Tuesday night's #6thchat got me thinking.
It was hosted by Michael Matera (gamification guru), who I had the extreme pleasure to meet in person at Summer Spark in June. The chat obviously focused on how teachers can gamify their classrooms. This is an area I don't know much about, and I was drawn in to the possibilities for my ELA classes. I was nervous at first, wondering if my ideas were way off base. Soon though, Michael tweeted encouraging words, and before I knew it, I had a list of personalized gamification ideas.
I was jazzed after the chat ended. It got me thinking about what I get out of the chats I choose to join (or host). That #6thchat felt different: I was a gamification novice all the way through. I didn't have much teacher experience to throw into the ring.
That was ok since my purpose was not to share or lead, but to listen and learn.
I realized that when I join or host a chat, I choose from different options; a Twitter Chat Menu of sorts.
- I share: book titles in #titletalk, activities I've done in #5thchat, ways I've pirated my classroom in #tlap, resources in ##2ndaryela, #5thchat, #6thchat, funny thoughts about that night's topic in #weirded
- I discuss: pedagogy in #nbtchat and #whatisschool, strategies for teaching speaking & listening in #5thchat, teaching English in #2ndaryELA, #nctechat, #bproots, and #aplitchat, leadership qualities in #satchat, #satchatwc and #mnlead
- I learn: ways to implement book ideas in #tlap, #ditchbook, #learnlap, writing strategies in #teachwriting, information about many relevant topics in #5thchat, #6thchat and now #2ndaryela
- I stretch: myself to apply best practice and fresh ideas to my content, like in #6thchat tonight, often in #sstlap, I expand my thinking of education on a global scale with #whatisschool
Sometimes I know what I will choose from the Twitter Chat Menu, making a decision based on my current tastes and dietary needs. Other times, I don't know what I will choose until I get there. Speaking of that, I'll admit that I wasn't sure gamification would work in my ELA classroom until I was in the chat. Thinking I would just lurk and learn, I found myself sampling more and more from the Stretch part of the menu.
When choosing Twitter chats, I think it's important to visit all parts of the menu. Sometimes I share my experience and ideas, while other times I am in the mood for a deep discussion, like in the past 6 weeks (and continuing tonight) of #ditchbook. I feel that I always sample learning in whatever chat I join, but need to select the stretch portion more often.
On my menu tonight:
Discussing and Sharing in tonight's #LitLead at 8 CST, focused on differentiatng instruction
Stretching in tonight's #sstlap, also at 8 CST, applying ideas in video clips for use in our classrooms
Discussing and Stretching in tonight's #ditchbook at 9 CST, focusing on Matt Miller's "The Digital Pirate"
What's on your Twitter Chat Menu?