In my post last week, I said that prior to joining in on Twitter, I had felt like the person at the party who was standing against the wall – alone, silent and ignored. My solution to was to join in, which I have done more and more over the course of 2020. However, it is clear from the responses that I have had to my post that it isn’t that simple for a number of people.
Some tweeters have tried to join in, but have found that as they have a limited following or are not known by other edutweeters, their tweets/ questions aren’t responded to and their voice is ignored. Others are fearful of airing their views, in case they are pounced upon by those educators who clearly like to debate. Finally, others don’t know where to have their voice heard and just want some guidance.
All week I have wondered how I can help. I don’t have a huge Twitter following, nor do I have any definitive answers but I have had a few ideas that I hope will help some of you.
If you are one of those people who doesn’t quite know where to go to find like-minded colleagues who work in the same area, hashtags are your friend. @ASTsupportAAli explains hashtags very simply:
“A #hashtag is a way to aggregate tweets that are appended with a hashtag. Picture it like a magnet that attracts all messages categorized by that topical word or phrase.”
Here are just a few of the many educational hashtags on Twitter #edutwitter #ukedchat #WomenEd #EYtwittertagteam #TagTeamTuesday #TeamEarlyChildhood #talk4writing #BrewEd #BAMEed #secondarychat #EYtwittertagteam #FFEd #TwitterEd #BCUITEChat (for trainee teachers). I would suggest you click on these links and see where they take you. Join in a few of the conversations and use the hashtags yourself. Amjad has many more #hashtags on his Toolkit – Click here to see his suggestions.
Chats and Forums
For those people who find that when they tweet they are rarely responded to, the chats/ forums that occur throughout the week/ month are a great place to engage.
Every day – #teacher5oclockclub – from 5am funnily enough. A really nice way to start the day and just connect with other educators.
Wednesday from 6am – #FFBWednesday – grow your community and get to know other edutweeters.
Thursday – An early years chat led by @kellyackroyd
Sunday – #RR_Chat – this will be moving to a dedicated time in the week again, but currently it just runs throughout Sunday so you can just join in. This is led by @_Reading_Rocks_ and is a wonderful forum if you are passionate about children’s literature
Monthly – @WomenedBookclub
Monthly – if you love brilliant picture books for the primary classroom, take the time to chat about them on the 15th of every month with #PrimaryPicBookClub led by @ClubPicturebook
There are many more, but these are the ones that I connect with regularly. Please let me know what your favourites are, as I would like to learn of more.
Edutwitter’s Finest Little Voices
I have thought long and hard about how the tiny voices of Twitter can be heard and was prompted to do something about it by a comment @NicholasJSimms made on a thread that I was commenting on. So @deputygrocott and I have come up with a new hashtag – #TinyVoiceTuesday.
If you are shy, worried about how others may respond to your tweets or just don’t think you will be heard elsewhere on Twitter, then write your tweets followed by #TinyVoiceTuesday throughout the day on Tuesday – your voice will be heard.
If you don’t want to tweet yourself, please direct message me (Mrs B) and I am happy to tweet for you. We are really hoping that the tiny voices of Twitter will find the courage to come forward.
I hope that this post has been helpful in some way and I wish you a wonderful week. I look forward to the twitter chats that I will have with many of you over the next seven days.