Twitter has proven itself to be an indispensable tool for educators around the globe. Whatever skill level you may be, Twitter is downright fun and worth your time. So here’s a useful guide that we curated from Edudemic’s archives in an effort to put something together that was a bit easier to read than random blog posts. We hope you enjoy and will be regularly adding to this guide so feel free to leave your ideas down in the comments or by, what else, tweeting us @edudemic anytime!
For many teachers making a foray into the edtech world, Twitter is an excellent tool for consuming and learning. There are a number of great resources out there to help teachers follow people who will be useful to them based on location, subject, grade level, and technology being used.
Many are also harnessing Twitter as a part of their PLN (personal learning network) to connect, share, and network. So how do you bridge the gap from reading tweets in your feed to truly harnessing the power of Twitter in the edtech realm?
Check out our biggest Twitter tips for teachers below! Care to add your tips? Do so in the comments so everyone can learn from your wisdom. This is a collaborative effort, after all.
Create, Don’t Just Consume
The best way to get the most out of Twitter is to use it. Using Twitter is a two part process. The first part is as a consumer, where you follow people, read their tweets, and learn from them. A lot of people stop there, which is easy to understand since that is the easy part. But the real magic happens when you share, too. Think of it this way: if you were having a conversation with someone and you weren’t responding, the conversation wouldn’t go very far, would it?
Connect and Network
When you’re just getting started on Twitter (or perhaps trying to add to or refine your feed), a resource for educational hashtags or guides to great accounts to follow are excellent resources to point you in the right direction. Follow some of the people you find interesting, exchange ideas and conversations with others using the #hashtag conversations you’re involved in, and when appropriate, take it to the next step: connect with them – either via other social media, email, or at a conference you’re both attending. Sometimes from behind the glow of our phones, tablets, and laptops, we forget to continue to forge our networking relationships in more conventional ways, too.
Share Your Resources
If you always find interesting things on Twitter, such as lesson plans, don’t forget to share your awesome resources, too. Along the lines of the ‘get what you give’ idea, the more you feed into the community, the more robust it will become and the more it will grow and become useful to you. We’ve seen a lot of resource sharing sites that are conceptually great fail when not enough people contribute to them.
Keep At It
Just like going to the gym once every two weeks isn’t going to keep you in peak physical condition, participating in Twitter #hashtag chats and interacting only occasionally isn’t going to make your Twitter community very robust. You don’t have to be a chronic Tweeter to stay regularly involved – but it is important to check in, reply, and participate to keep the conversation going
I heart Twitter. If you haven’t yet, follow @edudemic to keep up with what we’re doing, working on, and seeing (like last night’s tech event with GDGT in downtown Boston!). Twitter has become a massive hit in education and it’s too big to ignore. So that’s why we helped assemble the 2012 A-Z Guide To Twitter Hashtags. It’s been an invaluable resource for educators around the world.
But that’s a very lengthy list. Lucky for you, our friends at Online College Courses repurposed our lengthy list and made it a whole lot less, well, difficult. The following visualization should be a handy resource for any teacher looking to make the dive into Twitter. Trust me, it’s a bit daunting but worth taking the plunge. Just don’t be surprised if you become an addict!
Twitter is too big to ignore. You see hashtags in commercials, sponsored tweets, posts, news broken on Twitter, etc. It’s quickly become an indispensable tool for teachers, admins, parents, and students too. Right now, there are still many (MANY) in education not using Twitter. They may think it’s tough to start using, difficult to monitor, and even a waste of time.
But what if they had a categorized list of the top tips to help you use Twitter? Our content partners at Online College have shared an incredibly useful set of tips that are too good to not share.
From how to follow people to asking for help to the best tools to use, it’s all here. I hope you find this list as useful as I have and spread the word (likely via Twitter!).
Wait, Here’s How To Actually Use Twiiter
Honestly, these tools, tips, and tricks are just the tip of the iceberg. Use Twitter how it works best for you. Don’t feel like you have to be always on it, always tweeting, or always worrying you missed something. Because you will miss stuff. You’ll also find stuff you never knew existed. Use it how it works for you and just take it from there. Enjoy the adventure!
Recent work has demonstrated that Twitter is an effective media for engaging students: http://edudemic.com/2012/10/its-official-using-twitter-makes-students-more-engaged/ .
It is also an incredibly useful way to continue to reach students long after they leave the classroom. I teach general education science courses to non-science majors.
My goal is not only to answer the “why do I have to take this course?” question when they enter the class but to spark and encourage a life-long interest in science. Twitter is an excellent tool to reach and teach my students about science both during the class and long after those final grades have been submitted by posting content that engages and interests students.
To that end, I plan on sharing my twitter account (@DrCatalano) with my students in my next course.
In order to both entice students to follow an educator on Twitter and then to retain those students as followers I propose the following guidelines:
We love to do stories on Twitter and how it’s helping teachers and students connect like never before. Many of our fellow bloggers publish stories on Twitter every day! So I thought it might be worthwhile to share the official Twitter logo and brand guidelines. They’re relatively simple and straightforward but worth knowing about.
Twitter is a major company worth a lot of money. Their branding is important. That little blue bird has to be very specifically used. Will the Twitter cops fly down and arrest you for not properly using it? Probably not. Will repeated misuse annoy them? Probably. In an effort to not upset the Twitter cops, then, here’s a look at some of the most important bits I think my fellow bloggers and publishers should know about the Twitter guidelines (notice the ‘t’ in Twitter is capitalized … that’s something you should always do).
For the full list of guidelines (there’s plenty more – definitely check out this page. Below are just a few of the biggest things I personally thought were worth adding to your digital toolbox … or brain … or whatever it is you store information in.
You can’t imply that your event, book, website, or other publication is endorsed or sponsored by Twitter. You also can’t incorporate the Twitter Bird / Twitter logo into another brand’s logo or anything confusing like that. This probably doesn’t make a big difference to you but should be noted by textbook publishers, students who are setting up an event or blog, or anyone else making some graphic designs with the Twitter logo.
Don’t use any of the below versions of the Twitter logo. Notice that it’s the old version of the logo along with some variations. Like everyone else, we’ve of course used the old logo and it pops up from time to time. We make every effort now to use the correct and updated logo though.
If you’re adding the Twitter logo to some marketing materials, here’s how to properly format it all. Same goes if you’re just adding in the Twitter Bird to other materials. Useful to know.
Always capitalize the T in Twitter and Tweet. Seriously. That’s a little-known rule that basically everyone doesn’t follow but it’s worth trying to remember!
If you’re writing a book or need to cite a Tweet (we’ve covered citing a Tweet many years ago but check it out here) – here are a few tips. Make sure your book or publication’s title is clear that you’re writing about Twitter and that the book isn’t by the Twitter folks. If you’re looking to use Tweets in the publication, click here for details. For the cover of your book, you’re not allowed to use the Twitter Bird (not in the title either). You also can’t use the term ‘Tweet’ to refer to services that are not Twitter.
Want to step your Twitter game up? Think you’re supposed to actually type a full 140 characters for each tweet? Not quite. That’s just one of the many handy tips found in this useful Twitter Cheat Sheet. You probably know most of these terms already but, as mentioned in the previous sentence, there are some parts that are a little more clearly defined than previous cheat sheets we’ve featured on Edudemic. However, this sheet is already slightly outdated now that Twitter has done a slight redesign. For example, trending topics are now on the left, not the right (as stated in visual below).
In any case, what are the most important parts of using Twitter that you’d want others to know about? A keyboard shortcut? A handy way to retweet? A third-party client you can’t live without? Weigh in down in the comments as Katie and I work on building our own, more detailed, Twitter cheat sheet! Looking forward to your tips! Feel free to email them to us too by sending them to edudemic [at] gmail.com
Figuring out the proper way to leverage one of the most popular learning tools on the planet can be tough. We at Edudemic do regular features where we offer tips and advice on how to properly leverage Twitter. If you’re a student, parent, or teacher, Twitter can be a powerful weapon in your arsenal of learning resources. So we figured a few Twitter tips for students and others might be in order.
See Also: A Visual Guide To Twitter For Beginners
Twitter can open up new worlds to just about anyone involved in education. Parents can connect with one another and their children’s teachers, students can collaborate or participate in hashtag chats, and teachers can build a robust professional / personal learning network (PLN).
What Twitter tips would you offer? These are just a couple dozen but there are certainly more that should be added! What is the biggest tip you’d offer to a parent? To a student? To a teacher? Share them down in the comments and I’ll update this list!
Are you looking to figure out exactly which Twitter hashtag is the right one to follow? There’s no shortage of options and it can feel overwhelming. Sure, there’s the popular #edchat and #edtech hashtags most of us follow. But what about the more focused tags that you’re missing out on?
Lucky for all of us, there’s an incredible live Google Doc available to the public from Chiew Pang (@aClilToClimb) that lets you help build a useful database of helpful hashtags. Be sure to check out the doc and the list below (current as of September 14, 2012).
|#50freecourses||International House is celebrating 50 years of providing teacher training by offering 50 FREE IH Teacher Training courses to people around the globe who are currently out of work. See here.|
|#addcym||Addysg Cymru. Platform for Welsh educators. See here.|
|#aimlang||AIM (Accelerative Integrated Method) language teachers here.|
|#ALevel||GCE Advanced Level (A-level) discussions|
|#andragogy||Andragogy (man-leading) – Adult & Vocational Education See here. See also #VocEd.|
arts education chat
fortnightly chat hosted by British Council. See here.
platform for ELT in Australia. See here.
platform for British Columbia educators. See here.
Business English Special Interest Group of IATEFL. See here.
highly-recommended blog postings
chat platform for the Brazilians. See here.
join the fight against bullying
new popular words
Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, formerly ‘Certificate in English Language
Teaching to Adults’, hence the acronym.
Content and Language Integrated Learning
|comments on students’ posts. See here.|
|#cpchat||Connected Principals. See here.|
|#cpd||continuous/continuing professional/personal development. See also #profdev.|
|#cybergogy||Cybergogy – Cybernetics & Education See here|
|#DELTA||Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages|
|#dhelt||demand-high ELT. See here.|
|#digped||digital pedagogy. See here.|
|#DixitLao||Diarmuid Fogarty @Imadruid is back. Follow his condensed Tao Te(a)Ching!|
|#dogme||discussion on dogme or teaching unplugged|
|#eal||English as an additional language. See here.|
|#eap||English for academic purposes|
|#earlyed||early education. See #kinderchat|
Edublogs retweets of teacher blog posts. See also #blogmust
early childhood education. See also: #earlyed…
discussions on educational books, #edbkchat is a good resource for continuing education, Wednesdays at 4pm EST.
Conference Model Built on Collaboration. See here.
|global education discussions. See here.|
|#edchatIE||specially for Irish educators. See here.|
|#edchatSA||chat for the South African education community. See here.|
|#edtech||technology for educational purposes|
|#edtools||Why another? Obsolete. Use #edtech|
|#edutech||obsolete. Why use an extra character? Use #edtech|
|#education||better to use #edu, but it’s really too general.|
|#edupunk||resources for DIY approach to technology in education|
|#elearn||I’d suggest using this rather than the longer #elearning|
|#elemchat||platform for elementary/primary school educators. See here.|
|#elf||English as a lingua franca, but I’m afraid you’ll get lots of other non-related stuff|
|#ell||English language learning|
|#ellchat||English language learning chat platform. See here.|
|#elt||English language teachers/teaching|
|#eltchat||English language teaching discussions. See here.|
|#eltpics||Images by teachers for teachers. Licensed under Creative Commons. See here.|
|#efl||English as a foreign language|
|#engchat||for English teachers. See here.|
|#engpls||tweets for English learners. Consider using only #twinglish.|
|#engtwit||Obsolete. Use #twinglish.|
|#esl||English as a second language|
|#esol||English as a second or other language|
|#esp||English for specific purposes|
|#ETAS||English teachers association of Switzerland. See here.|
|#FCE||Cambridge First Certificate|
|#FF||Follow Friday. Used for recommending teachers worth following. Used on Fridays. See #TT|
|#finnedchat||all about Finnish education. See here.|
|#FLE||Français comme langue étrangère|
|#flipchat||chat platform for flipped classroom educators. See here.|
|#flipclass||platform for those interested in the flipped classroom.|
|#flippedclassroom||Obsolete. Use the shorter #flipclass. All about the flipped classroom|
|#GCSE||General Certificate of Secondary Education discussions|
|#globalclassroom||Good for finding global collaboration / connections, sharing #globaled practice. Official chats run monthly over 3 days. Click here for schedule|
|#GlobalEd12||Global education conference 12-16 Nov 2012. See here.|
|#GeniusHour||Follow the hashtag and chat once a month, first Wednesday of the month at 8pm CST, about “genius” learning. Students are given a time period where they can choose what they want to learn–being productive and creative as they learn what they love. See here.|
|#grammar||all to do with English grammar. Although it says ‘grammar’, you’ll see tweets regarding spelling, punctuation, etc.|
|#gtchat||gifted and talented education chat on Fri 12:00 and 19:00 EST. See also #gifted.|
|#iasku||video interviews with teachers. See here.|
|#IATEFL||International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language. See here.|
|#ibmyp||International Baccalaureate® (IB) Middle Years Programme. See here.|
|#ibpyp||International Baccalaureate® (IB) Primary Years Programme. See #pypchat|
|#ICT4E||Obsolete. Use #edtech|
|#ICT4Edu||Why waste the characters? Obsolete. Use #edtech|
|#ihtoc50||International House teachers online conference celebrating 50th anniversary|
|#IOLchat||Join Inside Online Learning for a weekly chat featuring issues related to online education. See here.|
|#ipadchat||name speaks for itself. See here.|
|#isedchat||platform for independent school educators. See here.|
|#istconf||IATEFL teacher development and learning technologies SIG joint conference in Turkey 2012. See here.|
|#iste||International Society for Technology in Education. See here.|
|#iste12||used for ISTE 2012 conference|
|#iTDi||International Teacher Development Institute. See here.|
|#JALT||The Japan Association for Language Teaching. See here.|
|#jedchat||Jewish education chat|
|#kedu||Obsolete.Doesn’t work very well as some Indonesians are using this for other purposes. I’d suggest using either #kinderchat or #yle.|
|#KELTchat||platform for ELT in Korea. See here.|
|#kidlit||literacy for children. See here.|
|#kinderchat||platform for early childhood educators.|
|#langchat||weekly discussion on topics of interest to language educators (Thursdays 8 p.m. EST). See here.|
|#lrnchat||learning through social media. See here.|
|#LTSIG||IATEFL learning technologies special interest group. See here.|
|#mathchat||chat platform for mathematics teachers. See here.|
|#mathsjam||platform for self-confessed maths enthusiasts to share puzzles, games, problems, or just anything they think is cool or interesting.|
|#mfl||modern foreign languages.
also: Music for Life.
|#midleved||the middle grades (6-8). Also #middleschool|
|#mlearn||discussions on mobile learning. I’d suggest using this rather than the longer #mlearning.|
|#mooc||massive open online course. See here.|
|#mschat||middle school teachers chat|
|#msftpil||Microsoft Partners in Learning. See here.|
|#musedchat||for music educators. See here.|
|#myp||middle years programme. See also #ibmyp|
|#NATECLA||National Association for Teaching English and other Community Languages to Adults. (UK) See here|
|#niedchat||chat for those with an interest in Northern Ireland Education.|
|#ntchat||chat for new teachers|
|#ozedchat||chat for educators primarily in Oz or Nz. See here.|
|#pblchat||Project Based Learning. Although there is no set time for the discussion (like #edchat), #pblchat allows educators to share and discuss project based learning resources.|
|#pblworld||worldwide group of educators who are focused on empowering 21st century learners through Project Based Learning. See here.|
|#pd||professional development. See also #profdev, #cpd, #td|
|#pegeeks||for those in physical education|
|#PGCE||Postgraduate Certificate in Education|
|#pln||personal/professional/passionate learning network|
|#prek||pre-school. Not sure how much this is used. See #kinderchat, #yle|
|#Project366||related to Project366. An image a day for the whole year (2012). See here.|
|#profdev||professional development. See also #cpd, #td, #pd|
|#pypchat||chat platform for the primary years programme. See here. See also #ibpyp.|
|#qldelt||platform for ELT in Queensland, Australia|
|#RPsig||reflective practice special interest group in Korea (hopefully someday around the world). See here.|
|#scichat||for science teachers. See here.|
|#SigTC||information for SigTC, which is the special interest group for Tech Coordinators associated w/ ISTE|
|#Slide2Learn||platform for tweets about iPad, iPhone and iPod in education. See here. See also #mlearn & #edtech.|
|#SLPeeps||for speech language pathologists.|
|#smchat||social media chat. See here.|
|#smedu||Why not just use #smchat?|
|#speced||special education. See also #spedchat.|
|#spnchat||all about successful practices in education and education reform, every Tuesday.|
|#spedchat||special education chat. See here.|
|#sschat||social studies chat. See here.|
|#stm12||StudentsMeet - webinars run by students for students|
|#TalkTech||participants share articles and ideas on learning technology Thursdays from 3 to 3:30 pm EST.|
|#TD||Teacher development. See also: #profdev, #cpd, #pd.|
|#TDSIG||IATEFL Teacher Development Special Interest Group (TDSIG). See here.|
|#teachchat||learn about the latest in classrooms from other teachers, Wednesday evenings at 9 pm EST.|
|#TeachingEnglish||resources via the British Council. See here.|
|#TeachMeet||Teach Meet International. See here.|
|#TEFL||Teaching English as a foreign language|
|#TESOL||Teachers of English to speakers of other languages
Teachers of English as a Second Language Association
|#tesolgeek||hashtag for those that want to “confess” geeky things they’ve done related to TESOL|
|#TIAEBrasil||learning technologies in Brazil (English/Portuguese)|
|#tichat||On Thursdays at 8pm EST, tech-savvy educators discuss the latest in educational technology.|
|#tlchat||twitter for librarians|
|#TOEFL||Test of English as a Foreign Language|
|#TOEIC||Test of English for International Communication|
|#TT||Teacher Tuesday. Used for recommending teachers worth following. Used on Tuesdays. See #FF|
|#ttot||not exactly an educational hashtag, but one which is related Travel talk on Twitter. See here.|
|#twinglish||for learners of English|
|#ukedchat||as the tag implies, educational chat centred more on UK. See here.|
|#urbaned||all about making urban education work, hosted every first and third Sunday of the month at 9pm EST.|
|#vicpln||Resources hared by educators in Victoria, Australia|
|#vlang||Virtual Language Learning|
|#vrt||Virtual Round Table. See here.|
|#vrtwebcon||Virtual round table conference. See above.|
|#webheads||Webheads – Community of Practice|