Since joining COETAIL, I reluctantly signed on to Twitter to as a way to stay connected. Though initially sceptical, I was soon converted and have been enjoying the Twitter Kool-aid ever since. How could I not? There are so many great chats out there where teachers can share ideas, ask questions, and connect with other educators. Though it’s best to find your own niche, here are a few feeds that have regular discussions and spark thought:
#AfricaEd (created and run by COETAIL’s own Ryan Harwood)
To elicit feedback and support for my flipped unit, I adopted the hashtag #FlippedEnglish where I regularly posted updates on my questions and progress in the unit. I also shared these thoughts on other flipped feeds, including #openflip, #flipclass, and #flippedlearning. I even maintain a digital diary to mark my progress.
The initial results were positive: people responded with encouraging posts:
But after that, I was posting into a void. Though I kept up my digital diary, there was little to no engagement. The #FlippedEnglish was used only by me:
I’ve thought of a lot of reasons for this:
- people aren’t interested in flipped learning
- flipping isn’t common in an English class, so there were few people engaged
- everyone is just selfish 🙂
But finally came to the unfortunate conclusion: I needed to actively encourage the experts to join the conversation by tweeting at them. I certainly did so a few times, but a conversation was never maintained. In the end, Twitter is only a void if we shout into the void. A better tactic is to use it to whisper in people’s ears until they have to turn their heads and look.