I originally wanted to write about tech integration in high school English classroom (a future post) as my first post on Schoology blog. However, something amazing has happened over past few weeks and I would like to share this with the readers of this blog. I have bee using Twitter for past year to connect with inspiring teachers around the world. I have also sought out and attended free and paid conferences in Philadelphia area because I came across these opportunities through my presence and connections on Twitter. One of those events that I attended New Teacher Camp which took place on July 24th at Boys Latin Academy in Philadelphia PA. It was a great day filled with thought-provoking sessions and time to connect face-to-face with many of my friends. Over the day, we came to the realization that there are many subject area weekly chats on twitter but none for English teachers. I started thinking that maybe I could start one and began to doubt myself. Do I have the twitter clout to do something like that? What would we even talk about? How do you keep English teachers talking over Twitter with the 140 character limit? Nonetheless, the day’s interactions nudged me to take a leap of faith and #engchat was created. For the past three weeks, English teachers, at times hundreds of them have come together from all of the United States and beyond to discuss classroom strategies and their implications on student learning. It has been an honor to have teachers on Twitter embrace this weekly discussion and share it with others. I even asked Jim Burke, author of English Companion and creator of English Companion Ning to host the chat and he agreed! He was able to draw many teachers to a discussion of the Element of Effective Instruction.
Social media tool like Twitter, when used thoughtfully and deliberately, it can aide in build community and increase collaboration among colleagues. I am just amazed by the positive feedback and response for #engchat and hope to continue to grow as a learner and a teacher through the connection I make with others.
Thank you to all who participate weekly during #engchat and please join us, every Monday at 7 PM EST using the hashtag #engchat.