Edchats Are Now Great for Students too

Posted on Posted in Applications, General

Edchats are the Twitter-using teacher’s best friend. Not only are they a lot of fun, but participating is a great way for teachers to build their Professional Learning Network (PLN), and to learn about new tools and techniques for the classroom. They’re so impactful, that teachers have worked to bring the same experience into their classroom. Education thought-leaders, like Alice Keeler, and even students themselves have experimented with creating edchats for students.

But Twitter is often too public of a platform to use in class, and other tools aren’t built to provide the same value and experience. With Recap, you can now bring all of the learning and fun of an edchat to your students, in a safe and media-rich space. The benefits include:

Discover new learning strategies and resources.

Build a Student Learning Network.

Break out new understanding of class topics.

Share their thinking with their peers. (#studentvoice!)

Have fun learning together.

How to Run a Student Edchat

Pick a Topic
Most edchats have an overall theme or focus that they stick to every week, but each week has a specific topic they examine in the chat.

If you’re running a student edchat in your classroom, you might choose a topic that the class learned about the previous week, and use the chat as a way to reflect and share what they learned. You can make it a #breakoutchat by starting a breakout discussion after any learning activity.
Set a Schedule

Twitter edchats typically run for a full hour and most moderators try to pick a time when their participants will likely be done with class for the day.

As a teacher running a student edchat, though, you may need to be a little more flexible with the timing. If you don’t want to take class time to run the chat, you might consider running it asynchronously with your students (often called a "slowchat"). Post a single question each day of the week, and give students the whole day to respond. Just be sure to let your students know when new questions are posted.

Create Your Questions

Twitter edchat moderators generate a list of questions for each chat, and usually plan to give participants 5-10 minutes to chat about each new question.

Once you have a topic selected for your edchat, start writing up the specific questions you want your students to discuss. Consider how much time you want to give them per question. This will determine how many questions you’ll want to prepare. You can even crowd-source questions from your students in the Queue.

Getting Started

Want to dive in? Here's what you need to do to get started.

  1. Set up the Queue: Create a new Queue in Recap for the upcoming chat, and send out the join pin to your students.
  2. Send out the first question: Make sure the first question is already posted when students sign in.
  3. Encourage responses: As moderator, one of your jobs is to encourage students to expand their thinking in the chat, and to give them positive feedback on their responses.
  4. Roll out questions: Release new questions to the Queue according to the schedule you decided on for the chat.
  5. Augment with video: While most edchats are text-based, Recap lets you augment the experience using video questions and responses. This can be helpful when you want to avoid the misinterpretations that can come with text-only chats.

Use it for Teacher PD Too!
Use Recap to break out for deeper discussion on subjects once your #edchat is done. Also great for involving teachers that don't have the time to attend or aren't yet on Twitter.