#TEDEdChat: Using Twitter to Gather Insights

Hot air balloon with an apple as the basket

I had the wonderful opportunity of co-hosting and moderating a #TEDEdChat, a weekly Twitter chat for educators and those passionate about education, hosted by TED-Ed.

Similar to a book club, I selected the TED Talk of the week, drafted questions to drum up conversation around the Talk, and helped keep the Twitter conversation moving smoothly. I chose Geoffrey Campbell’s TED Talk, “Our failing schools. Enough is enough!” – a really inspiring Talk about the challenges and opportunities for growth within our education system, especially as it relates to struggling schools and at-risk youth.

One of the most lively discussions took place around the question: “How can real-time data be used to improve learning?” The consensus:  if data was easy to obtain and readily available, it would transform student outcomes, as educators would be better equipped to personalize lessons and make ‘quick fixes’ to instantly enhance learning.

Some memorable quotes:

  • @edusabi: @TED_ED you don’t go outside without checking weather so you are prepared. Why step into your class without an accurate forecast? #TEDEdChat
  • @SensAbleLrning: Technology offers real-time solutions. We’re learning more each day about how to best inform instruction using data. #TEDEdChat

Answers to TED-Ed questions

I agree with my #TEDEdChat peers: technology and real-time data are transforming education for the better. Students can self-monitor their own understanding of various concepts, and teachers can give feedback or make lesson modifications to personalize learning even further. But, it’s also important to think about the whole picture: I think we need to use technologies that are proven to work; I think we need to focus on continuous professional development and technology training for teachers, and digital literacy for young children (especially in lower-income communities); and, I think that it’s important that teachers, students and parents are consistently giving feedback and having their voices heard.

Increasingly students and teachers are products of a digital age. Information is literally at the tip of their fingers with a swipe or a click. Why shouldn’t their education and ability to access personalized feedback mirror societal changes?

How do you think real-time data can be used to improve learning? What are some challenges and opportunities it’s important to identify when talking about real-time data in education?