On January 2, 2017, I found myself at a Best Western in Sonora, Texas nursing a bee sting and listening to various Voxerchats, including Edumatch, ConnectedTL, EngageChat. That’s when a request for help came in via Voxer. That evening also found me longing for a Texas Voxer community focused around teaching, learning, leading and edtech (well, of course!).

As I polished off my 8oz cup of Sonic french vanilla flavored coffee (quite good when you’ve been driving for a few hours, starving and bee stung), about to enter a caffeine-fueled swiftly flowing current of creativity (forgetting about my bee sting altogether until it started to throb at midnight, a 6-hour fugue), Dr. Dorian Roberts sent me a vox asking me about Microsoft stuff. She had been referred to me by Christy Cate (thanks!).

Please join in at http://ly.tcea.org/tceachat | Voxer direct link

As we chatted via Voxer, I realized what a tremendous opportunity I was missing–the opportunity to setup a Voxerchat that results in me learning more about tons of different topics! And, what better way than to ask others to teach me what they are great at? So, with that idea in mind, I brainstormed (in a blink of an eye, since I was coffee crazed) what should be needed:

  • This needs to be a slow chat because who know when folks are going to jump in, and it’s great to not have the pressure of “we’re only doing this RIGHT now and you are going to miss out”
  • I need to setup pictures with info. Why not use Google Slides to create that and collaborate with others? (yes, yes, I could have used Powerpoint online, too).
  • Create a virtual space to house content, links, etc. Why not use OneNote Online? See image above
  • Invite new guest speakers to offer 1 question per day, Monday – Friday. 
    1. Build personal connection to topic. (what you feel)
    2. Share research and information (what you know)
    3. Share learning experiences (what you have experienced)
    4. Overcoming challenges (how you have detoured around roadblocks)
    5. Lessons Learned, Resources Gathered that may help others
  • Schedule some tweets using Tweetdeck announcing the chat.
  • Invite awesome folks to be “guest agitators”
  • A way to archive voxer audio contributions, or “voxerbursts” (yes, I’m trying to put that word in circulation).
  • Include voxer chat tips and tricks.
How is it working?
Curious as to how it’s working? Well, it’s working great! Our first two guest agitators have included Diana Benner (@diben; Read Sprinkle Innovation Blog) and Eric Curts (@ericcurts; Read Control Alt Achieve Blog). Both have done an incredible job sharing ideas and getting conversations going. More importantly, others have jumped into the conversations and I’m thrilled to be learning with them.
For example, during the inaugural week, Dr. Katie Alaniz (you may remember her from my series on edtech coaching) jumped in each evening (more like LATE at night) and shared awesome research and insights into everything. Tons of other great folks are piling on this week, sharing their take-aways and learning.

Want to be a Guest Agitator? Shoot me a Tweet or sidevox me!

While not every topic will appeal to every Voxer chat member, I am hoping that we develop a community of continuous sharing where everyone will feel comfortable stepping up to the microphone.
When that happens, I know #tceachat will have moved from a group of people hoping to learn from each other to a learning community.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure