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Let’s get the party started . . . July 19, 2010

Posted by IaninSheffield in CPD.
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Last night on EdTechRoundUp, Doug raised the question of #ukedchat and what people felt they got from it.  There were plenty of the moderators there to respond (@colport, @dughall, @janwebb21, @ianaddison), in addition to others who also take part in these weekly Twitter unconferences/discussions.  Without wishing to put words in Doug’s mouth, I guess he was asking whether it’s possible to draw value or sense from the cacophony of tweets . . . or whether it’s just like coming into a noisy room where everyone’s talking (shouting?) at once.

I guess I look at it a bit like a party.  Being there from the start allows you the chance to acclimatise, perhaps start off a few conversations.  If you walk in when it’s underway however, the room can seem incredibly loud and perhaps a little intimidating; difficult to pick out threads from the general hubbub.  But then you join a smaller group and chat with them a while, become more comfortable and settle into the ambience.  If the conversation in the group isn’t to your taste, or you want to speak with other folk, you politely move on.  Maybe you find a group in which the topic is particularly stimulating, so you linger a little longer.  Whilst nibbling from the buffet, you might ‘lurk’ on the chat from a group nearby.  It’s pretty much the same in #ukedchat – you might lurk for a while, add a contribution, follow those of others, reply to them and follow up replies to yours.  A bit less relaxed than a party perhaps and there’s a lot to squeeze into an hour; I know I find it tough:

Tweet

My Tweet after the session on 15-07-10

It’s certainly a jam packed session, but is all the effort worth it?  For me, yes.  I’m exposed to issues and standpoints I might not enjoy during a normal working day.  And I’m exposed to a discursive form which demands a different approach to the lingering discussion I might otherwise have over a cuppa or a pint.  So it challenges me because it’s not my preferred way of working. . . and I like that!

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Comments»

1. Dan - July 19, 2010

I’ve never joined in the chat because I find it impossible to keep up, I feel that if i contribute I wont be heard. While I also agree its a great idea one of the great things about ETRU is the ability to wait inline for the audience to pay some attention and the make comments on what i’ve said. The feedback is as important, in my eyes, as the over arching discussion.

Im the one at the back telling you the G reg Sierra has left his lights on.

2. IaninSheffield - July 20, 2010

Understand exactly what you’re saying Dan and agree entirely, both about ETRU & ukedchat.

One thing that helps me keep up (almost!) is using the Echofon Twitter app which allows me to spot a tweet, then explore the tweets which preceded it and . . . and any which succeed it. Other Twitter clients do that too I guess. Do I worry that what I might have to say might get lost in the general melee? Of course . . . but then if I say nothing, there’s definitely no chance of my thoughts being heard. It’s unusual too to get no feedback on a post; there’s usually someone who’s willing to support or extend a point you make, or indeed challenge you to consider other possibilities . . . that’s why folks are there after all.

Oh and thanks for mentioning the lights – it was my Sierra 😉

3. whatedsaid - July 20, 2010

I love this, Ian! What time is #ukedchat again? Have participated in #edchat a few times and your description is so apt. I think it might encourage folks to give it a try, as it sounds more managable this way 🙂

4. ianinsheffield - July 20, 2010

Thanks Ed. Unfortunately #ukedchat might not be at a very convenient time for you folks on t’other side of the world as it’s at 20.00 GMT – 5.00 Sydney? I think the time was chosen to suit eurofolks since the North American #edchat times are awkward for folks over here . . . not that that stops a few hardy individuals!

5. Twitter – a CPD Revolution? « MrWickensPE - March 28, 2012

[…] Ian Guest (@ianinsheffield) gives a fantastic insight from the perspective of a normal working teacher through his blog. […]


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