Why Teachers Are Using Twitter: Quick and Free Professional Development

I was hesitant to join Twitter at first. Now I wish I would have joined sooner. Teachers from all around the world are using Twitter to connect, share ideas, and find resources for their students. It is a professional development platform that is seriously fun to use. Do you want to feel supported by an online educational community? If you haven’t made a Twitter, you need to see what you are missing out on. What do you have to lose?

Why should you use Twitter?

There are so many benefits to using Twitter. I have received the BEST professional development from connecting with other educators. The best part? I can stop whenever I want and it is completely free. I have learned more about instructional strategies, differentiation classroom activities, and student engagement tools all because of Twitter.

First Steps for First Time Users

Step 1: First, create your own Twitter account. Follow the directions below!

Step 2: Explore all of the ways to create, share, and find information. Here is a quick guide for the buttons on the left side panel when you log in to Twitter.

Home: If you click here you will go to recent tweets from people that you follow.
Explore: Click this button to search for Twitter accounts that you want to follow, hashtags that will help you connect with educators around the world, and Twitter chats.
Notifications: Click here to see replies, likes, and retweets of your Tweets.
Messages: Check here for direct private messages from other Twitter accounts.
Bookmarks: Add Tweets to the Bookmarks tab if you want to quickly return to them.
Lists: This button allows you to create groups.
Profile: This will take you to your profile.
Tweet: This is how you can start tweeting! In 280 characters or less, type a thought, idea, or resource in your tweet. Add a hashtag at the end so other educators can see your tweet if they don’t follow you!

Step 3: Follow other educators that share resources, ideas, and ultimately have a purpose of helping students learn. Erika Garcia and Ms. Jachymiak have some advice for finding authentic educators to connect with on Twitter.

Having trouble finding teachers? I asked teachers on Twitter who they recommended. I was. so shocked by the response. I received hundreds of recommendations from teachers. Here are a few:
@AllieBeldin, @GoogleForEdu, @MicrosoftEDU, @Flipgrid, @CCBOEInTech, @SlidesManiaSM, @jeffcarn, @CarrollNic, @BentonWCunning, @maryelenderwest, @jmattmiller, @twhite1489, @JakeMillerTech, @tonyvincent, @burgessdave, @KidsDeserveIt, @DueyBui, @Tolerance_org, @TCRWP, @edutopia, @EdReimagined, @TED_ED, @NicholasFerroni, @Rdene915, @GregJWolcott, @lportnoy, @etherapyexperts, @mr_hayes, @FriendsinFourth, @SurthrivEDU, @MrCoachK15, @kathrina_mendez, @janellesafford, @TxTechChick, @Mer_Townsend, @snej80, @sdtitmas, @mochamomma, @mrsjjee, @ShanaVWhite, @MrsHallScholars, @TeachMrReed, @JaniceWyattRoss, @debreese, @TchKimPossible, @KarlyMoura, @ClaudioZavalaJr, @DebZemanLMS, @MrMerrillsClass, @SEANJFAHEY, @Savvy_Educator, @kerszi, @jlo731, @SalleeClark, @TCEA, @apsitnatasha, @techamys, @EduCroupe, @BlkTeachCollab, @mexusmx, @ChouinardJahant, @meagan_e_kelly, @StantonAlana, @kruevans, @fablefy, @MsBteacherlady, @MonteSyrie, @plugusin, @R_CILR, @MsEFord, @laurabeess, @Meghan_Lawson, @teacherknikki, @dphelps1113, @buddyxo.
More recommendations can be found on this Twitter post feed: Teacher Recommendations

Step 3: Try connecting with other educators by commenting on their Tweets. Ask questions, provide feedback, and share resources to help others.

Step 4: Consider joining an online Twitter chat! A Twitter chat is an online conversation that connects educators from all around the world at the same time. There are a series of questions that a moderator asks to the group. Tweet the answer and include the hashtag of the Twitter chat for other educators to see and respond to your answer. Twitter chats are great ways to connect with other educators. There are so many Twitter chats out there. Do not be overwhelmed! Just start with one. Here is an ongoing list of Twitter chats that you can check out! Times provided are in EST.

Monday Twitter Chats
7:00 PM #rethink_learning
7:30 PM #formativechat
8:00 PM #EdTechChat
9:00 PM #TLAP

Tuesday Twitter Chats
7:00 PM #EdChat
8:00 PM #ccboeintech
9:00 PM #pblchat

Wednesday Twitter Chats
7:00 PM #digcit
9:00 PM #KidsDeserveIt
9:30 PM #EduDuctTape

Thursday Twitter Chats
7:00 PM #edchat
9:00 PM #waledchat

Friday Twitter Chats
5:00 PM #EngageChat

Saturday Twitter Chats
7:30 AM #satchat

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use a hashtag in my Tweet?

There are educators around the world that do not follow your page. However, these educators are likely to search for hashtags on Twitter. If you include a hashtag in your tweet that is searched by another educator, they can find your Tweet and start a discussion. Here are some hashtags that you could include in your Twitter posts: #iteachmath #iteachscience #iteachELA #iteachsocialstudies #edtech #middleschool #highschool #edchat

What is retweeting?

If you find something on Twitter that you agree with or a resource that you want to share on your personal Twitter page, you can go to the tweet and click on the “retweet” button. This button will SHARE the tweet onto your personal Twitter page.

Do you have any questions about using Twitter? Comment below! I am happy to help you get started.

@AllieBeldin

Additional resources for first timer users:
https://ditchthattextbook.com/a-beginners-guide-to-twitter-for-educators/

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