with a few, but don’t try to answer everything. I like chats where the questions are posted on a google doc ahead of time. Gives me time to think!
    One thing I didn’t tell you is that at times I have been known to also use my ipad along with tweetdeck and tweetchat. Crazy, I know. Didn’t want to overwhelm you with that piece of info 🙂


    1. I would LOVE to have the questions in advance. Having them in advance for eliminate some of the overwhelming factor since one would have time to synthesize the question and prepare responses (in 140 chars. or less). Being concise is hard enough for me. Doing it on the fly is really challenging!


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