Monday, March 14, 2016

Twitter as Personal Learning Network

Twitter is a Social Media Network that allows a limit of 140 characters per post.  The post usually contains text, photos, videos, links and hashtags.  A number of educators have started using Twitter for their own professional development and a means of sharing ideas and resources, also known as a Personal Learning Network (or PLN).

In order to take part in this, you need to know the basics of Twitter.

Twitter is the name of the site.  The posts are known as tweets and posting to Twitter is known as tweeting.

The @ symbol is used before a name or phrase and that is a person’s Twitter username or Twitter handle.  For example, Warrior Run Middle School is @warriorrunms (which is run by our own Dr. Hack).

The # symbol is a way of categorizing or tagging a tweet.  For example, if you put a hashtag to a post about our blog, it could be #warriorrunsd, #tlchat, #edtech, and so on.  A hashtag can be an abbreviation, a word or a phrase.  Anything can be a hashtag and you can make your own.  Just check to make sure you aren’t using one that is already being used for something else.  A list of educational hashtags can be found here and here.  Here’s a short list by subject:

English/Language Arts - #engchat, #litchat
Social studies/History - #sschat, #historyteacher
Science - #scichat, #scienceed
Math - #math, #mathchat
Art - #arted, #artsed
Music - #musedchat, #edmusic
Family and Consumer Science - #SayYesToFCS, #facsed
Industrial Arts - #technology, #careerteched
Phys Ed - #physed, #fitnessedu
Elementary teachers - #elemchat, #ipaded, #googleedu
Special Education - #spedchat, #specialneeds

When you want to see content from Twitter, you have to follow other people or accounts.  This means that you click the small blue plus on their Twitter handle or their Twitter page, so that they will show up in your News Feed, which is where the posts from the people that you follow will appear.

Here are the Warrior Run School District people that you can follow*:

Here are some educators worth following:

There are also official Twitter chats, where people use a hashtag to ask questions and pose answers regarding education topics.  Check out this master schedule if you are interested in learning more about these chats.

Some people have suggested that teachers that use Twitter have a growth mindset.  Twitter is what you make it.  Twitter can bring you so much more than just what celebrities had for lunch.  Check it out!

*If you do or do NOT want your account listed, please email me and I will update the list.
**More information on how to use Twitter can be found here at their help page.

Photo taken from Alicia Orre at

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