Why is Twitter a good education resource? Mostly because it opens your world to people that you probably will never meet personally, but will connect with because of an interest you share. It will open your world to ideas, strategies, innovations and new tools to help you in the classroom.
People on Twitter…the right people…are constantly sharing and as you follow them, their thoughts, pictures and articles come right across your Feed. I will share my suggestions of some folks to follow later in this Blog Post, and hope having the names will help you as you get started.
We, the GCSD Tech Coaches, are always taking pictures and sharing the great things going on in our schools. This provides a great way to do so. Don’t you want to see your class mentioned on Twitter? In the next edition of The Tech Connect, we want to highlight and spread the word of all of you that are on Twitter, to help you grow your Professional Learning Network. If you area already on Twitter and want to share, email your Twitter name to Keith Brown…so that we can compile a list to share. In the subject line put “Twitter.”
Once somebody on your Twitter list has shared, I suggest entering their names in your Tweet using the “@” sign in front of their name. This is much like a Tag on Facebook or Instagram…and brings attention to those individuals so they will take a look at your Tweet. This is a good way to grow your followers and grow your professional learning network. This is what a Tweet coming from my account might look like:
Great things going on in the classroom today as we learned how to build websites in Mr. Brown’s class today using Weebly @FrechetTech @ItsThatJenny @FreshD85 @weebly
Notice how we tagged Marc, Jenny and Doug (our other Tech Coaches) and Weebly (the website tool). They in turn can either Retweet it or mark it as a Favorite…which spreads your Tweet, ideas and your Twitter Name even more.
Let’s get signed up. Go to www.twitter.com and fill out the forms with the appropriate information and then click “Sign up for Twitter.”
When it comes to choosing a username – consider a couple of things: Make the name easy to share. (A long or complicated name isn’t easy for new followers to remember). Think about the name you choose…you want it to be one you can live with, and that represents you and a majority of your subject matter. You can change it later if you want. Go ahead and click on “Create my account”
As you begin looking for people to follow, start locally. Find people in your vocation or areas of interest that you know. Perhaps some other teachers, or work friends in your building. Next, click on the magnifying glass and search by subject. As you read interesting articles online or in newspapers, look for the “Twitter Handles” of the authors, and start following them.
If you follow some of the celebrities out there, you will get lots of drama and here-say, so be prepared for that if you choose to keep up with them on your Twitter.
Here are some good folks to follow locally and nationally:
• @Teaching STEM
To start following someone, simply click the FOLLOW button next to their name or profile
After you have gotten on Twitter and found a few folks to follow, change your Profile Picture. This alone will help you get followers. People identify with a smiling face rather than a cartoon or some other weird picture.
Next, edit your Profile Page. People will tend to follow you based off what you have there. List interests, hobbies, profession, etc. there. People tend to check there before they follow you or follow you back.
Make sure you follow all of our Tech Coaches…we can assist you with how to use Twitter when we come to your schools. @FrechetTECH, @FreshD85, @ItsThatJenny and @KTech8
Now let’s send out a TWEET by clicking on the box in the upper right hand corner of the page…it will look like a box with a pen in it. You have to keep your Tweets to 140 characters or less. The box you type into will give you a countdown. I suggest leaving at least 10 characters shy of the allowed 140. That way, when someone wants to Retweet it, their name will be inserted, and they will have room to do so.
So come on…Log on…create a Twitter Account…and start enjoying the vast array of resources available at your fingertips.