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Using Wakelet for Twitter Chats: by Lindsay Zilly

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Lindsay provides a great step-by-step guide to creating Twitter Chats on Wakelet!

Once upon a time on Twitter

Twitter is a place where you can both consume and create information! It’s a place where you are connecting with people you don’t know, may never really meet and only ever talk in short, segmented sentences. And while the idea of this virtual coffee house isn’t new, leveraging it the way educators have, is!

I’m talking about Twitter Chats friends! But, before we can begin the conversation about the beautiful marriage between Twitter and Wakelet, it’s important to be sure that we are all on the same page!

I don’t get it

What exactly is necessary for a Twitter Chat, you ask? It’s really not that complicated. The ingredients for a great chat include:

Chats can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. That’s not even considering slow chats which could be one tweet a day for an entire week or even a month! The purpose of a Twitter Chat is to gather with like minded individuals, in your pajamas (ok that’s not the purpose but an added perk!), to discuss trending topics and ideas with one another.

There is also the opportunity for individuals to make connections with people they normally would have never met before, share resources and get a peek into others’ classrooms– sometimes it feels like we are teaching in a silo all by our lonesome! So, now that we’ve got the basics, let’s talk about what it is that makes Wakelet Twitter’s bestie.

This is how we do it

Each month I co-host a Twitter Chat… #ILedChat. The topic is rooted in education but varies based on what is happening in the education world that month. First, I troll Twitter to see what is a trending topic that people want to dig into more. Then, I draft some questions that are both thought provoking and can be answered by the novice or expert on the topic. Next, I create some graphics!

This is when I dive into the #WakeletWave. I create a new Wakelet collection for each chat topic….but secretly, I also have an #ILedChat Wakelet collection that houses them all (Bwahaha!). I customize the header and title to relate to the topic of the month and then the fun begins! 

Do you Wakelet, take Twitter?

As Director of Professional Learning for a non profit organization, I am fully aware that people are getting bombarded with emails, posts and messages regularly. So, I make it my mission to create beautiful content that makes life easier and more efficient. I can only do this for our Twitter Chats because of the seamless pairing of Wakelet and Twitter!

Prior to hosting a chat, I create a Wakelet collection and post all of the upcoming questions as well as the times of the questions. In addition, I link an “I don’t get it” tutorial of how to join a Twitter Chat for newbies. This way, potential chatters have everything they need prior to the chat. Twitter chats can sometimes seem fast and furious, so by knowing how to join and understanding the other logistics, it alleviates a ton of pressure. You have the questions, schedule your responses and then come back to your Wakelet collection and lurk on all the learning and things! 

Now what?

After sharing out pertinent information regarding the chat, it is time to facilitate the conversation. Personally, I schedule all my responses to the questions in advance. This way I can reply to those participating in real time and give solutions to problems or share resources more authentically. Once the chat is over, I head over to my previously created Wakelet collection where it is time to embed the chat. You’d think this would be the hard part, but it’s NOT! I simply click the plus sign, our friend the Twitter Bird and I’m half way there!

At this point you can curate tweets from a specific user or you can grab the whole hashtag #awesomesauce. So, after typing in my hashtag, I decide if I want the thread to post in chronological order or from most recent responses.

So scroll on down until you’ve found them all. You can choose to exclude certain tweets that are either not relevant or a part of your chat. Once you click “add” your Twitter Chat is now archived and shareable! I change the view to “Mood Board” because it is visually pleasing to me. But here again, you’ve got options. You can also toggle on the “easy reorder” mode if you want to rearrange your content too!

But wait, there’s more!

You can easily embed your Wakelet collections on a website or link them to presentations. By curating your Twitter Chats you are creating a hashtag community in which experts are sharing their experiences and beliefs on a given topic. This is incredibly valuable in the education world, as we know trends tend to ride that pendulum of change! So, after archiving your chat, share it out and reference it as a resource. Think of it as an episode of a podcast. You wouldn’t record a podcast broadcast and then just discard it, would you? I’ll answer that for you, no way! So, share that baby out. After all, we are #bettertogether!