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.
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?
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.
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.
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