As a teacher, I understand that you don’t need another thing to keep up with…BUT if you are not using Twitter, you are missing opportunities to grow as a teacher. Connect with other teachers, or professionals, get ideas, share your brilliance, inform parents…the list goes on and on. Take a minute to read this blog about how Twitter works, step into this amazing world, and lets connect and share!
Create Your Account
Who to Follow
This depends on where your interests are located and what your learning/teaching goals are. If you teach science, start with some of these: NASA, the Curiosity Rover, BBC Stargazing, or Hubble Telescope. Maybe there is a really famous scientist that you love, search for them.
Once you find someone that you like, look at who they follow – this will give you some great places to see and visit. If you are looking for teachers to follow, there are some excellent places to get started. The website Twitter for Teachers by Kathy Schrock is excellent. You can also visit Cybraryman and his extensive list of Twitter links.
One word of caution when following people, Twitter limits the number of people you can follow each day, so go slow and easy. Another thing to do is read through the tweets of the person you are interested in following, make sure that they are sharing things that inspire/impact/help you as a teacher.
These make Twitter what it is. When you use the hashtag symbol – # – you create a searchable string behind it. For example, I frequently use #oklaed and #edtech in my tweets. Click on these links and you will see all of the tweets from all over the world with those hashtags inside. Maybe you are using iPads in your class (#ipaded) or you teach math (#mathchat) or you are interested in education (#edchat) or maybe even flipping your classroom (#flipclass) or try something really fun Teach Like A Pirate! (#tlap). Here is a super huge list from Cybraryman.
You could even make a hashtag just for your classroom – be sure and do a quick search in Twitter to make sure it is not a commonly used tag. I used #haselcalc for my calculus classes – it simply grouped all of the tweets together to make for easy reading.
Why Use Twitter
- Twitter is loaded with tweets about education – ideas that are brilliant and can be used in your room the next day. Use them to develop yourself as a teacher, get better, be even more amazing (I heard that 2% of the billions of tweets each day were education related…)
- Show off how great your school is! Tweet pictures of your school day and share with the world why your school is amazing!
- Connect with other educators. I have learned so much and developed some great ideas by using ideas from people that I follow on Twitter.
- PD – on demand 24/7/365.
- Twitter chats – these are very fun to participate in, especially when you think about what is happening: A live conversation with people from all over, discussing a specific topic, in real time. Chats can be hectic and are difficult to do on your phone or through Twitter itself. Try using Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, or Tweetchat.
These are regularly scheduled chats that center around a specific topic. I teach in Oklahoma, so I love participating in #oklaed chats on Sunday 8:00 p.m. CST. Maybe you live in another state or country – do a search on twitter or ask – and find a chat that you can participate in. Here is a link that will get you started for several different types of chats, and here is one specific to educators in the United States. These are very powerful – try one out. Lurk (watch the chat but don’t participate), then when you are ready, hop in and share!
If you are reading this, you probably saw it on Twitter – share this with your non-Twitter or Twitter-skeptic friends, post it on your Facebook account or send an email – lets make a difference today!
Check out what others have to say about Twitter:
United Kingdom (With links for teachers and twitter!)
Did I forget something? Add why you love Twitter in the comments…