Thursday, June 2, 2011
Chatting on Twitter about Medical Education
Image: Coversations at Vermillion by JeanineAnderson
A few years ago when I started blogging and tweeting my aim was to try and connect with other people interested in medical education. It was hard to find people, and still the bulk of those involved in medical education- educators, students and doctors are not active in social media.
But there are enough of us here to make it reasonable to consider sketching out some spaces to interact and find each other. For the past year or so I've been pulling together people who are interested in medical education into a twitter list which you can find here.
There has also been talk over the last year or so about having a #meded chat. What is a tweetchat? It's a set time when people try to come together, usually over an hour, to discuss different topics which are usually agreed in advance. Medical education happens all over the world, so time zones (as well as language) become issues when trying to organise synchronous social media events.
In the US, Ryan Madanick is hosting the first #meded chat at 9pm EST or 1am UK time. Many of us will be in bed by then so we thought that it would be sensible to have a very informal chat at 9pm BST (8pm GMT) tonight about what the way forward might be for those of us in this timezone.
Personally, I think that tweetchats have quite a few limitations. Think of the limitations of twitter as a communication medium- 140 chts, unthreaded- and then square that for a tweetchat! They can seem noisy and confusing. So why bother? The main benefit is that you might get to know people who are interested in the same things as you, or who have different perspectives to you. You can decide to follow them on twitter, to visit their blog, to catch up on Skype, to meet up at a conference, or to write a paper together. The possibilities are endless, but essentially this is about networking.
If you want to join in the discussion just add #meded to your tweets between 9 and 10 pm tonight. I've tentatively started a google spreadsheet where we might enter topics that we want to discuss, but I'd be happy for us to discuss what way we want to run this tonight. Here is the spreadsheet.
Please feel free to leave any comments here, or just join in!