A Second Retrospective on #EdChat

Last week I wrote a post that talked about my thoughts both before participating in #edchat for the first time and then immediately afterwards.  I know that two #edchats does not an expert make, but I just had to write down a few more quick thoughts after this week’s #edchat, just in case there are more newbies out there who want to get involved.

My #edchat education this week began even before the hour long conversation officially started.  Tom Whitby tweeted out the topic for the day a little bit beforehand and immediately, I was curious.  How do these topics get selected?  So I tweeted out a question and was soon answered.

As it turns out, people vote on them each and every week.  Steven W. Anderson of Web 2.0 Classroom creates polls that are released each Sunday.  Those polls stay open until Tuesday morning, and then the winning topic is selected for that day’s discussion and announced by the moderators.

Another great tid-bit that I found out is that Jerry Blumengarten, the Cybraryman (and one of our moderators for today), maintains a website filled with all kinds of useful information on the full-contact sport that is #edchat.  If you’re thinking about getting involved, I highly recommend that you check it out.

But my education didn’t end when I logged off at 1 pm, eyes weary from all that speed-reading.  Just before I stumbled away from my computer to go get myself a sandwich, I received a tweet from ISTE Connects that said they had mentioned me in their “#edchat story.”  I was curious, so I put my break on hold for a few minutes and clicked the link.

I was taken to a site called Storify that allows users to save specific snippets of Twitter conversations.  It’s readily apparent that the service is still in beta mode, but the potential of such a program is equally evident.  While there are certain dedicated #edchatters who try to write summaries of each individual conversation, this site can create full transcripts (with active links) instantly.  Very cool.

The final lesson, however, is one that I know I will need to work on for quite some time before I have it mastered.  Aside from all the great ideas and the motivation that you’ll get from participating in #edchat, you’ll also meet some amazing people.  Staying in contact with them is key.  I met a couple this week that I would love to chat with more.

Unfortunately, I know that I also met a couple last week – and they’ve already been lost in the shuffle!  The internet is a big place; it’s very easy to forget about one person as you find out about the next.  Be careful not to make that a habit, though.  Find some way of keeping in contact with the people you meet in #edchat – they’re definitely worth it!

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