Swimming in a Sea of Tweets With #etmooc #etmchat

Not ten minutes ago, I disengaged my fully immersed brain from the sea of #etmchat postings.

It was my first Twitter chat. Ever.

My eyes are bugging out of my head.

I have tweet overload.

I tried to prepare, really I did!

I had my work BB following @etmooc to make sure I was catching the Questions.

I had my home BB to use to catch when someone RT’d me or specifically mentioned me in the chat stream.

I used Tweetchat.com on my laptop to follow the #etmchat stream.

So what did I learn from tonight?

1. Participating in this chat was like swimming – I chose when to jump in, how far to swim in, and when to rest on shore and observe.
2. My methods for swimming, observing, participating were … unwieldy. But it’s what I know (handhelds, laptop), with one new addition (Tweetchat.com).
3. To address #2 above, I will simultaneously answer #etmooc’s Question 4b from tonight: What will I do to improve my digital literacy in #etmooc? Explore Tweetdeck and Hootsuite! Find ways to swim in the #etmchat that make it more enjoyable! …not that tonight wasn’t enjoyable.

Two questions stand out in my mind from tonight:

One question was posed by … gotta check my tweets … @IaninSheffield … about the effect RTs have on a Twitter chat. As a complete newbie to the Twitter chat world, if I think a bit about my own reaction to the RTs, they actually provided my overwhelmed eyeballs with a brain break. Ahh, it’s repeated info. I’m not missing something new. But then I started wondering about the subtle influence of other people’s choice of what to repeat on my mind. I started noticing what (and who) was RT’d. Noticed myself intentionally trying not to notice what/who was RT’d. (why? save that for after my brain recovers from tonight!)

Second question I have from tonight’s experience … what is it that I have truly learned from tonight as a first-time Twitter chatter? How my online presence can very quickly become something out-of-hand if I’m not careful. I felt a bit guilty shushing the dogs and family (“trying to follow the chat! three devices going! stress! augh!”). That guilt is partly because of my methods for swimming in the chat stream (see above for how I’ll try to fix that and reduce guilt!). But what else did I learn from this chat? Were the questions posed by #etmooc all that deep and profound? (were they meant to be?) I am left wondering whether the questions posed seemed big/cumbersome because they were designed to allow for lots of variety in response or because there are over 1600 #etmooc participants and getting down to details isn’t what MOOCs are about or because the details are in the individual chats within the bigger MOOC stream? Yeah, that last one’s probably it.

The classroom “keener” in me wants guidance. A checklist. Assignment #1 due at this time on this day. Feedback.

The ethereal theoreticist in me says “suck it up, buttercup”, MOOCs are what you make them. Or that’s what I’m told.

Enough blogging for tonight. Gotta return to flesh-and-blood people in my life and save the #etmooc deeper thinking for another post.



About tjthiessen

explorer, administrator, consultant, student, leader
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12 Responses to Swimming in a Sea of Tweets With #etmooc #etmchat

  1. Great reflections! I feel similarly each time I do a twitter chat (and I’ve only done about three so far). I love the questions, and occasionally get some useful thoughts from answers, but so far I’ve felt that in twitter chats I just get more anxious and confused than informed. How deep can one go in tweets? And if one wants to do several tweets in a row to express complex answers, that won’t work because there will be 5-10 tweets or more in between one’s tweets and the thread won’t be followed. I couldn’t even read every tweet in this chat, it went by so fast. I did get some ideas for new tools to check out, which was helpful, but I’m not sure chats are the best way to spend an hour. Too many of the tweets just aren’t that helpful for me. At least that’s what I’m thinking so far. I’ll keep doing the etmchats and hope I change my mind on that!

    Oh, and I agree completely on the RT’s–I can’t help wondering if I’ll ever get that many RT’s myself! Silly. But it’s nice to see what resonates with others through the RTs.

  2. Kara says:

    My goodness, swimming definitely is a great analogy for how I felt in my first Twitter chat last night too!! Except I might add that it was like swimming against a strong current. Like you, I was using Tweetchat.com but wow, that was a lot of information to process!! I hope to get better with this and be able to follow an #etmchat by the end of this MOOC as I feel like I did not achieve anything from last night and basically gave up on trying to follow. I am hoping that next week will be just a little bit better!!

  3. Mary B. says:

    Great post. Don’t worry about feeling overwhelmed in the Twitter chat last night. Some of the chats tend to go very fast and take a while to get used to. I usually gravitate towards the conversations and tweets that interest me in the chats and let the rest of the Tweet stream flow by if I can’t keep up. Those connections often lead to deeper learning and thinking for me.

    Tweeting your thoughts succinctly is an art and often takes a while to learn. (Yes, multiple tweets are okay!). It’s all a lot of fun once you get the hang of it!

  4. MrBridge204 says:

    Isn’t using twitter an amazing way to achieve professional development!?! Some of the best discussions I’ve ever had about teaching Phys Ed has been during the weekly #pechat sessions.

  5. You’re lucky you can swim and seem to know all high-tech tools and terms. Check my blog http://www.wordsanctuaryrevisited.blogspot.com for some more melancholy notes on the #etmooc experience. I feel profoundly isolated despite so many people being around.

  6. I hear what you’re saying! It can be totally overwhelming. Love your swimming analogy. I see it like panning for gold. Lots of what you see isn’t necessarily what you’re “looking for”, but when you get that one special nugget, it can be such an exhilarating find.

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