Teachers, get started with Twitter – you’ll never look back!

Nowadays, in the era of
social networking, it is vital for a teacher to get on to Twitter in order
to find out what is happening in education. I have learned SO much from Twitter
and am connected to fantastic educators all over the world as a result of using
it.
 This post will show you how to get started. 


What is
Twitter?

Twitter is a free social networking service that
allows its users to send and read short 140-character messages known as tweets.
It’s a fantastic way to share ideas and learn from other teachers – in fact
it’s an indispensable tool for educators around the globe. Once you have got
started on Twitter and benefitted from networking with other teachers, you’ll
wonder how you survived before that!


1. Head over to http://twitter.com

Fill in your details in the bottom section. 

2. Create your username

Usernames always start with @. When you choose your username don’t make it too
long. My advice is to use a  name that
links to you.  You might find, like I did
that your name has already been used.  So
I chose @fibeal  because it was the
nearest version I could think of.  Ask
yourself how you would like your PLN (Personal Learning network) to recognise you
by your name choice. 


3. Edit your profile

Go to ‘Edit profile’ and create a bio that captures the heart of how you
want to be seen.  Here are six samples.

4. Add a photo of yourself

The placeholder in Twitter is an egg. Please don’t leave yourself as an
egghead! This year I am using a Twitter account for my ICT classes and I haven’t
used a photo but rather words.  However a
good example of a classroom tweeter to follow is @YollisClass 


5. Add a cover image as well if you like

Here is an example of a lovely landscape background. 


6. Find educators to follow

Do some searching and click on the “FOLLOW” button beside anyone you want to connect with. Start with those mentioned above. I can help you with a few others by giving you some of my favourites to follow from other countries. The best thing to do is to see who others follow and see what they post about and whether it appeals to you.
@rmbyrne

@edutopia

@coolcatteacher

@ICTmagic

@kylepace

@sylviaduckworth

@edtechteam

@mauilibrarian2

@MindShiftKQED

@alicekeeler

I could name so many more but this is a good start.



7. Tell your network you are on Twitter

Add a short tweet of not more than 140 characters and introduce yourself in any
way you like. Start sharing information that you find interesting. Add somebody’s
Twitter handle (e.g. @schoolnetsa) in your first tweet so we can respond to
you. For example you might say:

@schoolnetsa I have just joined Twitter! Excited! Who do you
suggest I follow?

We’ll reply to you!

8. Use https://bitly.com/to shorten links

Sometimes blog links can be very long. Using an application like Bit.ly
shortens them so that you still have space to write a few words. You can even do
this without signing up to bit.ly. 


9. Spend a short time every day tweeting 
You’ll start to
build a great network who will become important to you – and you’ll learn SO
much. Here are three tweet examples. The first one is a plain tweet. You’ll notice in the second one that you can add an image to a tweet. In the third tweet you’ll see that you can retweet a tweet and quote it. 

A YouTube tutorial

Here is a five minute YouTube tutorial on getting started
with Twitter. It is fairly old but it gives you the general idea.

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