Simply stated, Twitter is an incredible resource for educators. There are thousands of educators collaborating on Twitter, with many more joining daily. The wealth of information shared on a daily basis is staggering – especially compared to the minimal amounts of cross-country or even international collaboration that has existed in the past.
This post will detail the steps necessary to set yourself up with a Twitter account, create your profile, find some great people to start following, and some information on how to post updates and share resources you find across the web.
I. Set yourself up with a Twitter account.
1. Start off at http://twitter.com and click ‘Sign up for Twitter’
2. Fill out the information with your name, email address, strong password, and username. Make your username something that resembles you! Hit the big yellow ‘Create Account’ button at the bottom.
3. The next screen asks you to start by following 5 people (although it will let you move on after 1). You are welcome and encouraged to follow me (@InstTechTalk) in addition to some of my other friends who are great Educators as well (@TeacherCast @LearningsLiving @Teachingwthsoul @web20classroom). Then, click next.
4. The next screen you can skip – you will take care of this part later (just click the ‘skip>>’ link).
5. Finally, you will upload a picture and create a bio. It’s best to use a picture of yourself and include information that describes you well (grade you teach, location, interests). When finished, click next.
II. Adding a Profile Picture and Creating Your Bio
One of the most important parts of your Twitter account is your picture and your bio. This is how people will identify your interests get a better understanding if you would be a relevant follow.
Go to the Settings area (the Gear icon) and then click Profile. On that screen, fill out the relevant information. Take some time to consider your bio. Include your subject area, grade, position, and be sure to fill in the field with your location.
Fill out all the fields and click save changes.
III. Understanding your Stream (Home Feed, Retweets, Replies, and Favorites)
Your home stream is the place to see the tweets for everyone you follow.
Red Arrow: The person’s Twitter handle
Pink Arrow: When the tweet was posted
Yellow Arrow: A hashtag that helps categorize the tweet on Twitter
Brown Arrow: A ‘shortlink’ that helps save space in the tweet. Links are automatically shortened to allow for additional characters for your own information.
Replies, Retweets, Favorites
Reply: An @ reply is a way to start or continue a conversation with a user on Twitter. Starting a tweet with @UserName will alert the individual that you have mentioned them.
Retweet: A retweet is a quick way to share someone else’s tweet with all of your followers.
Favorite: A favorite will essentially bookmark that tweet in your account for quick reference at a later time.
IV – Composing a Tweet of Your Own
After you interact and ‘lurk’ on Twitter to get a better feel of the community it will be time to create your own Tweet to send to your followers.
Step 1 is to click the blue Create New Tweet button in the red box below:
Enter the content of your tweet and click Send Tweet:
That’s it! There are plenty of other more advanced ways to use Twitter, but this how to will definitely get you started.
Find me on Twitter – I’d be happy to help you get started: @InstTechTalk