Twitter For TeachersTwitter For Teachers
10 reasons for education10 reasons for education
professionals to use Twitterprofessionals to use Twitter
What is Twitter?What is Twitter?
• Twitter is a “microblogging” site where people shareTwitter is a “microblogging” site where people share
• Microblogging is a term that means blogging by postingMicroblogging is a term that means blogging by posting
small chunks of informationsmall chunks of information
• These small chunks of information are called tweetsThese small chunks of information are called tweets
• Tweets range in content from personal to professional,Tweets range in content from personal to professional,
with many posting links to important information foundwith many posting links to important information found
on the webon the web
• Increasingly, educators are, “bend(ing) Twitter to theIncreasingly, educators are, “bend(ing) Twitter to the
purpose (they) want to use it for!” (O’Connell, 2009)purpose (they) want to use it for!” (O’Connell, 2009)
#1: Collaboration with Peers#1: Collaboration with Peers
““With Twitter, educators can activelyWith Twitter, educators can actively
compare what’s happening in theircompare what’s happening in their
classrooms with others on differentclassrooms with others on different
continents” (Tech&Learning, 2009).continents” (Tech&Learning, 2009).
In the past, teachers taught in isolation,In the past, teachers taught in isolation,
alone in their classrooms. Increasingly,alone in their classrooms. Increasingly,
that model has shifted to athat model has shifted to a
collaborative model. Twitter allowscollaborative model. Twitter allows
teachers to communicate with eachteachers to communicate with each
other, whether next door or around theother, whether next door or around the
world, and come up with new andworld, and come up with new and
inspiring ways of teaching.inspiring ways of teaching.
#2 Sharing of Ideas and Resources#2 Sharing of Ideas and Resources
Twitter can be like a virtual staffroomTwitter can be like a virtual staffroom
where teachers can access inwhere teachers can access in
seconds a stream of links, ideas,seconds a stream of links, ideas,
opinions, and resources from a hand-opinions, and resources from a hand-
picked selection of globalpicked selection of global
professionals (Tech & Learning,professionals (Tech & Learning,
So many times I’ve learned new ideasSo many times I’ve learned new ideas
and resources from colleagues justand resources from colleagues just
by sitting in the same room, having aby sitting in the same room, having a
conversation. Twitter takes theconversation. Twitter takes the
conversation world-wide.conversation world-wide.
#3 Pro-D opportunities are open to#3 Pro-D opportunities are open to
the world, in real time.the world, in real time.
Pro-D activities previously confined to aPro-D activities previously confined to a
specific geographical area can bespecific geographical area can be
opened to the world.opened to the world.
For example, during the “HackingFor example, during the “Hacking
Education” conference, held inEducation” conference, held in
Manhattan in 2009, participants postedManhattan in 2009, participants posted
real-time tweets outlining the daysreal-time tweets outlining the days
discussions, which were answered bydiscussions, which were answered by
the tweets of others from around thethe tweets of others from around the
world (Johnson, 2009).world (Johnson, 2009).
#4: Breaking News#4: Breaking News
Twitter users can tweet from mobileTwitter users can tweet from mobile
devices, which meansdevices, which means
information can be addedinformation can be added
instantly from just aboutinstantly from just about
anywhere. Breaking news storiesanywhere. Breaking news stories
are often posted to Twitter beforeare often posted to Twitter before
mainstream media can broadcastmainstream media can broadcast
them. This makes Twitterthem. This makes Twitter
invaluable for keeping abreast ofinvaluable for keeping abreast of
new information or whennew information or when
teaching a unit on current events.teaching a unit on current events.
#5 Searching for Current#5 Searching for Current
Twitter allows you to search forTwitter allows you to search for
information. Unlike using otherinformation. Unlike using other
search engines, you will seesearch engines, you will see
links to sites that others havelinks to sites that others have
found useful. The informationfound useful. The information
is likely to be very current, asis likely to be very current, as
Twitter users will only link toTwitter users will only link to
what they’ve found duringwhat they’ve found during
current research.current research.
#6 Finding Experts#6 Finding Experts
Who is an expert? Web 2.0 tools haveWho is an expert? Web 2.0 tools have
made the internet more interactive.made the internet more interactive.
Individuals from all educationalIndividuals from all educational
backgrounds are posting material,backgrounds are posting material,
leaving the reader to figure out what’sleaving the reader to figure out what’s
relevant, accurate and useful.relevant, accurate and useful.
Increasingly, “contribution counts forIncreasingly, “contribution counts for
more than credentials” (Hamel, 2009),more than credentials” (Hamel, 2009),
as all materials are considered equally.as all materials are considered equally.
Experts are those who activelyExperts are those who actively
contribute to their field and keepcontribute to their field and keep
abreast of new information.abreast of new information.
#7 Self-promotion#7 Self-promotion
Phil Bradley uses Twitter to prompt users to read hisPhil Bradley uses Twitter to prompt users to read his
blog: “blog: “I have my blog entries posted across toI have my blog entries posted across to
Twitter, which alerts followers to what I'm talkingTwitter, which alerts followers to what I'm talking
about in more detail. I also feed the Twitter postsabout in more detail. I also feed the Twitter posts
back to the weblogs to point out to blog readersback to the weblogs to point out to blog readers
what I'm doing on Twitter” (Bradley, 2009).what I'm doing on Twitter” (Bradley, 2009). ThisThis
helps solve the problem of recruiting readers.helps solve the problem of recruiting readers.
Having trouble getting parents to check theHaving trouble getting parents to check the
class/library blog? Link to Twitter, so parents canclass/library blog? Link to Twitter, so parents can
get notifications when new items have been addedget notifications when new items have been added
to the blog.to the blog.
#8 Event Promotion#8 Event Promotion
Twitter messages can get peopleTwitter messages can get people
excited about upcoming events:excited about upcoming events:
• start a count down to student ledstart a count down to student led
• send out excited tweets about thesend out excited tweets about the
upcoming book fairupcoming book fair
• post a link to your school fun fairpost a link to your school fun fair
The possibilities are endless.The possibilities are endless.
#9 Keeping up with the latest#9 Keeping up with the latest
As with Facebook and other socialAs with Facebook and other social
networking technology, Twitter is anetworking technology, Twitter is a
part of many student’s lives. Aspart of many student’s lives. As
educators, it is important to keep upeducators, it is important to keep up
with technology our student’s use inwith technology our student’s use in
order to keep our classrooms dynamicorder to keep our classrooms dynamic
and relevant. In addition, “even if youand relevant. In addition, “even if you
don’t think Twitter has any applicationsdon’t think Twitter has any applications
that will work for you at the momentthat will work for you at the moment
that doesn’t mean it won’t in the future”that doesn’t mean it won’t in the future”
(College@home, 2010).(College@home, 2010).
#10 Reflective Practice#10 Reflective Practice
Reflecting on what works well andReflecting on what works well and
what needs improvement is anwhat needs improvement is an
important part of honing one’simportant part of honing one’s
teaching practice. “teaching practice. “Teachers onTeachers on
Twitter share these reflectionsTwitter share these reflections
and both support and challengeand both support and challenge
each other” (Tech&Learning,each other” (Tech&Learning,
Everyone needs downEveryone needs down
time. Posting personaltime. Posting personal
interests and sharinginterests and sharing
the events of a daythe events of a day
remind us that we allremind us that we all
need re-creation time.need re-creation time.
And who knows?And who knows?
Maybe you’ll meetMaybe you’ll meet
someone who sharessomeone who shares
your idea of re-creation!your idea of re-creation!
Bradley, P. (2009). Using twitter in libraries. Retrieved fromBradley, P. (2009). Using twitter in libraries. Retrieved from
College@home. (2010). Twitter for librarians: the ultimate guide. Retrieved from:College@home. (2010). Twitter for librarians: the ultimate guide. Retrieved from:
Johnson, S. (2009). How twitter will change the way we live. Retrieved from:Johnson, S. (2009). How twitter will change the way we live. Retrieved from:
O’Connell, J. (2009). Making twitter work for me – and you! Retrieved from:O’Connell, J. (2009). Making twitter work for me – and you! Retrieved from:
Tech & Learning. (2009). Nine reasons to twitter in schools. Retrieved fromTech & Learning. (2009). Nine reasons to twitter in schools. Retrieved from