Twitter, when used well, is one of the best tools at the disposal of teachers worldwide. I’ve been an avid use of Twitter for some time now, and I cannot imagine doing without it. Not only is it my primary source for breaking news, sports results and social updates from friends, but it is by far the best CPD tool I’ve found.
In some circles, Twitter gets a bit of a hard time. Some people seem to think that all it’s good for is to see what Kim Kardashian had for breakfast! But put a bit of time into curating your feed and you’ll find that it offers the modern educator so many opportunities for learning.
If you’re just getting into Twitter for the first time, it can be quite daunting to say the least. The hashtags (#), mentions (@), retweets and quotes can be a bit much to keep up with. But stick with it, interact with people and it will pay off. Also, if you heed the following two tips, I guarantee you’ll soon see Twitter for the wonderful CPD platform it can be.
1. Use Lists
Lists are a somewhat underused feature of Twitter. Whether you follow someone or not, you can add them to a list. This is particularly useful for anyone who follows a lot of people. I am currently following 1276 people. That’s quite a lot to keep up with. So, to make it easier, I add those people to lists. That way, I can browse a particular list rather than trying to keep up with my entire timeline, where good tweets get quickly buried by the latest updates. I have lists set up for education, science & technology, news and more.
2. Take part in Twitter chats
Twitter chats are easily the best way to connect with other educators, like-minded or otherwise. The premise is simple: go online at a certain time, search for a certain hashtag, and interact! For example, #dojochatEU takes place every Wednesday evening from 20:30 to 21:30 GMT. One Twitter user leads the chat each week and will tweet out questions using the #dojochatEU hashtag. Your job is to answer the questions and interact with other users! In doing so you’ll pick up plenty of tips, ideas and advice and you’ll build new connections every week.
So yes, I’m a Twitter fan. I encourage you to at least try it out. If you do, you’ll find me at @NL_84! Tweet you soon!