I suspect many of you don’t know the pop song I am referencing in the title, so here’s the video from the cockney duo, Chas & Dave .
The point I want to make is about the currently popularity of hash tag education chat forums on Twitter.
Twitter is undoubtedly a valuable resource and communication tool for teachers to share ideas and best practice. The hash (#) chat events are a great way for teachers and educators to have the forum to do that. But are they a victim of their own success? Trying to follow, never mind contribute to a hash chat can be a nightmare. New tweets appear at a phenomenal rate, trying to keep up and follow a particular thread, never mind responding and contributing, needs a lot of concentration. These sessions can often be exhausting. Then there is a particular irritation for me, the retweets containing the same hash tags, which are repeatedly retweeted again! To use a ‘chat’ analogy, it’s like somebody repeating everything you say, repeating everything you say. Which is annoying, isn’t it, isn’t it ??
More and more hash chat ‘places’ have appeared to deal with the range of topics, subjects and interests, so cross posting occurs by adding the various hash tags to a tweet. Subsequently many tweets have become nothing more than a string of hash tags and a shortened link. So, please save some of your 140 characters to let readers at least know what it is about.
So as we head into a new school year, activity around hash chats such as #ukedchat will begin with a vengeance, those who are regular participants will continue to find them highly useful and a source of inspiration, but do we need so many and is there a need for some sort of protocol? Making it easier to engage with, and that such a valuable exchange of thoughts and ideas is not seen as just cacophony of noise? So please think about how you use the hash tags and the retweet button in your tweets,
I think it’s a contributing factor to why some teachers are reluctant to utlise Twitter as a professional development tool and echoes the thoughts of Doug Wood (@deerwood) who asks ‘If Twitter is so good, why do so many teachers leave it?’
So what do you think? How useful do you find education hash chats? Which ones would you recommend? Also if you have some tips and tricks that can make participating in Twitter chat forums a more rewarding experience or thoughts why teachers don’t use Twitter then please leave a comment. We look forward to hearing from you.
It feels as though it was just yesterday when I wrote this blog post as I started a secondment to the UK Partners in Learning team. A lot can happen in sixth months and I have to say that one of the highlights has been the Summer Camp held at Microsoft’s headquarters in Reading – my swansong, as Stuart put it! A group of teachers have been working with us over the last 2 days to develop some innovative learning activities using visual imagery tools such as Microsoft’s Autocollage, Photosynth and Deep Zoom Composer. The learning activities will be shared with you all before too long – and having had the privilege of talking to our Summer Camp educators about their ideas, I know you will be in for a huge treat when Stuart shares the links with you on this blog! Watch this space……
There have been other highlights, too – seeing the fantastic work that our innovative teachers presented at the Partners in Learning European Forum in Moscow, Easter Camp, the inaugural Partners in Learning Institute in Redmond, Washington and, of course, meeting so many interesting people with interesting ideas who are passionate about effective learning and the role technology can play in it. Thank you to everyone and I look forward to continuing discussions with many of you through the Partners in Learning Network and twitter!
At last! the 100th Innovid has been loaded to the Innovativeteach YouTube channel!!!! It’s quite fitting timing, really, as it was prepared at our Easter Camp by Clare Wilbur. It’s great to reflect on the amazing work that has been done by teachers to share what they have learnt through a multimedia approach. Innovids have been made at our previous Summer and Easter camps – but at this year’s Summer Camp, we will be doing something a little different to our innovids – watch this space for some exciting news and valuable resources!
Last week in San Diego, 15 year old Rebecca Rickwood pulled off a major shock at the 2011 Worldwide Competition on Microsoft Office. Rebecca, who was one of the youngest contenders in the field, came out on top in the annual competition which this year attracted over 228,000 students from 57 countries around the world. The newly crowned champion won a $5,000 cash prize as well as the much sought after title of ‘World Champion In Microsoft Excel’ and was clearly thrilled: “When I was waiting with all the other students from around the world to hear the result I was really nervous. I heard my name read out in 1st place and I just couldn’t believe it. I’m ecstatic, I just can’t believe I won and now I’m world champion. It’s a day I’ll never forget.” Rebecca, from Sawtry Community College, a Microsoft IT Academy in Cambridgeshire, scored an incredible 100% in her specialist subject Microsoft Excel at the finals. Rebecca had earned her right to attend the world finals back in May after she achieved the top nationwide score in the Microsoft Office Specialist Excel certification exam. Since then Rebecca has continued to hone her skills by studying at lunch and in the evenings at her school, supported by Pam Kitchen her instructor at Sawtry Community College. “I’m absolutely delighted for Rebecca. She really is a wonderful student who is extremely talented but, also, a very modest person. ICT is a massive part of what we do here but Rebecca astounded me when she took the exam and achieved 100% first time around. What was most impressive was her hard work and dedication during lunchtimes and after school. We told her to go out to San Diego and be herself and are obviously thrilled to have her coming back to us as World Champion” explained Pam. Kevin Ryan, Marketing Manager with Prodigy Learning who are responsible for the competition in the UK added, “We realised Rebecca was extremely talented and one to watch from her scores in the UK championship. But the world competition is another level; it’s highly competitive and notoriously difficult to win, particularly for someone so young. Rebecca really has done her country proud and her ability is a testament to the quality of the Microsoft courses being offered by her school and others across the UK. I believe Rebecca has a very bright future ahead indeed.”
You’ve heard of wearing your heart on your sleeve? When I was in Redmond at the Partners in Learning Institute, we saw some amazing technologies in the home of the future (which I’m sworn to secrecy about – but I can say that my comment at the end of the tour was, “When can I move in?!”) Just to give you a flavour of some of the imaginative uses of technology that are coming from Microsoft research, why not check out this dress that has been blogged about here – check out the video clip. Could this be how we communicate in the future? By showing our social media updates on our skirts?
Electricfoxy talks with Asta Roseway at Microsoft Research from Electricfoxy on Vimeo.