Warning: STOP! If you are completely in the dark about Twitter, don’t read this post yet. Go directly to this website and spend a little time first. Then, return here later. I promise that you will be happy you did. Link to Tweeternet
Twitter, Facebook, My Space, RSS feeds…how do we keep up with it all? Well, we have to learn to filter. Isn’t that what we want students to do anyway? We want them to take the information given or that they find on a given topic/subject and filter through to find what is useful and meaningful to them. I like how Twitter can help us with filtering. If you already tweet, you know that one can only say so much with just 144 characters! That’s genius! Talk about teaching students to paraphrase and summarize succinctly! Plus, when you use Twitter, you choose who you follow. That’s right, you don’t have to read every tweet out there, just the ones from the users you choose to follow.
For example, I follow a lot of educational tweeters such as Education Week, Larry Ferlazzo, Dan Meyer, coolcatteacher, ASCD, usedgov, Heidi Hayes Jacobs, Daniel Pink, Robert Marzano, and Frank Baker — just to name a few. What’s great about checking my tweets is that these folks generally post great web resources or news and information that is helpful to me as a consultant. Often I learn about resources, ideas, news, and information that I then research and pass on in some form to you folks out there.
So, how do you get started?
I love the “In Plain English” video series on the Common Craft Show. They are fantastic for explaining new concepts in very simple terms. Check out this video: Twitter in Plain English.
What more do you need to know? In his article, “All A-Twitter about Education,” Mike Petrilli shares a little about the what and how of Twitter, but he saves the best for last. At the end of his article, he shares both the top 25 Education Policy/Media Tweeters and the top 25 Educator Tweeters along with their handles so you can follow them right now. What a great resource for a novice tweeter! Access the Twitter Help Center here. The Huffington Post has posted 23 Tips for Twitter.
Want to know more about Twitter and the classroom? All you have to do is Google, and you will find thousands are articles, testimonials, and ideas out there at your fingertips. Find out how to Twitter-Powered Learning Network. However, if you want to provide a practice and more controlled “Tweeting” experience for your students, think about TodaysMeet. Today’s Meet, like Twitter, provides participants 144 characters to share their observations, thoughts, links, etc. Plus, with TodaysMeet, you can keep your conversation inside the classroom. It is free, easy, and fun for students.