Teaching Twitter

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As one of the e-learning leaders at my school, I am helping run professional development for our staff to assist them in using their iPads.

Some of the staff are brand new to the concept of iPads so things like turning it on, using the home button, swiping the screen and opening an App are hurdles for them. Others are focusing on downloading Apps, rearranging Apps into folders and organising their Apps like Evernote.  For most staff, the implementation of iPads at my school has pushed them out of their comfort zone.

Today I decided to push them even a little bit further and introduce them to the concept of Twitter.  I wanted to make it very clear that I have only been on Twitter since May and that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing – I didn’t even know how to type a ‘Tweet’.  I stressed that I use my Twitter account to boost my Professional Learning Network (PLN) and I don’t follow many celebrities or television personalities.

I put together a brief Keynote presentation to show them, which included screenshots of my own Twitter feed, featuring many valuable Tweeters, as well as screenshots of some of my tweets.  I had also tweeted out to the Twittersphere earlier this morning to ask my followers why they use Twitter – and I showed these results to my staff.  People had retweeted, favourited and answered my question, with valuable comments and arguments to demonstrate the benefits of Twitter.

The last slide features people that I gain much benefit from following – not to say I don’t appreciate all of the other Tweeters that I follow, but a Keynote slide is only so big!  I felt it was important to provide them with a starting point, and a platform on which to ‘lurk’ and watch the tweets fly back and forth!  Hopefully I will be able to run a dedicated PD workshop on how to set up and use your accounts for the first few days or weeks, as today’s session only went for 20 minutes, before we headed into our focus groups for specific Apps.

I’m interested to see how many of my staff join, or better still, start making a visible presence on Twitter. I was introduced to the hashtag #battt (Bring A Teacher To Twitter) recently which I think is an amazing idea!

Do you have any hashtags that you find helpful for developing your educational PLN?

Have you used Twitter in the classroom, or as a schoolwide program? Share your success stories!

 

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