Wednesday, July 29, 2015

#WeirdEd Week 67- Group Work

Post by Christina Torres, Lane Floyd, Katlyn Bennett, Liz Hoppe, and Stacey Hughes

5 strangers, 3 days, one google doc, one #WeirdEd Wednesday. It sounds like a reality show, right? This is what happens when @weirdteacher tweets and you choose to respond.

#WeirdEd tweet.png

It was a blind challenge and we were all willing to take a risk;  ready to give "something," even though we had no clue what that might be. Soon, a message came, and we all stared down a google doc with the instructions to create a blog post and 6 questions for a twitter chat…

For Stacey (@StaceyHughes077), the first thought was- there's NO WAY I can do this. She’s new to Twitter and claims to barely know how to use a hashtag. She had said yes before her rational mind had time to realize that she had invited the adventure!  The box was opened, now the only thing left to do was to step out of it and embrace the process with complete strangers.

The truth is, the end of July feels kind of like the “hump day” of summer. For example, Liz (@hoppeteacher)  is  just getting used to relaxing, back from vacations, and she’s now on the tipping point between “relax more” and “start thinking of school”.  Her kids want to play board games and go to the pool, so she’s not in a “deep educational talk” place, but her mind is starting to plan and dream. Katlyn (@MrsBennettELA) is having a similar experience as she splits time between preparing for a 2-week vacation and planning PD for pre-service week. This makes a chat topic tough.  It needs to be “summer light”, but still  worth the time of discussing.

Some of us have moderated twitter chats before, but never with people we didn’t know, and without a specific topic or purpose in mind. This time, it was all done in reverse- you’re hosting a chat and writing a blog post, NOW decide everything else. Here’s where we meet the “backwards” chat format. A jeopardy style twitter chat that provides all the answers and lets the participants respond with questions. Google Doc collaboration was perfect as the five of us shared our unique ideas and gradually wove them together into one product. We each found our role, idea generator, editor, facilitator, and made it work.This experiment clearly demonstrates that an online PLN isn’t limited to discussion for collaboration-- you can create collaboratively, too!

The idea of 5 Twitter strangers being thrown into a Google Doc and coming out 3 days later with a Twitter chat and a blog post is evidence of this:  when you are open to a new challenge, and remember that growth mindset word of YET--- you can do things you would only imagine!


  1. Crazy cool to see that I was part of this. Crazy for you to ask us to do it. Crazy that it actually worked. But perfect teaching model: "I'm gonna put this out there for my students and let them see what they come up with". I love doing that!

  2. Thanks for the challenge! I'm excited for tonight's chat!