Friday, February 8, 2013

Twitter Chat, Pt. 3 (Most Useful)

I write, now, the blog post I should have waited to write before. My post Monday night is the definition of "knee-jerk" reaction, with the emphasis on "jerk." I apologize to anyone I may have offended, although I believe what I said needed to be said; and I have already seen the positives beginning to emerge. But it took decency and forbearance by many of my colleagues to make that happen. I should have said it differently.

But I was mad; and I shouldn't have been. The ILEdChat was not arranged for my benefit. Although I was invited, I did not set the agenda. Many high-level admins from across the state were a part of that chat, and they had extremely important details to work out. And I don't think everyone's answers are ever going to be provided in a one-hour chat format. I need one of those epic question-and-answer events like you see on C-SPAN about 2 o'clock in the morning.

The next day I was less mad, and slightly less stupid. Still, I sensed that I was making a difference somehow. I had gotten some people's attention, and not in a negative way. Like I said, my colleagues deserve the credit here. They could have sent me to Twitter Hell somewhere, but they sensed my honesty I guess.

I was being honest. Maybe too honest. But as long as I make a difference, then I'm happy. I saw a conversation that I didn't think was helping any student in Illinois. And I couldn't imagine a conversation between educators that didn't do that. But for admins in the education system, these are the things they are responsible for; so they were doing their jobs. And I was doing mine.

In the end, it's all good. I made some new connections, and I sense a real desire, collectively, to make a difference in the lives of Illinois students. (People seemed to genuinely care that I felt like I was left in the cold.) But we must make these differences in our own way. I won't criticize others for the way they work; and I expect they wouldn't criticize me for the way I work, as long as we're on the same proverbial page. The positives here already have surpassed the negatives. I plan on being in on the next statewide chat, and I know that I am welcome, so it should be productive. I know more about what I'm getting into, and hopefully they know that listening to me is at least as important as me listening to them. I think that's the only way it will all work. I think that is the objective of the 5Essentials.

I did participate in another chat Tuesday night, and this one was much more mellow. It was just between us classmates (MBU 543) and our esteemed professor. It went very well, I was able to spout off several times and all of our questions were answered and discussed. I think that's kind of how it's supposed to go, but I am still new at this, so I'll wait and see. It is interesting that our group is made up of educators in various stages of professional development. As a group I think we're very strong and able to solve all of the educational problems in this country if we were allowed to do so. I'm only kidding a little bit. I truly believe we all care very much about the students we are involved with. Unless they are disrespectful, then it's a paddle to the behind. Yeah, even the adults. Ok, now I'm kidding. Sorry.


  1. It sounds like the end outcome was of value to you, Rob, and I think ultimately it was of value to the students. I had some disappointments in my investigation of social networking as well, so I guess the lesson we learn is to keep at it and find what works for you.

    Teachers, we're all differentiated learners too.

  2. I like the way you went about posting your reaction this week. I think this is what blogging should be, our emotional reactions, early, then later we react reflectively (which in the case of blogging is pretty effective I think because we can look back of our words). Your blogs have been very open, very thoughtful and they always have something I agree greatly with.

  3. I looked back over my series of tweets during the chat Monday night. I have this strange progression from cautiously troubled to frustration to downright anger, until I finally bowed out, wishing to avoid saying something really stupid. They just kept going down this tangent, and it was so ... boring. Then I looked at the tweets for Thursday night's moedchat, and it was a complete 180. All kinds of wonderful teachers talking about useful ideas and tools. It was chocked full of information and intelligent discussion. At that point I knew it wasn't just me, they really do need to rework the way they do the iledchats. They need to break it up into iladminchat and ilteacherchat, or something like that. Oh well, enough about this already. Thanks for the kind words gentlemen.