A. Create a Twitter Account and HANDLE (ex: my handle is @lauragilchrist4) at twitter.com
- Be sure to include a profile picture and an edu-bio. (see other bios for guidance)
- Keep it public if you want to make connections and grow your PLN (personal learning network)
- When making your handle, think short, professional, easy to remember. You CAN change your handle, fyi.
B. Follow 50-100 people to build a solid HOME tweet stream which you will mine for edu-gold. (If you only follow say 10 educators you won't see the diversity in your tweetstream when you click the HOME/BIRDHOUSE icon, so DO IT!)
- Click on my EduSTARter List and simply CLICK FOLLOW on at least 50 but preferably 100 educators from my PLN. Fast and Easy. I follow lots of superintendents and principals as well as teachers themselves, consultants, university folks, too. I like a wide range of educators and views in my home tweet stream. You're now building your PLN!
- Click HOME icon in upper left; VOILA, tweets from the people you just followed appear. Skim through these for edu-gold. This is how I started. Connects you with wide range of edu-knowledge and resources.
- When ready, pick a tweet you like and RETWEET IT to your followers by simply clicking Retweet button at bottom of tweet. (Hover over the tweet to see Retweet and other options.)
- Pick a tweet you want to REPLY to and click Reply. The handle of the person you are replying to appears automatically at the beginning. Type your reply right after the handle. Hit reply. You tweeted a reply to that person. That person sees it automatically as do your followers.
- TWEET Your Own Tweet: Click the blue tweet box upper right so blank tweet box pops up. Type something you believe in or want to share. Optional: add a link, a person's handle, and/or a hashtag! Tweet it! (You get 140 characters to get your point across!)
- Quote Tweet: To add something to a Retweet in Twitter.com you must do something extra: Click the blue tweet box upper right so blank tweet box pops up. Copy and Paste the tweet you like into it. Then copy/paste the tweeter's handle in front of that. Type RT in front of handle, leaving a space between RT and @. At this point, you can click tweet OR you can add words of your own to the front, before the RT. Hashtags are typically placed at the end. Click here: Video tutorial: How to Quote Tweet in Twitter (RT and MT)
|Retweet Mitsi tweeted me after Twitter class. Aha moment that I experience as well. I Retweeted it.|
|Reply I replied to Nikki. What a grand idea!|
|Quote Tweet (I copy/pasted Joe Mazza's tweet and handle, added RT--so I could add a hashtag to it.)|
D. Time to find tweets on YOUR specific topics/content by using HASHTAGS (#).
- Hashtags are typically added to the end of tweets. Hashtags send tweets to additional places to be seen by people w/specific interests. Let's say you send a tweet w/no hashtag. It is seen by anyone, but ONLY if they follow you or click on your name and see your tweets. If you add #elemchat to the end of your tweet, it will also be seen by anyone that monitors #elemchat by typing it into their search bar. You HELP people find resources by adding hashtags. Hashtags we type into the search bar help us find specific info whereas our Home Stream is a wide range of edu-tweets from people we follow.
- Choose a hashtag from November Learning, Edudemic hashtag list or Cybraryman's hashtag list that applies to you and what you teach. (start w/first list) Type it in the search bar (for example: #edchat, #edtech, #sschat, #4thchat). Skim the hashtag tweet stream for topics you like/need.
- Now you can Retweet, Reply, Quote Tweet and Tweet any of the tweets you see in that hashtag tweet stream. Find a person tweeting stuff you like/need? Follow that person by clicking that person's name and clicking Follow.
- List your favorite hashtags in a written or digital 'space' for future reference. You'll add more #'s to it as you grow in Twitter! Refer to your hashtag list when tweeting or searching for specific items--so you can find OR share your knowledge with people who want and will use it.
- Again, DON'T FORGET TO ADD #'s on your tweets or RT's with info a specific community will benefit from. You can add 1 # or many more.
- Many of the hashtags have assigned chat times. I participate when I can in #sschat, #edchat, #scichat, #satchat, #pblchat. You can connect from all over the world at the same day/time each week about a given topic picked by the moderators or members. Chat times list: http://www.cybraryman.com/chats.html
No frills, really! Just some finer points:
- What is a PLN? Personal Learning Network. 24/7 access to info, people, ideas WORLDWIDE at YOUR convenience. This is REAL professional development to me. I don't feel isolated in my classroom now; I feel connected to a much bigger whole. I've found my Edu-voice after 17 years of teaching. Why? I read and view a wide range of ideas, resources and then interact with people about them. I like it. A lot. #howdidisurvivebefore
- How can I use FAVORITES? If you don't have time to explore a tweet, but you want to later, click the favorite star at bottom of tweet. It is then stored in your favorites to access at any time in future. Find your favorites by clicking on your name in upper left (by your picture) and favorites appears below on left.
- How to check for number of retweets and favorites on a tweet? Click on a tweet in an empty space. Info will appear.
- There must be a space before AND after a # and @ to be clickable/linkable. (commas, ? don't affect it)
- Abbreviations commonly used: Ss = students; 4 = for; 2 = to, too; tchr=teacher; and more! Ok to abbreviate and not use proper grammar. This is about max quick communication of key ideas in only 140 characters.
- Direct Messages: You can Directly message (DM) someone on Twitter and only you two see it. Caveat: You must be following each other to DM with a person. To find the DM button, click on the Person Icon in the upper right and select Direct Message!
- To set up your notifications, change your background on Twitter page (Click display), and more, click on Person Icon in upper right and select Settings!
- Get the Twitter app on your phone! It has a Quote Tweet option which means you never have to copy and paste! I really like and use Bufferapp.com from my computer. No copy/paste and you can bank items to edit later as well as send tweets at specific days/times.
I started by simply checking my home feed and retweeting. Then I moved up to Quote tweeting and replying/engaging with other educators. Don't be shy or afraid. Jump in when you're ready. Connect. Grow and throw down those classroom walls. Our classrooms can now be the world.