#sschat is more than just a hashtag. It’s an open group of dedicated network of educators and enthusiasts who aim to improve their personal, and our collective, teaching of social studies subject matter. We aim to help social studies teachers by helping to facilitate democratic collaboration where educators can challenge & support each other to grow in their craft and, consequently, offer richer learning experiences for students. Activities within our network includes the use of #sschat and affiliated hashtags on Twitter, discussions on our Facebook page, and participation in the annual NCSS unconference, but we are always looking to grow our network into new spaces.
Join in the #sschat conversation
1. Join the live #sschat discussions on Twitter Every Monday Night from 7-8 PM EST (see calendar on the home screen)
2. Join our Facebook Group
3. Join in 24/7 Discussions on Social Studies related topics on twitter follow the hashtag #sschat or affiliated hashtags
4. “Like” our #sschat Book Club on Facebook and join in the conversations
5. Write a blog post that will be shared on our website and Facebook page with our #sschat network
6. Visit this website, which has discussion boards, groups, and archived chats of previous twitter discussions.
#sschat started on July 6, 2010 after Ron Peck and Greg Kulowiec realized that while #edchat was a great conversation, that particular Twitter chat for educators wasn’t focused on content that would help them where it mattered most–their social studies classrooms. The two discussed promoting a history chat but decided on social studies and the hashtag #sschat was born. So, on Monday July 12, 2010 the first #sschat took place on Twitter. Our first topic was using tech tools in the social studies classroom. Over the next several months the chat remained small in numbers discussing topics like PBL, critical thinking and using maps in the social studies classroom.
At the beginning of 2011 the chat began and continues to grow. Becky Ellis and then Shawn McCusker came on board to assist and support the chat. Others who have joined us and are part of a great supporting cast are Jamie Gravell, Susie Nestico, Heather Kilgallon and Angela Cunningham. Angela created and maintained a Ning with the help of the other members for several years.
In March of 2011 we conducted our first crowdsourcing chat and it was incredibly productive on the Cold War. The chat produced 75 pages of resources and ideas for teachers to use. Another event that revealed the true potential of this community, was the spontaneous real time chat that took place on the night that Osama Bin Laden was killed. A couple of months later we conducted our first joint chat with #engchat and #engsschat was born. Since then we have conducted other joint chats with #tichat and soon with #elemchat as well as #gtchat.
In May of 2011 the sschat Ning website was created. Then in the summer of 2011 sschat joined forces with Edutopia. A social studies group and wiki were created and connected to the sschat Ning. Articles by HipHop Classroom, Herf Jones Nystrom and the New York Times followed along with the presentation at the 2011 NCSS annual conference in Washington D.C.
EdCampSS initially started as a random tweet by Brad Campbell, but support for the idea grew quickly and the event soon had a date, location, and even Kenneth C. Davis, author of Don’t Know Much About History as a keynote speaker. The first Edcamp Social Studies was held March 24, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Since 2012, #sschat has been led by Dan Krutka (@dankrutka), Michael Milton (@42thinkdeep), Melissa Seideman (@mseideman), and first Joe Sangillo and then Chris Hitchcock (@CHitch94). This group moved the #sschat resources from the Ning to sschat.org and started the first annual #sschat-led NCSS Unconference in 2013 in St. Louis. In 2014, this group started the #sschat Facebook page as a space to share articles and resources with social studies teachers in another space. The #sschat co-leaders have continued to partner with numerous historians and groups to spread the reach of the #sschat network. Since the inception of #sschat, this network has always depended on all the #sschat participants who make the chats and sharing worthwhile.