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Twitter is great but we're ready for more.

Twitter is a powerful tool for educators.  It helps us share ideas, de-privatise practice, connect with professionals and grow our learning communities.

It's also restrictive in terms of curation, threaded discussion, long form text and collaboration.  Some hashtags have become echo chambers where ideas are both difficult to find and discuss.  You only need to participate in a Twitter chat to see how easy it is to get lost or miss something.

And then there's the issue of voice.  If you're new to Twitter it can take quite some time before people will engage with you, let alone your ideas.  Follower counts rule all. 

Enter Reddit

If you're not familiar with Reddit the video above is great.  On a basic level it's a site where users submit content and then others vote it up or down.  If content is popular enough it will rise to the top and end up on the front page.  On Reddit, every user has an equal voice. 

Reddit also allows you to create your own subreddits, pages dedicated to specific ideas or communities. If you have a hobby or interest (however niche) there'll undoubtedly be a subreddit covering it. Hundreds of these communities are incredibly productive, with legions of writers, coders, graphic designers, musicians and more creating together. Like many places on the internet (e.g. Twitter) there are also areas with adult, violent and graphic content that can be easily avoided.

While there are already some education themed subreddits (like /r/teachers, /r/edtech and /r/education) they either haven't gained traction or are for general discussion around school life and news.  There's seemingly nothing that mirrors the fantastic discussion we see on Twitter.

After searching for a few hours I finally found a name that wasn't taken. 

A subreddit dedicated to contemporary practice and change in education could be used to:

  • curate and share resources

  • enter deep, threaded discussions around initiatives and ideas

  • connect with communities of writers, makers, horticulturists, gamers, historians and more

  • unify siloed hashtags / disciplines while still retaining continuity

  • collaboratively develop initiatives asynchronously.

  • open ideas to the world

  • and pretty much anything else.

So if you're interested in exploring the potential of this platform:

1.  Sign up (most people use a pseudonym, but not all)

2.  Visit www.reddit.com/r/NextSpace

3.  Vote and comment on topics

4.  Post content others might find interesting

5.  Search for subreddits for your own hobbies or interests

If you're looking for an app that makes reddit more accessible check our Reditr.

There are certainly some significant challenges ahead in terms of community engagement but this seems an opportunity too good to miss.  While Twitter remains an amazing tool in our arsenal Reddit provides us with an opportunity to explore and develop a new, robust community of practice.

UPDATE

I've floated this concept with roughly 20 people now. Most have come back excited and a few have raised valid points regarding community engagement, gender inequity, dilution of discussion and the learning curve for new users. Will create a topic to discuss these as they need to be at the forefront of our mind moving forward.

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