With Literacy Month firmly in mind, Microsoft Education is inviting educators to join them online for a new #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet to celebrate and cultivate the literacy skills of students, locally and globally. Whether it’s connecting students to real authors through Skype in the Classroom, or using technologies like Microsoft Learning Tools to improve their reading skills, there’s more than one way to support student literacy development in your community.

Anyone can join in and connect with the passionate educators (and avid readers!) in this TweetMeet, who will share their thoughts on reaching more readers and using the right tools to bring literature to life.

#MSFTEduChat TweetMeet is on Tuesday, February 20 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. PST. Check event times for your location.

What are #MSFTEduChat TweetMeets?

Every month Microsoft Education organizes social events on Twitter targeted at educators globally. The hashtag we use is #MSFTEduChat. A team of topic specialists and international MIE Expert teachers prepare and host these TweetMeets together. Their team of educator hosts first crafts several questions around a certain topic. Then, before the event, they share these questions on social media. Combined with a range of resources, a blog post and background information about the events, this allows all participants to prepare themselves to the full. Afterwards they make an archive available of the most notable tweets and resources shared during the event.

Who are the hosts and coaches?

This month, the chats will include several Skype Master Teachers:

  • Lilian Ajayi-Ore @LilianAjayi (MIEExpert, University Professor at NYU SPS, Founder/CEO Global Connections for Women).
  • Elisa Guerra @ElisaGuerraCruz (Teacher and Founder, Colegio Valle de Filadelfia, Aguascalientes, México).
  • Mary Collins @MaryCollins_an (MIEExpert, SMT, Class 4 Elementary Teacher, Nicosia, Cyprus).
  • Valerie Anglemyer @ValAnglemyer70 (7th grade Language Arts/Humanities Teacher and Instructional Coach, Microsoft Fellow, Wakarusa, Indiana, USA).

And have the following coaches to share their expertise:

  • Tammy Dunbar @TammyDunbar (Microsoft Innovative Expert Fellow & Intermediate teacher, Manteca, CA, USA)
  • Julie Hembree @Mrs_Hembree (Elementary Teacher-Librarian, MIEE, Skype and Surface Master Teacher, Seattle, WA, USA)
  • Melanie LeJeune @MacLeJeune (Tech Coach/Librarian at St. Louis Catholic High School, Microsoft Fellow, Skype Master Teacher, Lake Charles, LA, USA)

Why join the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeets?

TweetMeets are monthly recurring Twitter conversations about themes relevant to educators, facilitated by Microsoft Education. The purpose of these events is to help professionals in education to learn from each other and inspire their students while they are preparing for their future. The TweetMeets also nurture personal learning networks among educators from across the globe.

When and how can I join?

Join them Tuesday, February 20 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. PST on Twitter using the hashtags #MSFTEduChat, #Literacy and #MicrosoftEDU (which you can always use to stay in touch with us). To find the event time for your specific location, use this time zone announcer.

How can I best prepare?

To prepare for the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet, have a look at the questions Microsoft has crafted:

  1. What does literacy mean to you and why is it important?
  2. How do you incorporate literacy in all content areas?
  3. How do you differentiate literary instruction to reach all readers?
  4. What’s your favorite technological tool for teaching literacy and why?
  5. Share resources that help you become a better literacy teacher.
  6. How can we improve reading instruction to create passionate readers?

We also highly recommend that you set up a Twitter dashboard – through TweetDeck, for example – to easily monitor incoming tweets containing the #MSFTEduChat hashtag and other relevant search queries. Watch this TweetDeck Basics tutorial for advice on setting up.

Read more on educationblog.microsoft.com.