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What is?

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service for friends, family, and co-workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?

Twitter Vocabulary:

Tweet: n. a post on Twitter that is 140 characters or less; v. to post onto Twitter

Twitter: n. the microblogging site; v. to post onto Twitter

Follow: to track the tweets of someone on Twitter

Follower: Someone that is interested in your tweets and is tracking your tweets

@: The commercial at symbol is used to identify the user name of someone on Twitter or to make a public reply, i.e. I am know as @kyates on Twitter.  The "@" is also used to send a Tweet intended for a specific person.  Whenever you use "@" in front of someone's user name that tweet will show up in their account, even if they do not follow you.

#: Hashtags were designed to accommodate the real-time news community.  They are a community-driven convention for adding additional context and metadata to your tweets. They're like tags on Flickr, only added inline to your post. You create a hashtag simply by prefixing a word with a hash symbol: #hashtag.  Using a hashtag is a way to help keep twitter organized for your personal tweets, class tweets, or to organize the entire conversation on twitter.  It turns that phrase into a link to search for that topic.  For example searching for #edtech will yield a list of tweets that people have tagged with that. It also helps to categorize your own tweets. 

Reply: If you want to comment about someone's tweet or send a public message to them.  You use @username and then post your comment.  The person's handle will use part of your 140 character limit

Direct Message: Think of it as e-mail over Twitter.  If you want to send a private message to someone, send a direct message/reply. 

RT: Short for Re-tweet.  This of it as avoiding plagiarism on Twitter, and giving credit where it is due.  If someone tweets something that you want to share, you put "RT @username" followed by their original tweet.  The website and clients make this an easy thing to do.

TwitPic: A third party website that allows you to add pictures to your tweets.

Where to start?

The Ultimate Guide for EverythingTwitter

How can I use it professionally?


How can I use it as a tool for instruction?

50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Education

25 Ways to Teach with Twitter

Grade level PLN Builders

Who should I follow?

Look for users that have common interests as you.  Use one of the lists below to find users to follow.  Always look at their recent posts to see if they are of interest or educational value to you. - A list of Twitterers who are educators

Uses in the Classroom:

  • Follow middle school authors and send them tweets when studying author's craft
  • Start an online discussion about a topic in class or novel being read. Example- Just finished the 1st chapter of Courage.  What do you think happens next?
  • Have students post questions about class content for you or other students to answer. Using an app like Tweetdeck and some computers would allow you to do this real-time during class.  Or students can do this after school.  GroupTweet is a way to set up a twitter group for just your current students.
  • Homework or Classwork- Ask students to tweet their research. Example- Who was the greatest economist of all times?
  • Find someone in another school/ country that are studying similar topics.  
  • Keep up with current events
  • Post resources for students- Example: Internet Public Library 
  • Have students post resources for each other.
  • Follow museums
Twitter Tools - A real time geographic visualization of posts to Twitter. - Twitter search (rivals Google) - Ask a question, graph the response. Tweet just within a group - URL shortening service

Twitter Tools for Sharing Media - share photos on Twitter add photos/videos

Twitter Apps/Clients

Twhirl  - Desktop client

TweetDeck - Desktop client

Twitterfon - iPhone or iTouch client

TwitterBerry - Blackberry client

Tweetie - iPhone or iTouch client

Twitterific - iPhone or iTouch client

Many, many more! 

Twitter Resources

Teachers - 10 Stages to Twitter Resources from Tim and Joyce

Heather Klenke,
Jun 28, 2012, 3:36 PM