Since I have been a part of #sschat I am frequently asked “What is it that you do?” or “How does this group work?” I love the opportunity to answer these questions because I am so proud of our little “can do” group. The short version of my answer is “We help teachers to get what they need and to make their lives easier.”The long version goes more like this: “#sschat is a collaborative group of social studies teachers who work together to create materials, discuss teaching, integrate technology and problem solve. We learn together and talk about the direction that education is moving, talk to experts, crowdsource materials and share our best lessons. In the last two years a culture of sharing has developed. Imagine if some of the most passionate teachers you know were to get together and share the best materials they have. That’s #sschat.We meet on Twitter every Monday night at 7 pm est. If you would like to join us just follow the hashtag #sschat. New participants are welcome to join the conversation. Some people feel more comfortable just following along with the conversation but that isn’t necessary. Each #sschat is dedicated to a particular topic. and all participants share their thoughts on the topic, relevant links and their experiences. If you would like to get an idea of the topics we discuss, we keep our archives here
, on the #sschat Ning website.
We have become well known for our crowdsourcing. Members vote electronically on a specific topic and then during the chat share all of their best resources and methods for teaching that topic. The end result is an incredible compilation of materials. These online crowdsourcing documents are better than any google search because they are teacher tested and honed over years before they are shared. I have heard many times from #sschat participants that before they worried about finding materials to use. Now they struggle with which of the amazing lessons that are shared best meets their needs. Here are are a few examples of crowdsourced topics:Cold War Crowdsource
World War II Crowdsource
Best Tools for Social Studies Teachers
What is truly amazing about #sschat though is the support that is offered on a daily basis. It has grown into a community that goes far beyond our simple one hour chat. It is a constantly available source of answers and advice. There is always a conversation happening. Whether you are a new teacher creating new materials or a master teacher looking to try something new, #sschat can help.
Being apart of this organization has taken my learning to new places. It is the most powerful professional development I have ever experienced.