Twitter chats made easy

If you are new to Twitter, or haven't joined a twitter chat before, we have provided some simple steps below. 

Twitter chats are regular chats that take place on Twitter at a specific time usually related to a specific theme or topic using a hashtag (#) as a way to connect tweets around that topic (our hashtag is #HEAchat).  

Anyone can take part in a Twitter chat, the only pre-requisite is that you have a Twitter account (you can register for an account here).

Chats are a great way to connect with your peers across the UK, and internationally, and share your experiences. They are also a really good way to hear ideas or approaches which might be new to you or connect with people working outside of your own area of expertise, making for lively and thought-provoking exchanges.

Twitter chats made easy

How to take part

> You can participate in chats by using the standard Twitter desktop or mobile apps. Alternatively you can make use of tools like Tweetdeck or Tweetchat to help filter your Twitter stream meaning you only see the tweets with the hashtag #HEAchat which can make the chat easier to follow.

> We’ll remind you on Twitter that the chat is about to start.We suggest you let your followers know you are about to take part in a chat, as they may also be interested in taking part for example by tweeting ‘I’m about to take part in a twitter chat on teaching and learning in HE join me at #HEAChat at 20:00’ or if your followers aren’t interested in teaching and leaarning issues they can mute your tweets to avoid their timeline being filled with tweets from the chat.

> At the start of the chat we’ll ask you to tweet to introduce yourself to the group, that can be as simple as your name or you can give us a flavour of why you are interested in the topic.

> The chat will usually be organised around three or four broad questions on a topic. Each question will be tweeted out by the #HEAchat team with a label Q1. Q2. etc. When you want to comment on the question, reply or share your thoughts please preface your tweet with the relevant number for example ‘A1…’ this helps people to navigate the flow of tweets.

> Every time you tweet make sure you add the #HEAchat to the end of your comment so it is seen by everyone taking part.

Some helpful hints

> Do try to find time to read the blog before the chat, it will give you an idea of possible themes that might come up during the chat and prompt you to start thinking about the issues.

> Don’t worry if you can’t read every single tweet, sometimes the stream of exchanges can be fast-paced. You can always catch up with the collated tweets on Storify after the chat.

> Don’t panic if your tweet doesn’t appear immediately, sometimes there can be a delay especially when Twitter is busy.

> Feel free to watch the chat for a while before contributing and don’t feel you have to contribute on every point, each chat will have its own rhythm and you may be more interested in some parts of the discussion than others.

> Do share resources and links you think are relevant and that other people might find helpful, this is one of the most powerful ways we can develop our practice.

> Do share your point of view, thoughts or musings on a topic, even if others disagree with you, the chats are about dialogue and exploring topics not finding the ‘right answers’ – all we ask is that you’re polite and civil to other chatters when you don’t agree or have differing experiences of the topic. Often we find we learn the most from people who take a different perspective or stance on a topic.

> Keep on chatting, just because the chat ends that doesn’t mean you have to stop talking to each other, follow up new connections from the chat and say "hello".

> ENJOY!! Have fun and enjoy sharing ideas and inspirations with each other.

Tweet or email us if you are having problems getting started and we’ll lend a hand.