I have been following a teacher online, his name is Mr. Kemp (Craig), he is a middle school teacher based out of New Zealand. Craig is also the founder of the online education twitter chat #whatisschool. He defines the space as a place where “people can express an unbiased response to questions about schooling, where educators have a voice in shaping the future through their experience, recommendations and interests.” They bring up topics such as defining and developing school culture, creativity, relationships, empathy, etc.

I have been exploring the online educational chat space, and it is definitely a great way to connect with other teachers and share your ideas. Craig and other moderators facilitate the chat through posting questions prior to the beginning of the chat, and then use the hashtag to keep track of answers. Because it is an online chat, you receive teachers from many different faculties, grades and countries. It provides teachers opportunities to learn about different perspectives of teaching while providing their own insights. This is a great way to start making global connections, which is also an area of Education Craig is very passionate about (I wonder why I am following him! 😉 ).

While I have usetwitter convod twitter, I find it is not the most productive site for having conversation on. I have never participated in a large group chat, so I do admit my bias and lack of knowledge may influence my criticality of the process. While limited character count could be beneficial for large group discussions, I find it could be limiting. I also find twitter to be slightly disorganized when it comes having conversations with multiple people. If everyone is using the same hashtag then conversations between people will not remain in order as they are chronologically listed, so you would have to continue scrolling through tweets to find the next message in that conversation. If #whatisschool becomes bigger, I think it would beneficial to create a forum of some sort in which only those involved in the conversation for #whatisschool can participate.

Another reason I enjoy following Craig’s blog is because he brings in a variety of guest bloggers from multiple fields of education, to provide a new perspective on different topics. For example, he recently had a grade 3-5 ICT teacher in the Philippines who discussed educational technology being used in teaching core subjects (one of the main 21st century literacies).

I am thinking about giving one of the online chats a try! I’ll keep my eye out on a topic I find interesting and I’ll let you know how it goes!


3 thoughts on “#whatisschool

  1. Chanice,

    Your post lead me to Craig Kemp’s blog and I totally agree with everything you stated in this blog post, his blog is remarkably written, easy to follow and well organized. I REALLY REALLY like the idea of the hashtag #whatisschool. I also like how, within his blog posts; he dedicates different posts to different elements of his definition of what school is. For example he has a post called #whatisschool Empathy and another dedicated to school culture. I think such a well-structured blog is extremely beneficial to potential teachers like us, as Kemp has broken his blog down in means that allows us to hear about his perspective on almost every aspect of school and education. Honestly, exploring his blog has made me want to better my own blog, and structure it in a way that is resourceful and helpful to not only myself but my 4P27 peers and anyone else who happens to come across my blog!

    I also LOVED your honest opinion on twitter, and although I am a twitter user myself I totally see where you are coming from. Conversations on twitter CAN definitely be seen complicating… this holds true as you are not given your own “chat room” once you begin a conversation, instead you are simple to “reply” and “retweet” to indicate that you enjoyed or would like to respond to a tweet. Although I do agree with this idea, when relating this to Kemp’s hash tag, what is great about twitter is that it can bring people together based on their interests or based on what they are curious about. This is done by creating and searching for hash tags. For teachers this is a great way to find resources and even other teacher using Web 2.0 tools.

    Great post Chanice, I like how you honestly you post and the resources you have acquired are ones that I personally found extremely helpful!

    Great work



  2. Hey Chanice,

    I agree with Zein in that I agree with what you’ve said in your blog. Thanks for sharing Mr. Kemp. I found him to be really interesting and I went and explored his site as well as tweets using the hashtag #whatisschool. I think #whatisschool is unbelievable, and I can’t believe this is the first I’m hearing about this; it’s almost like an online chatroom.

    I understand completely what you mean when you talk about how it can be disorganized having a discussion on Twitter. Even if I’m trying to have a small discussion with friends (that could be easily be moved to a more convenient location, such as a Facebook chat haha), I find that if two people are responding to the same comment, sometimes other comments get lost and it can get very disorganized so I can only imagine how it would be to have a group discussion about education on a much larger scale. I think something like an online chatroom would be much more beneficial. I also agree with what you said about the character count although I see it as more limiting. A larger character count I think would be more beneficial but I think keeping a character count is also a good idea because it is a larger discussion.

    I think the work Mr. Kemp is doing with #whatisschool is incredible and I will definitely be following him from now on. I think that from seeing all these different points of views and being able to make these connections with other educators or even someone who is just interested in the topic is a great way to keep updated in the field and be educated from different points of view.

    Thanks for sharing!



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