Are you on Twitter? I finally jumped on board this year and all I can say is, "Whoa!" I have learned SO MUCH from other teachers that I follow. Also, I'm not at the NCTM Conference this year (boo), but I feel like I am because I'm following all the #NCTMBoston tweets!
If you are thinking about starting a Twitter account, here are a few suggestions:
Fill out your profile with a little information about who you are, what you teach, and what you are interested in. You can also include a link to your blog or website. It helps when people want to follow you, they will look at your profile to see what you are about!
2. Think about your Twitter handle
Mine is, @mrsforest, and that isn't that exciting. But, if you are going to use this account for professional purposes, you might want to stick with something professional sounding.
3. Follow your colleagues
Search for teachers you know and follow them!
4. Follow people that aren't your colleagues
It is important to get outside you own district's little bubble and hear what others are doing in education.
5. Follow some people that other's follow
If you like someone's blog or teaching philosophy, check out who they are following and follow them too.
6. Tweet often, but not too often
People want to hear from you and see that you are active on Twitter, so be sure to tweet often enough. On the other hand, you don't want to be annoying and clog your followers feeds with too many tweets.
7. Use hashtags
It's not just something the kids do these days! Hashtags are a great way to organize tweets and to search by topic. Plus if you use hashtags, people searching for that hashtag will be more likely to see your tweets. Some hashtags I use often are #mathchat #msmathchat #TTOG (Teachers throwing out grades) #sblchat (standards based learning chat)
8. Favorite and retweet
When someone posts something you like, favorite it or even retweet it. Twitter is a social network, so be social!
9. Participate in a twitter chat
Most chats work like this:
-moderator sends out a list of questions in the format Q1, Q2, Q3... with the different questions.
-a time period is set for the chat (sometimes an hour, sometimes over a week)
-during that time period you reply to the questions using the format A1, A2, A3... and include the hashtag for that chat
-you can see the chat going on by searching for that hashtag. Be sure to favorite and retweet!
10. Grow your Professional Learning Network (PLN)
Use Twitter to help you find educators you want to follow. But don't stop at Twitter... check out those people's blogs, too, and keep the learning going!
Follow me on Twitter! @mrsforest