Theses Doctoral

Teachers in a Twitter: Educator Participation in Twitter Edchats

Bratton, Candace

The purpose of this research was to investigate educator participation in edchats. The research questions addressed were the following:

1. What does an edchat network look like in terms of followership and edchat interactions?

2. What are the different modes of participation in an edchat?

3. What is the ethos of an edchat?

4. How are edchats organized by educators and edchats organized by companies similar to and different from each other?

To address these questions, tweet data from 10 edchats was collected and analyzed using a mixed methods approach.

Across edchats, social network structures were consistent with the Tight Crowd network structure often found in Twitter learning communities, and members frequently interacted with each other, with several having ties extending beyond a single edchat. Twitter users participated in edchats as moderators and participants through several different modes by tweeting, retweeting, and sharing links and media. Although most participants only tweeted once, a smaller group of participants was especially active. Edchat questions received multiple responses, providing the community with diverse answers to review and if desired, discuss further. Across edchats, communities displayed an ethos of professionality, support, and fun without signs of the hostility known to plague Twitter. Although edchats shared a similar discussion structure and spirit of support and positivity, edchats organized by teachers tended to focus on classroom practice in greater detail than company-organized edchats. Distinguishing a teacher-organized edchat from a company-organized edchat was often complicated due to the presence of companies in teacher-organized spaces as well as an individual’s ability to profit from their social media influence through self-promotion or as a product ambassador. Edchats could provide an additional means of supporting educators by facilitating connection with a community of peers who can provide just-in-time support; however, their quality varies and much depends on the participant, highlighting the need for additional research to develop best practices for structuring and participating in edchats, especially to combat the risk of stealth advertising in these spaces.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Thesis Advisors
Literat, Ioana
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
January 22, 2020