Twitter Connects Teachers
How can a simple #Hashtag on Twitter help the Lutheran teacher? It may come as a surprise to many that Lutheran school teachers are collaborating with like-minded teachers from around the nation and world on a weekly basis. Using the hashtag #LuthEd, these teachers work to garner ideas to help in their classrooms and schools. From time-tested ideas to advice on new tech in the classroom, teachers are sharing their trials and successes using Twitter and the hashtag #LuthEd.
Where It Began
#LuthEd is a collaborative effort with roots from the Lutheran Education Association conference held in Milwaukee this past October. A group of Lutheran educators attending were live tweeting the best of the conference. Many Lutheran educators that were not able to attend the conference were “listening-in” on the conversation under the hashtag #LEA2013. From that weekend, and the conversations that took place in Milwaukee and online, #LuthEd was created as a “channel” for other like-minded Lutheran educators to tune in and stay connected. Dr. Bernard Bull from Concordia University Wisconsin devoted a portion of his webpage http://www.researchinlutheraneducation.com/ to recruiting moderators, documenting conversations, and investigating topics for discussion.
How could this be effective? It all comes from the collaboration. Any good teacher will tell you that they replicate and share ideas that have been proven to work. Have a question about what other schools are doing about a particular policy? Ask the question with the #LuthEd hashtag. You will likely find someone that has dealt with the same issue or someone who can point you in the right direction. This is how collaboration works on the #LuthEd channel.
So, how does a person get started? First of all, get a Twitter account. Next, once logged in, click on the discover panel and type #LuthEd in the search box and read through the conversations that have taken place. Lastly, open up the conversation on Mondays from 9-10 p.m. EST; this is when most of the discussion takes place. During that time, teachers from across the country take turns moderating discussions on specific topics. The topics vary from tech to collaborating on ideas for National Lutheran Schools Week.
Although the most useful aspect of the #LuthEd channel is the collaboration it allows, the most important benefit is the ability to communicate with other Lutheran educators that face the same trials and triumphs in the Lutheran school setting. In the teaching ministry, it is easy to feel like you are alone, especially if you serve an area that is outside of a hub of Lutheran schools. It is this benefit from this kind of collaboration that makes it worth checking out.