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Twitter - Twitter, Inc.

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Centered around the question "What are you doing," users enter information they share with their "followers" by creating 140 character updates. Updates are much more than messages to...more
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Centered around the question "What are you doing," users enter information they share with their "followers" by creating 140 character updates. Updates are much more than messages to share what you are eating for lunch! Use this popular microblogging and social networking tool for a great way to communicate with teaching peers you may not have a chance to otherwise meet. Reply to others to create conversations for some of the best professional development around. Each "tweet" or message may not seem extraordinary, but using the sum total of tweets from those you "meet" on Twitter can have an amazing impact. Use your profile and settings to add a bio and other information, change your security settings from public to protected, find those who follow you, and more. Post your tweets through the website, mobile devices, or myriad of applications to manage tweets and followers. Keep track of your favorite posts by starring them. Refer to your favorites list as needed. Wish you could take back a tweet? Click the trash can beside the post to delete (however, others may have already seen and responded.) Find many opinions about twitter on and off the Internet. Remember you will gain only as much as you put into this service. Build a network of helpful colleagues to become a better learner and educator. Still not sure what Twitter is about? Find a great explanation of how it works in this review.

tag(s): microblogging (31), social networking (96)

In the Classroom

Though overwhelming, be sure to start out slow and look at conversations that catch your eye. Follow people with experience in your areas of interest to gain from the conversations. Start off by following @teachersfirst or @cshively (our leader). Learn about hashtags -- ways to mark and follow conversations on a specific topic. For example, the #ntchat tag is for new and pre-service teachers and the #edchat hashtag is for all teachers. Participate in these chats which are scheduled at certain days and times. Find archived tweets from these chats to learn from some wonderful and motivated teachers weh it is convenient for YOU. Use other Twitter applications such As Twapper Keeper reviewed hereto archive specific tweets.

Safety/security: Users can decide whether they wish to make their tweets private or public. As people follow you, decide whether you want them to see your tweets or block them easily to prevent access. Wondering about the usefulness of Twitter with students? Be sure to check with your District's policies. Many Districts block Twitter. If using it with students, be sure that you can monitor their use in class and follow their conversations. Be sure students understand the appropriate and inappropriate use of this service as well as consequences. Here is a blog post about using Twitter in the classroom.

Bring teaching and learning to new heights by using this service as a great form of professional development. At conferences, use Twitter as a backchannel to expand upon thoughts and ideas during presentations and after. Have a question to ask others' opinion about? Throw it out to Twitter to see the great perspectives given by those who follow you.

If your school does permit Twitter, consider using your teacher account to send updates to other teachers across the country or across the globe. A whole-class, teacher account is the most likely way to gain permission to use Twitter in school, especially if you can demonstrate specific projects. That can be as simple as making sure you and that teacher are FOLLOWING each other, then sending a direct message (start the tweet with D and the other teacher's twitter name) or creating a groups with your own hashtag for a project such as daily weather updates. Even if you are not "following" someone, you can send them a tweet using @theirtwittername in the body of the message. This is called a "mention" but can be seen by others, too. Compare what your class is observing in today's weather, which topics you will be discussing today, or ask for another class's opinions on a current events issue. Ask for updates about local concerns, such as talking to California schools about wildfires in their area or a Maine school about a blizzard. Challenge another class to tweet the feelings of a literacy character, such as Hamlet, and respond as Ophelia, all in 140 characters or less.

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