Thursday, July 8th, 2010 marked the first ever #elemchat on Twitter. It was, to say the least, an exhilarating experience, which left my adrenaline pumping long after the hour was over.
The idea for #elemchat was inspired by the splendid weekly Twitter “incontournable” (“must”) that is #edchat, facilitated by an outstanding team who will, in my opinion, have a hand in creating significant changes education.
My reasons for wanting to help start #elemchat were really quite selfish – I was hoping to learn from other teachers, get some leads of effective strategies and approaches to improve my own teaching. The first stroke of luck was finding some fantastic educators who were up for it. I can’t begin to thank enough @louwinsr @NancyTeaches and @thompseg (in no particular order except alphabetical) for being willing to jump in with both feet. We’ve never met and yet they already have a special place in my heart.
The second fortuitous event was having @suzieboss, Edutopia’s PBL camp facilitator, agree to lead our first discussion on Project Based Learning. What better way to start a conversation than with an expert? In the days that led up to the first #elemchat, my eagerness and anticipation grew exponentially, though I was occasionally seized with moments of anxiety – the expectations were high – would everything work out ok? We had educators from around the world planning to participate – would we be able to interpret the time zones correctly (not as easy as it seems) and not leave anyone out?
My anxieties vanished as the chat began. It was such a magnificent moment, connecting with forward-thinking educators and sharing questions, ideas… sharing a passion for teaching. As I wrote the summary (found here, format adapted from #edchat with permission, thanks to @ShellTerrell and @rliberni), my awe at the calibre of the contributions but grew. It is with eager anticipation that I look forward to the next #elemchat, and the next one after that. I hope that it will grow and take on a life of its own, fueled by the spirit of the educators who contribute to it. I look forward to learning and growing with people who, strangely enough, seem closer to me than some of my face-to-face colleagues. It will be an awesome learning journey, and I’m thankful to be aboard in such great company.