Confession: I am a social media taker. I love looking at your pictures. I click on your shared links. I even care what you had for dinner.
If you were to look at my personal pages, you'd find my happy birthday messages from August...whoopsie!
However, social media is a power outlet for educators, particularly Twitter. It gives you unprecedented access to top educators and researchers. Not buying it? Check out these articles from ASCD and NEA.
There are countless ways you can use Twitter as an instructional tool, but that is a topic for another post. Today, I want to focus on all that you can take away from Twitter.
Anatomy of a tweet
Twitter is categorized as a micro-blog. You get 140 characters to say what's on your mind. It is free to set up. You create a name for yourself that starts with the @ symbol and is referred to as your Twitter handle.
It's good to be a follower.
The power in this online platform comes from who you follow. Type in the name of your favorite author, professional organization, or friend from high school- chances are they're on there. Here are some of my favorite people to follow:
@donalynbooks- Donalyn Miller, author of The Book Whisperer and Reading in the Wild. She provides great book suggestions and tweets golden nuggets from trainings all over the country.
@ProfessorNana- Teri Lesesne, college professor, writer and Young Adult Lit enthusiast. Like Donalyn, Teri provides book suggestions (for all ages) almost daily. She is also in the know for up-and-coming technology to use in instruction.
@KellyGToGo- Kelly Gallagher, author and provider of our Article of the Week. He shares quotes from conventions and trainings all around the globes. I've also found interesting research thanks to his links.
Spend more time with your curly girls at @curlyclassroom. Also, look for your Education Service Center and professional organization to stay up to date on opportunities and changes.
If you spend more than a minute on Twitter, you'll notice these little things all over the place. These are hashtags. Think of them like labels. If you're looking for something particular, you can search for specific hashtags and see what people are saying.
Start your engine
Buckle your seat belt and participate in a Twitter chat. These chats brings teachers from across the country (and in some cases, world) together to share ideas about a given topic. I am a chat newbie. I've only participated a couple of times and will warn you- THEY. MOVE. FAST. If your nervous to jump in, observe until you build up your confidence.
Chats to check out:
#titletalk- hosted by Donalyn Miller an Colby Sharp (@colbysharp) on the last Sunday night of each month at 8pm EST. This conversation is about how to best promote reading among students.
#bproots- hosted by Teri Lesesne and Donalyn Miller. This conversation just got started in April. Educators come together to discuss their take aways from a scholarly article on best practices (BP).
I know that many of our readers are Twitter pros. Who are your favorite people to follow? Chats to join? Tips and tricks?
Also, don't forget to RSVP to the birthday party!