Cheat Sheet: 101+ Twitter Chat Groups for Educators {12 Days of Literacy}

Tool 6

Day 6: Twitter Chat Groups for Educators {Cheat Sheet}

Literacy can take many forms. Speaking, listening, reading, and writing are types of literacy that quickly come to mind. (Although I’m not discounting the importance of other forms of literacy.)

Twitter, a social media phenomenon, continues to grow in popularity among educators. If you’re new to Twitter, it can feel a bit like a secret club with all the #hashtags and @ signs. Terms like tweets, retweets, and hashtags can seem foreign and intimidating. In 140 characters or less, educators share news, school updates, insights, resources, and encouragement daily.

Twitter Cheat Sheet

Twitter Cheat Sheet for Educators
12 Days: 12 Tools

For those just getting started, you may want to read a post I’ve written that explains all the basics of Twitter. You can also download the Twitter Cheat Sheet for Educators (see image & link at end of post) which will help you get up to speed in no time.

For many already active on Twitter, I think the hook that catches us and keeps us hooked is the connectedness that Twitter brings. Not just with one’s PLN (professional/personal learning network), but with educators around the nation and world who connect via educator chat groups. Every day, educators share their knowledge and resources. Using hashtags, they contribute to online conversations around a variety of issues important to educators. If you’re not on Twitter, you’re missing out on a lot of professional learning.

Educator Chat Groups: Nuts and Bolts

Chat groups form around a specific topic of interest and meet regularly through Twitter. Each group is defined by a specific hashtag. To join a group, simply type in the group hashtag which allows you to follow the posts and contribute to the conversation. To contribute, simply post each tweet followed by the hashtag – now your tweets appear in the running feed for the group.

If you’re new to chat groups, feel free to introduce yourself at the beginning of the chat and simply lurk and read posts. Some chats move very quickly which can be intimidating to newbies. But, hang in there, you’ll quickly catch on. If you find yourself regularly attending a few groups, you’ll probably want to use some type of Twitter manager such as TweetDeck or HootSuite. You can find more about management tools on the Twitter Cheat Sheet.

On any given evening, you can log on to Twitter and find educators chatting and sharing resources on any number of topics – technology, leadership, children’s literature, and effective teaching – to name just a few. Listed below are a few examples.

  • Grade Level Chat Groups: If you really want to chat with others who teach your grade level, there are groups formed around grade levels, too. For instance, #kinderchat, #1stchat, #2ndchat, and #MSchat are active weekly groups where you’ll find ideas and tools to help you with your students.
  • Content Area Chat Groups: So you teach a specific content area? A sampling of content area chat groups that meet weekly include: #mathchat, #sschat, #alg1chat, #scichat, and #pechat.
  • State & Country Groups: Still holding out? Maybe you want to share ideas with other educators in your state. Well, there may be a group for you. A few of the state groups that meet weekly are: #wischat, #iachat, #edchatri, #INelearn, #ohedchat, and #njed. If there isn’t a chat group in your state, you can always start one!
  • Administrator & Leadership Groups: Perhaps you’re a school or district leader who values connectedness. And, you’d really like to get input and insight on issues important to you. Check out #edleadchat, #21stadmin, #edleaders, #cpchat, and #satchat to virtually connect with lots of great leaders.

There are many more chat groups.

For example, teachers and librarians share about children’s literature – #titletalk. Coaches share ideas around best instructional practices – #educoach. Folks give and take ideas to make PLCs even more effective – #atplc. Think of a topic, grade level, content area or technology. There’s probably a chat group for that. If not, grab a colleague and start your own!

And, speaking of starting your own, I’m pleased to announce a new chat group – #LiteracyLeaders – which will begin in the new year. I’m partnering with Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris, two seasoned literacy experts, who bring a wealth of practical knowledge to the group. We’ll feature topics important to literacy leaders at every level – teachers, coaches, and administrators. Stay tuned for specific details.

Cheat Sheet of 101+ Chat Groups

Twitter Chat GroupsIn an effort to help educators keep track of chat groups, @thomasmcmurray and @cevans5095 compiled a comprehensive list of educator chat groups organized by day of the week and time. You can find it on Cybraryman’s website. I’ve used this list many times and it’s really helpful.

Today’s Twitter Chat Group list is organized differently. I find that I’m usually interested in a specific topic and want to join a chat around that topic. So, I developed this Educator Chat Group Cheat Sheet around topics, content areas, and grade levels.

The following categories are included in the Twitter Chat Group Cheat Sheet: technology chats, state & country chats, content area chats, grade level chats, special interest chats, administrator & leadership chats, and reading & literacy. On the first page (see image), there is a space to jot down the groups you’re most interested in checking out.

Final Thoughts

Today’s best educators are connected educators. With more than 100 chat groups to choose from, what’s stopping you? Jump in – you’ll be glad you did.

Click on the tag below to download the Twitter Chat Groups for Educators.

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Kimberly has been a teacher, administrator, and literacy consultant who worked in districts across the country to improve student literacy achievement. She currently serves as an Educational Specialist with Solution Tree and project manager for large-scale PLC implementations. Her new book, Blended Vocabulary: Harnessing the Power of Digital Tools and Effective Instruction, was recently released in February, 2017.