Connected Yet Not Connecting

Multiple Tweets Gradient flickr photo by mkhmarketing shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Please don’t take this the wrong way. I love #IMMOOC. I am fed by the connections, the conversations, the creativity, the collaboration. But I just can’t do another #IMMOOC Twitter chat. I just handle it.

My friends Tara Martin and Katie Martin (aka, “The Martin Girls”) have done a fabulous job running the Wednesday Twitter chat for the past several weeks and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it…


Except for last week’s chat. It hit me about five minutes into the chat. I just couldn’t keep up. All I could do was wait for Katie’s Tweet with the next question and answer it. The Tweets were coming in so fast that I thought my Tweetdeck was going to explode – turns out there are about 3,000 Tweets tagged #IMMOOC during the 60-minute chat.

Let me go back to the beginning. Don’t get me wrong. I love #IMMOOC. But a chat about innovation and connections with 3,000 Tweets in 60 minutes seems counterintuitive. I liked about a dozen Tweets and replied to even less. I was never able to get in the groove of connecting with and learning from my PLN. Totally frustrating!

Round 2 of The Innovator’s Mindset MOOC has once again altered my sense of innovation and my roles and responsibilities as a connected educator and teacher leader. But parts of the “course” just became too big for me to manage. Will I participate in this week’s chat? Of course, because it’s the final one. Will I be overwhelmed? Certainly, but if I change my strategy and listen to what others are saying rather than trying to speak and listen at the same time, then maybe I’ll feel more connected.

If anyone has any ideas of how to filter and participate in large Twitter chats, I’d love to hear from you.



16 thoughts on “Connected Yet Not Connecting

  1. Michael,
    I hear you. That Wednesday night chat is very overwhelming. I also have a hard time keeping up with the conversation. I do think that it takes practice and the right frame of mind at the time of the chat with no other interferences to be able to stay in it. I am always amazed when after I have tweeted that there are 150 tweets that have flown by me as I think about what to say. I just do the best I can at that moment. Sometimes I want to take notes on all that I am learning……NOT going to happen with an #IMMOOC!
    I wish that we had the questions available before the chat so that we might be able to be more thoughtful and not on the fly with all of our answers. I often read the question and think one thing when everyone else is thinking another way. By the time I’ve form another thoughtful answer we are onto another question.
    It usually takes me a 2nd hour to read through the whole hour conversation to appreciate what was said. I love this #IMMOOC. It’s been good for my soul as a classroom teacher. But I agree with you…..I want it to slow down (so that I don’t miss anything) but the integrity of the chat needs to stay at a rapid pace. Maybe I’m just too old HaHa….
    Michael I’ll look for you at Wednesday nights chat to check in. Keep the faith. This is all great stuff!

    1. I think it’s just bad luck for me that there are two chats that I feel I need to be a part of. But maybe I need to get over that and make choices. For me, it’s always about FOMO.

  2. Hey Michael,

    If you look at the NCTE 21st Century Literacies, here is one that reminded me of your post:

    “Manage, analyze and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information”

    Part of the idea of innovation is finding information that is crucial in a world of information overload, and then making sense of it. I actually think that it is great that the chat is so fast, because then you have to learn how to deal with it. It is a good problem to have.

    Simply using something like Tweetdeck and using filters like “Q3 #IMMOOC” could actually make it easier to find the information you are looking for, but it is a strategy I had to learn, which makes it easier to teach others.

    Thanks for your post and thoughts!

    1. I’ve been using Tweetdeck for some time now but never thought about being as specific as “Q1 #IMMOOC”. Set up Tweetdeck just now so that I can filter with tonight’s questions. Wondering if I need to set up a filter for “A1 #IMMOOC” as well. Then again, this might not be filtering at all.

  3. I totally relate. Thanks for having the courage to say this out loud. There’s so much great stuff being shared, it’s hard to keep up, let alone contribute. I love reading the blogs (like yours) though so I take what is useful for my own learning. We all learn differently, so I think it’s important to honor that. And just because you’re not engaging in a Twitter Chat doesn’t mean that you’re not connected, in my mind at least. You find the people you resonate with and sustain those relationships beyond the chats on Twitter or FB posts. At least that’s how I see it. Nevertheless, let’s stay innovative! (;

    1. It wasn’t as much courage as it was me just ranting. But not ranting in a negative way. I was reflecting on the speed and all of the info and learning that I was most likely losing.

    2. Judy – thanks so much for adding to this conversation. I have chosen not to participate in the Twitter Live chats because it’s not in my learning wheelhouse. What has happened: I use Twitter more frequently to post something and take time to read a few posts along the way. Engaging and connecting doesn’t mean compliance…it’s about meaningful connections.

  4. I don’t stress about getting it all. I try to respond to things that resonate and be thoughtful. If I miss ideas, I don’t worry about it bc if I hadn’t participated then I would have missed them too.

  5. For last week’s chat I decided to try not to answer the questions right away. I’d found that I was always so busy scrolling through looking for the question that I wasn’t really reading anything. I had to make a conscious effort to pick one or two people to respond to instead. I did eventually answer some of the questions myself but I felt like at any given time I could only focus on one aspect. It’s just overwhelming. I’ve fallen way behind on the blogging myself. I’m giving myself permission to take my time and back off a little.I now have about 50 blog feeds to filter through and read when time allows.

    1. I like the idea of not responding to the questions, because for me it needs to be more about listening than it is about talking. And I love to talk. Professional growth for me.

  6. Michael, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it. This one is a doozie to moderate. However, just do what works for YOU. Ultimately, it’s your experience. Make it meaningful.
    I do have some ideas for the next #IMMOOC round, though. To be continued…

    1. Adding As as columns was a game changer. Thanks for the suggestion. Funny how my rant led to learning. Glad it had a purpose. But maybe I knew it would all along.

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