On specific days and times, teachers are using the hashtag (#) feature to filter Twitter's live feed and be a part of a professional conversation. Since twitter is a public forum, anyone can search and reply to any tweet that has been posted. By using a hashtag, the viewable feed is reduced to only posts that contain that specific hashtag.
Every Wednesday night at 9:00 PM (EST) #OhEdChat is conducted where a few moderators post a general question pertaining to a topic in education, and people from all over the state (or anywhere for that matter) can post their replies. While the hashtag can be used any time, and often is, Wednesday nights is a specific time when a lot of people are viewing those tweets and immediately responding to posts. Think of it as sitting in on a panel discussion from the comfort of your own home.
#OhEdChat is not the only professional ed chat that is on twitter. There are actually hundreds of scheduled discussions like this on Twitter on a regular basis. A teacher simply needs to know the hashtag being used and the time the chat is taking place to participate.
Ed chats are free, require no registration, and people can post comments, or simply view the responses that are being posted. A Twitter account is all that is needed to participate. Often teachers will "favorite" or "retweet" posts they find interesting to spark further discussion with their own Twitter followers, or to be able to revisit that post at a later time.
Twitter is continuing to be one of the easiest tools to create discussions, share ideas, and collaborate with other professional educators.
For a look at some of the archived conversations had on #OhEdChat, go to www.ohedchat.com.
For a list of other "ed chats" that are taking place on Twitter, click here.
Join the movement!
A live version of a teacher using one of the #edchats can be seen below.