I originally signed up for Twitter never intending to tweet. I saw it as a way to find out what was going on in the world of educational technology. It has been fabulous for that reason. Whenever I had a few minutes I would log on to my Twitter account and browse through a few of the daily tweets sent out by the people that I am following. I found some excellent blog posts this way. In fact, I can count on finding at least one or two interesting articles a day just by checking Twitter out for a few minutes. I often have more success using Twitter for this reason than using my Google Reader simply because if someone has tweeted about a blog post, then it must come recommended, much like a book review for a book.
A couple of weeks after signing up for Twitter, I took the plunge and started tweeting. I am mainly retweeting interesting articles, but I also tweeted about one of my own blog posts to a couple of colleagues who I thought might be interested in the digital storytelling tool that I had reviewed. It is easy to connect with different people on Twitter and I also like Twitter for this reason.
To date, I have tweeted 21 times and I can see myself continuing to do so on a regular basis. I am enjoying being able to contribute as much as I am enjoying following people.
I found this interesting tutorial on how to Build a Professional Learning Network with Social Media using Twitter. The creator, Miles of Miles' Tomes in Teaching and Learning does a great job of breaking down how to set up a Twitter account for professional reasons in a simple step-by-step way.
The website Edudemic wrote a blog post in June, 2010 entitled The Ultimate Twitter Guidebook For Teachers. Included in this blog post are a list of ideas for using Twitter in the classroom. I have included a few of them here:
- Communicate with parents and students. Twitter assignments, important events, deadlines, and more to keep parents and students updated with important information.
- Daily summaries. Give a daily update on each school day so parents can stay in touch with what their children are learning.
- Collaborative planning. Teachers and students or students working together can use Twitter to document ideas and share with their collaboration team.
- Teacher collaboration. Many teachers collaborate on their lesson plans and teaching techniques and tips. Twitter allows collaborating teachers to share ideas and stay connected easily.
- Learn a foreign language. Using a service like twitterlearn or just practicing conversation skills with other Twitterers around the globe, students can practice a foreign language.
- Connect with other classrooms. Find a classroom in a different geographic area to create a modern-day pen pal situation where students can learn from each other through their Tweets.