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Twitter Chat: Reflections & Goals for Transforming Engineering Education

bb_twitterchatAs we embark on 2014, we at Big Beacon find it prudent to reflect on 2013 and look forward with anticipation to what lies ahead for us in the New Year. In this post, we will reflect on some of 2013’s Twitter Chats, highlight some Twitter Chat goals for 2014, and propose some questions for you to consider as change agents in engineering education for our next chat.

We invite you, if you are not already engaged, to join us on this journey to transform engineering education. Let’s make this a dynamic and active conversation as we all work to challenge the status quo in 2014. We will kick off the year with a Twitter Chat on the topic of Reflections & Goals for Transforming Engineering Education, and how Big Beacon can help, on January 8, at 8PM EST.

1/9/2014 – Review the Storify Summary of the Chat here.

Who are

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we and what do we do?

The Big Beacon is a Movement to Transform Engineering Education, and was organized to catalyze a global social movement around this goal. The Big Beacon connects dots among individuals and organizations to collaboratively disrupt the status quo, thereby bringing about change to align engineering education with the creativity imperative

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of our times.

What have we been successful at in 2013?

To engage the community of stakeholders, Big Beacon began hosting a weekly Twitter Chat on topics related to transforming engineering education. We often have guest hosts and panelists from organizations, industry, and all segments of education, including students, teachers, professors, and parents alike. We allow our manifesto to guide our conversations, spur discussion, and initiate change.

We invite and welcome everyone to participate in the weekly Twitter Chats on Wednesdays at 8 PM EST; follow #BigBeacon.

One of our goals is to connect dots among individuals and organizations. In 2013, our twitter chats started out with just a handful of volunteers leading chats about topics related to engineering education. We began the chats as a way to reach out and see who was interested in transforming engineering education, with the hopes of building a community of change agents, and initiating a social movement. We regularly drew a solid group of participants, and had some exciting discussions. Throughout the year, our topics have spanned the gamut: entrepreneurship, math-science death march, gender equity, storytelling, global internships, engineers in pop-culture, engineering culture, and many more! (Discover all our past topics here.)

About half-way through 2013, we began to have guest hosts on the chat, with organizations such as Engineers Without

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Borders, Project Lead the Way, National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity, Epicenter, and Cultural Vistas to name a few. We even had individuals who are active leaders, educators, or researchers transforming engineering education across the globe, lead some stimulating chats. This transition to frequent guest hosts has proved to be remarkably successful in reaching our goal to connect people and organizations. We even made the top trending Twitter hashtag twice in 2013!

For 2014, our goal is to continue this pattern of engagement, and build momentum for a global social movement that actively transforms engineering education. We want to partner with people and organizations who have a passion for improving engineering (or in K-12’s case – STEM) education from pre-school to grad-school. Does this include you?

Join us on January 8th, for the first #BigBeacon chat of 2014, where we invite you to share your reflections and goals for engineering education, and where we will together imagine how Big Beacon can take a stronger role in facilitating collaboration and initiating change in engineering education.

Reflection questions for the Jan 8 Chat

Share with us what you did to transform engineering education in 2013. (reflections?)

Share with us what you are doing to transform engineering education in 2014. (goals?)

How can Big Beacon better connect the engineering education community? How could you help us help you?

How can we together increase momentum for a global social movement to transform engineering education in 2014?

In what ways has the Big Beacon Twitter Chats helped you?

In what ways could the Big Beacon Twitter Chats better help you (or your org) in 2014?

Do you have suggestions for guest hosts (people, orgs, or you)?

What engineering education topics would you like to see discuss in 2014 chats?

How to Twitter Chat

If you’ve never Twitter chatted before, don’t worry; it’s very easy. First, get a Twitter account if you don’t already have one, and log in. At 8 PM ET on Wednesday go to and type #BigBeacon into the search box on Twitter. Thereafter all the tweets with the hashtag #BigBeacon will show up on your Twitter page. To participate, simply express your opinion by sending a tweet, and be sure to append the hashtag #BigBeacon so other members of the Twitter Chat see you are posting. Alternatively, automate the hashtag search and append feature by using the free service Tchat. For more information, read a longer post about #BigBeacon Twitter Chats here.

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