The T in Twitter Stands for Teacher

By Lindsey Lipsky, M.Ed.
You may or may not know it, but Twitter is an educator’s paradise; filled to the gills with educational dialogue, resources, ideas, tips, and best practices. No longer just a tween Bieber playground (Sorry Justin!), Twitter has become SOOOO much more.

To help you ease into this new (and perhaps scary) world of virtual collaboration,  Let’s discuss why the T in Twitter Stands for Teacher.  Soon you’ll be an #EduTweeter Rockstar in no time!

1. Professional Learning Networks (PLN)
Twitter is, without a doubt, an amazing social tool for connecting people.  Unlike Facebook, Twitter is a universe that allows for open communication across multiple platforms (and even continents). As Mrs. Kathleen Morris states in her great post about Twitter on Edublogs, “I find Twitter to be like a virtual staffroom…where I can find advice, give advice, find great links, share my work and engage in general musings about education.”  

To begin building your PLN, start following educators and members that appeal to you and align with your ideals/goals as an educator. Some of my current, favorite EduTweeters  (in random order) are:  @ShiftParadigm, @justintarte, @JewishSpecialEd, @singoffpitch, @TheWeirdTeacher, @nmhs_principal@gcouros, @ShellTerrell, @SenorG @INISchoolsSpEd, @MittAubs, @msspeducate, @theudlproject, @burgessdave, @BethHouf, @DruTomlin_AMLE

Also, check out this list of nominees from the 2013 Edublog Awards  for best individual teacher tweeters, and this ever-changing list of top teacher twitter names by subject.

2. Educational Chats
Sue Waters, Working With Web 2.0 Tools EduBlogger writes, “Twitter chats are one of the best ways for educators to connect with other educators, exchange and debate ideas, ask for help and provide assistance, find new resources and take action.”

Indeed, educational chats are a wonderful way to get involved with a sub-group of teachers and stakeholders who share similar interests as you.  Some of my favorite chats that I’ve been involved in include, #spedchat, #edchat, #tlap (Teach like a Pirate), #satchat, and #sunchat.  Also hope to check out #LDChat, #UDLchat, #edtech, and #ATchat soon.  

Need help finding the best Ed Twitter Chat for you? Check out the global list of all Educational Chats by @cybraryman1 and an ever-evolving google doc list of top Education Twitter chats.

3. Gathering Insights and Inspiration in a Tweet-minute!
Got five minutes to spare in between your lunch and prep period? Hop on to Twitter to find some messages of inspiration, passion, joy, resources, and teaching tips.  Being able to learn and collaborate with your Twitter educators is like a high-tech, low-cost Professional Development session available at your fingertips.

If you’ve chosen the correct people to follow for your PLN, you’ll have a wide variety of amazing content and insight coming straight through on your Twitter feed.  Get ready to be AMAZED!

So, TEACHERS, what are you waiting for? Are YOU on Twitter yet?

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For some great help getting started with Twitter, read The Teachers Guide to Twitter (Edudemic) and Getting Started with Twitter in the Classroom by Carrie Kam and the Teaching Channel.

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