Why Twitter Matters
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Why Twitter Matters

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This presentation was designed and delivered by Solution Tree author and social media expert Bill Ferriter in the fall of 2011. ...

This presentation was designed and delivered by Solution Tree author and social media expert Bill Ferriter in the fall of 2011.

It is designed to introduce other authors to the advantages of using Twitter to network personally and professionally.

The companion website for this presentation can be found online at:

http://bit.ly/stwhytwittermatters

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  • One of the greatest challenges in any professional learning community is finding meaningful learning partnerships for the singeltons in a building. And while many singletons choose to collaborate with in-house learning teams studying content connected to their areas of personal and professional interest or work to offer targeted support to teams on an as needed basis, these kinds of content-neutral learning arrangements aren’t always the perfect tools for ensuring that every teacher has meaningful opportunities for continued growth in their fields. The good news—as Clay Shirky explains in this quote from his latest book, Cognitive Surplus—is that digital tools have lowered the barriers for people interested in joining together with other like minds, regardless of where they are located. That means Latin teachers, band directors, media specialists, foreign language teachers, and special educators can partner with peers in electronic spaces with very little effort and almost no cost.
  • Remember that the real value in Twitter for singletons is that it is finally possible—if you’re willing to work a bit—to find peers in the same content area, no matter what you’re teaching. And while the process of finding peers whose ideas are worth following can be intimidating to new Twitter users, it can be made easier by exploring several growing directories of Twitter users that are organized by grade level, professional interests, and content areas. Outside of using the Twitter search options to find interesting users to explore, two of the most popular services are TweepML (http://www.tweepml.org) and WeFollow (http://wefollow.com). It’s important to remember good search practices when using services like We Follow and TweepML. Try several different terms when looking for singletons working in the same field as you. While generic terms like “dance” may turn up everything from belly dancers to professional ballerinas, more specific terms like “dance teacher” are likely to turn up practitioners that you can learn from. It’s also important to remember that because Twitter is constantly growing—300,000 new users signed up every day in the Fall of 2010—and because Twitter is still a new tool to many educators—it’s a good idea to return to these lists every now and then to see if there are new singletons worth adding to your digital learning network.
  • One of the biggest misconceptions that teachers hold about Twitter is that it is just a place where people are sharing mundane facts about their everyday lives. In reality—and often led by educators—Twitter users are actually organizing themselves into groups of likeminded thinkers who engage in regular, ongoing conversations and track each other’s messages through the use of hashtags, which are short identifiers added to the end of posts that enable easy searching in Twitter. While following Twitter hashtags being used by other professionals in your field can be a great source for finding new tools, strategies and instructional practices that might improve your instruction, following Twitter hashtags is also a great way to find peers that you can learn with. After all, everyone using hashtags shares a common interest with one another. Let’s take a look at how hashtags work in action.
  • One of the biggest misconceptions that teachers hold about Twitter is that it is just a place where people are sharing mundane facts about their everyday lives. In reality—and often led by educators—Twitter users are actually organizing themselves into groups of likeminded thinkers who engage in regular, ongoing conversations and track each other’s messages through the use of hashtags, which are short identifiers added to the end of posts that enable easy searching in Twitter. While following Twitter hashtags being used by other professionals in your field can be a great source for finding new tools, strategies and instructional practices that might improve your instruction, following Twitter hashtags is also a great way to find peers that you can learn with. After all, everyone using hashtags shares a common interest with one another. Let’s take a look at how hashtags work in action.
  • One of the biggest misconceptions that teachers hold about Twitter is that it is just a place where people are sharing mundane facts about their everyday lives. In reality—and often led by educators—Twitter users are actually organizing themselves into groups of likeminded thinkers who engage in regular, ongoing conversations and track each other’s messages through the use of hashtags, which are short identifiers added to the end of posts that enable easy searching in Twitter. While following Twitter hashtags being used by other professionals in your field can be a great source for finding new tools, strategies and instructional practices that might improve your instruction, following Twitter hashtags is also a great way to find peers that you can learn with. After all, everyone using hashtags shares a common interest with one another. Let’s take a look at how hashtags work in action.

Why Twitter Matters Why Twitter Matters Presentation Transcript

  • Why Twitter Matters An Introduction to a New Digital World Bill Ferriter Solution Tree Author and Associate | September 13, 2011 wferriter@hotmail.com
  •  
  • Session Outcomes:
    • Use Twitter to market your work as an author/associate/speaker and build a customized learning network filled with like-minds sharing the kinds of resources and ideas that you care about.
    • Use the Twitter search feature and hashtags—short labels used for sorting messages—to target your participation on Twitter .
  • Session Outcomes:
    • Use third-party programs like Hootsuite to better manage the messages being posted in your Twitterstream.
    • Use Twitter to reach out and build stronger relationships with colleagues, session participants, readers, parents, students, and peers.
  • Checking In Visit the Google Form embedded at the top of our session wiki and rate your current level of comfort in social media spaces like Twitter and Facebook.
  • Why You Should Tweet As of August 2010, 61% of all adults online interact in social media spaces, spending an average of 6 hours each month keeping up with neighbors and family members. (Madden, 2010; Nielsenwire, 2010).
  • Why You Should Tweet With 145 million users—a number growing by almost 300,000 each day —Twitter had become the 10 th most popular web destination in the world by the fall of 2010. (Compete, 2010; Alexa, 2010).
  • Lowering Barriers “ Now the barriers are low enough that any of us can publicly seek and join with like-minded souls . The means for harnessing our cognitive surplus are the new tools that we have been given, tools that both enable and reward participation.” — Clay Shirky, Cognitive Surplus. Kindle Location 1251-56
  • Getting Started with Twitter “ Where do I even begin ?” educators new to Twitter wonder. “What resources can help me find teachers and principals with the same interests and passions as mine?” — Ferriter, W. M., Ramsden, J. T., & Sheninger, E. C. (2011). Communicating & connecting with social media (p. 36). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Following Twitter Hashtags One of the best ways to connect with potential colleagues is to explore ongoing Twitter conversations organized by hashtags —short identifiers starting with # that users add to the end of specific posts to sort them into easily searchable categories.
  • What Should I Share? Never underestimate the value of your thinking. Whether you are a recognized expert in a particular field or just a regular Joe with a personal interest, the sites you are finding, the articles you are reading, and the ideas you are thinking about may be of value to the people who have chosen to follow you.
  • Third-Party Twitter Tools As you grow more comfortable with Twitter as a tool for communicating and connecting with audiences, you’ll want to explore third-party applications like Hootsuite ( http://www.hootsuite.com ) and Tweetdeck ( http://www.tweetdeck.com ). These tools are far more versatile than the basic Twitter homepage.
  • The Tempered Radical http://snipurl.com/temperedradical Twitter Username: @plugusin Email: [email_address] Bill Ferriter has about a dozen titles—Solution Tree PLC author and associate, ASCD columnist, senior fellow of the Teacher Leaders Network—but he checks them all at the door each morning when he walks into his sixth-grade classroom ! Bill Ferriter
  • Bill Ferriter, Author and Teacher
  • Thank You!