Are you considering Twitter?

Twitter is a popular social media choice for many people, and this is for good reason. People can use twitter to access news in realtime and tweet news as it is happening. It is a lightening fast way to keep up with the news. It is also very convenient. You get the news when you want it, not at 5,6,and 10. People also use Twitter for some much needed comic relief. Comedians tweet funny videos, texts, and content that provides much needed laughter to a society whose stressed out lifestyle is well documented. People also use twitter to keep up with what is trending. This allows them be up-to-date, up to the minute if they want to be. Twitter is also a great way to let businesses know about customer service. It is becoming well known that tweeting about sub par customer service from airline companies yields results.

Personally, I use twitter to keep up with news and trends some. I do not really have time to follow comedians and never use social media to complain in any way. That is my personal stance that social media should be used for all things positive. If service is great post it, if not tell them face to face. I remember the signs that used to say, “If you are pleased with our service tell others, if not, tell us.” I mainly use twitter because of its benefit to educators. In my personal opinion, all educators can gain from having a social media presence and can specifically benefit from using Twitter. Why? Because of the ability educators have to use Twitter to gain access to a Professional Learning Network. I believe that Twitter’s ability to enable Professional Learning Networks is where we find its true power and benefit to educators.

What about Educators?

Educators have to look beyond their classroom and make connections with other educators locally and globally. These connections produce resources, ideas, and opportunities for collaboration that would otherwise be unavailable. These people that you connect with become your Professional Learning Network. Also know as your PLN. Your PLN is made up of fellow educators, educational thought leaders, and anyone else who you feel can help you grow as a professional. You can participate in Twitter chats on topics that directly relate to what you do in your classroom or on your campus on a daily basis. You can also use hashtags to search topics, gather resources, and discover people to follow. This can be done at anytime and from anywhere.

twitter,educators,PLN,

Why?

To help students. This is the goal of all educators. We are always looking for ways to improve at our craft so that the students we teach will have the opportunity to improve.

How?

Professional Learning Network (PLN)

You can use Twitter to connect with other educators locally and globally. These people become your Professional Learning Network (PLN). You will be able find resources from outside the walls of your classroom. You can search relevant topics to find ACCOUNTS to follow.

Who?

@ Educational Thought Leaders

Choose who you follow carefully. Read their Bio. Look at who they follow and who follows them. Consider the quantity and quality of their tweets. Be mindful of the purpose of your account. Follow people who fit with your professional goals.

What?

Educational Hashtags and Chats

Twitter Chats happen on a particular date and time. Educators from across the globe join to answer questions that are posed by a moderator. Chats usually last for an hour and are fast paced. Chats are a great way to gain ideas and make meaningful connections with other educators. I want to strongly encourage you to participate in educational chats. This is a great way to get and give information on educational topics. You will gain from getting information and others will benefit from you sharing your ideas. You have a wealth of knowledge and experience and it needs to be shared with others. Use hashtags to find categories of tweets. Use the search function to look for topics that would benefit you, and you will likely find that topic in a hashtag. This will give you access to people and chats that deal specifically with that topic. This makes your use of Twitter much more efficient. Remember, you need a tool that saves you time, not something that ends up wasting it. If used correctly, Twitter can save you valuable time.

When?

Anytime from Anywhere

This is the really great thing about twitter. You have access to this literally around the clock. You can use this resource when you have the time to do so. It fits into everyone’s schedule. If you miss the scheduled time for a chat, you can use the hashtag to look at other people’s answers and ideas to the questions that were posed. Participating in the chat live is probably best, but you can definitely still benefit from the chat even after is has ended. Also, some moderators are facilitating Slow Chats so that educators can participate “live” over an extended period of time.

Interested in twitter? Go to Twitter by CLICKING HERE twitter.com/login and follow the easy to follow set up steps.

Now that your set up, let’s take a closer look. We will start with some definitions.

Definitions:

Tweet = A message that can have 140 characters (including spaces and punctuation). A tweet can contain pictures, videos, and weblinks.

Hashtags = These give tweets categories.

DM (Direct Message) = This is a 1 on 1 conversation. You can send a direct message to someone who follows you. Someone who you follow can send you a direct message.

Retweet = You can share the tweet by clicking retweet.

Quote Tweet = By clicking quote tweet, you can retweet and add your comments to the retweet.

Like = By clicking the heart, you are letting everyone know that you like the tweet.

Reply = Click reply to engage in conversation with the people you follow. These tweets are public, but they won’t show on people’s newsfeed less they follow both of you.

@ Symbol = This indicates a username. You can use then in a tweet to tag someone. Your tweet will show up in their notifications.

Navigation

You can use your laptop and phone to access Twitter. I personally prefer the basic Twitter app for iPhone. I also like using my MacBook Air to access Twitter.

Website

Basic Twitter App for iPhone

Home

On your Home page, you have access to your Profile and Settings, the Tweet function, Who to Follow, Trends, and your Newsfeed.

Profile and Settings

From here, you can view your profile to have access to your tweets and edit your Bio, profile and header photo.

Moments

You can find current news here. I personally do not have time to use this. I like to keep up with news and current events, but the Moments page is not something that I have the time for. My use of Twitter is much more strategic.

Notifications

This is where you can see who has liked, retweeted, quote tweeted, or mentioned you in a tweet. This is similar to the Globe feature on Facebook.

Messages

This is where you can access your direct messages. Remember, you can only direct message (DM) someone who follows you. Only someone who you follow can direct message (DM) you.

Settings

Here you have access to things such as:

Security and Privacy

Here you can make choices concerning photo tagging, tweet location, and personalization.

Photo tagging

You determine who has the ability to tag you in photos.

Tweet location

You determine if your tweets give your location or not.

Personalization

You determine whether or not you allow twitter to use your activity to tailor your twitter experience.

Ready to start tweeting? Let’s look at some tips for composing a tweet.

Composing a Tweet

Tweets should consist of:

Content, @, Hyperlinks (bitly), Hashtags, Image

When you compose a tweet, it is best to start with content. If you start with an @ someone, only the people that follow you and that person will see the tweet. So start with content and then add a tag with the @. You can also add in a hyperlink as well as an image and a hashtag. I have added some of my tweets below and labeled the content, tag, hyperlink, hashtags and image.

tweet,twitter, content,tags,hyperlinks

 

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If you are an educator and are new to twitter or considering twitter, I think it would be a great idea for you to use twitter to participate in a PLN. I look forward to reading your comments and thoughts on this topic.