Twitter for Teachers

YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE:
Follow Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga and yes, you’ll most likely get nothing out of it. Follow Jimmy Fallon, and you will be highly entertained! In fact, Jimmy is such a fan of Twitter, he is now speaking in hashtags!

Now that it is in the mainstream media, Twitter has developed somewhat of a bad rap and has led some educators to believe it serves no purpose in education. However, a less publicized fact (which is sad by the way) about Twitter is that there are literally tens of thousands of educators all over the world who are connecting with one another through weekly Twitter chats, sharing excellent resources, and using meaningful hashtags. So, what are you waiting for?

Image Credit:  Andreas Eldh, Flickr
Image Credit:
Andreas Eldh, Flickr

THE FASTEST WAY TO BUILD YOUR PLN:
Set up your account and start following the twenty individuals and organizations listed below. Trust me, once you do, you will realize what the fuss is all about. The list I’ve complied is based on my very biased and personal opinion and features most of the “heavy hitters” in the education world. Start with them, as they Tweet lots of great resources daily, and then see who these people follow. You will discover an active community of passionate educators eager to share their experiences, successes, and failures. I truly believe it is the easiest and fastest way to start building your PLN.

GIVE IT TEN MINUTES:
There is a learning curve, but once you understand Twitter, you will easily find current and relevant resources as well as interesting colleagues. You will learn Twitter provides so much more than 140 characters. And while some may argue Twitter isn’t the best place to start building your PLN, I must respectfully disagree. Like with anything new, you do have to give it some time in order for it to work. You can’t just set-up an account, follow some people, and then leave it alone. Start with Ten Minutes on Twitterone of my previous posts, and a must read if you are a Twitter skeptic.

MY TWITTER STORY:
Twitter was the first tool I used to start building my PLN, and I although I’ve expanded into other social networks, it continues to be my go-to place for ideas and inspiration. I have connections with educators, tech integrators, educational leaders and organizations. Because of these connections, I have been able to bring in some exceptional people into my classroom (live and virtually) including Angela Maiers, Mark BabbittChris Brogan, and Richard Byrne. And that is by far the biggest reason why you should be on Twitter…the impact your learning and connections will eventually have on your students!

These recommendations are in no particular order:

1. Edutopia
2. Edumedic
3. Richard Byrne
4. Steve Anderson
5. Erin Klein
6. Vicki Davis
7. Lisa Nielsen
8. Lisa Dabbs
9. Med Kharbach
10. Meg Wilson
11. Sean Junkins
12. Shelly Terrell
13. Teach Thought
14. Class Tech Tips
15. Todd Whitaker
16. Jerry Blumengarten
17. Tom Whitby
18. Lyn Hilt
19. Nicholas Provenzano
20. Scott McLeod

This list could and should contain links to the Twitter accounts of the several hundred people I follow, but this provides you with a good start. I hope that you will make 2013 the year you add Twitter to your arsenal of professional development tools. Please let me know if you need any help getting started with Twitter!

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