Tag Archives: Twitter

In a world full of opportunities to collaborate and connect with people anywhere in the world, it is a crime not to take full advantage of these opportunities as professionals. It is even a greater injustice not to provide avenues through social media for our students. However, for many educators, the key is getting comfortable first. Read this article about how teachers can use social media as PLCs, learn their way around, and then hopefully bring what they have learned into the classroom to provide more opportunities for students.


The field of social media is a burgeoning area of communication, and one that educators cannot ignore. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Diigo, GooglePlus – these platforms for communication are not going to go away; and while there is a great deal of negative media surrounding their use, they can be harnessed to create myriad possibilities for schools as learning communities. Current research only proves the dominance of Social Media as a modern communication medium: http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/social/


This is the first of a series of posts planned in the area of social media and schools as learning communities. It is too big a topic to cover adequately in one post, and the value of social media tools as resources for learning is too great not to be addressed.

This post will consider what the term ‘social media’ connotes, and ways in which it may be used to overcome…

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A Newspaper of Tweets?

Click the icon to visit paper.li.

I follow Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher on Twitter, along with her other 29,000+ followers! Here was one of her tweets today:

The Cool Cat Teacher Daily Tweetpaper is out! http://vsb.li/wgtdwK.

So, I clicked on her link and found her daily newspaper compiled completely from her tweets!  I said to myself, “How did she do that?”  Then, I did what any 21st century educator would do, I went to my Google search bar and typed, “How do you create a Twitter newspaper?”  Within seconds (and I seriously mean seconds), I had discovered paper.li, created an account, and published my first Tweet Paper.  🙂

New to Twitter? Click the icon above to read my blog post to get you oriented with Tweeting!

Paper.li is a free service that takes links from the people you follow on Twitter and organizes those links into a virtual paper for easy reading.  Plus, it is incredibly simple to create an account.  Sign into paper.li with your Twitter account, and you are ready to publish.

After I had published my first paper, I realized that you might not be interested in some of the musicians, politicians, or athletes I follow, so my first paper really isn’t a great example of a good instructional paper.  But…that is how you learn.  I quickly discovered that I can publish a paper based only on my own tweets,  from those I follow, from specific tags, or even create my own custom paper. So, I went back to my settings and customized my sources.  The result:  my second paper is more specialized to education and instruction.

Another feature I really like about the paper is that the original tweeter’s name appears under each post, so the source is transparent.  I am going to continue to play with the settings, but I can already tell a difference between the content of my first and second editions.

Here’s it is.  What do you think?

Click the photo to visit my online tweet paper.

Then, I began to imagine the possibilities for classrooms and school districts!

What if, you tweeted a series of web pages, videos, articles, etc. on a certain topic, and then your students read your Tweet Paper for the day to get information.

Even better…what if students tweeted information they found on the web that coincided with concepts, topics, and units they were studying.  They could peer review Tweet Papers, choose favorite resources, and explore topics in a way we have not done so before.  A Tweet Paper might even be the foundational piece of assessing student understanding.  By asking, What did you learn from this video?, or Why did you tweet this article?, we can have our students articulate their reasoning through analysis and evaluation.  Excited yet?

If you are interested in subscribing to my Tweet Paper, click on the icon to visit my paper.

What about our instructional leaders, curriculum folks, and instructional technology specialists out there?

Paper.li is the perfect resource to provide teachers, principals, and other stakeholders with the latest and greatest information pertinent to their needs.  If your focus is the Common Core, go out there and tweet away.  If you are looking for literacy resources, find them and tweet them.  The great thing about your tweet paper is that you can create a new one each day, and each of your old papers is archived by date, so you can recall them at any time.  You can change hashtags, authors, or even who you follow to create a customized experience for your readers.

I can’t wait to get my morning paper!

How cool is that?  Are you ready to create your tweet paper?

Once you get started, if you are interested in more advance options, paper.li has a great FAQ and support page.

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Purdue University’s “Hotseat” – Yet Another Indication that the Backchannel is Here to Stay

Purdue University has developed Hotseat, a social networking-powered mobile Web application that creates a collaborative classroom, allowing students to provide near real-time feedback during class and enables professors to adjust the course content and improve the learning experience. Students can post messages to Hotseat using their Facebook or Twitter accounts, sending text messages, or logging in to the Hotseat Web site.

Imagine the possibilities for your classroom or school district.

Learn more here:  http://www.itap.purdue.edu/studio/hotseat/

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21 Signs You’re a 21st Century Teacher

I can’t take credit for this blog post.  I found it, like many great educational finds, on Twitter.  This post came from the I Love Ed Tech website.

Here they are – the 21 signs you are a 21st century teacher.  How many define your practice?

1. You require your students to use a variety of sources for their research projects…and they cite blogs, podcasts, and interviews they’ve conducted via Skype.

2. Your students work on collaborative projects…with students in Australia.

3. You give weekly class updates to parents…via your blog.


4. Your students participate in class…by tweeting their questions and comments.

5. You ask your students to study and create reports on a controversial topic…and you grade their video submissions.

6. You prepare substitutes with detailed directions…via Podcasts.

7. You ask your students to do a character/historical person study…and they create mock social media profiles of their character.

8. Your students create a study guide…working together on a group wiki.

9. You share lesson plans with your teacher friends…from around the globe.

10. Your classroom budget is tight…but it doesn’t matter because there are so many free resources on the web you can use.

11. You realize the importance of professional development…and you read blogs, join online communities, and tweet for self development.

12. You take your students on a field trip to the Great Wall of China…and never leave your classroom.

13. Your students share stories of their summer vacation…through an online photo repository.

14. You visit the Louvre with your students…and don’t spend a dime.

15. You teach your students not to be bullies…or cyberbullies.

16. You make your students turn in their cell phones before class starts…because you plan on using them in class.

17. You require your students to summarize a recent chapter…and submit it to you via a text message.

18. You showcase your students’ original work…to the world.

19. You have your morning coffee…while checking your RSS feed.

20. You are reading this.

21. You tweet this page, blog about it, “like” it, or email it to someone else…

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Tweet All About It!

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.

Here's just a glimpse of my Twitter feed from today, December 5, 2011.

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.

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