4 reasons to make the #vted twitter chat part of your PLN

Asynchronous, flexible & friendly professional development

#vted twitter chatYou’ve read the recaps, seen the hashtag fly by and maybe even dipped a toe in the #vted twitter chat waters. But we’ve got 4 reasons to make the #vted twitter chat a regular part of your professional learning network.

Here we go:

1. Participate at your own speed

You know the drill: everyone has different levels of comfort around new activities that contain an element of social participation in them. Some folks jump right in and introduce themselves right away, others prefer to hang back and lurk. Twitter chats let you do either, and there’s zero shame being a lurker.

How the #vted twitter chat works

The #vted twitter chat is moderated by Franklin West Supervisory Union superintendent Ned Kirsch (@betavt) along with Rowland Fellow Jason Findley (@finleyjd) and the Tarrant Institute’s own Life LeGeros, driving the @innovativeEd bus. (Okay, it’s more of a minivan, but you get the point.)

Ned rolls out the questions and the rest of us try to answer them as best we can. Jump in and say hi by “@-ing” us — a twitter trick where if you include a person’s twitter handle, the message goes right to them — or just hang out and listen in on the conversation. Zero pressure.

2. Work the chat in around your home life

Chats take place every other Thursday from 8-9pm EST, solely online. This means yes, you can participate in your pajamas.

It’s okay to get interrupted

But one of the other great things about twitter chats is their asynchronous nature; you can jump in and out of the conversation at will. Need to take a break to pull pasta out of someone’s hair or answer a math question? The tweets will still be here when you get back.

Pro-tip: if you open up a new browser tab that just contains the #vted hashtag and set it to “Live” (as in capturing a live stream of them, rather than just the photos, or just the most popular ones), like so, the tweets will automatically stack up even while you’re away explaining the intricacies of shared remote control ownership.

3. Meet educators who understand what you’re going through

Geographically, Vermont is massive. We’ve got folks up in the Northeast Kingdom, folks down near the Massachusetts border, out next to New Hampshire and all along Lake Champlain, with a lot of spaces in between. It can get pretty tricky to meet other educators.


Swing by and meet folks who care just as much as you about getting Flexible Pathways right, and wonder how the Legislature’s new spending cap on Act 46 will affect the future.

Imagine how difficult it would be to otherwise assemble 20+ Vermont educators in one room — even virtually! Well, it happens twice a month with this chat.

4. Find great new resources you can use the next morning

If you’re looking for compelling school stories, or cool tool tips, how-to help or anything in between, chances are good that someone will have brought something like it to the chat. And if they didn’t, all you’ve got to do is ask. It’s like opening a window, whispering your wishes to the universe and turning around to find a pot of gold in your iPad. In a totally, um, education-related kind of way.

This week, on #vted twitter chat:

This week, the #vted twitter chat checks in on how the first year of PLP implementation. We’re halfway through the year! How’s it going? What have been some of the challenges?

#vted twitter chat

Share your successes! Commiserate with Ned about the Patriots! Up your cute social media graphics game with Jason! We’ll see you there.

Audrey Homan

Audrey Homan is a Vermont-based digital media producer, and producer of The 21st Century Classroom podcast. She's worked in non-profit communications for more than a decade, and in her spare time writes tiny video games and mucks about with augmented reality and arduinos, ably assisted by five dogs. Interviewing students and yelling in PHP are the best parts of her job.

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