Twitter Changed My Life

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The most dynamic teachers I know are on Twitter. This is the beginner’s guide to Twitter, from etiquette and vocabulary to integrating Twitter into your classroom.

First of all, Twitter is about more than burgers, beer, and Bieber. At first glance, all you see it trending topics and random thoughts, none of which are useful to you as an educator. As you find like-minded educators, though, Twitter becomes an invaluable resource.

The Teacher’s Lounge is a place to get coffee and complain about students. Twitter is an Innovation Lounge–it is a place to be inspired and find #EduAwesome resources.Though I enjoy spending time in a teacher’s lounge, my source of inspiration and support in my profession is found on Twitter.

Twitter is all about relationships. Since you start off on Twitter knowing nobody (ok, knowing just me), it doesn’t really make sense at first. And that’s ok. Look around, search education hashtags, and respond to people. As you move from lurking to engaging, you will begin developing relationships with other passionate educators. And that’s the goal.

There are some basic symbols on Twitter. Each username has an @ in front of it. This notifies the user, and it creates a clickable link. You can create a keyword by adding # to it. This makes it clickable and searchable. Some tags are useful like #edchat, others are silly like #obiwancorippo.

Develop your PLN with people that teach your subject matter. Chat with other teachers using hashtags like #sschat (social studies chat). Search for #sschat, follow those people, use those resources. Or, live chat with other social studies teachers every Monday at 7pm EST. Archives of the #sschat are available at http://sschat.ning.com/. Most subjects have a chat, and a vibrant community on Twitter.

Use Twitter to extend conversations from conferences. Every conference has a hashtag. Not only can you follow along with that hashtag during the conference, you can search for it after the conference to see additional resources. If you find someone’s tweets useful, reply and tell them so, and then follow that person.

Before you know it, you’ll become constantly surrounded by teachers that are passionate about educational technology.

Here are more Twitter resources for teachers:

Feel free to download my Twitter presentation, or view it below. (It doesn’t make much sense without my narration (which is the sign of a good preso), but folks have asked me to share it.)

Twitter Changed My Life from Bill