I attended the twitter chat #ELLchat today. As a new twitter user, it was quite the adventure. As Twitter is not welcomed in where I’m from, I had no idea how to use it to my needs. After looking around and stumbling into things, I found the similarity of it with Weibo( a Chinese version of Twitter). They have basically the same functions. I have been a user of Weibo for years without any experience in group chat. There is a reason or that.
The theme for the twitter chat this time is culturally responsive teaching. The discussion was more intense and heated than I expected. A lot of interesting ideas and insightful opinions. It was a very interesting experience. I was able to interact with ESL teachers worldwide! I enjoyed getting new information and surprises from people outside my flock. It is a way to improve yourself efficiently, gain new knowledge and cognition. The chat organizers Karen Nemeth and Judie Haynes are very inspiring educators and very open to different thoughts. They created a very friendly environment for other Twitter users. One thing that I did not like at first was the word limit of your Tweets. But then I realize it is actually not a bad thing. It forces us to express our ideas in a concise way makes it clear and simple for people in the chat so the chat can get going smoothly. After all, we are not doing a seminar or a forum. It is short, fast but still have the essence. Therefore, efficiency is achieved.
However, I think apart from attending the live chat, by going through the earlier posts, you can also again a lot. Using the hash tag, it is easier to locate the information we are interested in. The hash tag is a solution to the problem that we are restrained in our own flock when it comes to information gathering. Simply put in the topic you are looking for, numbers of results come out, and they are not just from your friends or the people you follow. The records of the chats are saved and tagged so it is easy to retrieve. You don’t need to worry about missing the chat once or twice. Other than using the Twitter chat as a live discussion platform, I see more benefits and values using it as a resource where you find information and get inspired. I found out about several good websites for ESL teachers, and the app “scoop it” which is an awesome source for teachers and educators. And from others’ conversations, I learned a meaning of the Bammy Awards which I should know but have never heard of before.
I can definitely see myself attending more of these twitter chats in the future. It is a fun and efficient way to learn more about my field.