Sunday, 5 June 2016

How to #pypchat

I love learning! About 3 years ago I was introduced to Twitter and its power as a professional development tool. I wrote this post about that time. It will get you started on Twitter if you are not on there yet. It also highlights the power of Twitter in education. If you are living in China you will need a VPN to access Twitter unless your school has an internet line to Hong Kong like this one.

Two years ago I started working in an IB World School. I immediately started connecting with IB educators around the world via Twitter. This supportive community accelerated my learning exponentially. About one year ago I stumbled upon #pypchat.

Twitter from a mobile device @brianlalor

#pypchat is a one hour discussion that is hosted every two weeks in different regions around the world. The Asia Pacific chat currently meets on Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 7:30pm Hong Kong time. Each week, has a different topic and educators in the region come together to collaborate and share best practices.

In order to follow the conversation you will need to search for the hash tag #pypchat. Having a hash tag is simply a means of grouping all of the tweets together so they may be easily followed. This tool TweetDeck is very helpful to use for Twitter chats because it can be set up to show the #pypchat tweets in one column. 

TweetDeck from @brianlalor

How it works:

At 6:30pm a moderator will start the event and ask everybody ''out there'' in cyberspace to introduce themselves. You must be following the #pypchat hash tag at this time in order to see the tweet or have your TweetDeck set up. I would advise this to be done well in advance. The moderator will then begin posting questions in order to stimulate discussion. An example would be: ''Q1. How do students at your school have input into the development of UOIs? #pypchat'' 

When answering a question it helps others following the conversation if you indicate which question you are answering. A possible answer to the above question would be, ''A1. Students, parents & teachers are invited to the PYPC's office to provide input #pypchat.'' Always remember to add the hash tag or nobody will see your answers, unless they are your followers.

#pypchat is very fast paced and there are often multiple conversations happening at the same time. It has been for me the best source of information on the PYP. Truly the more you give the more you get. We are all at different stages in our journey as inquiry teachers, but we all have something we can learn from one another. I hope this helps you get started.