May 7, 2012 by Brad Currie
By: Brad Currie and Scott Rocco
#Satchat is a great example of the power of social media in the educational realm and the benefit of expanding an educator’s Personal Learning Network (PLN). The premise behind this Twitter chat/hashtag came about when Scott Rocco (@scottrrocco) and Brad Currie (@bcurrie 5) connected on Twitter some five months ago. They both had a passion for education and knew other school leaders around the globe shared their enthusiasm. What they would soon realize is that this passion was not restricted to local or national educators but had a global reach.
The concept started simply one day when they began direct messaging each other on Twitter and tossed around some ideas related to school leadership. In particular, how could ideas be shared and topics discussed pertaining to all things administration? They agreed upon a discussion group that would chat on Saturday mornings and focus on current and future school administrators. After some further discussion through direct messaging a topic was picked and promoted through Twitter and on Saturday, April 14 the first #Satchat debuted. The first chat was a resounding success due to the twenty plus school leaders/educators that participated. Fast forward to the last chat which took place yesterday and over fifty school leaders engaged in the lively discussion.
What makes the weekly #Satchat Twitter discussion work is the growing number of willing and able participants who continue to share their wonderful insight from the world of education. Current and emerging school administrators from the Middle East, California, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, North Carolina, New York, Alabama, Pennsylvania and other parts of the world have contributed to this lively and healthy weekly discussion. Over the weeks topics have ranged from
why educators become school leaders to how you get others to believe in you as an administrator. The insight is tremendous and provides professional development and food for thought that can be brought back to your school and possibly implemented the very next week.
The tools of the ever evolving #Satchat discussion are many. During the week Twitter’s direct messaging feature is used by @scottrrocco and @bcurrie5 as they prepare and discuss questions/topics for the upcoming chat. Then a Twitter Poll is used to survey participants about what it is they are interested in discussing during #Satchat. Daily promos are made on Twitter and also by way of an Audioboo . During the actual chat Twitter for iPad, HootSuite and other Twitter tools enable participants to communicate and get their points across. After the chat Storify is used to archive the chats and make them available to those who participated. A wiki is also maintained by the very talented and co-founder of #NJED Bill Krakower @wkrakower.
The impact of #Satchat has been inspiring to say the least. Superintendent’s, Assistant Superintendents, Principals, Assistant Principals, Teachers, Technology Coordinators and various other school related personnel have shared and consumed pertinent information related to improving the field of education. Moving forward the hope is that hundreds if not thousands of school leaders will join #Satchat and make it a one stop sharing experience for all things administration and all things education. What has quickly been learned through the first few #Satchat discussions is the value of a PLN and the power this group has in sharing information so that we are all better educators. Please join us every Saturday morning at 7:30am EST for #Satchat.