Twitter is a social networking site. Twitter uses hashtags #. Hashtags track trends/what is popular at any given time. For example One Direction are regularly trending on Twitter. Hashtags are a way in which people use social media to communicate ideas. This article explains hashtags really well. http://mashable.com/2009/05/17/twitter-hashtags/#QBwdgltHwgqZ By using Twitter, you are keeping ‘the conversation alive beyond just the 45 minutes a day we have in class.’
Also here is a 60 second video explaining Twitter. But for any Twitter newbies, read this https://support.twitter.com/#
I joined Twitter years ago but I only used it as a personal account. I barely used it. I merely set up for the sake of having an account. I stopped using Twitter two years ago as I thought Twitter had died because all of my friends stopped using it. I was a bit skeptical (Sorry Enda) when my lecturer kept telling us how amazing Twitter is for teachers! He then told my classmates and I to set up Twitter accounts for our Web 2.0 module. After setting up my account, I was shocked! I am only joined Twitter as a teacher a few days ago and already I can see the major educational benefits for me.I am shocked that ‘few teachers are incorporating it into classes despite many recommendations for such use.’I wish I joined years ago! Advice to all student teachers, join Twitter now! Teachers are seriously missing out by not incorporating Twitter, it is a fantastic classroom and CPD tool. It shocks me that over 90 percent of higher education faculty in a recent survey reported awareness of Twitter, but only 12 percent indicated using it for professional purposes (Moran, Seaman, & Tinti-Kane, 2011). Only 1 per cent have used it for classes or assignments, I think teachers are unsure of how to implement Twitter in their teaching. Near the bottom of this blog post, I have wrote a lot of ideas about how to utiise Twitter in the classroom.
The benefits are tremendous! Richard Bryne points out ‘how If you’ve ever had a class in which every student wanted to talk at the same time, Twitter allow students to express themselves without having to wait to be called upon. If you have kids who are reluctant to share out loud, Twitter is a place where their ideas can be heard. How did I survive teaching practice without it? I had never thought of using Twitter for teaching resources before. Little did I know that Twitter is an excellent and important educational tool for teachers! Chris Evans states in his article Twitter for Teaching: Can social media be used to enhance the process of learning? that students are more engaged when we use social media platforms in our classes. He proved this statement by using results from a survey carried out by the University of London.
Twitter is a FUN way to improve literacy rates in the classroom! You can learn so much by using it as an educational tool. ‘When used correctly, these tools encourage students to collaborate and provide opportunities for you to respond to their questions.’ Twitter allows deeper learning to take place. It allows students to improve their communication skills and to develop their critical thinking skills. However, ‘collaboration did not occur when the usage was left to the students.’ This is not surprising! What young person motivates themselves? It is our job to teach them and to motivate the students. Twitter is not supposed to do our job for us, it is merely a tool to deepen learning! Thankfully or teachers would be out of our jobs!!
There are so many brilliant accounts with tons of resources for NQTs and experienced teachers worldwide! It is a brilliant platform for teachers to share tips and resources. I can simply send a Tweet asking for advice or help with resources and someone will write back.
After joining Twitter last week, I participated in my first #edchatie. #Edchatie is an online talk via Twitter between teachers. During it topics are discussed and resources are shared. It was a very positive experience. I never realised how much support there was for teachers. Teachers want to help each other. An an NQT, it is very inspiring to see experienced teachers helping each other and helping NQTs and also how NQTs can help and share resources with fellow NQTs and experienced teachers. Twitter for education is like a virtual family!
‘By working together everyone achieves more’.
Now who do I think is good to follow on Twitter? Bear in mind, I am only on Twitter a few days but these are 10 people that I really recommend. I think all teachers should follow these 10 people!
- Dr Sandra Cullen
Sandra is a lecturer in Mater Dei Institute of Education. She is one of the favourite lecturers in our college. Why? Because she cares about all of her students and she is relevant. Her Twitter is exceptional as she tweets and retweets about very important stuff daily. She is good for RE and Education resources and also general global news. Her username is @DrSandraCullen
- Voice for Teachers
This page is the Holy Grail of teaching pages. Every teacher needs to follow this page. You can send in a question and other teachers will comment with their advice or else you can just read through the newsfeed which is full of questions and you will learn loads! The admins of this page post around 5-10 questions daily. They are very efficient. You can mail them anytime with a question and they will email back straightaway and they are very kind. Their username is @VoiceforTeacher
- Enda Donlon
Enda is the Messi of ICT. He knows everything! He is a cool whizz kid! He has done so much in Mater Dei. For example, he helped developed Metis and he played a key role in developing Logos. He also lectures in Mater Dei and in DCU. He tweets daily about Education and everything ICT related. Follow Enda and he will open your eyes up to how you can make ICT cool in the classroom. It has only been a month and he has taught me so much already! His username is @donenda
He is another cool whizz kid! David tweets good tips about ICT and also resources for the classroom. Watch out for his retweets, they are excellent! He also participates in the #edchatie discussions.
He is the co-founder of #NT2TEU (New Teachers to Twitter EU). Click into the hashtag for brilliant resources. David is a co-organiser of Start Up Weekend Education. He alongside others is going to change education. Help him at @edchatirl
- RE Chatie
I love this page! It is a page that is set up for all Religious Educators in Ireland to engage in discussions, share resources and ideas, make contacts and to connect with teachers globally. Use #rechatie to get amazing tips and resources and to join in on amazing discussions. Thank you to Ailis Travers (@ailis_t) for this page!
He is an Art teacher and an Education Officer with the NCCA. He facilitates all of the #edchatie discussion nights. Follow him to keep up to date with #edchatie. Fboss is the reason I used Twitter in my classroom on Education Day. I will do a blog post on this in a few days. He is very welcoming and encouraging to all new bloggers. His username is @
Siobhan works for the Professional Development Service for Teachers. She tweets and retweets about excellent educational resources. Follow her here @0812Siobhan
He tweets about RE, the writing process, wellbeing & philosophy. Great for English and Religion teachers! He shares his own personal class notes. He also tweets regularly about education and the new Junior Cycle. I have learnt so much from him already. Follow him here @MrAbe101
- RTAI and Archdiocese Dublin
These are two different pages that are excellent for religion resources. They are very efficient and they share excellent resources daily. I have used many of these resources over the years on my teaching practices. The RTAI is the Religion Teachers Association of Ireland. Every religion teacher should join this association. You can join here https://www.facebook.com/RTAIreligion
- TED Talks
Ted posts fantastic videos about education. I have used many of these video clips in my classroom. They are great resources. There are video clips about how to be the best teacher you can be and also on great topics for the classroom. You need to follow Ted and build up some videos clips for your resource bank! Follow here @TEDTalks
Here are some articles about how to use Twitter in the classroom.
50 ways to use Twitter in the classroom
60 inspiring examples of Twitter in the classroom
30 newest ways to use Twitter in the classroom
7 ideas for using Twitter in the classroom
25 top ways teachers use Twitter in the classroom (This is well laid out hence making it very easy to read through and #edchat is mentioned in this article).
This article discusses some educational hashtags.
5 great ways students can use Twitter for research. (This article has some really good ideas that I will definitely use in my classroom)
The teachers guide to Twitter
9 reasons to Twitter in school
Using Twitter to promote academic literacy
Using Twitter in the classroom.
Why should we use Twitter in the classroom.
4 great Twitter applications for teachers.
10 ways teachers can use Twitter for Professional Development.
The Twitter experiment.
‘Getting with the times has never been more easy’.
Langhorst, Eric. Educational Leadership. Feb2011, Vol. 68 Issue 5, p. 55.
Bryne, Richard. School Library Journal. Dec2010, Vol. 56 Issue 12, p. 15.
Evans, Chris, ‘Twitter for Teaching: Can Social Media be used to Enhance the Process of Learning?’, British Journal of Educational Technology, 45 (2014), p. 901.
Lin, Meng-Fen; Hoffman, Ellen; Borengasser, Claire. TechTrends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning. Feb2013, Vol. 57 Issue 2, p39-45.