Monday, June 10, 2013

The Power of Twitter

There are so many great uses of Twitter for professional development. There's a whole community of amazing educators out there that you can connect with in the Twittersphere, and I didn't even know they existed until a few months ago! I remember saying last year, "I just can't see myself using Twtitter." But now, I find myself using it every day to ask questions and get inspired.
While talking with some teacher friend recently, I realize that many people were just like I was last year: they just don't know how to use Twitter to enhance their craft. And yes, being a teacher is definitely a craft - even a type of art form. 

To start, you need your own Twitter account. Signing up is easy, and of course it's free.

From there, it's all about connecting with other people. The easiest way to find people that you want to connect with, in order to share ideas and learn from them is to use hashtags. A hash tag is really just a way to group similar posts by all Twitter users. Here are some great educational hadhtags that I use on a regular basis:

One great twitter user has a hole collection of educational hadhtags, found here There are hashtags for every topic imaginable, so you just have to find some that fit your needs.

When reading tweets in a particular hashtag, you need to look for a good tweet that gives you 
inspiration. You can then "follow" that user and see every tweet that the user sends out. 
Once I follow someone, I will also look at the users that they follow, and usually find people 
that I'd like to follow as well. 

I have started to follow some people, only to find out that's their tweets either don't fit my 
needs or they simply tweet way to often...which is annoying...thats's ok, you just 
"unfollow" them!

Another great way to become connected is to find a Twitterchat. There are hadhtags for this 
too. Many chats actually happen on a certain day at a specific time and last for an hour. There are
 moderators for the chat that post questions and then the people participating respond to the question,
and to each other, all using the hashtags. There's a great listing of educational chats found here

For example, a Twitterchat that I really like is #satchat. This happens every 
Saturday morning, and is a general education chat. So there are a lot of different topics 
covered. The moderators usually tweet out the topic in advance, so I know whether or
not I want to check it out.

When chatting, the tweets can come pretty quickly, and using the mobile Twitter app or Twitter
online may not be able to keep up in a way that makes it easy for you to follow. There are several
other great apps that can help with this. I like Hootsuite and Tweetchat, so you may want to check
those out too.

Twitter is a great way to connect with other educators and hear about new ideas. It's a 
chance to be inspired and learn about new ways to keep your classroom interesting and relevant.

If you decide to sign up, don't forget to follow me @MeadorScience! You an click the 
Twitter link in the top right to view my page.

Happy Tweeting!

1 comment:

  1. Okay Sarah... I will give it a try... now to remember my login and password! ;)