If you have been following this blog, you have probably noticed a number of posts with #LINCchat in the title. These posts are summaries of a bi-weekly Twitter chat for LINC instructors. This is when people can come together for one hour on Twitter to discuss a particular topic and share ideas and resources. It is an excellent way to connect with others working in settlement language and get the support you need to grow as an instructor or administrator.
For some of you, Twitter chats sound interesting, but you are not sure where to begin. Here are some ways in which you can participate without having to leave your house.
Get a Twitter account
While you don’t need a Twitter account to read what has been shared, you won’t be able to participate without one. Twitter is free and you don’t need a smartphone to use it. You can use any computer with internet access.
Make sure your account is not set to Private
When you set your account to Private, only those to whom you give permission will be able to read your tweets. This is tough in a chat since anyone can join. If you tweet, even with the proper hashtag, some people will be left out of your conversation.
Don’t forget the hashtag
When the time comes to start the chat, all you need to do to join is to tweet using the hashtag. Take #LINCchat for example. When the time comes to join the chat, the moderators will share questions and comments using #LINCchat in their tweets. You can answer those questions or give your own comments by tweeting with #LINCchat in the tweet. Be aware, make sure to leave a space before the # in #LINCchat, but there shouldn’t be a space between # and LINCchat. You can put the hashtag anywhere in the tweet. Here is an example:
Follow the hashtag and join the conversation
This is where the conversation happens. To follow a hashtag means to search a hashtag while the chat is happening. There are a few ways to do that.
Mobile app: The Twitter mobile app is not that great for Twitter chats, but it can be used as long as you follow a few steps.
Tweetdeck: Often overlooked, Tweetdeck is a great tool for twitter chats. Tweetdeck is owned and run by Twitter, so you don’t need to register for anything since you already have an account. Simply go to https://tweetdeck.twitter.com and sign in with your Twitter account. Once you are there, here is what you can do to make it easier to chat.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. That is one of the reasons we have moderators.
- Feel free to “lurk” (in other words, watch without tweeting) for a while to get the hang of things.
- Don’t be afraid to only tweet once in a while. You don’t have to comment on everything. We realize new people might find the chats overwhelming at first.
- Moderators will post questions using the Q+number format (ex. Q1). To help others know what you are answering, try to use the A+number format in reply (ex. A1). Here is an example:
- Follow others who participate in the chat. This is a great way to build you personal learning network (PLN) with like-minded people.
- Have fun!