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Summertime is a great time to brush up on new skills–particularly new technology. Last summer, I signed up for Twitter and have really enjoyed this social networking site throughout this past school year. I discovered that there are so many resources teachers can access from Twitter! Here’s my no-nonsense guide to using Twitter, both for yourself and for your classroom.
It’s easy to get started. Before signing up, you will need to decide on a Twitter name and profile information to use. You can also add an uploaded picture. Think about whether or not you would like to be public or private. If you choose public, other Twitter users will be able to read your tweets and follow you. You always have the option to block a follower. By choosing private, only those who have requested to follow you will see your tweets. Now go to www.Twitter.com and click sign up. Voila! You’re officially a part of the Twitter world!
Who to Follow
You can use Twitter’s list of who to follow, or you can search by name or subject. Be sure to read their profile to see if this is someone you would enjoy following. Then click follow.
If later you decide their Tweets are not for you, then click unfollow on their profile page.
I enjoy following educational blogs such as #nytimes, #writingproject, #readingtoday, and #teachingwithsoul.
Fellow educators and media specialists include #mentortexts, #mrshureads, #peter_price, #linkstoliteracy and #kathyfs24.
Authors, illustrators and editors I follow are #thebookmaven, #donalynbooks, #judyblume, #megcabot and #deborahwiles.
There are also newsletters that have great ideas for teachers. I follow #pwkidsbookshelf, #teachingbooks, #edweekteacher, #readingrockets and #web20classroom.
Click in the box under What’s Happening? The first rule of Twitter is that you have to say what you want to say in 140 characters or less. Don’t worry, there is a counter to let you know how many characters you have used. To post click the tweet button.
I usually check my account twice a day. There are three useful features included at the end of each tweet. Just move your mouse over the tweet and you will see favorite, retweet, and reply. Click favorite to save in your favorites list so that you can go back and read more when you have time. Retweet will repost the tweet to all of your followers. Click reply to send a message back to the tweeter.
Why not add some fun to your professional career? Start Tweeting today!
Connie Wiley, Ed.S., is a third-grade teacher in Gwinnett County with 28 years of experience. She holds a masters in ECE and a specialists in Educational Leadership.