Twitter is a way of communicating with other educators all around the world. I first heard of twitter by reading another teacher’s blog and when I saw that it was a way of collaborating with others, I got excited. It is always a little scary to try something new but it wasn’t as hard as I imagined. Remember when you were little and the thing you feared was always bigger in your mind than it actually is? That is the way I feel about Twitter. It is kind of like instant messaging but when I use AIM, I have to know the person’s screen name to communicate with them. This is not true in Twitter.
First I learned about Terraminds: Twitter Search where I typed in education and hit search. That shows me conversations of people that talked about education. I went back to Twitter and added their user name after the address for Twitter (mine is www.twitter.com/loonyhiker) I then clicked on their name and chose to “follow” them. After I had a bunch of people to follow, I clicked back to home and I could follow the conversations of these people.
This is where I was introduced to wonderful links and even conferences that I could attend online for free. Those were really educational for me because I didn’t realize all this stuff is out there that I could use in the classroom. It doesn’t matter what level you teach on because you just apply the technology to your level. Plus you communicate with other teachers that teach on your level and can bounce ideas off of each other. I enjoy meeting educators from all around the world and I’m learning a lot of our daily frustrations are the same where ever you live.
Here are great ways to use Twitter in the Classroom: Twitter for Academia
Here is another professor’s tips for using Twitter in the Classroom
I also learned of projects that were open for collaboration between classes like the one done between a class in Scotland and a class in Georgia. It is amazing the new ideas and energy that abounds in Twitter. If I ever hit a roadblock, I just tell everyone in Twitter, and usually lots of people have great ideas on how to overcome the problem. It is almost like an online support system. Maybe this is one way to get support if you feel you don’t have any in your school.
Even if you decide not to use Twitter in the classroom, it is a valuable tool for teachers to use. This is one way to make your experience in the classroom more successful!