Twitter HOw to use it as your PLN

Facebook is where you connect with people you know. Twitter is where you connect with people who share the same interests, passions and who you wish you knew. What makes Twitter great is you can get ideas and information for any subject you teach in 140 characters or less! It's the fastest, quickest PLN out there!

Here's why you need Twitter in your professional life:

You do AMAZING things each and everyday. While you don't have to tweet or lurk on Twitter everyday, it is a great place to QUICKLY showcase the awesome things you do as a professional. Whether you're staying here forever or moving on, it's a great place to show students, parents, colleagues and others the professional educator that you are.

Quick - did I mention quick? There are so many things on our plates and so little time. You're looking for an idea, some inspiration, or need professional feedback or all of the above. Twitter is the perfect place to look no matter what you teach. And because a Tweet can only be 140 characters max, there aren't pages and pages of documents, websites, or books to go through!

The Basics

Tweet: A post - or an entry - made on Twitter. What makes the post unique is you have to get your point or information across in 140 characters or less. You can also see photos and videos from within the post to give you the "big picture."

Twitter Handle: This is simply your username on Twitter. Mine is @MichelleAllee.

@Reply: This is a way to respond to another Twitter user. If you tweeted (posted) "@MichelleAllee We're taking fractions by storm!" then your tweet is publicly - meaning everyone - can see it.

Direct Message: These are messages that are sent to you and can only be seen by you and the sender. You access these when you're logged into Twitter

Sign up! If you don't already have an account, click here to get signed up. Be sure to set a profile photo. Leaving the default egg is a deterrent for those with whom you want to engage online.

Check out the video below to learn the basics of your Twitter home page.

#Hashtags

Hashtags are a key word or phrase preceeded by # and simply help organize information. Essentially, it makes the content of your post accessible to all people with similar interests, even if they’re not your followers or fans. If I'm going to share something about BGMS, I add the hashtag #bgmsin. Hashtags are searchable via Google or Twitter. You can use existing hashtags or make up your own.

Part of what makes Twitter such a powerful PLN (Professional Learning Network) is hashtags. No matter what your interests are, no matter what you teach, there's a hashtag for it.

These are just a few of the educational hashtags. Check out the button above for a more comprehensive list.

Creative Wording

Getting your point across in 140 characters can be a challenge at times, so how do people do it? With some creative twists in how words are spelled out, of course! For example, "Before and after" takes up 15 characters while "B4 & aftr" only take up 9 characters. Click here for other abbreviations and acronyms you can use to compose your tweets.

Want more tips and tricks? Check out Kathy Schrock's Guide to Twitter for Teachers.

Today's Task

1. If you're not a member of Twitter - click here to set up your account.

2. Click here to fill out this Google Form to share your Twitter handle.

3. Use the remaining time to search hashtags in your curriculum area and find people to follow to get your PLN started or expanded.

4. Tweet out - share something you found today using the hashtag #bgmswow to be entered into a drawing to win a small gift card to Speedway, Panera, Starbucks, Subway or iTunes - your pick. Two winners will be chosen on Friday!

Be sure to use this hashtag in order to be entered into the drawing!

Twitter BINGO Challenge

Ready for a challenge? "Your challenge, should you choose to accept it," is to complete the Connected Educator BINGO Challenge. A BINGO can be 5 squares horizontal, vertical, or diagonal. Once your BINGO board is complete, you will take a picture of your board and submit it via Google Forms.

Credits:

Created with images by Antigo Coletivo Mambembe - "Twitter" • umezy12 - "Classroom" • marek.sotak - "twitter_icon6" • harry-m - "Twitter" • Wokandapix - "in my honest opinion imho texting" • HamiJeezy - "school chalkboard pear" • ChristianOehlenberg - "bingo play gambling" • StartupStockPhotos - "children win success"

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