Twitter 101

Breaking Out of Your Shell

Sign Up and Set Up

Sign up for a Twitter account. If your primary use will be work-related or PL, consider using your SPS email address. It's still okay to Tweet personal items now and then. We'll talk more about Twitter etiquette later.

Other Things to Do at Sign-up:

  • Upload a profile picture
  • Upload a picture for your header
  • Choose your theme color
  • Write a short bio that contains a bit about your interests and expertise, and a little bit of personal info as well
Edit Your Twitter Profile

a short Screencastify tutorial

Don't Ignore Your Settings

When you click on your photo at the top right of the Twitter homepage, you'll be offered the opportunity to view and change your settings. Here are some special settings you'll want to pay attention to:

  • Security and Privacy
  • Email notifications
  • Web notifications
  • Mobile app

Here is a Screencastify video to help.

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Who to Follow and How to Follow

If you Google "best education twitter accounts" you'll find many lists people have compiled based on their own Twitter needs. Educators are, apparently, natural-born Tweeters. You can find plenty to follow for plenty of purposes: teachers tweeting about technology in the classroom; teachers tweeting about PBL; teachers tweeting about reading, writing, classroom management, and more. Using a list like this is a good way to get started. Consider the following compilation: Fifteen Innovative Twitter Accounts Educators Should Follow.

Another thing to be aware of is the "Follow Me on Twitter" button that appears on most websites and blogs. If you frequent a certain site, why not follow them on Twitter as well?

Following those that those you follow follow (say that three times fast!) is another way to expand your network. When you go to someone's Twitter page, click on "Following" to see who they follow. There are likely many possibilities there for you, and you can follow right there by simply hovering over the icon for that account and clicking "Follow". Watch this Screencastify to see how!

Twitter will also recommend people for you to follow based upon your Twitter use. Look for the heading "Who to Follow". Twitter's "Find Friends" functionality will let you search for any of your contacts who are already on Twitter.

Fast Fact: A Tweet is 140 Characters (including spaces)

Let's Tweet, Shall We?

What do you have to contribute? Tweet it. You get 140 characters (including spaces), so you must be succinct. Let's give it a try!

1. Log into your Twitter account.

2. Click on "Tweet" in the upper right-hand corner.

3. In the "Compose a Tweet" window, paste this phrase: #my1stTweet

4. Space once

5. You now have 128 characters left. What will you say?

6. When you're finished, click on "Tweet", then look up to the screen.

A Note: Using #my1stTweet is an example of using a hashtag. It's a way of being able to find all the Tweets on a certain topic. When you're ready to Tweet again, you obviously will not use this hashtag. (For more on hashtag use, see Beyond Basic Twitter.)

How do I find my own Tweets?

You can see your own Tweets as well as a gallery of pictures and videos you've Tweeted by clicking on your own icon at the top right of the Twitter homepage. Here's a short Screencastify to show you how.

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If you select Web Notifications, you will get notices much like those in Facebook. Click on the icon to see if anyone has followed you, liked one of your Tweets, retweeted (RT) you, or sent you a direct message (DM).

Bonus Materials

Make Twitter Prettier

Under settings, if you select Design, you may choose premade themes or upload your own background image!
Alice Keeler's Guide to Getting Started with Twitter

@alicekeeler Tweets some amazing things and often shares Google Docs like this one.

What does it mean?

a guide to Twitter abbreviations

Twitter Etiquette

Here are 10 Essentials of Twitter Etiquette as you get started. The use of Twitter has shifted through the years, so as you explore Twitter Etiquette, be sure you're always referencing up-to-date sources!

Take the Twitter Challenge for Teachers

Visit Eric Langhorst's site and take the 30-day Twitter Challenge for Teachers. This comprehensive tutorial walks you through everything from selecting a user name to more advanced Twitter uses.