Twitter, if used correctly, can enhance the way children learn in the 21st century. But how can teachers take advantage of this micro-blogging platform, and what do you have to do to get the most out of your Twitter experience?
Connect with other educators
Twitter can be used to connect with teachers around the world; letting you collaborate on teaching methods, lessons, etc.
To do this, as well as following people you already know, search for leading educators you want to connect with.
If you don’t yet know who you want to engage with, the easiest way to find users with similar interests is to type a keyword or #hashtag in the search box (e.g. #collaborativelearning) to see who is talking about this topic. In addition, when people you follow Retweet (RT) interesting content, you should also follow the creators of that content.
To help you get started, here are some leading educators that regularly share interesting and informative content on Twitter:
1. @ICTmagic (Martin Burrett) Followers: 27.8K
Primary Teacher.EdTech resource sharer. Editor of #UKEdChat’s @UKEDmag Magazine & @UKEdResources. Likes China.
2. @ICTEvangelist (Mark Anderson) Followers: 36.4K
Edtech, creativity, leadership. Consultant, blogger, speaker, and author. ITL associate. ADE GCi MCE, @Pedagoo. Former AHT, HoF, HoD, Teacher & Governor
3. @DeputyMitchell (David Mitchell) Followers: 27K
Former Headteacher delivering high quality (in class) training for teachers with IMPACT on data. New tech/Old tech/No tech! Speaker & @QuadBlogging founder
4. @TeacherToolkit (Te@cher Toolkit) Followers: 135K
Most Followed Teacher on Twitter and Influential Blog on Education in UK; Top-100 #EdTech Brands in Education Worldwide; Most Influential People in Britain 2015
5. @Dannynic (Danny Nicholson) Followers: 11.2K
Educator, Science & ICT Consultant, SCITT PGCE Science lecturer, author and interactive whiteboard trainer. Craft Beer seller. Skeptic, gamer and geek
6. @EdTechNeil (Neil Jarrett) Followers: 3.6K
Y6 teacher & maths coordinator at an international school in Bangkok. Interested in ideas & #edtech to support student’s learning. Google Certified Educator.
7. @lookwhatjendid (Jen Mackay) Followers: 533
Education Support Officer – Digital Learning, Dundee City Council. Technologies advocate for EYs & Primaries. Views are ALL mine. Happy go lucky scamp!
Become a thought-leader
To earn credibility and respect on Twitter, you have to do more than say a quick hello to new followers. Instead, you must be active, engaging and responsive. To help you to do this, consider creating content such as blogs and media rich posts to share with your followers. However, don’t overdo it; posting 20 quality updates over the course of a week is better than adding 20 posts all at once and cluttering up your followers’ feeds.
Engage with others
Take the time to build engagement by participating in conversations relevant to education. This approach will help you to grow your follower base and gain greater recognition in your field. Importantly, you should respond to any conversations directed at you and show a willingness to engage.
Become a valuable resource
Once you’ve identified who to follow on Twitter, RT their news, blogs and success stories; this will help to position you as a valuable sharer of information, not just a self-promoter. Keep up-to-date with current trends and conversations.
Access relevant information
Twitter is a breaking news source and an information repository, with many teachers using the platform to engage in regular conversations around key educational topics such as STEM, benchmarking and government policy.
It can also be used as a valuable lesson resource; helping teachers to stay updated with the latest news and developments. For example, science teachers can use Twitter to interact with organisations such as NASA, and pupils can tweet their questions and observations, helping to add a new level of personalisation and engagement to lessons.
Every month, over 300 million people use Twitter to connect and share information. When it comes to education, Twitter has become an affinity space where educators can openly discuss current issues, and share and learn from each other’s expertise.
Helping teachers to meet their personal and professional goals, if you’re not already using Twitter you could be missing out. For more tips and tricks, why not follow us: @PrometheanUKI