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					Tweet Tweet: Why Educators Should Twitter

      A tweet used to be something that came out of a bird’s mouth, not an educators fingers, but alas the times have changed and
connecting people just isn’t the same. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have become immensely popular with people of
all ages and types from everywhere across the world. And while many use Twitter to rant and rave, or explain every second of their lives
to the Internet millions, there is also potential for constructive collaboration on an easy accessible site like Twitter. However having your
own Twitter, and even understanding what that means, is the first confusing and difficult step to utilizing the resource for most educators.
ECCLA is here to help.


1. What is it? And How do you Tweet?
            Twitter is a website for anyone to create a free online profile (that includes basic information
about yourself for others to see) where they “Tweet”. A “tweet” is a phrase, URL, quote, joke, piece of
advice, news, etc. that anyone can post, to a maximum of 140 characters. Some people tweet about the
traffic to work, their political views, a new restaurant they want to try, or a person they saw wearing a
crazy outfit…other tweets share information with people by posting URLs to interesting websites. Some
companies even let customers know about new products or features by tweeting. The possibilities are
endless, and posting a tweet for your followers (that’s next, don’t worry) to see is as easy as sending a
text (which is one way to post a tweet), or signing into Twitter on your phone or computer and typing
away. In fact, learning what Twitter means is probably harder than tweeting itself is.

2. Who uses it?
    Anyone can use Twitter, but that doesn’t mean you are going to see everyone’s tweets. Once you
have created your Twitter profile, you can “follow” other people on Twitter. By following others, you
will see their tweets when you log into your twitter and hear about what they’ve been interested in
recently. But for our purposes, the most important people tweeting are other educators!

3. Where can I find other educators tweeting?
    There are numerous ways to find wonderful, technology savvy educators like you on Twitter.
Educators on Twitter is a spreadsheet where almost 1,000 educators around the world have added their
information to the database. Twitter 4 Teachers has extensive listings of other educators on twitter
organized by areas of interest (like science teachers or counselors). Once you are following a couple of
educators you find interesting, “Who Should I Follow?” on Twitter will help. (All Twitter aides can be
found through Google).

4. Is there any privacy with a site like Twitter?
    Yes. You can block people from seeing your tweets and twitter profiles easily. Also, you can send
direct private messages to other twitter users that you are following, but only if they are also following
you.

5. What should I tweet?
    Anything! Do you want to know another way to make your students learn long division? Tweet it! A
new book about insects? A better place to get coffee in Los Angeles? Anything and everything (assuming
you keep it appropriate) is something to tweet. And even if you don’t tweet anything, you can create a
profile and follow other interesting people on Twitter…but it’s undeniable that you too will find yourself
tweeting!

6. Why is Twitter important for educators?
    Teaching is a collaborative effort. When teachers work together, share tips, and generally help their
fellow educators, everyone benefits. Twitter is an easy, free, and fast way to connect teachers from
around the world and create an even more informed and prepared set of quality educators.

				
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posted:10/25/2011
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