Saturday, November 10, 2012

Twitter for Teachers

Here are three tips from an expert   to teachers who intend to use Twitter as part their teaching process. 

1. Spend your early time on Twitter following important educational hashtags:One of the things that teachers new to Twitter often misunderstand is that following individuals isn’t the only — or even the best — way to access useful information in the service. Instead, consider using Twitter’s search tool to follow conversations organized around hashtags.
Educators have embraced hashtags — unique identifiers that start with the # sign — as a way to efficiently share information with each other. Elementary school teachers add #elemchat, principals add #cpchat and math teachers add #mathchat to the ends of their messages to make the content they are sharing easy for everyone to find. Searching for the hashtags related to your field — a process facilitated by retired teacher librarian Jerry Blumengarten, who maintains an exhaustive list of educational hashtags on his website — can instantly connect you with a constantly refreshed list of new ideas worth exploring.
Following the hash-tagged resources that are filtered and sorted by other teachers will make the early time that you spend in Twitter worthwhile — and if the early time that you spend in Twitter is worthwhile, you’ll be more likely to continue tinkering with the service.
2. Persuade colleagues to join Twitter with you: The loneliest moments that I spent in Twitter were the first few weeks after signing up when I had eight followers and hadn’t ever heard of educational hashtags. Every post that I made — whether I was asking questions, sharing resources or looking for help with a specific challenge — seemed like a complete waste of time because no one ever responded. “How is this a social media service?” I’d think, “if no one is even seeing anything that I write.”
The mistake that I’d made was joining Twitter alone and hoping that people would magically find — and then start networking with — me.
I probably should have known better, right?
After all, that’s not how networking happens in real life. New people aren’t lined up at my front door every morning waiting to answer my questions or to lend a helping hand. In fact, when I need a helping hand, I almost always turn first to the people that I already have close relationships with.
If you want your Twitter network to feel vibrant and alive from Day One, you should persuade some of your closest professional colleagues to join the service with you. Doing so guarantees that someone really WILL be listening when you post early questions or share early resources — and every time they respond to a message that you’ve sent, you’ll learn a little more about the social potential of Twitter.
 3. Remember that you build relationships in Twitter one good deed at a time:  The final reminder that I give to Twitter rookies is that building meaningful relationships with people that you’ve never met before depends on the same kinds of core behaviors that you use to build relationships in real life.
Want a responsive network that offers you just-in-time support and quick answers to important questions? Then start by being responsive and offering quick answers to other people’s important questions! Spend time each day and/or week sifting through the streams of messages being shared by people that you are following and find ways to lend a hand.

blogger templates 3 columns | Make Money Online