I have been participating in the weekly Twitter discussion, #edchat, since August 2009. It has been amazing watching the conversation grow and expand, pulling more and more people into the conversation. The topics range from educational technology to best practices in education and schools. Many times the conversation is heated, often it is inspiring and it is ALWAYS fast-paced.
Many nights I have found my thoughts challenged, or had my beliefs validated. I have learned what it may be like to teach in other parts of the country and the world. I have learned that many of the struggles that I face here in Philadelphia are not isolated to my school or my district. I have also learned that perspectives are very different depending on many factors such as what state, suburb, city or rural town you teach in, whether you teach in a private school, public school, charter school, high school, elementary school or in higher education as well as many others.
Sometimes we get caught up in our own bubble, and #edchat has helped burst that bubble.
That said, there are those who feel that #edchat is a group of educators “preaching to the choir,” that it is merely a gathering of like-minded people agreeing with each other and not making any real ‘change’ in education.
However, I have found that certain #edchat discussions have forced me to think and/or rethink how I teach, what I teach or a belief that I hold. While I may not go back to my classroom and immediately implement something from the night before, my goals and approach to teaching has been influenced by the conversations I’ve had with others from around the country and the world.
How has #edchat made ‘real changes’ for you in your classroom, your school, your district or your professional life?
Please leave a comment below. I am collecting ideas to share as part of the Real Time Communication and Education panel at the #140 Characters Conference in NYC on April 20th.