Teacher PD Using Twitter
This lesson is to help teachers set up an account on Twitter and connect with other educators to grow personally and professionally.
Intro to Twitter
Introductory information for teachers about Twitter.
If you have selected Twitter as one of your personalized PD options, it will be the second social media platform that you will learn about. As you learn more about Twitter, be thinking about how and why you like it more or less than Google+. Also consider how you might use it with or for your students.
What is Twitter? What is a Tweet? Who uses Twitter? Why should I use Twitter? How will I benefit? Who do I follow and how do I decide? Hashtags?
So many questions that all need answers. Let's get started.
What is Twitter? Why Should I Use It? What Are The Benefits?
Basic explanations and definitions of what Twitter is, why a teacher should use Twitter and what the benefits are of using Twitter in education.
Wikipedia defines Twitter...
Twitter is an online news and social networking service where users post and interact with messages, "tweets," restricted to 140 characters. Registered users can post tweets, but those who are unregistered can only read them.
How does Twitter explain itself?
Twitter is a service for friends, family, and coworkers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent messages. People post Tweets, which may contain photos, videos, links and up to 140 characters of text.
A simple explanation...
Twitter is a less gated method of communication: you can share information with people that you wouldn't normally exchange email or Instant Message messages with, opening up your circle of contacts to an ever-growing community of like-minded people.
What do you need to use Twitter?
All you need is an internet connection or a mobile phone.
Openness - anyone can join and anyone can follow anyone else (unless access has been restricted.
Immediacy - check Twitter often to get the hang of it. Checking in once a week won't do.
Variety - multiple areas of interest: news & politics, sports, pop culture, influencers, utility, etc.
Reciprocity - people give and ask freely for information that they want and need.
A Channel to Multiple Publics - share and communicate with others to grow personally and professionaly.
Asymmetrical - few people follow exactly the same people that follow them. Very diverse.
Way to Meet New People - connect with people you don't know except online who share your common interests.
A Window to What Is Happening in Multiple Worlds - catch a glimpse of what is happening everywhere around you.
Community-forming - some say it is a community but others disagree and believe Twitter to be an ecology where communities can be born.
A Platform for Mass Collaboration - anyone can collaborate with anyone
Searchability - search any topic in real time. Hashtags are used in front of the word(s) or phrases you want to search. You will learn more about hashtags in the next lesson.
All About Twitter
Who uses Twitter? Interesting Twitter Data. Who should I follow? Twitter Support
Who Uses Twitter?
Restle, Hope. "Here's Who Is Using Twitter Around The World". Business Insider. N. p., 2017. Web. 7 Apr. 2017.
Other Interesting Twitter Data:
- 302 Million Active Users
- 500 Million Tweets Sent Per Day
- 80% Active Users on Mobile
- 135,000 number of people signing up for Twitter every day
- 9,100 Tweets happen every second
- 33 Languages Supported
- Users spend an average of 170 minutes per month on Twitter
- 77% of Twitter accounts are outside the United States
- 2500 people are employed by Twitter
"STATS | Twitter Company Statistics - Statistic Brain". Statistic Brain. N. p., 2016. Web. 7 Apr. 2017
Who Do I Follow?
Deciding who to follow on Twitter is a personal decision. Spend some time looking the the lists on the links below to help you get started.
- Top 15 Educators on Twitter
- 33 Education Twitter Accounts You Should Be Following
- 100+ Education Twitter Accounts to Follow
Here an explanation of what a "Tweet" is will be explained. And information about hashtags will be explained also.
What is a Tweet?
A Tweet is any message posted to Twitter which may contain photos, videos, links and up to 140 characters of text. Click or tap the Tweet button to post the update to your profile.
Next, let's learn about the # that is important to know about and use when you are using Twitter.
Hashtags are one of the most important and efficient ways of organizing information on Twitter. Anyone can make a hashtag at any time, simply by typing a phrase of the form "#topic" in a tweet.
After a hashtag has been created, other Twitter users can use that hashtag in their own tweets to add to the larger conversation about that topic. Hashtags can be as general or as specific as desired. They are a completely organic form of organization, created and managed by Twitter users, not Twitter itself.
Do not put any spaces in the phrase that you want to turn into a hashtag, because the hashtag begins with the "#" and ends with the first space. When you click "Tweet", your new tweet will appear in your list of tweets, and the hashtag you created will appear in blue. Scroll over it and click on it to be redirected to the page for the hashtag. If you have really created a brand new hashtag, your tweet should be the only one on the page. Now, every time someone includes your hashtag in a tweet, it will be added to the page.
Be sure to take a look at the additional resources below.
Twittonary - Twitter's Dictionary
Let's Get Started
Here teachers will get started with Twitter. Setting up an account and a profile, and then use the resources provided to them to find other educators that they might want to follow. The teacher will introduce themselves on Twitter in their first tweet. The final component will be a "I Used to Think...Now I Think..." activity. When the teacher is more comfortable with Twitter and is ready to use it in their classroom, the teacher will create a unique hashtag for at least one course/class.
Let's Get Started...
Start by going to Twitter and creating an account. Create your profile and be sure to include a photo. Look at other educator's accounts for ideas if you are struggling with what to do. Remember, that you can update/change your profile at a later time. Spend time searching for people and tap follow for anyone who seems interesting to you. You can unfollow anyone at any time. Be sure to use the resources provided in this lesson to find other educators or topics you might want to follow. Start by introducing yourself to others in a Tweet. Now that you are on Twitter and are feeling more comfortable with it, I encourage you to look at Twitter every couple of days. Try not to let a whole week go by without looking at Twitter.
As you think back to how you felt about Twitter before this learning more about it with this lesson, have your thoughts changed? If so, how have they changed and why? Share your reflections in the Google+ Community using these two statements "I used to think..." and "Now I think..."
Once you feel more comfortable using Twitter, create a hashtag for at leaset course/class that you teach that you and your students will use for sharing on Twitter.