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 or @cshively (the leader of TeachersFirst's Thinking Teachers) 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.

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

 

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Tweetchup - Alex Kaul

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Tweetchup is an easy to use Twitter analytic tool. Registration is not required. Login with your Twitter account to view an analysis of your Twitter account stats. View mentions, average...more
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Tweetchup is an easy to use Twitter analytic tool. Registration is not required. Login with your Twitter account to view an analysis of your Twitter account stats. View mentions, average mentions per day, the potential number of followers you reach, and more. What makes Tweetchup different from other Twitter analysis sites is the ability to analyze other Twitter users' hashtags and keyword histories. Use the "Profiles" link to analyze the profile of any other Twitter user. The "Keywords" option allows you to enter any keyword to analyze the last 1600 tweets using that keyword. Your analysis includes recent tweets, most retweeted tweets, and most favorited tweets.

tag(s): internet safety (109), social networking (112), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page. Use Tweetchup to find and analyze popular and viral hashtags. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Use Tweetchup to analyze your class Twitter account to find and improve content and connections. This is also a great way for students to realize the extent of their digital footprint!
 

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TweetedTimes - Tweetedtimes

Grades
9 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create a personalized newspaper from your Twitter account or for any topic of interest. Connect this site easily with your Twitter account and generate a newspaper in minutes. View...more
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Create a personalized newspaper from your Twitter account or for any topic of interest. Connect this site easily with your Twitter account and generate a newspaper in minutes. View the newspapers of your Twitter friends or popular newspapers from other Twitter users. New to Twitter? Learn more from TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), newspapers (94), social networking (112), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Use Tweeted Times to showcase your own Professional Development over time. Create and share a newspaper from a class or teacher Twitter account as a summary of content learned. Create a newspaper to use for real world learning in any subject (see Thematic newspapers). Share a newspaper of your class tweets with parents (and school administration) to show what students have learned and to highlight the value of Twitter in the classroom. Students can create a newspaper using their own Twitter account to document their learning and conversations. Be sure to use TeachersFirst's review of Twitter for great classroom ideas.

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Tweriod - Kapeel Sable

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
When is the best time to tweet? Find out with this free Twitter analysis tool. Tweriod analyzes your tweets and those of up to 1000 of your followers to provide ...more
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When is the best time to tweet? Find out with this free Twitter analysis tool. Tweriod analyzes your tweets and those of up to 1000 of your followers to provide suggestions on when your tweets have the highest probability of maximum exposure. Authorize Tweriod to access your Twitter account. Provide your email to receive your report. Within one to two hours, you will receive your results through a Direct Message to your Twitter account and email. Results include general stats, graphs, and three blocks of identified time for your best use of Twitter. Note: our review team report arrived within five minutes of our request.

tag(s): social networking (112), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page. Use Tweriod to enhance your use of Twitter, finding specific times to reach most followers to make your Twitter use most productive. Share the analysis of your class Twitter account with students, and ask them to explore the data provided and analyze the findings.

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Hootsuite - Hootsuite Media, Inc.

Grades
9 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Manage all of your social networks (Twitter, Linkedin, Google+ Pages, Facebook, and more) from one place: HootSuite. This is especially helpful for professional development or for organizing...more
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Manage all of your social networks (Twitter, Linkedin, Google+ Pages, Facebook, and more) from one place: HootSuite. This is especially helpful for professional development or for organizing class learning experiences via Twitter. Learn more about Twitter in this review and TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page. Use Hootsuite to easily and quickly receive updates from followers, direct messages, Facebook updates, and follow hashtag conversations all in one convenient interface. Use this application to follow the multitude of educational chats on Twitter using hashtags. Need help using Hootsuite? Click "Resources" on the site to find help with various issues, as well as video tutorials. Hootsuite is available as an add-in for many browsers as well as an app for mobile devices.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (199), social networking (112), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Set up Hootsuite by providing information such as your Twitter and Facebook name. Create columns for the various conversations such as "All Friends," "Facebook status updates," "Direct Messages," and more. Create a new Column to follow all the tweets of a particular person or a specific hashtag. Simply enter the username or the hashtag to instantly follow all conversations. Have more than one Twitter account? No problem. Follow all conversations by adding up to five accounts. Click on the picture of each follower for simple commands such as "Reply," "Retweet," "Direct Message," or "Other actions" to manage the user or the Tweet given. Easily follow or unfollow others. Create a column for each hashtag for the best way to keep track of chats on education topics.

Check that Twitter is accessible at school. Twitter is safest used as a whole class activity. If using Twitter with students, be sure you are following the students in order to monitor their use. Set up searches for curriculum-related topics, such as climate change or earthquakes. Use this tool to manage some of the best professional development around. Learn from other like educators, and challenge thinking and learning to greatly impact the lives of your students. Create connections that help you grow as an individual and an educator. Find more ideas in TeachersFirst's Twitter review.

If you teach gifted students, use Hootsuite on classroom computers for them to set up specific searches related to the topics your class is studying. Challenge them to act as your class Twitter curators, checking out related articles and links that will bring more real-world examples to the rest of the class or raise related debates that the gifted student can investigate. Find professionals in the field for your gifted students to ask questions about their science experiments and interests. Be sure to discuss safety and responsible online behavior if you permit students to send tweets on their own. Of course you will be able to "see" what they have sent if they use a class account.

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BookRX - Knight Lab Northwestern University

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
BookRX finds and recommends books for you to read based on your Twitter feed. Allow the site access to your Twitter account and enter your handle. In a few seconds, ...more
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BookRX finds and recommends books for you to read based on your Twitter feed. Allow the site access to your Twitter account and enter your handle. In a few seconds, a suggested book list appears based on information found in your Twitter feed! The site finds books based on hashtags used and other users you follow. Book recommendations appear in several categories such as food, business, or science and technology.

tag(s): book lists (128), independent reading (128), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Use BookRX as a fun way to find book recommendations you may not otherwise know about. In lower grades, this is likely to be a teacher-only tool. Share with older students who actively use Twitter to help them find new reading material. Use with your classroom Twitter account to find books related to curriculum topics your class has been tweeting about or experts you have been following. Teachers at ANY level who have established a Twitter presence can use it to find professional reading materials. Looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.
 

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Twitter Magnets - twittermagnets.com

Grades
3 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Have fun creating sentences or short messages (like tweets) using drag and drop words at Twitter Magnets! Twitter Magnets calls them poems, though the length limit is a real challenge...more
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Have fun creating sentences or short messages (like tweets) using drag and drop words at Twitter Magnets! Twitter Magnets calls them poems, though the length limit is a real challenge for poets! Choose from the words offered. Drag and drop the magnets into the message area at the bottom -- up to 120 characters. The tool keeps a character count for you. Need different words? Click the swap words link for new choices. Click submit to view your message/poem and decide whether to submit to Twitter Magnet's Twitter feed or not. You can also link to send from your own Twitter account. Note that clicking to see the Twitter Magnets feed will show you "messages" and poems created by the general public. Steer clear or preview to be sure these are appropriate in your setting.

tag(s): creative fluency (8), microblogging (44), poetry (228), twitter (50), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Create a message or "poem" of the day as a class to send from your class Twitter account. Use as a center activity or have student groups create their own messages about what you have learned today in any subject area class. Have ELL students create simple messages to reinforce language skills. If you don't have a Twitter account, just have students create offline messages. Take a quick screen shot, then write, illustrate, and share on your classroom bulletin board! Generate creative messages as a class to use as writing prompts. Have students tell the story (or nonfiction news account) about what caused the message. Looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page. You can also use this site as a tool to teach about digital citizenship and the etiquette of tweets.

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Hive Mindmap - Hivemindmap.com

Grades
9 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
View the most popular hashtags of the week on Twitter. When you first arrive at the site, click the small ? to access the tips for using this interesting tool. ...more
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View the most popular hashtags of the week on Twitter. When you first arrive at the site, click the small ? to access the tips for using this interesting tool. The text size indicates the popularity of the tag. Line colors identify clusters of related tags while the thickness shows the number of times the tags were used at the same time. Zoom in to see the tags used. Click on the info icon ("i") to view stats about the tag. View the actual top Tweets, the tags, and users of the Tweets. Use the tools along the top to show trends by hour. Search specific tags using the search bar. New to Twitter? Learn more from TeachersFirst Twitter for Teachers page.

tag(s): microblogging (44), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to show how trending topics and current events are interrelated and to brainstorm inferences about their connections, especially in terms of current events and "hot topics" in the news. Of course, the Hive Mindmap content will include pop culture and anything being discussed on Twitter, so you may encounter topics that are not curriculum related in any way. Just click to another area. Trace the tweets of trending topics and find viewpoints from a variety of people in order to understand complex issues. Use this tool in discussions of world events, politics, science discoveries, communications, information literacy, media literacy, and more. This could also serve as a prompt for students to find a topic they wish to research in depth, such as the latest Nobel announcements for science class or up to date information about a country in turmoil for a world cultures class.

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OutWit.Me Twitter Tweet Games - outwit.me

Grades
8 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Find creative ideas for using Twitter to study and in class using OutWit.Me. View directions for many games to play with friends on Twitter. The games on this site were ...more
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Find creative ideas for using Twitter to study and in class using OutWit.Me. View directions for many games to play with friends on Twitter. The games on this site were created by Twitter users. Suggested games include TweetQuiz, Word Connections, Crack the Code, and others.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): social networking (112), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Use OutWit.Me to review information before tests or exams. Invite students to become experts at a certain game and to explain it to the class. Use the ideas on the site to create your own Twitter handle and create directions for your own class game. Better yet, challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own games. Create a TweetQuiz for important characters or events in history, play Crack the Code as an anticipation guide for a new unit, or play TweetWords providing clues to vocabulary words. Looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

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ClassTools - Russel Tarr

Grades
K to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Classtools offers online game, quiz, and concept map generators to use in any classroom with any subject. Templates make it easy. NO registration is necessary. Just start right in!...more
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Classtools offers online game, quiz, and concept map generators to use in any classroom with any subject. Templates make it easy. NO registration is necessary. Just start right in! Make games public on their website or blog using the link provided upon completion. Templates include Fakebook, Tweet Generator, an SMS conversation (text message) simulator, QR Treasure Hunt, Fishbone, Random Name Generator, Burger Diagram (essay writing), Countdown Timer, and many more. The complete list of templates is on the right sidebar of the site. Follow the easy step-by step directions provided. View the video tutorials on the main page to learn more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): essays (21), qr codes (21), social networking (112), spelling (168), twitter (50), vocabulary (324), word choice (26), word study (80)

In the Classroom

The possibilities abound in nearly any subject area. Be sure to check out all of the free templates to use. Use the many tools yourself or have your students create a Fakebook page or use the Tweet Generator to present information in any subject area. Create a Fakebook page about a famous historical person or government figure in social studies or science class. Share the Burger Diagram for writing essays. Use the Arcade Game Maker to create practice activities for students who need the extra help. Create a random word generator with vocabulary from a Science or Social Studies unit to review before testing. Allow students to create Venn diagrams to be posted on the class website using information from current lessons. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Save this site in your Favorites on your teacher computer!

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TweetChat - tweetchat.com

Grades
5 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
TweetChat is a simple and easy tool for isolating and following specific Twitter hashtags in real time. Sign in to a chat room using the hashtag and your Twitter login ...more
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TweetChat is a simple and easy tool for isolating and following specific Twitter hashtags in real time. Sign in to a chat room using the hashtag and your Twitter login information. All you will see on your screen are the tweets using your tweetchat's chosen hashtag. Reply right from tweetchat without leaving the page; send and continue reading the conversation. Each reply will automatically include the hashtag. Tweetchat has a great feature called smart pausing. When you scroll down, it stops refreshing, allowing you to find what you are looking for and reply or retweet the information without losing it. New to Twitter? Read more about Twitter from TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): chat (51), microblogging (44), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

If your school permits student Twitter accounts, use TweetChat on laptops during a video or student presentations. Pose questions for all to answer/discuss using an assigned hashtag. Ask students to pose their own "I wonder if..." questions as they watch and listen. Keep every student engaged and THINKING as an active listener. The first time you use TweetChat, you will want to establish some etiquette and accountability rules, such as respectful language and constructive criticism. Assign students to watch a news program or political show and have a chat during the broadcast. Revisit the chat on a projector in class the next day or post the chat transcript to a class blog or wiki and have students respond further in blog posts or on the wiki discussion tab. The advantage of backchannel chat is that every student has a voice, no matter how shy.

Use Tweetchat to collaborate with other classrooms or teachers at a distance. Use a whole class Twitter account to contribute to a regular chat. Professionally, teachers can join subject or grade level specific Tweetchats that happen in real time. See the Twitter Chat Schedule, reviewed here or Educational hashtags listings here to find real time groups you can join using Tweetchat.

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Twitter - Education Chats - Chat Scheduler

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
This Google site is a chat schedule for Twitter educational hashtags. Take a look at who is using Twitter and why. You'll see that Twitter isn't just idle "chat." This ...more
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This Google site is a chat schedule for Twitter educational hashtags. Take a look at who is using Twitter and why. You'll see that Twitter isn't just idle "chat." This is just the educational chats. You can find diverse chats about everything from leadership, to minimalist running enthusiasts, to 4th grade teachers, and more. You'll probably find something that piques your interest! Some of the chats occur live, but many are ongoing. Not free at a chat time? You can always read the tweets later.

tag(s): microblogging (44), social networking (112), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Explore the site to discover and follow educational and professional chats that match your interests and needs. Read the tweets about what is happening in other classrooms to gain some new/fresh ideas. Students in upper grades interested in a particular career or trying to find a mentor in an area of interest could use this. You may want to preview and pick out certain hashtags for your student(s). Want to know more about Twitter? See TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

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25 Trends - 25Trends

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site provides "Twitter analytics for the masses." Enter a hashtag to find the conversations. This site finds the conversations, analyzes them, then provides the data with related...more
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This site provides "Twitter analytics for the masses." Enter a hashtag to find the conversations. This site finds the conversations, analyzes them, then provides the data with related buzzwords and information in a visually appealing way. This site updates information every 10 minutes. Please preview/pretest a few minutes before you share with students or children. Our editors noticed that some keywords pull up vulgar language. (We searched "school.")
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Use current trending topics (such as elections or other current events from around the world). Revisit the hashtag or trending topic periodically to see the changes in the topic, including the buzzwords that change over time. Look at news reports or causes for the change in the trend. Twitter trends could be useful in any subject area but especially useful for current events, civics, health, and economics. New to Twitter and hashtags? Find information to help you here.

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The 2012 A-Z List Of Educational Twitter Hashtags - Edudemic

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Are you looking for popular education hashtags to follow on Twitter? This site is a great start. Divided into several categories, find most popular hashtags in use for 2012. Be ...more
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Are you looking for popular education hashtags to follow on Twitter? This site is a great start. Divided into several categories, find most popular hashtags in use for 2012. Be sure to also check out the slide show at the bottom of the page: 31 interesting ways to use Twitter in the classroom. If you need more specific information about using Twitter in the classroom, be sure to check out TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers.

tag(s): twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Share this site with other teachers when looking for educational resources. Search and read tweets from hashtags of interest to you to expand your professional network and Twitter expertise.

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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 (50)

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 (50)

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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Twtrland - Twtrland.com

Grades
7 to 12
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Use Twtrland to turn the entire Twitter timeline of any Twitter user into a profile page before you decide to follow the user. Enter the Twitter username and view profile ...more
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Use Twtrland to turn the entire Twitter timeline of any Twitter user into a profile page before you decide to follow the user. Enter the Twitter username and view profile information, including retweeting of the user and number of tweets. View your own profile to look at your Twitter history and evaluate your Twitter sources. This is great for determining whether someone is a good expert to follow or can be seen as a "thought leader." It is good for both teachers or students building a list of Twitter users to follow. A person must have sent at least 16 tweets in order for their profile to be included.

tag(s): microblogging (44), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Use to create profiles of famous Twitter users. Use to determine the use of Twitter in marketing of brands. Easily tell who is tweeting for advertising purposes and whose tweets have substance. Use to follow political candidates and others that are in the news. Use to show digital citizenship and appropriate use of social networking. 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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Storify - Xavier Damman and Burt Herman

Grades
6 to 12
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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. ...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 (144), social networking (112), twitter (50)

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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