What is Twiter and how can I use it as an educator?

This is the question that most of you will be asking. I kow that I had similar questions when I started exploring this tool. Wikipedia describes Twitter as an online social networking service that allows users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters. These posts are known as tweets. A tweet can contain a short message such as "I am off to go shopping" or for the purposes of professional development it will usually contain a short message, a link and a hashtag. Since a tweet can only have 140 characters, most people include a link to where the content can be found on the internet.

Don't forget to use a hashtag

A hashtag is a way to search tweets and to find information that is relevant to you. An example would be if you are looking for information about science you would search Twitter for #science. There are many different hashtags that can be used and here is a list of educational hashtagsto get you started on your exploring. Hashtags are an excellent way to find information quickly and to get information out there. Check out this blog post on how to get the most out of educational hashtags.

Check out this blog post for some ideas of how you could use Twitter in the classroom.

What is Tweetdeck?

I have found that it is easier to stay connected and organized when I use the application TweetDeck.

tweetdeck.gif

Tweetdeck allows me to follow more than one hastag at a time with columns that I can control. You can open and close any column and bring it back at a later date if you need to. The benefit to TweetDeck is its ability to show you everything you want to see at once in an organized column format.

Want to get started? Here is a link to eight one minute videos of how to set up your own Twitter and TweetDeck accounts.