I was like many of you in thinking that I cannot handle one more social network. I don’t even use the ones I have. I now see it completely differently! Twitter has been such a huge change/help/benefit to me and my students. It has become one of my most valuable assets. I know, it sounds dorky, but it’s true.
Yes, you can follow Celebs, but why when there are so many fabulous educating rockstars out there!? Many of educators use Pinterest, and chances are you do too. This is the next step. Instead of just pinning what you like, why not talk to the creator? Make connections. Instead of only collaborating with teachers at your site, imagine what a powerful teacher you become when you can collaborate globally! Your PLN (Personal Learning Network) no longer has to be limited by those you work with. The power of Twitter is that you create that global PLN!
Not sure where to begin? Well, after you sign up for an account (remember to post a profile pic. You will get taken more seriously without the default egg) find some educators to follow. Feel free to check me out, and see who I’m following.
Twitter uses # (hashtags). They are sort of like the main idea or topic of your comment (or question). Many hashtags meet and have scheduled discussions. I personally attend #caedchat, they meet Sunday evenings from 8-9 PST. This is a group of educators from CA, and we discuss relevant issues in CA. The hour literally flies by. Not sure how to find it, just type in #caedchat in the search. Check out what’s going on. They have hashtags for each grade level, disciplines, states, etc. To help you find # and chats that you might like check out this link: http://goo.gl/WS7Zo
By now I’m sure that I have piqued your interest. So here’s what you need to do:
- Go to twitter.com and sign up.
- Follow at least one person (I’m @NowaTechie). Many of your favorite bloggers are on Twitter, follow them.
- Post a pic. Most people will not follow you back unless you have a pic. The egg just doesn’t cut it.
- It will keep asking you to follow people, once you follow one, you can skip ahead.
- Search for hashtags and find more people to follow that way. Example: in the search box type: #3rdchat This will lead you to all ‘tweets’ related to 3rd grade. Most of the tweeters will be 3rd grade teachers.
- Not ready to post yet? That’s fine. Just sit back and observe. You’ll learn a lot and get links to many great sites.
- Post a tweet when you’re ready. It can be as simple as “Hi, I’m new to this. I teach…”
- Any questions? just ask. Everyone on Twitter is eager to help and share our knowledge.