Twitter

Background:

Twitter is fast becoming one of the most talked about social networking sites in educational circles. Educators all over are realizing the benefits using Twitter has on the profession and are encouraging other educators to start using the service. One of the reasons Twitter is so important to educators is that it provides an incredible foundation for the building of a Personal Learning Network (PLN). These networks are providing educators with the feedback, resources, and tools necessary to incorporate 21st Century Skill into the classroom. Twitter is not only good for creating a global collaborative faculty room, it can also be used very effectively in the classroom to communicate with students and parents. Unfortunately, without some initial guidance it can be easy to miss the point of using Twitter. This page of the wiki has been set up to give you a starting point and to make the value of Twitter apparent from the beginning.

Common Misconceptions:

  1. "Twitter users just post "tweets" about what they are having for breakfast and other trivial stuff."  Where this is true for some Twitter users, it is definitely not the reality for most. Many educators use Twitter to post links to articles, blogs, Web 2.0 sites, and other items on the web that relate to education. If you do follow people who tweet useless information, you always have he option to stop following them, which will remove their updates from your feed.
  2. "I don't have time to use Twitter." There is no rule that says you have to read every tweet that is posted to your feed, but if you have time to read through a handful of posts you will definitely find useful information and resources. Especially if you are following the right people. It is also very likely that you will find resources posted to Twitter that will save you considerable time. Teachers have spent years squirreling away every resource they can get there hands on. Why not take advantage of the capability to build a network of teachers from around the globe willing to share these resources?
  3. "I would use Twitter but it is blocked in my district." Although this is true for many school districts, Twitter was unblocked in the HPSD near the end of last school year. During that time Twitter has been used by both teachers and students for educational purposes.

Setup and Finding Educators to Follow:

  1. Visit www.twitter.com
  2. Click on the yellow sign up button and follow the directions. You may want to watch the YouTube video, How To Use Twitter.
  3. Watch this screen cast on following our recommended Twitter users.
  4. Add teachers from Tweepml. This a great group of people to start following. 

Educational Twitter Hashtags

General Education Hashtags

  • #ukedchat – UK Education.  In my opinion this is the most useful hashtag for UK Teachers.
  • #edchat – Education, worldwide (lots of US teachers).  A really useful hashtag if you are interested in tweeting with a wide range of educators worldwide.
  • #schools – Massively wide ranging but used far less than #edchat or #ukedchat
  • #teaching – This hashtag seems to largely be used for jobseeking so a good place to look if you’re moving on!
  • #lrnchat – Learning
  • #TT – Teacher Tuesday where educators suggest others to follow
  • #kinderchat – hashtag for discussing kindergarten aged children
  • #EdChatIE – The educational hashtag for Ireland for all three levels
  • #ClavEd – The educational hashtag for French Speakers – Wednesdays at 12h(EST) 13h(ATL) 18h(Paris)
  • #GlobalEd – Education with a global dimension

Technology

  • #edtech – a very wide range of tweets relating to the use of technology in education.  This is a great hashtag to follow and tends to be a lot more widely used than the more niche tags.  Though they may be worth following if you have a specific interest in that area
  • #elearning – eLearning (funnily enough!)
  • #mlearning – the use of mobile technologies in education, also #mobilelearning though this is less used
  • #edapp – educational apps
  • #gbl - games based learning
  • #lwf11 – Learning Without Frontiers Conference 2011
  • #slide2learn – iDevices and learning
  • #vitalcpd – effective use of technology in the classroom

Subject Specific

Specific Areas / Roles

  • #pgce – this is a widely used hashtag and is great for anyone in the UK doing their PGCE, a great way to share ideas and support
  • #gtchat – for tweets related to gifted and talented education
  • #esl – English as a second language, this seemed to have more relevant tweets than #EFL when I checked it
  • #Bullying – especially good for finding bullying resources or help and support if bullying is an issue though it is not confined to school bullying
  • #cpchat – connected principals, this is mainly used by American principals but I thought it worth including as there were some interesting links shared in the stream and it’s not too spammy
  • #ntchat - new teachers, (#nqtchat seems to have lapsed)
  • #spedchat – special educational needs.  Live chat every Tuesday night at 8:30 EST for special education related topics
  • #homeschool – everything related to home schooling, seems to be far more widely used than #hsc
  • #playoutdoors – outdoor play and learning ideas
  • #TLChat - is the hashtag for Teacher Librarians’ discussions/resources
  • #ESDGC - Education for sustainability and global citizenship

Hashtag list copied from the following blog: Top Twitter Hastags for UK Teachers 

How to use twitter for the K-12 Classroom - From LearnitN5

YouTube Example of Using twitter in the classroom:



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