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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EduMatch - Sarah Thomas

Grades
K to 12
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Use the power of social media to connect with educators around the world with similar interests with EduMatch. Sign up to be the #edtech Person of the Day and enroll ...more
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Use the power of social media to connect with educators around the world with similar interests with EduMatch. Sign up to be the #edtech Person of the Day and enroll in EduMatch. EduMatch also provides podcasts with discussions on educational issues. Access previous podcast archives or view the calendar for upcoming sessions. Previous topics include issues such as encouraging colleagues to take risks with technology and educator perspectives on grading policies.

tag(s): podcasts (52), professional development (123), social networking (112), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

EduMatch is an excellent resource for professional development sessions. Search the site to find topics of interest and listen to the session together as a staff to begin your discussions. Follow EduMatch users on Twitter to include as part of your PLN.

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65 History Twitter Feeds - Glenn Wiebe

Grades
8 to 12
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This site offers a wonderful list of Twitter feeds to consider if you are just starting out or if you are adding to your feed related to history. The list ...more
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This site offers a wonderful list of Twitter feeds to consider if you are just starting out or if you are adding to your feed related to history. The list includes the Twitter name with a link and a short description. Feeds include the Library of Congress, quotes and sayings from Thomas Jefferson, and HistoryDay (see what happened on this day in history). Feeds are separated into categories such as media, educators and students, and military to help navigate the different types.

tag(s): congress (33), history day (23), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Create a classroom twitter account and choose feeds to follow that relate to classroom studies. Assign different students to follow the feed each week to summarize and review. Challenge students to find other history Twitter feeds to follow. Have students create a Twitter account as a historical figure as part of research projects. Looking for more ways to use twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter from TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

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