Two #LTHEchat stories from our Golden Tweeter Award winners

Hello dear colleagues,

We recently invited our two Golden Tweeter Award Winners to share with us what this means to them. What follows are their responses.

Prof. Simon Lancaster (@S_J_Lancaster)

Prof. Simon Lancaster, image source:  here

“I engage with the online personal and professional development twitter chat #LTHEchat because it is rewarding and fun. It has benefited my knowledge, my network and interestingly enough my skill set through attempts at facilitating the contributions of others. Participation has been its own reward. It was a complete surprise when I was awarded the communities inaugural Golden Tweeter award. It was honour to receive the first but at the time I imagined many more would quickly follow. I suspect the fact that there has only been one subsequent award has helped to hold the perceived value. The Golden Tweeter badge is a source of pride but I’d like to think its enhanced my loyalty to the community and not my arrogance.”

Simon Rae (@simonrae)

Simon Rae, image source: here

“The Golden Tweeter Award meant a great deal to me. It came as a very nice surprise that I wasn’t expecting although, to be honest, it was an honour that I did covert! To be awarded the Golden Tweeter Badge by a group of my peers for participating and taking part was very pleasing. My old school did School Colours as rewards to boys who did well, or tried hard…including one given out for speaking in the Sunday night Debating Club (…it was a boarding school). I was never the best speaker, always too nervous, but I was awarded half-colours at the end of the year mainly because I had forced myself to participate in all of the debates (albeit tremulously). Proud of that I was. Same with the Golden Tweeter badge – awarded by my peers for my contribution to a great activity. I’ve spent my working life giving to and taking part in education and #LTHEchats have afforded me the opportunity, now I’m retired, for continuing contact and a sense of involvement with HE – plus I like to think that sometimes I can contribute helpfully to the discussions. Plus I enjoy doing the cartoons and seeing them retweeted!

Did it have any value? To me personally, yes indeed (see above) – but as I’m out of the job market so to speak I don’t expect to gain anything by it. I would certainly have added it onto my CV, and I will do if I ever look to do consultancy work or external supervision or whatever, and I would expect it to be of value within HE.

From the perspective of a Lecturer in Professional Development at the Open University I see Twitter hashtag chats such as #LTHEchat offering fabulous fora for CPD. I wanted to insert a Venn diagram here made up of 3 overlapping circles. One circle would stand for Lave & Wenger’s Community of Practice, a second would represent the 70-20-10 mantra articulated within Learning & Development

( and the third circle would be for the whole TEF discussion that we recently explored. The centre, where the 3 circles overlap, is where #LTHEchat operates – a space for like-minded colleagues to share and exchange and learn and interact. Martin Weller’s book The Digital Scholar: How Technology Is Transforming Scholarly Practice (available at describes this sort of academic behaviour that I think we should aim for and I am pleased to have been accepted into the #LTHEchat community that epitomises much of what the digital scholar is about.

A story that conditioned my whole working life/practice was reported by Gerald Weinberg in his book The Psychology of Computer Programming ( Post-grad students employed at a US University in the ’60/70s to provide a computing helpdesk service to other student users complained to the administration that they had suddenly been inundated with work and that they couldn’t cope. On investigation it was realised that some time before, in a reorganisation and general tidying-up of the computer suite (probably driven by Health&Safety issues!), the coffee machine had been taken away. Students who collected their output would have stood untidily around the machine and chatted through any errors that the output showed up, and more often than not would have solved their own problems. But when they didn’t have the coffee machine to stand around they went straight to the helpdesk! Management had inadvertently deprived users from learning for themselves at the water-cooler/coffee machine. (Over the years my perspective on this story has changed, from that of someone employed on the helpdesk to someone involved in the pedagogy of learning and someone involved in the design and provision of the water-cooler/coffee machine/helpdesk/learning facilities!)

In a way we are all like those computer students of the ’60/70s … certainly we are all students of digital scholarship and #LTHEchat is the coffee machine in the corner of the computer suite. I am very proud of my #LTHEchat Golden Tweeter Badge.”

We will share further #LTHEchat stories here in the future. If you are displaying your Twitter badge on your site, we would love to hear from you as well. 

The #LTHEchat team

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