TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers Resources

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Twitter is more than just a way to share meaningless tweets about your breakfast cereal or the traffic on the way to school. Who has time for that? 

For teachers, Twitter can be a powerful tool for professional development via quick sharing with peers and colleagues whom you may or may not know face to face. Imagine running across other teachers who teach the same things you do and exchanging ideas quickly, just when you need them. Imagine putting out a plea for help and finding others willing to suggest a solution. Imagine sharing the cool finds you have discovered on TeachersFirst or a great way to make dictionary skills engaging in your classroom. We all know the best tidbits are from other teachers, and Twitter gives you a way to create a network to constantly learn.

Twitter can also be an effective way to communicate from your class to other classrooms around the globe. If Twitter is accessible inside your school's filtering, your class Twitter account can be an avenue to interact with classrooms across town or across the world. Share tweets about today's news, environmental data, hot topic opinions, and more using hashtags, mentions, or messages. *A tip from Texas teacher Allison: If you work with English language learners, you will want to avoid some common tweet-shortening abbreviations, such as using gr8 to mean great. Non-native speakers do not easily grasp these abbreviations.*

You do not have to know everything about Twitter to get started. Start out with this video for an overview of Twitter. Set up a Twitter account, and follow @teachersfirst to find other TeachersFirst enthusiasts. You can even follow Geo and Meri of Globetracker's Mission to become familiar with how Twitter works. You can access Twitter on their own web site or use one of the many free Twitter sharing tools available for free download. There are many Twitter tools for mobile devices, also free. But you don't need to worry about any of these to start.

Hashtags (those funny looking things with a #pound sign at the start) are a way of indicating that a tweet pertains to a certain topic or a certain interest group/event. The term hashtag refers to the funny # mark. To see what a hashtag does, try searching for one of these education-specific hashtags on Twitter (or watch them flying by in the little "widget" below. Try to figure out what each specialty is: #edchat, #ntchat, #ptchat, #midleved, #gtchat, #edtech, #artsed, #musedchat, #mathchat, #engchat, #EduIT. This is a good way to find people with common interests so you can FOLLOW them. Send a tweet including your favorite hashtag, telling people you are new to Twitter. Teachers who have searches set up for that hashtag will see your message, and you will receive a warm welcome!

For an easy way to get started, try Across the World Once a Week, a simple way to learn about the details of daily life in other cultures. The #xw1w hashtag pulls the weekly question and responses together in a quick Twitter search. Learn more about it here

This collection of resources will give you some ideas and places to find other educators using Twitter and some of the various other tools that maximize Twitter's power for specific sharing, such as photos. We even have some reviews of Twitter-alternatives for those who prefer to stay in an education-only network. We have listed our top 30 Editor's Choice. View additional Twitter Resources here

Set up a Twitter account, follow @teachersfirst, and we'll send you a tweet!

 

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All My Tweets - AirTight Interactive

Grades
9 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
All My Tweets is an easy way to see the tweets of a certain user. The result of the search is a list of tweets through time. It loads a ...more
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All My Tweets is an easy way to see the tweets of a certain user. The result of the search is a list of tweets through time. It loads a maximum of 3,200 tweets. Try entering teachersfirst in the search bar to see an example. Note: adults should preview results before using this tool with students, since unintended results may include inappropriate content.

tag(s): twitter (43)

In the Classroom

Use on an Interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce a class topic or follow current events. This site could be used for students to submit an assignment of their own tweets they did over a period of time. Or use this site during a presentation on how Twitter works, showing the information contained in a succession of tweets. Have students submit a record of tweets that show their learning over time. Follow a Twitter user who often shares resource links for a diary of resources that have been shared. Trace the tweets from the White House, any high profile political figure, or author over a period of time. Follow discussions about current events or new events in science or medicine. See this list of tweeting authors for some possibilities.

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Twitter4Teachers - Gina Hartman

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
Are you looking for fellow educators to follow on Twitter? If so, this wiki is a great starting point. Choose from many different categories of educators such as librarians, early ...more
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Are you looking for fellow educators to follow on Twitter? If so, this wiki is a great starting point. Choose from many different categories of educators such as librarians, early childhood, professional development, and much more to begin your search. Each link leads to a list of educators to follow on Twitter along with a short description about themselves, simply click on the Twitter handle to go to Twitter and begin following. Be aware: there is a warning on the top of the main page that the wiki is now "locked down" due to spamming. You are still able to access all the links. You are not able to edit without joining.

tag(s): social networking (112), twitter (43)

In the Classroom

Explore the site to discover and follow educators who match your interests and needs. Read the Tweets about what is happening in other classrooms to gain some new/fresh ideas. Want to know more about Twitter? See TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

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Storify - Xavier Damman and Burt Herman

Grades
6 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create stories based on Tweets, photos, and videos. To create a story, go to the editor and create a headline and description. Then choose media to use for the search. ...more
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Create stories based on Tweets, photos, and videos. To create a story, go to the editor and create a headline and description. Then choose media to use for the search. Choices include Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google, Instagram, and much more. You can search multiple social networks from one place and drag elements into your story. Re-order elements by dragging them and add text as needed. Storify lets you take those little bits of information shared over time and turn them into a story. The site also has a search element so you can explore Storify creations by featured topics or what is currently popular. Login is necessary to save and share Storify creations. As with any social network site used by the general public, adults should ALWAYS preview just before sharing with young people. The featured examples appear benign but could change any time.

tag(s): collages (17), digital storytelling (153), social networking (112), twitter (43)

In the Classroom

Use Storify to create weekly stories of tweets, pictures, and videos from your classroom that can be sent home to parents. Create a story of learning based on a collaboration between classrooms as a way to chronicle and reflect on the collaboration. Build a semester or year-long "story" of your class tweets and activities as a sort of online scrapbook that can be shared with families. Invite other classrooms to take part in writing a collaborative story 140 characters at a time using Twitter. Create a story for any classroom topic such as current events, American History, famous mathematicians, or astronomy. Search for tweets from a favorite author or politician to tell his/her story.

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Tweet Topic Explorer - Neoformix

Grades
8 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use this resource to see what the NYTimes, Wall street Journal, or any other source (Twitter account) is currently tweeting about. A blend between Twitter...more
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Use this resource to see what the NYTimes, Wall street Journal, or any other source (Twitter account) is currently tweeting about. A blend between Twitter and word clouds, this resource can provide current information about many topics. Enter a Twitter username in the lower left to begin. Click on a circle in the word cloud to see the tweets listed along the side. Try entering @teachersfirst to see an example.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), chat (53), microblogging (41), twitter (43)

In the Classroom

This would be fantastic projected on a whiteboard (or projector) for the class to see. Use this resource by entering a Twitter username (such as a politician's) to stay up to date about what they are discussing (or to realize the overuse of certain talking points!) Enter an author's user name to follow current discussions. Use this resource over a period of several weeks to identify the changing trends or changes in stories over time. Follow any Twitter name that can shed light on any academic topic for use in a class. Does your class use twitter? Enter the username(s) to create a word cloud of what your class has done. Use the word cloud and Tweets to reflect on what has been learned in the class. Follow what a famous person or writer is tweeting. See this list of tweeting authors for some possibilities.

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Twitario - Twitario

Grades
6 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Twitario allows you to see your tweets (or those of any Twitter user) in a diary format over a specified period of time. Enter a twitter username or sign in ...more
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Twitario allows you to see your tweets (or those of any Twitter user) in a diary format over a specified period of time. Enter a twitter username or sign in to your Twitter account. Share the collection of past tweets (cutely portrayed and dated as a diary) by clicking "share" at the bottom. Here is a sample diary of tweets from @teachersFirst. New to Twitter? Learn more from TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

tag(s): twitter (43)

In the Classroom

This site could be used for students to submit an assignment of tweets they did over a period of time. Or use this site during a presentation on how Twitter works, showing the information contained in a succession of tweets. Have students submit a record of tweets that show their learning over time. Follow a Twitter user who provides resource links for a diary of resources that have been shared. Trace the tweets from the White House, any high profile political figure, or author over a period of time.

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Literary Tweets: 100+ of the Best Authors on Twitter - Mashable

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Got Twitter? Then take a look at these 100+ authors to see if any of your favorites are listed, and start following them. Mashable has weeded out the authors who ...more
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Got Twitter? Then take a look at these 100+ authors to see if any of your favorites are listed, and start following them. Mashable has weeded out the authors who are just trying to sell you something on twitter. Their list only includes authors who are trying to carry on a conversation with their followers and present information they find valuable, whether it directly benefits them or not. Each author has a description, some of the books they have written, and an example tweet.

tag(s): authors (121), twitter (43)

In the Classroom

A whole class twitter account can follow favorite authors and authors' read through of class novels. The class can direct message them with questions about the book: how they came to write the story, are the characters based on anyone the author knows, and any other ideas your students might come up with. In literature circles a different member of the group each week can Twitter the author of the book as part of the "author analyzer" job. Learn more about Twitter and find many more ways to use it from TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers.

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Cybraryman Educational Chats on Twitter - Cybraryman

Grades
9 to 12
2 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Use this resource to find great educational chats (#hashtags)found on Twitter! View the various hashtags that have been created for a multitude of educator chats in different content...more
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Use this resource to find great educational chats (#hashtags)found on Twitter! View the various hashtags that have been created for a multitude of educator chats in different content areas. Scroll down the page to view a schedule of the various chats organized by day. Be sure to note the times that these chats begin on those days. View the various tools that you can use to "follow" the chats. Follow these chats to find incredible support and ideas for creating positive change in teaching and learning. Consider Twitter one of the best professional development opportunities teachers can participate in.

tag(s): chat (53), social networking (112), twitter (43)

In the Classroom

New to Twitter? Learn more about Twitter and how to set up searches to see these chats on your own time using suggestions and other reviewed resources included on TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

Comments

So helpful, very complete Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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Paper.li - Smallrivers

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Missing great twitter conversations? Follow a user, list, or topic hashtag with this great tool that compiles Twitter posts into an easy to read format. Paper.li takes the tweets and...more
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Missing great twitter conversations? Follow a user, list, or topic hashtag with this great tool that compiles Twitter posts into an easy to read format. Paper.li takes the tweets and creates a newspaper style format to read from. Sign in using your facebook or twitter account. View the paper which takes tweets you search and separates them into various subjects. Current tweets in your topic appear as they occur. Read more about the various educator hashtags you may want to subscribe to on TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

tag(s): twitter (43)

In the Classroom

Keep track of trending topics for your students or for yourself. Keep up to date professionally by following several education hashtags such as #edchat. Links posted using the hashtag appear in your "newspaper" and can be viewed at any time. Share your daily newspaper with others by clicking on "Promote it" or "Share." You do not need to ever send a "tweet" to read and learn.Teachers at any level can see what their teaching peers have to say. Secondary teachers can share the latest on a political topic, disaster, or other hot news story by creating a "newspaper" about it for students to investigate. You can even "embed" the newspaper on your class web page or wiki.

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Twiducate - Twiducate

Grades
2 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Looking for a microblogging (think twitter) alternative for collaboration or networking in your classes? Use Twiducate to create a microblogging platform for the students in your classes...more
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Looking for a microblogging (think twitter) alternative for collaboration or networking in your classes? Use Twiducate to create a microblogging platform for the students in your classes without venturing into the more complex public interactions of Twitter. Maintain privacy and a safe structure for collaborative learning. Post questions to elicit responses or use the safe environment for students to receive feedback on works in progress. Not sure about this resource? Twiducate was created by a group of teachers in Southwest Ontario to provide this type of service to students and teachers.

tag(s): microblogging (41), social networking (112), twitter (43)

In the Classroom

Create an account easily with information about your school and title. Though an email is required, create your account without email verification. Make a class name and code that students can use for Twiducate. Manage many options through your home page including adding students, entering bookmarks to share with students, viewing the public timeline (you may find a teacher to collaborate and share with,) and create more classes. Students do not need to register themselves and are added in through the teacher. As students are added, a password is generated for them.

Use this safe, private, closed system to blog and network in your classes. Students are able to access this site outside of school and collaborate there as well. Invite parents into this network and let them see what is going on. Teachers are able to moderate all posts and remove any unwanted posts. Consider printing the screen of student names and passwords for a hard copy in order to access the information. Be sure to discuss rules of etiquette for posting and commenting in order to teach students effective use of these types of services. Be sure to include actions for broken rules. Check your school policies about using such a resource and whether special permission slips may be required.

The possibilities are endless. Use for posting homework assignments. Share and publish bookmarks for students to use. Respond to students trying to get test dates and other assignments changed! Collaborate among small or large groups. Create study groups for review and learning of information. Use small time information gathering more effectively: Assign every two students a concept to research and share learning with the rest of the class for discussion. How can you be sure that each student has completed work? Have them blog their information through Twiducate. Each group would have a specific key word that they use at the start of their posts. Search for a keyword at the top of the screen to bring up all those related posts! Watching a movie that requires students to answer questions? Post prepared questions throughout the movie to elicit responses from students. Allow students the ability to blog their reactions to documentaries and work together for understanding. During poetry month, have student do oral poetry reading while others microblog their reactions to the poem as they listen. Share weekly links and comments about current events via microblog. If you are willing to risk it invite students to microblog questions and reactions to teacher and student presentations in progress. Suddenly listening is an active endeavor! Provide this resource for groups to collaborate in and out of class and offer options for learning at any time.

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Video: Twitter in Plain English - Common Craft

Grades
5 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Are you "twying" to understand the "tweet" world of Twitter. Watch this short (less than 3-minutes) video about the "Twerrific" world of Twitter. This social networking site asks the...more
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Are you "twying" to understand the "tweet" world of Twitter. Watch this short (less than 3-minutes) video about the "Twerrific" world of Twitter. This social networking site asks the question, "What are you doing?". This site shares how to use Twitter to stay connected. Despite a paid membership model, Common Craft still offers this video for free, but it does have a watermark saying, "For evaluation only." If you wish to share this with a group, they will need to view it on individual/partner computers (or IOS devices) or on a projector that has a zoom function to enlarge a selected area of the screen.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): chat (53), social networking (112), twitter (43)

In the Classroom

This is a great site for professional development and further understanding of the current microblogging "twend": Twitter. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use Twitter in the Classroom (with parental permission). Have students create writing prompts and share them on Twitter. Have your government students follow the "Twitter News" of politicians they can find on Twitter. Have students in science class follow the Twitter Feeds like Science News. Challenge students to create their own virtual collective Twitter scavenger hunt. The possibilities are endless! You can also use Twitter as a springboard for discussions about the changes in the political landscape and society with the advent of social networking tools. Ask them: are there any negatives or cautions to sharing your life on Twitter?
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