Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Why Twitter Chats Remind Me of the Movie "Breakfast Club" of the 80's?

I'm a teen of the 80's and the movie Breakfast Club is an iconic treasure of a somewhat lackluster motion picture decade. Last night I lived the "Breakfast Club" out. I joined a bunch of educators at the very cool and trendy Independence Beer Garden in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after a full day of ISTE, for a meet up. Who were they? Educators from all over the world that take part in #BFC530. It's a slow Twitter chat that starts at 5:30 a.m. I've never participated in that chat because I'm fairly certain my intellectual contributing value would be in the negatives at that time of the day, but they let me hang out with them last night.

I knew 2 people there very well and I had met a few others, they welcomed me completely and we sat, ate, laughed, and talked about things we had learned for a few hours. As a bit of an outsider looking in at times it dawned on me, Twitter chats are like the theory behind the movie. There were jocks (super heroes), geeks, artist, popular kids, unpopular kids all sitting around a table enjoying each other. They came from all over the place- Tennessee, New Jersey, California, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nebraska and beyond.

Each person brought something unique and different to the discussions, just like if it had been one of the Twitter chat mornings. Individual perspectives help us to break out of our current molds and see things freshly. I enjoyed every minute of the conversations, and quite truthfully I wonder if I would ever be in a situation where I could find that much in common with those same people to form lasting relationships; But that's the beauty of it- when something brings a group together, whether it be an intriguing Twitter topic or Saturday detention, our world gets bigger and our views get challenged or affirmed- no matter what the Twitter hashtag.

THAT is what I love about Twitter chats. Twitter breaks down the silo walls that teachers have worked in for centuries more than anything else I know of. Sure, a social teacher may flit over to visit the teachers on each side of them during the day but Twitter allows you to discuss with Julia from Ireland, Talia from California, Greg from Tennessee, Jerry from New York, and the list goes on and on. I'm not sure which Breakfast Club character I would have represented to the outsider watching our Periscoped "movie" unfold, what I do know is that last night reaffirmed to me the value of networking and growing my PLN beyond my comfort level.