Today's Ed Tech Tuesday feature is a Twitter review. I'll be the first to admit that at first I didn't really get Twitter. Once you really start using Twitter, however, you will see that it's a really great tool for educators.
The beauty of Twitter is that you are able to quickly connect with a variety of people who have similar interests. Just sign up for an account and start tweeting! Twitter is similar to Facebook, in that your followers see your tweets (like your friends see your status updates on Facebook). The difference is that you can include hashtags on Twitter. A hashtag is used to categorize a tweet. For instance, I often categorize my tweets as #edtech or #tlchat (stands for teacher-librarian chat). That makes it possible for anyone searching for those categories to see and respond to my tweet, whether they are my follower or not.
Of course, the opposite is true as well. Do a search for #edtech or #tlchat and you'll find tons of useful information about those topics, even from people you're not following. Using hashtags is a good way to find new people to follow as well. People often use hashtags to post news links, requests for information, and questions. Need a book recommendation for a particular student? How about some advice on how to organize your library's collection? You can get almost instant feedback on Twitter! To respond to someone on Twitter, just type in their username (like @elem_librarian) and that person will see your message in their feed. Even easier - hit reply under a tweet you want to respond to and Twitter will include their name for you. The catch with Twitter is that all tweets have to be 140 characters or less.
Twitter has a good FAQ page, but I think the best way to figure Twitter out is to give it a try. Check out this video called Teachers Need Twitter, created by Amber Henrey. I think it sums up what I'm trying to say.
Here are a few other Twitter links you may find helpful:
The Ultimate Twitter Guidebook for Teachers
How are you using Twitter? Tell us in the comments! Also, don't forget to follow me, @elem_librarian to get my latest updates.