XW1W (Across the World Once a Week)

Global Collaboration for Cross-Cultural Understanding


Twitter Symbols, Terms, and Tips

As you begin to use Twitter, there are several terms you will come across frequently. This list will help to clarify as you gain confidence with this social media microblogging platform. The first step to becoming a part of XW1W is to create a Twitter account. You will need to create a username. This might reflect your own classroom or specific school. It's simple! For example, the TeachersFirst account is @TeachersFirst. After you have created an account, take a look at the terms below to help you get started.

Twitter Symbols and Terms:

Tweet - A tweet is the message that is posted by an account on Twitter.

Hashtag/# - The symbol # is known as a hashtag and is posted before a word. It is often the topic of the tweet, and it allows Twitter users to connect with accounts through common interests.

At/@ - This symbol is used to call out names. For instance, to "tag" TeachersFirst, one would type @TeachersFirst. This will notify the TeachersFirst account that they have been tagged. This encourages specific people to read your message. You can 'mention' people by using the @ symbol.

Following - When you subscribe to a specific Twitter account, you "follow" it. This helps to ensure that you see the content of the accounts you are most interested in viewing.

Follows - When someone else has subscribed to your account, he or she now "follows" you. This helps to ensure that your content is viewable by those most interested in reading what you are sharing.

Geolocation/Geotagging - By adding a location to your tweet, other accounts can see where you were when a tweet was posted. You might also find yourself interested in posts from certain locations. Geolocation can help you to find them.

Likes - The heart icon can be tapped once to show that you or your account "likes" a certain tweet. Likes are a way to see what your audience prefers in terms of content.

Profile - Your profile contains information that will be displayed publicly. Check out the TeachersFirst Twitter page for an example.

Thread - A series of connected tweets posted by the same account is known as a thread.

Retweet - A tweet that you forward to your own followers is known as a retweet. Retweets are often used to pass along news, and the original author is always listed. Retweeting is a way to share a tweet that someone else has posted.

Reply - A reply is a response to a tweet. Simply tap reply next to the tweet you would like to respond to. When a tweet has replies associated with it, you will notice a reply count on the tweet as well.

Verified Account - A verified account indicates that a legitimate source, such as a public figure, is the owner of the account. A verified account contains a blue checkmark next to the account name.

Take a few moments to review this sample tweet to see how many items from the list above, you can identify.

sample tweet


Follow us:
To become more familiar with Twitter, find and follow @TeachersFirst. Use the list above to learn the aspects of Twitter through our established account.

Appropriate Use:
One of the most difficult aspects of using social media is monitoring its use by students and responses from other users. Twitter's policies include an account holder age limit of thirteen or above. We recommend posting from a classroom account that you personally set up and control, however, for older students thirteen or above, another option is to allow them to post from their individual accounts as well. Incorporate important guidelines for XW1W into a lesson about responsible Internet use. The success of XW1W is largely dependent on the appropriate and thoughtful responses of its users.