How to get started with ASE Chat
#ASEChat is a hashtag on Twitter that allows others to easily find your post. There are others (for example #PrimaryRocks, #UKEdChat #SLTchat that allow those in similar roles or with similar interests to connect)
You are free to post at any time of the week but there is also a weekly science education discussion that takes place every Monday at 8.00pm (UK time).
What is Twitter?
Twitter is a social network open to anyone at http://www.twitter.com Some people call it a micro-blogging platform because your messages (tweets) are short (it was designed to be used with text messaging).
When you have registered and chosen a suitable twitter name, be sure to upload a photograph (it doesn’t have to be you, some people use photos of science equipment or phenomena) and fill in your bio so that other people know a little about you. If you don’t fill in your bio you could be mistaken for a bot (a Twitter account controlled automatically for nefarious purposes)
You don’t have to give any personally identifiable information – for example, you might just say you are a science teacher from Inner London. If you are a regular user of Twitter you can use your existing account or start a new one just for talking to teaching colleagues. I personally keep a separate account for following science teachers, I use a different one for following everything else so I can keep my education tweets separate (and do you really want to read my tweets to Sainsbury commenting on their service?)
To participate in #ASEChat your posts need to be public so anyone can read them. This means that everyone in the world can read what you are posting – please think about what you post and remember not to give any information that can be associated with specific groups of students at your school (e.g. don’t say my Y9’s are a bunch of blood thirsty animals – as one of your Y9 parents could think you were talking about their child!).
Twitter is different to Facebook. As well as being more public (you can make Twitter private but that makes it much less useful as a CPD tool) you can follow anyone on Twitter, and people on Twitter can follow you back (you can also follow people who don’t follow you, and you may have followers that you don’t subscribe to) . You can also send direct messages which are more like emails (they are private and can be any length) but I find I don’t use these very often.
To maximise the usefulness of Twitter as a CPD tool you need some like-minded followers. I’ve created a list of UK Science teachers, follow the list and you follow all of these teachers in one go, simply visit http://twitter.com/cleverfiend/uk-science-teachers (and follow this list).
You are now signed up and ready to go – but you need some software to help you manage your participation in #ASEChat
Option 1 – use Tweetdeck
Tweetdeck started life as a downloadable piece of software but is now available in any web browser (even on your tablet) at https://tweetdeck.twitter.com/
Tweetdeck can also filter tweets allowing you set up a column in Tweetdeck where every tweet contains the ‘hashtag’ #ASEChat. This is how #ASEChat works. You must remember to include the #ASEChat hashtag in your tweet (message on Twitter) so that everyone else participating in the discussion will be able to see it.
To add a columm, click on the + symbol down the left and then select ‘search’. In the search box that appears you need to type ‘#asechat’ and then press enter. A new column will appear in your Tweetdeck screen with all the #asechat tweets in it. This is how it looks on my PC
Option 2 – Use the regular Twitter interface on the website or the app.
This is the simplest way to read the tweets with the #ASEchat hashtag but you have to keep repeating or refreshing the view if you are trying to keep up with a conversation.
Simply search for #ASEchat in the search box at the top of the page (be careful not to tweet your search terms by accident, when Ed Balls did this he had a day named after him!)
Vote in the Poll (optional)
How do we decide which topic to discuss? Sometimes there will be a poll with a choice of four topics. Please vote for a topic by following @TheASE for more information.
Where else can I get help
If you’re still stuck, please feel free to get hold of me at fiendishlyclever.com/contact-me