Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Spark Chat on QQ

My officemates could be the first to tell you that I'm big on integrating tech tools into my teaching as well as for our PLC at school in order for everyone to experience connected learning. These two men know that my longterm goal is to get them on Twitter, and it's only a matter of weeks or days. But in the meantime, I've been playing with various social media platforms on the China-side of the Firewall even if all of our foreign teachers (Ts not from China) have VPNs. Slowly we'll all learn how to use foreign internet for professional reasons too. :D

For an introduction to Twitter chats, I first suggested that we use an app called QQ. The guys agreed so we set up last night (Thursday) to have a spark chat from 6:30-6:45pm. Now, QQ is more of a chat/public posting app or website. The group chat feature is tolerable since there's no mentioning nor favoriting capabilities. You can mention others in WeChat, but it is also mostly convenient for devices. While one of the guys doesn't have a working smartphone, we went with QQ.

our group chat where we practiced mentions & hashtags
I'll be honest, and say that I was ecstatic about the spark chat. Earlier in the day, one of them suggested that we do a more personal topic because of all the professional interactions we have. (The other T and I agree though we both hinted at how we don't really have enough of that kind of talk.) I decided not to be too forceful with keeping it professional because a chat alone was a step. So we agreed to discuss: What is one thing you would share/do for a person new to China? This topic came to mind from a dialogue I had with Scott Capro, co-founder of #BFC530. This particular spark chat is amazing, and not every morning does it simply entail methods, management tips, or how to implement new ideas. It can hit on the heart and soul of an assortment of education issues.

So just like that, our #BSEFT (BaiShan Elementary Foreign Teacher) chat took off! Comments and questions started clicking almost as soon as we started. And before I knew it, one of them delivered our #micdrop to end it.

I decided in the midst of the chat a couple times to post screenshots of Stan's (one of my colleagues) comments on Twitter. I wanted to see what kind of response I would receive from a more global audience. It didn't take very long for the teamwork quote to get favorited and retweeted. When I passed this information on to him today, he was happy to help and then went on about his father's quotes. I simply re-emphasized how he made a global impact with just one line and one click whether or not it is a quote from our fathers or not (haha).

That's the power of social media. A spark chat on QQ with my PLC in China or a conversation with my PLN on Voxer from China to NJ and CO in the States. It's happening...worldwide collaboration. Anywhere, anytime, with anybody you choose. Thus, why I'm now reading Steven Anderson and Tom Whitby's The Relevant Educator. I would like the teachers at my school to experience the power that is on tap in the palm of one's hand.

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