One day while looking through some resources, I saw a comment on an Edmodo post: "Post your Twitter username below to connect with other Digital Innovators." Twitter? Really? I thought that was the place where high school kids went to post selfies at Justin Bieber concerts or talk about their crush in 140 characters or less. How could this possibly benefit me? Against my "better" judgement, I decided that I would give it a try. I mean, if I didn't like it, all I would have to do is delete my account. No big deal.
Flash forward almost one year from that moment. I could not have been more wrong in my thinking.
The PLN I have developed has helped to keep me inspired in teaching. Educators from across the world now follow and interact with me on a weekly basis through #COLchat, #sstlap, #mschat, and many other education hashtags. I have gained many new teaching strategies that I have worked to make my own. I have shared my teaching story with others and gotten advice on how to approach issues that have come up. The topics of conversation help keep me passionate about the craft I chose as my lifelong career. My students have benefited greatly from their Social Studies teacher joining social media. If I was ever invited back to my college to talk to pre-service educators, I would open with this very topic. It has been one of the most valuable tools I have discovered as an educator.
And, I may or may not have posted a selfie or two.
How to Tweet as an Educator
2. Decide what you want to know about as an educator. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of educator led Twitter chats out there. Click here to find a list of hashtags. Choose one to start, and follow the conversation. As you get more comfortable, branch out and join the conversation. Most follow a Q1/A1 format (if you watch a chat, you will see how this works). Don't forget to save room for the hashtag.
3. Use a site like Tweet Deck to help you manage your chats. On Tweet Deck, you can keep your notification page, home page, and any hashtag you follow open on one screen. This makes it very easy to keep track of the group conversation and any side conversations you might have during the night.
4. Follow those educators that you interact with. Grow your PLN and interact with those teachers outside of a scheduled Twitter chat. Most times, those educators post interesting articles and lesson ideas that you can take to your classroom. Almost always, their ideas are free.
If you have any questions, or would like more clarification about becoming a Tweeting educator, feel free to leave a comment below, or follow me on Twitter (@Mr_Lisek). I wish you the best of luck. Happy Tweeting!