I participated in a #MOedchat on February 2, and wow, it was a baptism by fire...but in a good way.
My first reaction was a feeling of community, as I joined a group of colleagues from across the state. I had many chatters who went out of their way to tweet greeting to me, so I felt at home before the actual tweet chat started. It was nice to discover that there were so many dedicated educators who were as willing to share their ideas as I was.
When the actual chat started, it was a bit like being an old draft horse in a race with a bunch of thoroughbreds. The pace was rapid, and I had trouble keeping up with the pack. Eventually, I decided to go ahead and post my tweets when I could, even if the conversation had moved on beyond the topic to which I was responding. I felt a pleasant wave of pride come over me as several people retweeted things I had said. What a great rush of affirmation!
Challenges were plentiful. In addition to the rapid pace, I am not a speedy typist, and I struggled to keep my tweets down to the maximum 140 characters. I also had trouble remembering to add hashtags for #MOedchat and for #MBU543, so I often had to repeat my tweets with added hashtags.
One of the best things I found after the chat was that someone had created a transcript of the chat in Spotify (http://storify.com/motechtrainer/moedchat-2-21?utm_content=storify-pingback&utm_campaign=&awesm=sfy.co_aEeE&utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=sfy.co-twitter). This gave me the opportunity to return to the tweets at a more leisurely pace and ferret out the links and remarks that I found particularly helpful.
I still follow #MOedchat on my TweetDeck, and have added a few tweeters to my "follow" list. I think the best way to improve the experience is really my own responsibility. As I continue to participate in this and other chats, I'm sure my skill level with rise. Rome wasn't built in a day, as they say.