For me, fast-paced, high intensity, put-it-all-out-there education related Twitter chats (edchats*) are the best things since speed dating. You meet interesting people, have some semi-stimulating discussions, and even if you don’t always quite get what you want out of them, and least you leave with a better idea of what it is you do want.
And if they’re uninspiring, you can just walk away.
Quite often, though, you meet what I call the ‘speed bumps’. These are not people who are new to Twitter chats – we all like taking a noob under our wing – nor are they the controversial against-the-grainers. No, speed bumps are people who cannot seem to move past the same old hackneyed thoughts, ‘nothing statements’ and negative sentiments. You can almost feel the collective sigh from the chatters when a speed-bumper enters the twoom.
But shame, perhaps these people truly don’t realize the extent to which they suck the energy out of an edchat. Perhaps one of us needs to be brave and tell them. Perhaps that should be me.
OK then. Please pay attention speed-bumpers: these are the things you shouldn’t say when you’re chatting about education on Twitter. (A short ironic reflection about how I feel about each of these inane statements is encoded into the hashtag/s at the end of each example tweet.)
All this is fine, but what about the syllabus / exams / test / marks? #schoolisaboutmarks #studentsasnumbers
This would not work at my school. #olddogs #icanseewhy
I love technology but it has its place. #PowerPointer #nocellphones
We need kids to think outside the box. #youarethebox
I am passionate about the passion of my passionate passion. #enoughpassion
It’s awesome to be awesomely awesome. #stopkillingwords
Who has the time to do that? #maketime
Hi all. Sorry I’m late. What did I miss? #scrollback #block
Hi all. Sorry I’m late. What’s the topic? #figureitout #mute
But we need to teach the content. #stuckinthe80s #whogaveyouinterwebz
Who’s @sirkenrobinson ? #underarock
That’s fine for you, you’re lucky. You teach in a privileged school. #icanteven
BRB / Be right back. #wrongplatform #wrongdecade
We must always push rigour! #chalkandtalk #shutupandlisten #teachtothetest
I’ll just lurk. #um #k
Can’t stay long. Have marking. #unitasker
Be sure to read my blog. #tooclosetohome
What is flipped teaching / blended learning / child-centered education (etc.) #googleit #wherehaveyoubeen
But what about discipline? #nocomment
Kids need to be shown how to be more creative. #ormaybeyoushouldstepoutoftheway
What does neuroscience know about learning anyway? #morethanyou
Let’s be realistic about this. #hereitcomes #yourrealityneedstochange
And so on.
If you’re doing any of these, please stop.
* I think the #edchat hashtag was first used by Tom Whitby in the US. Like TED did with TEDx though, there are now many, many localized, independent versions.