Tweeting 2 Learn & Learning 2 Tweet @ IATEFL2015

‘Engagement’ was one of the keywords that understandably cropped up again and again in presentations at this year’s IATEFL. This was also the conference where I transitioned from being more of a passive learner via Twitter (following other educators to learn about new ideas and tools) to an active learner/user.
As a consequence of actively tweeting from sessions I was engaging in the presentations in a new way. I found myself trying to summarise the speakers’ points and tweet concisely and interestingly. I was happy when people retweeted my tweets and found myself checking the #IATEFL hashtag to see what was hot or not, and what I had missed in other sessions.
One of the best Twitter experiences for me was when I finished my presentation on the last day of the conference and discovered to my joy that three people had been tweeting from my session. This felt like affirmation, that maybe I did have something worthwhile to say after all. I also wonder if my tweeting during the conference had led to people choosing to hear me speak when they could have gone to the IATEFL signature event with David Crystal, or one of the other 18 sessions that were running simultaneously.
A few thoughts and lessons learned:
  1. Use relevant hashtags so that others can see your tweets, i.e. #IATEFL #ELT #edtech #eltchat
  2. Look for the speaker’s Twitter account in advance of their presentation in order to include them in your tweets
  3. RT – retweet tweets that you like, identify with and want to share
  4. Thank others for tweeting from your sessions, and for retweeting your tweets
  5. The conference continues well after it is over with the blog summaries being posted on twitter
  6. As it is s so affirming when someone tweets from your sessions, why not tweet things your students say that will resonate with the rest of the class?
  7. It is a great way to check students’ understanding of a lesson by asking them to tweet what they now know as a consequence of the lesson
Although only a couple of years ago Tweeting seemed to me to be abstract and not relevant to me as an educator, I am now a twitter convert. I have learned so much from following educators on twitter especially Edtech and #eltchat educators, that I can’t imagine what kind of educator I’d be without it.

6 thoughts on “Tweeting 2 Learn & Learning 2 Tweet @ IATEFL2015

  1. Hi Jane,
    It was good to see more people joining in on the tweetstream this year – it can get a bit lonely sometimes! 😉 I use Twitter to take notes during conferences which I can then refer back to when writing blogposts. Like you, I also enjoy seeing what people have chosen to tweet from my session.
    I was first converted to Twitter when following the TESOL France 2010 conference from a distance – I got so much from what people were sharing that now I feel it’s only fair that I share when I’m lucky enough to be at a conference. And I do wish presenters would share their Twitter handle on their opening slide – it would make things a lot easier!
    Hope to meet you in Birmingham next year, but until then, keep tweeting!

    1. Dear Sandy,

      I also use my tweets for notes. I must admit that I followed you during the conference, and thanks to your concise and numerous tweets I had a good idea of what was going on elsewhere, as did Claudie from Toronto, see her comment below.

  2. Tweeting during sessions also helped me to concentrate and reading others’ tweets (thinking of you, Sandy) was really helpful.

    1. Hi Marjorie,
      During some sessions I noticed that a number of us had tweeted virtually the same tweets. This enables the presenter to see what the audience understands.

      Thanks for you comment.


  3. I was one of the beneficiaries of all that tweeting – following from Toronto. Sandy’s tweeting was phenomenal. I can’t believe how complete her tweets were and what stamina she must have to have been able to keep it up (and they say multitasking doesn’t work.)

    Yes – Twitter handles should be part of educator’ signatures now! Twitter can be time consuming – but with good management – time well spent.

    My Twitter handle @thespreadingoak !!

    1. Hi Claudie,

      I know Sandy from her online presence and have learnt a lot from her tweets. I have now learnt the term Twitter handle from you -@thespreadingoak

      Thanks for your comment.


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