To Twitter or Not to Twitter?

Screen Shot 2013-04-30 at 10.54.29 PMYou may have heard about Twitter through friends who use it to stay connected by sharing funny antidotes, describing what they are doing or sharing pictures, but some of you may not be aware that Twitter can also be used for educational reasons. Before beginning it will be important to understand some of the terminology used with Twitter. The Twitter help center provides an informative glossary found at https://support.twitter.com/articles/166337-the-twitter-glossary#

Here is another quick reference guide you may wish to consult:

Screen Shot 2013-05-13 at 9.00.58 PM

Once you have set up your own Twitter account, it would be important to start following people you care about or want to learn more about. For my fellow educators interested in knowing more about edtech or education, I encourage you to add some of the following Tweeps (Twitter accounts):

@ATA38 @TechPudding @rmbyrnes
@albertateachers @TerryHoganson @stevewclark
@AlbertaCORE @gcourous @kpegler
@Educause @AmberMazur @Chelsea_OLeary

Once you start following people, you can read and respond to their tweets. The more Tweeps you follow, the more followers you could potentially acquire, as people will often consider adding those who are following them. The other way to build your followers is to start tweeting and posting about things that matter to you in education. I have recently posted about student engagement, digital citizenship, website evaluations, top mobile apps and blogging. I also have my WordPress account linked to my Twitter account, so every time I create a new blog post, my Twitter followers can also read what I have to say.

If you want to know which hashtags or trends to follow, please read my post on Twitter hashtags (#). It will give you some good ideas on what threads to start reading and participating in to further discuss educational topics. This would be a great way to participate in professional development (PD) at home as well as collaborating with others to improve your teaching practice.

For those of you who think that Twitter has nothing to offer, I urge you to create an account, follow my suggestions and if you are still convinced after a month it’s not for you, then that’s a fair decision to quit. However, if you have never given Twitter a chance, then you don’t know what you really are missing out on.

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