Twitter is pretty useful as a standalone tool, but the group chat feature enables an even more engaging and powerful way to connect and share ideas. Two of my favorite tools for monitoring multiple participants and hashtags in a single window are HootSuite and TweetDeck, where you can create dedicated columns for different conversations. Another tool you may want to consider is TweetChat, that helps you transform your Twitter stream into a chat-room like experience. Twitter4Teachers Wiki is another resource that was created to help educators connect via Twitter– be warned it’s a LONG list.
For archiving those conversations, Storify lets you capture key elements of Twitter chats and record them for posterity, by curating responses as opposed to storing the entire stream of tweets.
Pick your favorite tool and then jump right into any of the weekly edu-related conversations. This post from ReadWriteWeb has some good tips for first-time chatters. There are a ton of different chats (this page lists them all, but can be tough to digest) and here is a calendar version if you prefer this format. This helpful post highlights the Top 20 Twitter Hashtags all Teachers should know.
It can be a lot of process, so I recommend starting with the following:
#edchat: collaborative tool for educators to debate and evaluate solutions to various problems through Twitter- 2 Edchat conversations every Tues at 12pm EST/ 5pm GMT and 7pm EST/ 12pm GMT.
#PBLchat: weekly conversation around project-based learning- It happens Tuesdays at 6 p.m. Pacific/9 p.m. Eastern.
#mathchat: Thursdays, 8pm ET/5pm PT, follow-up/repeated on Mondays
#ntchat: for new teachers, Wednesdays, at 5pm PDT (8PM EDT, 1:00AM Thursday in Europe, 7:00AM Thursday in Sydney ).
#edmeet: Also newly launched (April 2012) from LearnBoost to bring some of the great conversation from SF Edtech Meetups to broader audience- Fridays at 10am PT