I participated in a twitter chat recently. At first I was hesitant because I don’t normally use twitter in that way, but I found it to be a really great experience! I was going to participate in the #histed twitter chat, however when I was on my twitter reading some articles I stumbled across a chat through Women in the World (@WomeninWorld), a feminist site dedicated to advancing women and girls by providing news on topics of interest and importance. This chat was led by Amanda Ripley (@amandaripley), an author and contributor to TIME Magazine and The Atlantic. The topic was on women and education, including discussing children’s learning strategies, ways to boost STEM skills, helping teachers become more confident, and encouraging parental involvement and engagement. When I saw the tweets begin, I had to hop in because of how interesting and personal this topic is to me.
I spent some time observing the Q&A session between the WitW twitter and Ms. Ripley so that I could learn what types of questions she was being asked and how to respond and comment on them. The tweets were coming very fast, and the 140 character limit broke up several of her answers so I had to refresh my page frequently to get the whole response! I was very interested by what Ms. Ripley was saying in her answers, because she was calling for gender equality in teaching and improved support systems for teachers; both of which I agree with. Once I began participating and asking questions, I found it easier to interact with the other participants and Ms. Ripley. Ms. Ripley and I had a chain of tweets after I asked about how to increase the teaching of women’s history, since history taught in our schools is dominantly male and white. We also discussed parental involvement and how early engagement helps student development-I agreed with her point, since my mom always read to me growing up and it helped to develop our relationship and a love of reading. She was very responsive to people replying to her comments and provided many new ideas I would love to continue to discuss.
There were many topics going on at once, and sometimes tweets would show up out of order, which made it more difficult to read. It forced me to pay attention to the conversation at hand which allowed me to develop my comments. It was exciting to watch the notifications pop up when someone retweeted, favorited, or replyed to one of my tweets. I was also retweeted a few times by the Women in the World twitter, which has almost 57,000 followers! The community was very open and willing to discuss, which is not something I have frequently come across in social media.
The next time I participate in a twitter chat, I would probably use a different device. I was on my iPhone, which worked, however it drained my battery and the text was very small. This is a very easy fix. I will have to keep an eye out for future #witwchat tweets, because I really enjoyed the conversation. It felt very personal and easy to reach out to the other participants.