Social media has a starring role in our lives today. From Instagram to Tumblr, and Twitter to Facebook, millions of digital thoughts flow through the internet every day.
Many educators have discovered that social media can create an environment for people to connect, question, wonder, read, share and support one another in their quest for high quality education. If you are someone who has been curious about using Twitter to grow your PLN (Professional Learning Network) or engage in a PLC (Professional Learning Community), now is the time!
Here are the basics to get you started with understanding the elements of Twitter:
- Your name is called a handle and begins with the @ symbol (e.g., @HeinemannPD).
- You can connect with people by choosing to follow them and they may follow you back!
- You should have a brief statement about yourself in your profile. Many users will only follow you if they have a basic understanding of who you are. You can be general or specific (e.g., New England educator, or 4th grade teacher in NH).
- Your message is a tweet and can not exceed 140 characters, including spaces.
- A #hashtag links tweets with the same topic, making it searchable as well as contextual. (e.g., #OnlinePLC, #CelebrateMonday, #KidsDeserveIt)
- Use a tool like Tweetdeck on a laptop or desktop to easily organize your preferred topics.
- Twitter can be asynchronous OR synchronous, the latter taking place during scheduled Twitter education chats linked by a hashtag. You can find the full schedule of Twitter education chats by clicking here. (e.g., #EngChat, #G2Great, #4thchat)
So what do you tweet?
- Questions about something new you want to try in your classroom—Make sure to add a relevant hashtag and/or a person’s @handle if you want to increase visibility.
- Announcements celebrating something amazing in your classroom or school.
- Links to to an article or blog post along with your reaction.
- Inspirational quotes and images to raise the discourse.
Are you a visual learner? Take a look at our free Twitter for Educators course, powered by the Heinemann Digital Campus. Click here or on the image below for a preview, and then sign up and participate at your own pace. You will be tweeting in no time!
This post is part of a series of professional development how-to articles.
- How Can I Use Facebook To Connect With Other Educators?
- How Do I Join Forces With Other Educators In An Online PLC?
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Wondering where to connect online? Start by signing up below for Heinemann's Online PLC! Each week, we'll share content from the Heinemann Digital Library as food for thought and discussion. Our conversations can occur in comments here on the blog, on Twitter using #OnlinePLC or in our Facebook Group. Looking forward to sharing content, conversation and camaraderie!
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦