As throngs of educators descended on the International Society for Technology in Education conference here last week, they shared their impressions via a favorite social platform: Twitter.
The event generated more than 207,000 tweets as of July 5, with about 9,600 teachers and 2,000 instructional technology specialists being those most likely to express themselves via the social media platform. That’s according to research shared by Hamish Kennedy, the CEO of a company that is launching Smart Penguin, which creates Twitter analytics for education.
Kennedy came up with the idea of analyzing tweets to connect more directly with the educators who might be interested in his formative assessment app, Spiral, which is a U.K.-based company. He brought both Spiral and the beta of his Twitter analytics platform with him to ISTE 2017, and turned that platform loose at the show to test it out and see who was talking about what on Twitter.
The ISTE “tweet-analyzer” unearthed some interesting insights, including a breakdown of the topics that were commented on most often by the ISTE-attending educators. Those topics were:
- Constructivist learning/maker movement;
- Communication and collaboration;
- Augmented and virtual reality.
For teachers, storytelling and multimedia hit the high mark of being mentioned in nearly 500 tweets, the Smart Penguin analyzer indicated. “Online tools and resources” were mentioned in 338. Here’s one educator’s online comment from the conference.
— Lacey (@teacherlace) June 26, 2017
Twitter analytics indicated that 654 educator ambassadors were active on the platform. Some of them were tweeting about the products that they are championing. The most active tweeter in this segment was Barb Meredith, a.k.a. @MrsBAMscience, who was the ambassador for more than one product:
— Barb Meredith (@MrsBAMscience) June 27, 2017
The top 5 job titles of educators tweeting—determined by frequency of tweets—were in the following areas:
- Instructional technologists
- Other STEM/STEAM teachers
Here’s an example from one of those science teachers: Kristen Austion, who is earning a masters in instructional technology:
— Kristen Austion (@KristenAustion) June 26, 2017
The tweeters also shared “lessons learned” from the conference, and made it clear they were having a lot of fun online:
— Traci (@TechyTraci) June 26, 2017
A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.