Synchronous learning with live Twitter chats

Synchronous learning is when all participants are actively learning together at the same time.

On this page we are going to look at how Twitter can be used to provide a live social learning event where participants contribute and learn from another in real-time.

Examples of synchronous live learning on Twitter

1 – lrnchat

#lrnchat is an online chat that happens every Thursday night (monthly in the Summer) at 8:30-10pm EST / 5:30-7pm PST on Twitter as well as at 4.30 pm GMT (11.30 am EST). Participants are anybody who is interested in the topic of learning from one another and who want to discuss how to help other people learn  The official lrnchat account is @lrnchat.  The  lrnchat blog announces the topic for the chat, and provides the transcript of the activity after the event. The blog also provides some useful Chat Tips.

2 – Real Workplace Learning Twitter Chat

#realwplearn is a new chat that takes place monthly on the second Wednesday in the month from 8-9 pm BST/3-4 pm EST. The focus of this live Twitter chat session is to explore ways of encouraging, participating in and sometimes supporting workplace social and informal learning — where the real learning happens. Find out more at www.RealWorkplaceLearning.com

How to participate in a synchronous live chat session on Twitter.

  • Twitter chats are based around the use of a hashtag.  All tweets in the chat need to contain the hashtag.
  • Use Twitter Search or a tool like tweetchat.com to view all the tweets with the tag
  • Watch for the questions asked in the chat
  • Respond to the questions – making sure you include the chat

If you are new to live chat, then you might be interested in other first-timers experiences of using lrnchat.  If the fast pace of the conversation overwhelms you, then read the many comments in this posting that provide advice on how to cope with it all.    How do you learn from #lrnchat?,

Finding a Twitter chat

You can find a list of other twitter chats in the Twitter chat schedule by Robert Swanwick

Here’s a useful article: 6 steps to finding the right Twitter chat for you, Blogher, 16 May 2011

How to set up a live chat session on Twitter

  1. Establish a time for all to come together – and announce it
  2. Decide on the hashtag to be used
  3. Decide on the format of the session, and how it is going to work.
  4. Ensure the participants know how to participate and how to view the relevant tweets, and e.g. if you are going to use TweetChat – where also moderate inappropriate tweets
  5. Decide how you are going to make the transcript available – on your blog or website or in a separate document (PDF), e.g. using Tweetdoc

But there’s more to creating a successful chat, as is explained here: How to create a successful Twitter Chat, Suzanne Vara, B2C, 2 June 2011

Other uses of live Twitter Chats

Reading list

The real benefit of a Twitter chat, Amy K, wegohealth, 28 May 2011

Twittering classes for teachers, The Guardian, 9 May
2011