Last week’s Twitter Education Forum, hosted last week in collaboration with Tell Me More was a huge success. Not only did it provide a platform for a dynamic and diverse conversation about education reform in the US (and one that we plan to continue), but it also reached a whopping 17 million people–and counting. (That’s right. They’re stilll Tweeting. They just can’t stop!)
Sarah Gonzalez of WLRN's StateImpact Florida education team tells us that the event allowed her to develop sources both near and far–particularly among teachers, parents and other sometimes hard-to-reach communities.Perhaps more importantly, though, the experience provided a big learning opportunity for everyone involved. Through both the subject matter and the partnership with Tell Me More, we were able to engage diverse communities that we hadn’t before reached. We test drove Scribble, our new and improved live-blogging and social media curation tool that we hope to use again and again. And we learned just how powerful Twitter can be when used for story and source development–instead of simple content distribution.
“They really wanted to engage in conversation,” she said. “We tapped into a Twitter audience that wanted to be part of the conversation instead of just following people who we know are influential.”
“After a quick back and forth with someone, they would usually follow us. I linked to old content from months ago, and actually got some new traffic on those stories, which was great,” she said.
In all, they gained about 50 new followers during the forum and grew more comfortable with engaging by asking questions of people on Twitter, such as “Do you have any stats on that?” or “We at StateImpact Florida have done work around that issue, check out this link.”
“The conversation has slowed down on #NPRedchat, but it is still going, which is great,” Gonzalez said. “And I’d encourage all the ed states to use the hashtag. Tell More More and StateImpact Florida are still at it.”