On Twitter, educators have pioneered a great way to collaborate and share with their colleagues online, and develop a network of peers: the edchat. Edchats can take many forms, but most follow a Q&A format for dialogue.
What is a safer edchat?
Safer edchats take place off Twitter, on a private platform, like Recap. Participants get more time and space to respond, and explain their thinking. Recap also lets you augment the chat with video, giving choice in how you respond, and ways for participants to ask questions themselves.
What are the benefits of a student edchat?
The edchat format, on a safe and private platform, helps students collaborate together to create new understanding. They also give students choice in how they respond, time to think through their answers, and the ability to communicate privately with the teacher when necessary.
12 Ways Edchats Can Empower Your Students’ Learning
- Discuss challenges that affect your students: Is cheating getting worse over time? Provide a safe space to talk about bullying, the role of homework, student choice, etc.
- Give choice in checks for understanding: What did you learn today? After a lesson, giving students choice between text and video to support all learning styles.
- Have tough conversations: Is it acceptable to question climate change? Cover any controversial political or social topic like race, saluting flags, etc.
- Dialogue about class content: Did you see that twist coming? Conduct an edchat on a chapter of the book the class is reading, the latest assignment, etc.
- Build a Student Learning Network: What are your favorite homework tips? Ask students to share study skills and online resources with the class.
- Create a hypothesis: What do you think will happen? Check for prior scientific knowledge before conducting an experiment in class.
- Connect with another classroom: What’s life like in your city? Do an edchat with a pen-pal class in another city (Mystery Skype-style).
- Genius Hour: How will you spend your 20% time this week? Run a slowchat that supports your class’s Genius Hour projects.
- Catch up with Homeroom: What tips do you have for writing a great college essay? Run an edchat for your homeroom class to cover questions on class registration, college applications, etc.
- Conduct virtual office hours: How can I help? Collect questions from students and respond in ways that develop understanding for all students in class, not just those that show up.
- Discuss 21st Century skill development: How can you foster a growth mindset? Help students think through topics like digital citizenship, peer collaboration, etc.
- Ignite curiosity to learn: What makes you wonder? Build interest in a subject by exploring questions and telling stories that help generate curiosity.