One of the most exciting things about Twitter is a twitterchat. While probably not what the creators of the social networking site had in mind, twitterchats are high-paced and concise (only 140 characters at a time) conversations among an unlimited amount of participants. Chats operate by employing a hashtag (or #hashtag), and each post includes that hashtag. Participants set their Twitter page (or hootsuite, tweetdeck, or other such program) to follow that tag, and - presto - every post that includes that tag, even if made by someone that they are not following, appears in their stream.
Following in the footsteps of the wonderful #edchat, a twice-weekly chat about all things education, #jedchat was begun two years ago by Akevy Greenblatt (@Akevy613), Dov Emerson (@dovemerson), and Meir Wexler (@RabbiWex) as a parallel version focusing on Jewish education. The weekly chats became a meeting place for many Jewish educators who wanted to expand their networks and discuss some of the pressing issues in Jewish education, and the hashtag itself became an ongoing way for those educators to reach out to one another to seek advice, share successes, and disseminate news.
With the founders having all moved on to new endeavors and having less time to devote to Jedchat, a new team of moderators will be kicking off Jedchat's third year this Wednesday night, October 2nd, from 9pm to 10pm Eastern Time. Some things to know about the new season of Jedchat:
- Moderators - Jedchat will be moderated this year by Rabbi Avi Bernstein (@RabbiBernstein), Aliza Chanales (@alizachanales), and yours truly (@rabbiross).
- Unlike in the past, when Jedchat presented a topic and let the conversation range freely for an hour, the chats will hopefully take the more structured form favored by chats such as #educoach, which present a series of guiding questions throughout the course of the chat to help keep the conversation moving and to prevent one aspect of the topic from dominating or becoming stale.
- Polls will be put out via Twitter every Tuesday offering a selection of potential topics for the next night's chat.
Of course, one of the best aspects of #Jedchat is that it is an opportunity for professional growth and development that is absolutely free. No airfare, no conference fees, no tolls. As long as you have an internet connection nearby, you can be a part of this wonderful conversation. So share this post with other Jewish educators, and clear your schedule for Wednesday nights. We look forward to welcoming you to the conversation.