Thursday, August 12, 2010

Twitter Resources for Teachers

This from APWorldGuru Blog:
"How do you use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter? I'm sure many of you catch up with old college and high school friends by posting status updates, pictures, and personal videos. Others probably play flash games like bejeweled or farmville in between posting funny YouTube videos. Probably the last thing many of you think of when it comes to social networking is professional development and support from teachers all over the world.

Many young and experienced teachers can often feel isolated or without the ability to get new ideas. That is where these new websites come in. Most of you are familiar with Facebook, but are intimidated by Twitter. I won't lie, it has a slightly more difficult learning curve than other social networking sites, but once you learn the secret of hashtags and retweets, you'll be hooked. I have found three fantastic "feeds" on Twitter that have online meetings once a week.

To access these informational treasure chests, you'll need a Twitter account. Simply go to and follow the easy steps to create an account. If you are completely foreign to the concept, I recommend watching a short informational video on youtube. One I recommend is: Once you have mastered the concepts of Tweeting, as an educator you will want to make sure you are connected with teachers from all over the world.

How do I do that? In the search bar on the right side of the screen type in one of the following: #ntchat #edchat or #sschat . The # is a hashtag that lists all posts containing #topic in it. To explain it simply it collects every "tweet" from around the world from people talking about education or social studies. If you want to engage in the discussion write your question, comments, or advice and add #----- at the end of it.

Now you're talking to every single teacher about that topic live from all over the world. Pretty powerful stuff? #ntchat is new teacher chat, but don't be fooled by its name, because it is loaded with seasoned professionals offering all sorts of advice and peripherals you could shake a stick at. #edchat is a general educational chat while #sschat is devoted to social studies topics and discussions. While you can post topics and get responses at almost any hour, usually these "chats" are timed for evening hours so that multiple teachers can attend from all over the United States. So if you are ever looking for a great idea, new resource, or just want to vent to like minded individuals, use the power of Twitter to enhance your classroom. Drop a comment if you have any questions or want to share a positive experience with Twitter and definitely follow me @APWorldGuru. Adios!"

The WSFCS Department of Instructional Technology is on Twitter as well (@WSCFSDIT). We share resources and information about upcoming trainings. I would also be happy to try to help you with any questions (@mwedwards). We also have an online course called Twitter for Teachers that we will be offering the future.

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