How (And Why) Teachers Should Have Multiple Twitter Accounts

Connected educators are learning, sharing, and connecting on Twitter. No big earth-shattering news there. But what’s the proper way for a teacher to get started? We’ve answered that question in our Teacher’s Guide here. There is, however, an interesting question that many must consider at some point in the time on Twitter:

How many accounts should I have as a connected educator?

Should I do it all from one account because that’d be easier? In other words, should I share photos of my classroom, tips and tricks with other teachers, interesting blog articles, and maybe even some school-wide announcements?

Or should I set up multiple accounts where I have a specific account for each type of communication? That way I can be sure that I have a carefully curated list of followers for each account and I’ll know that only the right niche of people are following that particular account. (Wishful thinking, at least. I’d recommend Twitter Lists no matter how many accounts you have.)

In a new visual from the incredibly useful site iPad 4 Schools, Richard Wells illustrates why ’3′ might be the magic number for teacher Twitter accounts. I am still undecided about how many accounts an educator should have but invite you to let the Edudemic community know how many accounts you use … and why. You can do that by mentioning @edudemic on Twitter and I’ll comment / retweet you!

Click image to enlarge-ify it!

multiple twitter accounts

5 Comments

  1. Robert Schuetz

    November 17, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Hello Jeff, interesting topic worth discussing. I am a huge believer in the learning power of Twitter. While I have two accounts, I really only use one. @robert_schuetz I have few reasons for focusing on just one account. First, tweeting as an educator is who I am. My professional role forces me to think twice and proof every tweet before I click “send”. Secondly, when it comes to supporting my “brand” and sharing my thoughts, I want to leave no doubt about the source. Thirdly, I have only so many hours in the day to engage in social media. Between Twitter and my blog, my time for connecting gets filled up quickly. I can certainly understand multiple accounts, and for most classroom educators, I think this is a prudent direction. For me, focusing on one account gives me greater impact when engaging with my personal learning network. Good question Jeff, thanks for providing a forum for this conversation.

  2. Desiree

    November 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    While I understand the reasoning behind the three Twitter buckets, I don’t think it is a good idea. And, this infographic doesn’t even consider having Twitter for personal use. A Tweet only lasts for about 30 minutes in the Twittersphere, so you don’t have to be concerned with mucking up someone’s feed, unless you are relentlessly Tweeting. I think you can have one Twitter account for Education purposes and then utilize hashtags to segment your audiences. If you want to have a specific Twitter account for your classroom, so everything is in one place, on one page, I would only suggest this if you are regularly utilizing Twitter for your classroom.

  3. Kyle Tuck

    November 23, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    …or just use Google+ and you can select the Circles you want to share each and every post with. No need for multiple accounts. Why do people work so hard to use Twitter? All the arguments I hear sound like people are trying to convince themselves they need to be on Twitter.

  4. Plamen

    December 5, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Thanks for starting the conversation, Jeff. Indeed a complicated issue. I can easily see the resistance toward multiple accounts and the convenience of streamlining in one. I also extensively pole my students (I am in higher ed) and in a certain way they do NOT like the proliferation of social media tools, particularly in education. As much as they might be enamored with Vine or any last shout of the social media “fashion,” when they are prompted to creating a new account, the enthusiasm quickly dries up.
    In my personal experience I agree with you, though, that for educators, multiple accounts might be necessary. I tried to “recycle” a Twitter account from a former course and use it a new course. But I am not sure how the students/Twitter followers from the previous class are seeing the “arrival” of “new” students/followers. It can be argued that it is a form of networking (LinkedIn-like), but since there are no efforts for real “community building,” I see it as more negative then positive.
    It becomes even more complicated when the courses with that Twitter account are from different disciplines; then it is certainly not interesting for one half of the followers to learn about issues, which are not related to their discipline. Therefore, I opted to create “class-bound” Twitter accounts for each course. In addition to the pain of having to remember multiple login IDs and passwords, I can add only one Twitter account to existing email account. I have to create new email accounts; more login information to remember; less attractive to me as an instructor to use Twitter as a learning tool.
    On the positive side, Hootsuite (Tweetdeck) makes streamlining of the postings easier.
    Beyond the technicalities of using Twitter and any other social media for learning and teaching purposes, it is very important to note and raise for discussion the fact that these tools each a lot of time and the educational administration is not (or chooses not to be) aware of it. Unless time allocated for teaching and learning purposes is restructured to reflect this important shift, the use of social tools by instructors will remain marginalized.

  5. Alan

    December 16, 2013 at 6:49 am

    I agree with Desiree that you can try to segment your audiences with hashtag. However, you don’t just communicate to the people who read your hashtags – which is very hit or miss. In fact the readers who have all your Tweets just a convenient click away are your followers, and if one group of people who are following you for your technology comments see lots of Tweets on what they consider irrelevant topic such as gardening, then they may well drop off your follower lists. As a Tweeter you are writing to an audience and you need to respect them.