Tweet, Tweet, y'all

Ms. B. is Online and talking about Twitter

Using Twitter to share resources and activities.

"Everything new that I have done in my class recently, I got from a Tweet."

Those of you who know me know that TWITTER is the best professional development tool that I have encountered in years. Twitter allows you to have conversations and get resources from like-minded individuals. It allows you to network with others in a way that transcends the walls of our schools and neighborhoods.

It allows for 24/7 participation in 140 characters or less. That means quick sound bites that you can take and use. Honestly, ALL of the new things that I have used in class for the last 2 years have come from a Tweet from my Twitter PLN.

Everyday I access my Tweetdeck and scroll through the nuggets of information available. I often find links to articles that interest me, resources that help me be a more efficient educator or activities that will engage and interest my students.

    1. Examine Twitter
      o Look at what Twitter is and what microblogging is all about.
        o Explore how Twitter can be used to communicate in a quick, efficient manner.
          2. Create a Twitter Account and Profile
            o Teaches how to open a Twitter account and choose a username and password.
              o Shows how to change settings and write a profile.
                o Explains how to make an account private or public.
                  3. Post a Twitter Update
                    o Show how to write tweets.
                      o Explains using hash marks to create searchable terms.
                        4. Follow Users and Manage Followers
                          o Discuss how to find people to follow.
                            o Show how to retweet.
                              5. Customize Your Twitter Profile
                                o Discuss how to customize your Twitter profile.
                                  o Teach how to add a profile picture and background theme to a Twitter page.

                                    What is a tweet, anyway?

                                    1. Profile picture: be sure to add a picture to will allow your followers to connect with you. It does not have to be a picture of you, this is a wordle that I use for an avatar.

                                    2. Micro-blog message: Twitter allows you to post a message using 140 characters or less.

                                    3. Reply button: click button to reply to the sender.

                                    4. Delete button: click the trashcan if you have an uh-oh/whoops moment.

                                    5. Favorite button: thick this button to 'favorite' a tweet. It also displays the number of times the tweet has been favorited.

                                    6. Time stamp: time and date the tweet was posted.

                                    7. Reply box: if replying to the tweet, put your message in this box.

                                    8, Real name: your "real name." I use Valerie Burton for my PLN and Ms. Burton for my students.

                                    9. Twitter psuedonym: Twitter name, think carefully about how you want to represent yourself. You can change it, but try not to do this often because you don't want to confuse followers.

                                    10. Twitter mentions: your username preceded by the @ symbol in a Tweet is called it a “mention” and it means that someone is talking about/or to you.

                                    11. Link: resource link included in the Tweet.

                                    12. Hashtag: The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet

                                    13. Picture: pictures can be uploaded into tweets.

                                    14. More button: the more button allows you to send tweet as an email or get the embed code so that you can embed it onto your blog or webpage.

                                    Let's begin by creating an account or revisiting an existing account

                                    If you are new to the Twittersphere follow these directions and you will find the walls of your small world tumbling down as you begin to share with and learn from other educators from around the world.

                                    1. Set up your account. Go to
                                    2. Choose your username and an avatar carefully

                                    • Choose a username that makes it easier for others to relate to you as a real person and conveys the right impression of who you are. I have played with my Ms. B. is Online identity so my username is that MsBisOnline.
                                    • But don’t stress too much — your username can be changed anytime without affecting your twitter account (Settings > Account)

                                    3. Get Started—Join! Enter username, password, and email address. Click on the I accept. Create my account button.
                                    4. Twitter will give you a chance to see if some of your friends are on Twitter by checking your online address book. However, your contacts will have to be in one of the supported services: GMail, Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, or MSN.
                                    5. Tweak your settings. Make sure you are on your Twitter home page: Click on the Settings link. Now enter your full name in the “Name” field. Make sure the “Time Zone” field is set correctly. Enter your location. Do not check “Protect my updates” unless you want to have to approve who is be able to get your updates. If you check this, it will seriously limit the fun. You want people to see what you are saying.

                                    • Complete your bio and add your blog or website URL (if applicable) — people use this information to decide whether they follow you (Settings > Profile).
                                    • Upload your twitter avatar — people are less likely follow those using the default avatar (Settings > Profile)

                                    6. You need to decide whether or not to set up your phone.. By doing so, you can receive updates from those you are following (or just some of them) as well as send your own updates. It’s all done through text messaging (e.g., SMS).

                                    However, be forewarned: While Twitter doesn’t charge anything for this service, your phone carrier might. Most of the current phones have Twitter applications so this step is really unnecessary.
                                    7. Keep track of Tweets and ReTweets using one of the many resources available.

                                    Follow colleagues, family or friends.

                                    If you haven’t done so already, add your family and friends by clicking in the “Search” field at the top of your home page. You can type in a username or first and last name. When you do, you will get a list of the Tweeters who match your search criteria. You can also do a more advance search (e.g., searching by location) on the Twitter search page.

                                    • Begin to follow people of interest. Click here for lists arranged by discipline: EdTech, Math, Science, English, Social Studies, Music and . Explore some of the lists and follow a few. Just a few: it is easy to get overwhelmed.

                                    Tweeters also use hashtags, #, to help organize tweets by topics. Some of the most popular hashtags are:

                                    #edchat: Tweeters will use the #edchat hashtag to indicate an important issue that they want to call to the attention of educators. It is also used to promote weekly Twitter #edchat conversation.

                                    #ntchat: for new teachers. Their weekly conversations are Wednesdays.

                                    #engchat: for English teachers. Their weekly conversations are Mondays.

                                    #mathchat: for Math teachers. Here is a link for Math chat resources.

                                    #sschat: for Social Studies teachers. Their weekly conversations are Mondays.

                                    #scichat: for science teachers. Here is a link for Science chat resources

                                    #spedchat: for Special Education teachers. Their weekly conversations are Tuesdays.

                                    #musedchat: for Music teachers. Their weekly conversations are Mondays.

                                    #comments4kids: directs people willing to support student bloggers to student blogs

                                    #edreform and #edpolicy: for teachers, administrators and others who want education policy updates and resources

                                    Homework Expansion

                                    Create a daily or weekly Twitter to discuss a homework topic. Post a weekly question about something being discussed in class and ask everyone to give an opinion. Both parents and students could follow this Twitter. Encourage students (if old enough to participate) to ask questions in tweet form. Answer them in tweets to build dialog. Parents can also ask or answer questions about the class topic.

                                    Seek and Find

                                    Explain to your students how using a hash mark creates a searchable term. Come up with a few select search terms. Use terms that are currently in the news or are related to your curriculum. Have students search Twitter to see what people are saying about these topics. Discuss the tweets they found. Is the information accurate? Are people trending one way or another on a topic?

                                    Design a weekly Twitter to talk about your class.

                                    Use this to generate discussion about what's going on and to produce an online diary of class events. Encourage both parents and students to sign up to follow. Ask for parent volunteers to comment and Twitter back to the group. Use this to build a community exchange about what's going on in your classroom. Allow students (if they are old enough) to be active participants.

                                    Classic Literature Tweets

                                    Have students take classic stories and rewrite them as tweets. Start by showing them an example like Romeo and Juliet in 140 characters. This should be done as a single tweet as if they were telling a friend the story. Students can select their favorite novels, write them in tweet form, and then share them with the class. Other students can try to guess what the original story was.

                                    Tips from Valerie R. Burton, MEd

                                    I am an English Teacher from New Orleans and I tweet, blog and create wikipages to connect myself and my students with the world outside.