Richard Barnes @Downeloadgeog is a keen tweeter (or tweacher) having started tweeting back in April 2012 and now with 3,638 tweets to his name at the time of writing, he’s something of a pro. Richard talked us through how he makes use of twitter to search for particular topics and then uses the #hashtag to collate his ideas on various points of interest. He suggested a few good tweeters to follow including @TeacherToolkit and handed out some guides on why teachers should give twitter a go , The 10 Stages of Twitter and Twitter for Teachers: A Guide for Beginners
These guides are excellent – do have a look. It really is easy to get going. Here are some useful steps to take:
1. Make sure you write something in your profile – a lot of people will not follow you if you have no information about yourself. This is especially true if you have protected your tweets. Your profile should reflect what you might eventually tweet about.
2. Choose a few good people to follow. Here are some good ones to get you started:
These are just suggestions but the list is by no means exhaustive. They may help lead to more useful or pertinent twitter accounts for you and your department. If you can’t find exactly what you are looking for you can simply try using the hashtag in the search box of twitter. For example #mathsteaching, #mfltwitterati, #philosophy and so on.
3. Start slowly. Read what others are up to. It won’t take you long to find something that interests you that you will want to retweet (RT)
4. Once you have tried a RT have a go at a MT (modified tweet) and add your own thoughts.
5. “Favourite” some good tweets and articles to keep and view later and to share with your pupils and followers.
6. Reply to people. It’s all about interaction, sharing and collaborating.
7. Finally tweet your own thoughts about something that links to your subject or simply that interests you. Or find your own article to tweet.
Eventually, once you have got the hang of it you could ask your pupils to follow you and you could even try getting them to tweet you in 140 characters (the limit of a tweet) the most important thing they learnt in your lesson. That would be a good challenge.
There are a number of departmental accounts now that you could have a look at to see how other departments are using twitter:
Do have a go at twitter; it’s amazing how helpful it can be. There are a huge number of helpful mentors out there willing to provide potential answers or useful links.
Looking forward to tweeting with you! You will find me on @basnettj