Fairly new to this so called "Twitter world", when being assigned to participate into an online Twitter Chat, I honestly had no idea what to expect. I choose to participate in an Genius Hour Chat solely due to the fact I have chosen to implement Genius Hour as an intervention for my action research, which is based upon student choice and student engagement. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to engage with other educators employing Genius Hour within their classroom and hopefully gain some insight on some of the strategies and techniques they use during this hour, as well as hopefully get some of my current questions answered.
What is Genius Hour, some of you might ask. Well, it is much like our own 20% project but used within the education realm. It takes on the same notion of taking part of the students school day or school week (it of course varies depending on the teacher, school, etc.) to create and work on a project that the students are passionate about. For my particular project, my students decided they wanted to focus on community service, so therefore that is the focus of their Genius Hour time. I could go into deep discussion on my action research, but for the purpose of this blog, I will keep it simple. If you would like to see more on my action research in full effect, feel free to check out it out here.
Being this was my first online chat, like I had mentioned, I had no idea what to expect. As I sat on my couch, 15 minutes prior to the chat starting (not wanting to be late), I thought to myself, "Well this can't be too bad." Little did I know, I was in for an overwhelming surprise.
Before this chat, I thought I was pretty good at multi-tasking, but I came to realize I need to brush up on my multi-tasking when it comes to the social media! Trying to read, respond, favorite, re-tweet and answer the questions being tweeted all at once was pretty intense. As the hour passed by, I found myself re-tweeting and favoriting more than responding because I felt like I could not keep up with all the discussions going on at once and I wanted to be sure that I did not miss anything. Also, I realized I kept forgetting to hashtag genius hour (#geniushour), so I often found myself re-tweeting my responses a second time. Probably the most frustrating thing though was having a limit of on the number of characters that could be used, ESPECIALLY when "quoting" an individuals tweet. I felt like I spent too much time thinking about how I could shorten my response and it does not help that I am a semi perfectionist, I was determined to make my response fit. (Probably not the best idea for the matter of this chat.)
Although I did find the chat to be overwhelming, I also found it to be very beneficial and helpful as well. I loved how many great ideas and suggestions that were able to be shared with each other within a matter of seconds. It was also great because stepping into this project, I felt like I was stepping on thin ice and I had gotten to a point where some of my questions and wonderings were unsupported. Here, i was able to ask my question and get a great amount of responses and ideas to help support me. Also, when sharing some of the strategies I am currently using, it was also re-assuring to hear that it was a "good idea" or like one fellow tweeter said "THAT'S GENIUS!"
As far as curating the chat, I did learn that it is best to do it soon after, if not immediately after the chat. As you can see, I have a Storify to the right that is not my own; it is Denise Kribs Storify of the chat, who actually hosted this particular chat. I am showcasing her Storify because when I went back to do my own, I waited a few days and by that time, I had a hard time going back and finding all the tweets from our chat. For my next chat, I will be sure to create my Storify immediately after the chat is over.
Overall, I think this assignment was a good experience. Although, yes it was overwhelming, I think like anything else it takes some getting use too. I can't say that I did not enjoy it though. It is great to see how much support there is out there via Twitter. I never looked into using Twitter in this way, so it has definitely broadened my outlooks on the social media and how it can be utilized.