I’ve been using Twitter for several years as @slagoski23 and I have more recently started tweeting for KCELT @KCELTkirkwood (somebody else already had the @kcelt handle). As a student, researcher, and teacher, I have found Twitter to be extraordinarily helpful for information, inspiration, and communication. And once I started getting the hang of interacting on Twitter, the information and inspiration was magnified exponentially. That said, I’m still a novice at it when I compare myself to other instructional designers, edubloggers, and edtech aficionados on Twitter.
This blog post will written for teachers who have an interest in professional development, which means the teacher sometimes needs to take the viewpoint of a researcher; however he or she is always a teacher first, focusing on improving the teaching and learning experience in the classroom.
Below is a video I made comparing my professional Twitter feed with KCELT’s Twitter feed. The major difference between these two feeds is that my professional feed includes my research interests (intercultural communication & English language teacher), my personal interests (music, comedy), and major news outlets (New York Times, Washington Post). KCELT’s feed only include individuals or groups who mostly tweet about teaching and learning or education technology. Another difference is that my Twitter account has been active for a few years whereas KCELT’s has only been active for a few weeks. This video shows you how I can get information from both Twitter feeds.
The next video shows how my professional Twitter feed inspires me. I get more inspired from my professional account because I’m more familiar with it and it’s tailored just for me, whereas KCELT’s Twitter feed represents our department.
The next video shows how to connect with people you follow or who follow you.
- Favoriting – I like it.
- Retweeting – I like it and want to share it with my followers.
- Replying – I want the person who wrote this to know how I reacted to his or her Tweet.
- Visiting the @Connect tab at the top of the screen
- Initiating a conversation with a follower or people you follow
There is another and more popular way to connect with people, and that is through the hashtag. Edudemic has just recently posted an article about education professionals using hashtags at http://www.edudemic.com/twitter-hashtags-for-professional-developement/. Additionally, Edudemic has provided a list of hashtags for educators at http://www.edudemic.com/twitter-hashtags-now/, which is over a year old now, so some hashtags have fell out of use.
I recently went through all of these hashtags and made a much shorter list of them in order of relevance to KCELT, and I’d like to provide it here:
- #profdev – Professional Development
- #tichat – Education Technology chat for tech-savvy educators (Thursdays at 7pm)
- #edtech – Education Technology (full of promos)
- #Slide2Learn – iPad, iPhone, and iPod in education (http://slidetolearn.ning.com/)
- #flipchat or #flipclass – Flipped Classrooms
- #edapp – Educational Apps
- #elearn or #elearning
- #mlearn or #mlearning
- #lrnchat – Learning through Social Media (http://lrnchat.wordpress.com/about/)
- #digped – Digital Pedagogy (http://www.hybridpedagogy.com/Journal/files/category-0023digped.html)
- #globalclassroom – Global Collaboration, Connections, Sharing (http://theglobalclassroomchats.wikispaces.com/)
- #pblchat or #pblworld – Project Based Learning (http://pblworld.org/)
- #iste – International Society for Technology in Education (https://www.iste.org/home)
- #iTDi – International Teacher Development Institute (http://itdi.pro/itdihome/index.php)
- #pln – Personal Learning Network
- #openedu – Open Education
- #spnchat – Successful Practices in Education and Education Reform (Tuesdays)
- #GeniusHour – Student-driven “genius” self-directed learning (first Wednesday of the month @ 8pm)
- #ocw – Open Courseware
- #gbl – Game-Based Learning
In this video, I demonstrate how to read through and interact in hashtag conversations, many of which are asynchronous.
If this post was convincing enough for you to try out Twitter, then I first recommend you to visit The Teacher’s Guide to Twitter by Edudemic. If you want to use Twitter professionally, I suggest that you use a Twitter handle that people can recognize and find you (so use your real name or something close to it). You may be prompted to follow some people before you begin. It’s wise to follow at least 10 people to see how your Twitter feed works. I made a short list of who to follow at Kirkwood Community College:
- @KirkwoodCC – Kirkwood Community College
- @KCELTkirkwood – KCELT
- @KirkwoodCCNews – Kirkwood’s news feed
- @communiqueksp – Commuinque, the students’ newspaper
- @EagleTechKCC – EagleTech
- @slagoski23 – me
- @mooreatkirkwood – Theresa Moore, KCELT
- @wilsonarica – Wilson Rojas, KCELT
- @fredandcharlie – Alan Peterka, Distance Learning
- @nicolibrarian – Nicole Forsythe, Library Services
For your professional account, I would disregard the first recommendations Twitter sends you. They are mostly celebrities who tweet a lot. Once you start following more and more people, Twitter will get a better sense of you and the Twitter community you want. That’s when Twitter will start recommending like-minded people to you.
If you have no idea of who to follow outside of Kirkwood, I recommend following other educators and institutions that you know in the area. Also, follow
- Leaders in your field
- Professional organizations that support your field
- News organizations or publications that inform your field
- Your followers
- Followers of those you follow
- Followers of your followers
Finally, if you find anything that you believe relates to KCELT, please use our hashtag #KCELT, which we are trying to claim over @kcelt, who hasn’t used so much recently (the last time I checked).
Twitter in the Classroom
That’s not really the purpose of this posting, but I’d like to share two videos for inspiration: