Seven years ago, I used a hashtag on Twitter for the first time. One year later, I would participate in a synchronous hashtag conversation. Fast forward to 2015 and hashtags on Twitter are ubiquitous...useful for linked conversations and social curation/sharing.
This week, I was invited to be the guest for Wednesday's #LTHEchat - the UK's weekly Learning and Teaching HE chat. The topic for the conversation was "Enhancing the Student Experience with Digital Engagement." Taking place at 8PM GMT, the chat generally has a UK-based higher education focus and is co-hosted by a guest and an #LTHEchat moderator.
Since yesterday 1247 Tweets 443 Re-Tweets 202 Users #LTHEchat— Simon Lancaster (@S_J_Lancaster) November 18, 2015
The volume of tweets/engagement for the #LTHEchat was staggering. Using a combination of TweetDeck and Twitter.com, I was barely able to keep up with all of the questions, comments, ideas, and thoughts.
The notifications / hashtag columns in TweetDeck kept filling up with new tweets/interactions. It was simultaneously thrilling and overwhelming. Having to pick and choose which questions/comments to address was probably the hardest part and there wasn't a lot of time to reflect. Being the guest on a chat that's this active is all about letting go and letting the chat take you on a 60 minute journey.
Thankfully, I was assisted during the chat by #LTHEchat co-creator Sue Beckingham from Sheffield Hallam University. Sue kept us all on track whilst managing both her account and the official #LTHEchat Twitter account.
Since I was the guest host for this #LTHEchat, I was responsible for the topic as well as for the questions that were asked by the official chat moderator. The combination of digital engagement and the student experience definitely got people tweeting. Here are the questions from this week's #LTHEchat:
Perhaps the most challenging aspect of being a guest (many of the tweets from participants included my username) as opposed to a regular participant for a hashtag-based conversation is that you don't have a lot of time to tweet your own answers to the questions as the chat progresses. I spent a fair amount of time responding to participant questions, ideas, and comments. In hindsight, I could have written up answers ahead of time. However, I really wanted to see how the chat progressed/evolved.
I was able to post a couple of thoughts/statements during the chat.
No one is a digital native...it's a continuum of fluency and experience. Teach digital literacy in all learning spaces. #LTHEchat— Eric Stoller (@EricStoller) November 18, 2015
For a free professional development / community-building experience, I highly recommend checking out #LTHEchat.
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