I offered to host an #EdSkillsShare session way back when museums were first shut down towards the end of March and was given the date of 7th May, which seemed way into the future. I hosted the session from the perspective of a museums and heritage educator who is focused on wellbeing. My account, @Muse5aday is the account for the #Museum5aday project led by myself and the Learning Liaison Forum, a group for Heritage Educators in Surrey and Sussex. You can find out more here.

I have been running Twitter accounts for Haslemere Museum where I work since 2012. That was the year that we won the Family Friendly Museum Award from Kids in Museums and it was suggested we use Twitter. Although I have taken part in many Twitter events, I had never hosted one before and was a bit nervous about it. Luckily Devon from GEM was brilliant talking me through it and giving me lots of tips. The main one being prepare in advance.

By 2.45pm on the day in question I was ready with prepared tweets to copy and paste and some pictures and links in hand. The clock turned 3, so with trepidation I posted my first post! Was there anyone out there? I wasn’t sure but I introduced myself as @Museum5aday and started what I feared would be a one-sided conversation. Luckily the audience interaction wasn’t huge (which made it easier for me to keep up  & I’d like to think there were loads of people looking at the tweets but not posting anything themselves) and I had some lovely conversations with people. It was reassuring to hear I wasn’t the only person missing swimming and great to hear what people were learning and noticing in these strange times, including how people seem to be being more polite. The 2 hours went by much faster than I expected, time really does fly!

All in all, I really enjoyed the experience and feel it fulfilled many of the #Museum5aday tenants; definitely #connect, #learn, #volunteer and to a lesser extent #notice, though can’t fit #exercise in! I would definitely recommend hosting an event as I feel I benefitted from the experience. My top tip comes from Devon and it is to prepare a number of tweets in advance that you can copy and paste, even if you need to tweak them a little.

Thanks to @gem_heritage for the opportunity

Kay Topping


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