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Twitter Chat 7/17/2013 – Student Engagement in Communities of Practice

bb_twitterchatHi there, Meagan Pollock here, a Big Beacon Ambassador and Leader. What does that mean? It means, as an Ambassador, I am working to increase the awareness and influence of the Big Beacon movement to transform engineering education. As a BB Leader,  I am “vanguarding” an initiative to create a wide and active network* of Ambassadors who will do the same! Why? Because I believe that not only does engineering education need to be transformed, but that together we can challenge the status quo and dramatically improve how we educate the future engineers that will transform and influence our world. We at Big Beacon believe that students are at the heart of this mission and this movement.

We at Big Beacon believe that students are at the heart of this mission and this movement.

I am a student, too, in Engineering Education at Purdue University. I am so close to be completing my PhD! Though as a student this go around, I often find myself in a liminal state between engineer and educator, and avoiding the limbo of student-hood. Community has been the key to my sanity as I have navigated liminal stages throughout my career. As a nascent scholar, conferences offer incredible opportunities to present my work, learn from others, and build my network within a community of people who care about similar topics (in my case, engineering education!). This is essentially the topic for tonight’s twitter chat: student engagement in the communities of practice via research, conferences, and networking.

What are communities of practice? Read more here.

Join us tonight at 8 PM Eastern using #BigBeacon for a twitter chat on topics in engineering education. This week, we will talk about how student engagement in the engineering community via research, conferences, and networking, can transform engineering education and challenge the status quo.

Inspiration from the Big Beacon Manifesto

Read the manifesto here.

Big Beacon Manifesto #3: The Whole New Engineer is authentically connected to others.

Big Beacon Manifest #9: The whole new engineer is a team player, a collaborator, and a community builder.

Big Beacon Manifesto #10: The whole new engineer is a designer, a creator, and a sustainer. (i.e. research).

Big Beacon Manifesto #15: A whole new engineering education connects with students by fostering a sense of community.

Reflection & Questions 

Here are a few questions to reflect on before or during our twitter chat:

What does community mean to you?

How would you explain the engineering community to which you belong? (by engineering discipline, industry, private/non-private sector, education, academia, etc.)

Does your engineering community align regularly via professional conferences?

How can or does your engineering community engage students? Is this important?

How does research, and sharing of research, influence your engineering community?

How does networking relate to community building? Are you a good networker? Is this a skill? Do we need to teach students?

How can we facilitate networking to foster building our engineering communities among students?

What are some of your experiences related to community: research, conferences, networking?

Join us at 8 PM Eastern 7/17/2013

See you on twitter using #BigBeacon at 8PM Eastern tonight, 7/17/2013.

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 sign into it.  At 8pm 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 your posting.  Alternatively, sign into the free service, type in the hashtag #BigBeacon, and tweetchat will automate the search and hashtag append functions for you. – See more at:

*(Stay tuned in the coming months as we roll out the Big Beacon Ambassador Network!)


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