Friday, May 7, 2010

Hello Twitter World

I've posted about using Twitter before and I thought it was time to update my reasons why I Tweet and try to convince more people to jump on board.

I've been on Twitter since January and it has been a wild ride. I started out with one account I was going to use at school to update homework assignments for the classes I currently teach. Students could choose to follow me and have daily updates regarding homework. It has gone ok. Some students are skeptical, but others have found the reminders to be very helpful. @MrProvenzano is where you can find me if you are curious to know the nights homework in American Literature.

I started my Masters in Ed Tech and I needed to create a different Twitter account and a blog for a class and I started @TheNerdyTeacher and The Nerdy Teacher. They really didn't take off until I started to follow and chat with @ShellTerrell and @KTenkely. They really helped me make great connections with other people and always have great resources to share. Check out iLearntechnology.com for amazing sites from @KTenkely. Shelly has an awesome blog you should check out as well.

These two mediums have allowed me gain such tremendous insight and information on the world of educational technology. I feel at times I am learning far more from the people I have met through Twitter than my CMU class. I have gained over 1,400 followers and 200 daily hits on the blog from all over the world. I'm not writing that to brag, I'm writing it to emphasize a point. I'm connected to the entire world from little ole' Michigan. I've only been on board with Twitter and the other blog for a few months and my resource base continues to grow. I like to demonstrate the power of my Professional Learning Network (PLN) by asking skeptical teachers for a topic and submitting it to Twitter. Within minutes, I will have over 15 responses with different resources on tech alternatives, lesson plans, interactive activities, etc. I feel that these teachers from around the country and the world have made me a better teacher through sharing.

I take the wonderful sites I encounter daily and sift through them to pass along the gems I think GP teachers will use and love. As much as I love tech and can evaluate items from a tech aspect, I'm not an expert in all areas of content. This is why it's important for you to join Twitter and start the looking at sites on your own. It doesn't take much time at all. You can just scroll through a handful of tweets a day and look for key words that jump out at you. You will be surprised at how quickly you will catch on.

Here are a couple of tips for a new Tweeter:

1. Here is a list of great people to follow once you create your account. Follow all of these people and keep an eye out for great resources.

2. Once you find a great resource, pass it to others and always thank the person who sent it out. This is how you will make friends and add followers.

3. Start posting some of your own ideas. Twitter for teachers is a sharing community. You have to give a little to get a little.

4. Convince others to join with you. It's easier if you have friends that jump on board together that way you will not feel so lonely in the beginning.

5. Join the #Edchat Conversation. Click here to see what it is all about. Shelly Terrell is one of the coolest people I have had the chance to know while using Twitter. Her blog is amazing and she is willing to help anyone. She should be #1 on your To Follow List.

Here are couple of links about getting started on Twitter. Check them out and feel free to send me questions. If you create an account, send me the Twitter ID so I can send it to everyone I know to say hello to you.

7 Ways to Find Teachers on Twitter

10 Things Teachers Should Know to Get Started With Twitter

Twitter Handbook For Teachers

Twitter for Teachers

I hope this information is helpful and encourages you to jump on board with Twitter.

-Give it a try!

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