Are the #EdChats actually useful?

I’ve noticed a number of people beginning to claim they founded this, or that – #EdChat variant on Chitter. I wonder why they feel this is important?

It seems to me that people are increasingly keen to ‘own’ some of the collective mind-space and have others symbolically aligned with in-group thinking. Overall, Chitter’s truncated-text method, limits meaningful discussion in real or near real time. While it’s good for amplifying bigger messages, deeper articles and richer video’s, it isn’t good at holding a conversation. If indeed, these #edchat expert panels know anything something about media, they would simply use Chitter to announce, and hold a virtual meeting in a medium that is designed for it – Noodle Hangouts with a side order of chat-room.

I argue that the reason people hold #edchats is to be noticed and valorised within social and cultural borders. It is not to enable a deeper conversation, nor connect anyone to a broader conversation, unless that person has the capital to do so.

#EdChatter does not yield the kind of immersive experience of media much better suited to it, nor do these things need to be in ‘open access’ public timeline spaces.

While I can see the value of event based hashtags to filter comments, the idea that a regular ‘discussion’ is best facilitated in Chitter is ridiculous. Regular discussions will be improved if they contain voice-image and other rich media elements – and these are well established in numerous webinary, virtual worlds etc., Nope, founding an #edchat is simply about being seen and being seen with the ‘cool people’ and finding a soap-box. If teachers are going to become better media educators, then they need to model best media practice … hashtag meh.

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