CPD, Higher Education

When the bird chirps at 8pm on Wednesdays

I cannot recall when was the first time I got involved in #LTHEchat, I had since then been among the chirping birds on Wednesday evenings, sometimes even playing catch up to join the chirping.

I participate in the #LTHEchat
Source: LTHEchat.com

Recently, well more like 3 months back, I got involved as part of the #LTHEchat quarterly organising team (https://lthechat.com/organisinggroup/)

As a mentor, I regularly document my CPDs to encourage my mentees to engage in similar tasks, either for them to learn new skills or simply to network with people outside their circle, I therefore provide in this blog:

  • What is #LTHEchat and how to get involved?
  • What was it like to be part of the organising team?
  • What did I gain being part of the organising team?
  • Will I do it again?
  • What I think could be improved?

What is #LTHEchat and how to get involved in the organising team

#LTHEchat has been happening since 29th Oct 2014, every Wednesday term time between 8-9 pm UK time. The organising team is involved in making sure the live chat seems as seamless as possible by:

  • Liaising with guests
  • Editing and scheduling blogs
  • Scheduling tweets, with relevant pictures for each of the 6 session questions
  • Scheduling pre-chat and post-chat tweets
  • Creating a Wakelet to curate chat

Some time in early 2022 I filled in a form “Expression of interest to become a member of a future #LTHEchat organising group and mentor a future team” (https://bit.ly/3U5fh3o).

Later in Dec 2022 I was contacted and got involved in the rolling ball.

What was it like to be part of the organising team?

I enjoyed this role for various reasons:

  • It was completely remote and there was only one intial meeting for a quick introduction and briefing of tasks.
  • Beyond the initial meeting that took place, it is all about taking responsibility and accountability for allocated tasks and lending a hand to others if they struggle with the technologies.
  • It was for a very short period; I am not usually fond of voluntary roles with years of mandate without any financial renumeration, I personally think this is a toxic way of exploiting people, in particular those who have to do double for visibility and recognition.

What did I gain being part of the organising team?

  • Networking with people who were not already part of my professional circle
  • More visibility as a brown woman who freelances
  • Opportunity to be part of a team for a short period of time and yet shine above and beyond

Here are some of the blogs that I coordinated with guests (https://bit.ly/3Iclru9) and the Wakelets I curated

  • #LTHEchat 259: ChatGPT and academic integrity Led by Professor Debbie Cotton, Dr Peter Cotton and Dr Reuben Shipway Blog & Wakelet
  • #LTHEchat 255: Potential of Podcasting Practice as a Learning Space in Higher Education. Led by Santanu Vasant Blog & Wakelet
  • #LTHEchat 254: Hybrid working: new frontiers in professional practice. Led by Maren Deepwell Blog & Wakelet

Will I do it again?

Yes, I already applied to be part of the organising team again. Although I would like to be a mentor, I realise that there are still a few things to learn. For instance, only recently I discovered the help pages about https://lthechat.com/tweetchat-help/. That is definitely something that I would find helpful in providing to guests who are not familiar with #LTHEChat.

Although I had been regularly participating in #LTHEchat, I had not visited the website before until I got involved in the organising team. I truely only got to learn more about this initiative as part of the organising team and got to truely appreciate the logistics behind the seamless tweet chat every week.

I have also identified a gap area which has not been addressed in #LTHEchat yet. I am therefore looking forward into being a guest on a session with one of my collaborators.

What I think could be improved?

  • While there is a form to capture interests to join the organising team, it would be equally useful to have a form to capture interests for guests to join, rather than relying on people who are already within the #LTHEchat circle. This would provide opportunities to new connections and new voices to be heard.
  • I could not claim Open Badges for being part of the organising team, I see this as a lack of recognition, and hopefully, the technical issue with the #LTHEchat will be sorted.

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