Monday, 21 October 2013

The Connected #EdChatModerator?

I have been fascinated with EdChats since I opened my Twitter account and have explored a number of issues over the course of the last 12 months, including;

1) How many regular EdChats there are?
2) What a valuable platform Twitter is for sharing ideas in education

3) How much educators Tweet! 

My account goes into meltdown during education events like ISTE and Connected Educators Month. There are over 150 regular Twitter EdChats and wanted to explore them so downloaded all the Tweets over a 6 week period. Some of the questions that I was hoping to explore included;

1) Which chats have the largest audience?

2) Which have the largest number of Tweets?
3) If and how frequently popular links were circulated across EdChat sessions
4) How many chat sessions educators regularly tuned in on, who were EdChat social butterflies
5) Which EdTech suppliers were being mentioned on EdChat hashtags

Should there be an EdChat Moderator Hashtag or Website?
While I still have a bit of work to do with this (which I don't mind as creativity is really just persistence), I have some observations which has led me to wondering if it would be useful to have a dedicated #EdChatModerator hashtag or website.

A lot of Moderators are connected educators and are connected to one another already collaborate - #EdTechChat was manic on the weeks that #FlipClass and #SatChat joined in the discussion.

However, based on the data set and with my involvement with a few EdChats, I thought some kind of Edu moderator resource might be useful for a few reasons;
  • New Moderators - There appear to be new EdChat sessions appearing more frequently, there are also some EdChats that are more established than others so;
Would a Moderator hashtag help to share ideas and give some useful tips to new moderators and/or encourage others to establish new sessions?  
  • Digital Citizenship & Student Moderators - There are a few chat sessions (both edu and non-edu related) that are ran by students, and may be a trend that looks set to continue, as students try to establish a positive digital footprint while they are still studying.
An #EdChatModerator hashtag could also be a useful resource for students for advice and tips if they were thinking of establishing a chat session, as well as to help other edu moderators, 
  • Archives - With 150+ weekly EdChat sessions this equates to 1,800 storify archives a year, how many educators will have the time to look through all of these? How many great links and resources are being missed but a wider audience?

    The issues around key topics like, Digital Citizenship, will be very similar for #ukfechat as they are for #edtechchat or #edchat. However there will be a number of innovative solutions in each session that would be applicable to everyone.
What if there was a centralised #EdChat archive that included a searchable database of all these sessions? What a fantastic resource!
  • Previous and Future Topics - When looking at this EdChat data sample there were a number of recurring topics and questions asked across the sessions.
What if moderators and participants of EdChats knew what topics others will be discussing... wouldn't it be great to see who had discussed these topics previously, and be able to check the archive for useful questions to ask, links and ideas etc.  
  • Topic Specialists - If people with experience in a certain area knew in advance when a chat session was discussing their area of expertise, they could make a note to attend the session. 
What if experts in student blogging, Twitter for CPD etc knew when each chat session was discussing their specialist topics - would this give participants new ideas to consider?  
  • Shared Topics - At certain times of the year, or with major policy announcements/changes a lot of EdChats may be discussing very similar  topics.
Would a Moderator resource help facilitate a collective voice? For example, discussing the topic on the same week? Or asking the same questions about policy changes and then handing all the responses to the policy makers? 
  • EdChat-A-Thon - If EdChat Moderators and participants like this idea, as it's "Connected Educators" month, how about launching it with a bit of an event...
    With 150+ EdChats would it be possible to co-ordinate a 24hour session with each moderator & chat running a 1 hour session where every session focused on the same topic and asked the same questions?

    Is it possible? How many participants would there be? How many Tweets? How many new connections and ideas would there be? ...And how many EdChat addicts would participate for the full 24 hour EdChat-A-Thon?
If Moderators or others see any merit in this idea... I'd be happy to help out in anyway I can. 


  1. Wow William - you have some super ideas here! Not that I have much time to participate, but I like your ideas, and think there is merit in pursuing it! Might I suggest you look at as well? You might find a place to post a link to this blog there as a way to engage more people in the discourse. Best wishes,

  2. William...this explanation changes my vote to yes...great thoughts outlined! I would love to help out, join in, tweet it out, whatever! When you first suggested, didn't think all about these awesome points! Great job

  3. William...this is awesome and changes my vote to yes...Love to help out in anyway!!! Great laying out all those thoughts and ideas...I wasn't thinking big enough initially...kudos to you

  4. Great ideas William! A 24-Hour chat-a-thon would be so cool! I also like the idea of cross over chats where the topic remains the same in different forums. I agree with you that there are far to many Archives/Storify accounts full of solutions that are hard for ALL to find. Would be cool if Storify created a searchable EDU platform for us to use. I think the 150 Chats have been started out of a need to fill the void. We need to have a Edchat forum to coordinate ideas and connect chats.
    I appreciate the work you are doing. Hope it continues.

    Todd #mschat moderator