Twitter for Educators
- Sharing ideas
- Developing a PLN (Personal Learning Network)
- Connecting and collaborating with people
- Reflection and Dialogue with others
- Access to new resources…every day
- Follow interests
- Professional development
Glossary of Terms:
- handle: your Twitter username
- tags (#): hashtags are markers placed in a Tweet that can be traced by other Tweeters. They are used to link people interested in similar topics. HashTags are not a ‘source’, they are a label only.
- #tagchat: a ‘conversation’ that is connected and followed via a specific hashtag.
- @symbol: the transportation method to get a tweet to a particular individual.
- Followers: people interested in what you say and share.
- Following: Individuals who say and share things you are interested in.
- PLN: Personal Learning Network.
- ReTweet: The act of Tweeting someone else’s tweet. Referred to as an ‘RT’ in most tweets.
- Twitterverse: a universe inhabited by individuals who are active members of Twitter.
- Tweet: the act of communicating via Twitter, a single message communicated via Twitter.
- Tweacher: a teacher who uses Twitter to engage in great ideas with students and other teachers.
Join Twitter in 5 minutes:
- Go to the Twitter signup page by clicking this link: https://twitter.com/signup
- Type in your name, username, password and email address. As for your username, you could use the first part of your email address, your full name, or perhaps a made up name.
- Type in the CAPTCHA words from the image. If you have a hard time reading them, you can listen to the words by clicking the link just to the right of the image.
- Click on the Create My Account button
- Include a picture of yourself on your Twitter account. Accounts with pictures have 50% more followers then those that don’t. Please don’t be an egg!
- The next step is to see if your friends are on Twitter. This will do a search through your chosen email services. You can however skip this by clicking on the Skip This Step link just below the Continue button.
- Well Done! You have now joined Twitter.
Educational People to Follow on Twitter:
(http://www.tweetdeck.com/) or you can go through the App Store:
Tweetdeck is a application (iPad or computer) that will allow users to manage different panes for different # searches or Twitter chats. This free application is highly recommended for individuals that are looking to partake in Twitter chats.
The goal of Twitter is to connect you to individuals to increase your personal learning network (PLN). One of the best ways to increase your PLN is by participating in Twitter chats. Twitter chats are held weekly and range from national to state focus to instruction to technology based. Twitter chats can be a steady flow of tweets and national chats can be fast and furious. It is recommended that users download the app TweetDeck for easier management of chats.
Below are the some of the major Twitter chats that you can participate in:
Check out the following website for the Official Twitter Chat Schedule, with the full listing of hundreds of Twitter chats focused on education.
13 ways Twitter Improves Education
Posted: March 22, 2012 in http://askatechteacher.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/13-ways-twitter-improves-education/
Twitter can easily be dismissed as a waste of time in school classrooms. Students will get distracted. Students will see tweets they shouldn’t at their age. How does one manage a room full of Tweeples without cell phones or computers? Is it even appropriate for the lower grades? Consider these perspectives:
You learn to be concise.
Twitter gives you only 140 characters to get the entire message across. Seems impossible? It’s not. It challenges you to know the right word for every situation.
Twitter isn’t intimidating
A blank white page that holds hundreds of words, demanding you fill in each line margin to margin is intimidating. 140 characters isn’t. Anyone can write 140 characters about any topic.
Students learn manners
Social networks are all about netiquette. People thank others for their assistance, ask politely for help, encourage contributions from others. Use this framework to teach students how to engage in a community–be it physical or virtual. It’s all about manners.
Students learn to be focused
With only 140 characters, you can’t get off topic or cover tangential ideas. You have to save those for a different tweet. Tweeples like that trait in writers. They like to hear what your main topic is and hear your thoughts on it, not your meanderings.
Students learn to share
Start a tweet stream where students share research websites on a topic. Maybe the class is studying Ancient Greece. Have each student share their favorite website (using a #hashtag — maybe #ancientgreece) and create a resource others can use. Encourage them to retweet (RT) posts that they found particularly relevant or helpful.
Writing short messages perfects the art of “headlining”.
Writers call this the title. Bloggers and journalists call it the headline. Whatever the label, it has to be cogent and pithy enough to pull the audience in and make them read the article. That’s a tweet.
Tweets need to be written knowing that tweeple can @reply
Yes. This is the world of social networks where people will read what you say and comment. That’s a good thing. It’s feedback and builds an online community, be it for socializing or school. Students learn to construct their arguments expecting others to respond, question, comment. Not only does this develop the skill of persuasive writing, students learn to have a thick skin, take comments with a grain of salt and two grains of aspirin.
#Hashmarks develop a community
Create #hashmarks that will help students organize their tweets. #help if they have a question. #homework for homework help. Establish class ones to deal with subjects that you as the teacher want students to address.
Students are engaged
Twitter is exciting, new, hip. Students want to use it. It’s not the boring worksheet. It’s a way to engage students in ways that excite them.
Consider this: You’re doing the lecture part of your teaching (we all have some of that), or you’re walking the classroom helping where needed. Students can tweet questions that show up on the board. It’s easy to see where everyone is getting stuck, which question is stumping them, and answer it in real time. The class barely slows down.
Twitter is always open
Inspiration doesn’t always strike in that 90-minute class. Sometimes it’s after class, after school, after dinner etc.
8 Reasons People Aren’t Following You Back on Twitter
Whenever you follow someone on Twitter, you hope that they’ll follow you back. It’s a strategy many of us use in the attempt to gain followers. But often, it doesn’t work out that way.Here are eight reasons why people aren’t following you back on Twitter, plus one way to increase your chances that they will.
1. You Don’t Have a Profile Photo.
Nothing screams “newbie” more than not having a photo. And if you’re not new to Twitter, you really have no excuse for not replacing the default egg image with a photo of your own. Using a headshot is best, but if you don’t want to reveal your identity — or if you’re tweeting as a brand — then a relevant graphic is acceptable.
2. You Don’t Have a Bio.
I need more than a photo or a graphic to decide whether or not I’m going to follow you back. Make sure to take advantage of the 160 characters available in the bio section to describe yourself and tell us which subjects you’ll be tweeting about.
3. There Is Some Polarizing Aspect to Your Bio.
If you want to include religion, politics or controversial views in your bio, you certainly have that right. But just know that it may turn off some people from following you. On the other hand, it may encourage those who are like-minded. When in doubt, cast the largest net possible by having a friendly yet informative bio.
4. Your Tweets Are Protected.
Twitter allows you to “protect your tweets,” which means that your Twitter feed is only available to those whose follow requests you have accepted. To me, that completely defeats the purpose of Twitter, which is to converse openly and exchange ideas with more than 200 million users. So, if I see that you have protected your tweets, I’m not going to bother requesting your permission to see them. If you have something private to say, send a Direct Message to one of your followers.
5. You Tweet Too Little.
Potential followers often glance through your Twitter feed to see what you’re tweeting about and how often. If it looks like you’re only tweeting once a week, I’m going to assume you’re not much of a Twitter enthusiast. No sense in increasing my follower count with someone who barely tweets.
6. You Tweet Too Much.
If you tweet all day long, I probably won’t follow you. We just met, and I’m not ready to have you clogging up my Twitter stream.
7. You Mostly Broadcast But Rarely Engage.
If you’re running a one-man (or one-woman) show on Twitter, I’m not your audience. I look for tweeters who are not only sharing their own links and opinions, but who are retweeting and responding. You want to have a conversation, not view a monologue.
8. It’s Not You, It’s Me.
Your profile pic is lovely and your bio is inviting. You tweet a few times a day every day – without protection. But our interests just don’t align, so alas, I’m not going to follow you back. But don’t worry, I’m sure lots of others will!
9. One Thing That Might Increase Your Follower Count?
Make them aware of you with an @mention. Whether you tweet at them (in a relevant, non-spammy way) or manually retweet their tweet, give the user you want to follow you some sort of @mention. It shows you’re the type of tweeter who’s willing to engage and help promote other people’s work. What other strategies have improved your Twitter follow count? Share your tips in the comments below.