Dublin Villager

#DubChat helps teachers talk shop with the world

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Thomas Elementary School teacher Melissa Eddington, with Dublin City Schools Superintendent Todd Hoadley, started weekly Twitter chats for teachers last month.

This week Dublin City School teachers will discuss grading with other educators from throughout the world.

The teachers won't have to leave town to gather ideas from others, but rather take part in #DubChat on Twitter, a weekly online conversation started by Dublin Thomas Elementary School English as second language teacher Melissa Eddington.

The Twitter chats that run from 8 to 9 p.m. every Thursday started April 17 with a conversation about technology in education.

"This whole thing has gotten much crazier than I thought it would," she said. "It's bigger than I imagined."

In its first week #DubChat was trending on Twitter, something Eddington didn't imagine would happen from a single question.

"I stole the idea from Hilliard," she said. "I'm a Hilliard resident and I honestly just got started with Twitter a couple months ago... .

"I came across Hilliard's chat they have on Tuesdays and asked if I could participate."

After observing a chat from Hilliard educators, Eddington took the idea to Dublin City School Superintendent Todd Hoadley.

"It started as a bunch of emails back and forth between Dr. Hoadley and myself," Eddington said.

The inaugural #DubChat found Eddington leading the conversation from the school district's tech house, posting six questions to participants that included how technology impacts instruction, how technology can be used in the classroom and how to support digital learning.

"It's not just professional development within your building, it's the world that can give you thoughts and advice and different ways to view things you would have never thought of on your own," Eddington said.

Upcoming Twitter chats will touch on educational applications for iPads and other devices, classroom environments and how to prevent the lack of education during the summer.

Trading ideas is the main goal of #DubChat, Eddington said.

"Even if the questions aren't fabulous and it's not something you're interested in, you'll gain something," she said.

Eddington herself has found out about the uses of Google Hangout for education through the chats.

"I hope that it plants seeds and those seeds grow in our classrooms," she said.

While teaching is hardly a 9-to-5 job, Eddington said the weekly chats also give educators a chance to participate from nearly anywhere. One teacher participated while visiting Las Vegas, she said.

"People don't just come to work and leave," Eddington said.

"This sends the message that we are continual learners and we're always striving to do better... . People can see that we are always trying to learn new things and better our practice so our students grow."

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