Edchat Ireland reaches 50
It’s hard to believe that Ireland’s weekly education chat on Twitter, Edchatie, has just celebrated its 50th chat. Based on the international edchat model started by Tom Whitby, this fantastic initiative was started by Fred Boss, who people may know from his work with the NCTE. For those who have not yet heard of Edchatie, it is a weekly online chat for teachers in Ireland (or anyone interested in education in Ireland).
It is run on Twitter, a microblogging service, which is used by lots of teachers to share resources, ideas and news. Every week, Fred asks Twitter users to suggest topics for the chat. These topics are listed on a web site and participants vote for the topic they would like to chat about. The topic chosen is the one with most votes. The next step is the chat itself, which runs from 8:30 to 9:30pm every Monday night. In order to join in, you need to use the hashtag #edchatie and use some sort of Twitter client to filter this hashtag. Twitterchat and Tweetdeck are two popular services.
Over the last 50 chats, an increasing amount of teachers have started to join in topics ranging from “why is there such a bad public image of educators” to “share your favourite educational software.” Twitter only allows 140 characters including the 9 characters that make up #edchatie and conversations are quick and snappy. As there are so many people tweeting at the same time, there’s always lots of conversations going on at the same time.
Depending on the topic, conversations can go down very interesting routes. For example, many initiatives have been launched on the back of an edchatie. For example, the programming language, Scratch, is often promoted as a great learning tool and many Irish teachers are beginning to use it in classrooms.
The 50th edchatie was all about technology on a budget. It was definitely the busiest edchat ever and there was a huge amount of ideas shared. Have a look at the full transcript here and from the first tweet, you get the idea that there were some brilliant insights from some fantastic teachers!
Edchatie takes place every Monday from 8:30pm to 9:30pm and is free to join. Anseo’s first article on the first Edchatie is here. It’s interesting to see how far it’s come in less than a year.