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R U Ready 4Twitter?

I am still amazed at the amount of educators, who believe that Twitter holds NO VALUE for their professional learning. Many hold on to the belief that Twitter is a waste of time, used to follow celebrities, listen to gossip and bad hair day complaints.

If YOU were able to get past that initial Twitter reputation, diving into the Twittersphere can be scary, OVERWHELMING and participating in this global conversation platform does not necessarily come naturally to everybody.

Keeping in mind that tweeting and becoming part of a learning network is a PROCESS , there are a few steps  you can take to conquer your fears, dive in and swim with the best of them :)

As with anything, there are a few disclaimers, before you dive in.

  • Twitter is NOT easy.
    It does take time and effort to build a network that you can trust, learn from and count on. You will not wake up the next morning and have 5000 followers.
  • Give and demand QUALITY
    If you are not willing to invest the time to learn about quality contributions, Twitter will become what you feared most: a waste of time.
  • There is an etiquette specific to Twitter
    When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Twitter is a GLOBAL country!  People from all over the world come together to discuss, learn with and from each other, share and also disagree. Pay attention to best practices, the grammar of a Tweet, politeness,  acknowledgements, being a citizen, red flags or specific “no-no”s in your network.
  • There are also bad guys
    Yes, Twitterlandia has them too. There are the ones, who will spam you, hack into your account, steal you passwords, send out nasty notes to all your followers, use foul language, are offensive, rude or  aggressive.

With all this being said, learning how to stay safe, navigating the “stormy waters” and steering clear of potential problems… becoming part of Twitter is MORE THAN WORTH IT!

I created the following RU Ready4Twitter Checklist to get you started in becoming a citizen of  Twitterlandia:

You can also download the Checklist as a pdf file.

The slide deck below is from a Twitter workshop, I recently facilitated for the LEAD21 Academy at the CMI2012 conference in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. Chic Foote says:

    This post is one I would highly recommend. Silvia your clear and purposeful guidelines have been the key element to my ever increasing use of twitter as a means to become a member of a globally connected learning community. Your support and guidance have ensured purposeful connectivity for me. One of your first recommendations was “filter” and this has stayed with me to the point where my network is one that is purposeful and informative rather than a random collection of ever increasing connections that I have to sift through……this very quickly becomes overwhelming! Filtering and making choices about those I chose to follow has provided me with a rich informative professional network on line. The other piece of advice I have for those trying to figure out how to make Twitter a purposeful part of their life is to make it a daily routine to check posts. For me it is often hard to read or respond in the moment. But, once I decided that there were points in my day where I could read and follow links on Twitter posts this has become one of the richest most informative professional learning opportunities. This is one of the greatest sources of the latest most up to date reading, resources and learning conversations within my global network.

  2. I love this checklist! Thank you so much for all you do. I’m still honing my Twitter skills and developing my pln. This will be great to share with others!

  3. Valerie McLeod says:

    This is another highly informative, clear, and relevant post! Sadly, too many professionals, in any arena, write Twitter off and miss out on the valuable and rewarding connections that are made through developing an online PLN.

    Silvia, you introduced me to Tweetdeck at Latsconf12 earlier this year. For me, Tweetdeck is an invaluable tool. I use it to manage my two Twitter accounts (one professional, one personal) and various hashtags I follow. As the Olympics are on, I’ve found it preferable to follow @nzolympics in a column rather than have them clog up my home feed.

    I began being an active Twitter user in Dec 2011. Since then, among the many fantastic things I’ve discovered is The Daily 5 and CAFE reading routines and strategies. I am now looking at implementing them in my class. I’m really excited about this and wouldn’t have known about them if it weren’t for Twitter. As mentioned in the slide share above, we each have a responsibility to “give more than we get”. This can be through sharing links and retweeting others.

    Now, when I choose to follow people, I first look at who follows them that I follow and I look at their tweets; asking myself the question are they relevant to my professional learning. I also know I cannot have a finger in a gizillion pies – I do not need to follow 1000 people in a year. Yes, there are ‘bad guys’ but they are easily identified and then just as easily be blocked and reported as spam.

    If we want our classes to be part of an online global learning community, we as teachers need to be part of our own online global PLN. I see Twitter as being a key tool in bringing this about.

  4. [...] hands-on and learn new technology. I also noticed a lot of stories and YouTube videos about using Twitter. I personally do not have a Twitter account but after watching some of the videos I am [...]

  5. [...] Week 2: Langwitches Blog Posted on September 13, 2012 by Chantay Caron When I first got to the Langwitches Blog I was super confused about how to work the site. I saw just like little ads and stuff but when I clicked on them nothing happened, I had to play around a little bit, but I figured it out. When I clicked on the part that said Langwitches Blog it took me to all the blogs that they have done. When looking at the blogs, some of them caught my eye. I really liked the add that said “R U Ready 4Twitter?“. [...]

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