twitter-follow-achieverOn Wednesday night, January 16, the AISI Network held the first of many to come Twitter hashtag driven chats. The topic for their first Twitter chat was Action Research as an Iterative Process. My goal, as the moderator, was two-fold. I wanted to expose our network to the power of global discussion through a common tag and I wanted to create a positive experience for those new to Twitter around a complex topic.

Two learning communities, AISI Network and PLPNetwork (both who are actively involved in action research) were the prime invitees but others were also welcome to join in. The mix of AISI and PLP was by design and worked quite well. The AISI Network is full of smart, caring educators from Alberta, Canada who have so much wisdom to share but typically do it in face-to-face environments. Most understand action research quite well as many of them are in their 5th cycle of inquiry around a project. Many in the 2012-13 PLPNetwork (also smart, caring educators from around the world) are seasoned Twitter users and while some are just getting started in thinking about action research they are not shy about asking good questions and sharing information in online environments. Both groups are currently engaging in ongoing professional discussions in online community of inquiry, so using Twitter to extend their reach and to begin to build their own personal learning networks just made sense.

The chat officially started at 7:00 PM Mountain time but “heads up” messages started at 6:30 PM. Because it was a Twitter Chat geared toward those who might not have used Twitter, I decided to create a series of pre-constructed tweets to help people understand what to do once they logged in. I believe it is helpful for a moderator of a Twitter chat to have pre-created Tweets as a way of ensuring a smooth process. For me it is important to know that the pre-start organization messages are well thought out, clear and meet the 140 character parameter. I know that folks not use to the fast pace of well attended Twitter chat will need regular guiding as they try their hand at keeping up with the conversation stream and I want to make sure I am “dropping bread crumbs” along the way so it is easier to find the way. I believe effective moderation is the key to a successful experience when you are having a complex discussion such as Action Research as an Iterative Process  and especially with folks 450px-Systems_Model_of_Action-Research_Processnew to the learning environment.

Here is an example of the pre-show Tweets.

    1. At 9pm (NY time)/7pm Mountain we will have a twitter chat on Action Research as an iterative process.#aisinetwork
    2. If this is your first Twitter chat the most impt thing to remember is to use the #aisinetwork or #plpnetwork hashtag in your posts.
    3. We will start with a question which will have Q1 and the #aisinetwork #plpnetwork hashtags in the post.
      You will answer with A1 and the #aisinetwork or #plpnetwork hashtags in your reponse.
    4. To follow the chat you will click on the #aisinetwork tag or the #plpnetwork tag and it will bring all tweets using that tag together.
    5. You can go to & enter #aisnetwork or #plpnetwork in search and follow the tweets there. You can control speed there too
    6. You can also RT (retweet) a response you agree with but make sure it includes the #aisnetwork or #plpnetwork tag.
    7. We will post a transcript of the chat tomorrow at http:// & #aisinetwork #plpnetwork
    8. Ready for the first question? #aisinetwork #plpnetwork

Participants had eight questions they collaboratively grappled with during the one hour session. There were 81 contributors with 495 tweets on the #aisinetwork side (using the #aisinetwork tag) including 242 retweets and 103 @replies. There were 126 contributors with 872 tweets on the #plpnetework side including 229 retweets and 246 @replies.
Or over 1000 tweets about action research in the one hour chat.

The questions asked were as follows:

Q.1 How do you define action research? #aisinetwork #plpnetwork
Q.2.Do you agree that action research is an iterative process? Why? Why not? #aisnetwork #plpnetwork
Q.3 Have you participated in an action research project? If so tell us a little about your study.Links? #aisinetwork #plpnetwork
Q.4.Do you have an example of action research project or a favorite AR resource you’d like to share? #aisnetwork #plpnetwork
Q.5.In your opinion who should do action research and why? #aisnetwork #plpnetwork
Q.6.What is the relationship between action research and inquiry? #aisnetwork #plpnetwork
Q.7.What in your opinion are the attributes of a good action research question? Do you have an example? #aisinetwork #plpnetwork
Q.8. Can social media and other technologies support the action research process? If yes,how so? #aisinetwork #plpnetwork

You can read the full transcript for the chat by accessing these two documents.
topic-#plpnetwork-0000-00-00-2013-01-17 (start at 1/16)
topic-#aisinetwork-0000-00-00-2013-01-17 (start at 1/16)

Hope you will make plans to join AISI and PLP on January 30 at 9pm Eastern( 7pm Mountain) for our next #aisinetwork #plpnetwork Twitter Chat where we will discuss ” Collective Intelligence Building ” and regularly every other Wednesday through May. Follow @aisinetwork or @plpnetwork to keep up with topics and receive reminders for all future AISI/PLP events.

Powerful Learning Practice will also hold its own Twitter Chats around topics other than action research. Follow @plpnetwork to find out when.

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During a 25-year education career, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach has been a classroom teacher, technology coach, charter school principal, district administrator, university instructor and digital learning consultant. Sheryl is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Powerful Learning Practice, where she works with schools and districts from around the world to re-envision their learning cultures and communities through the Connected Learner Experience and other e-learning opportunities. She is the author (with Lani Ritter Hall) of The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age (Solution Tree, 2012) and serves on the ISTE Board of Directors.
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