I recently ran a session for my colleagues where my intention was to introduce them to Twitter.
I love Twitter. It has literally changed my life since I signed up in January 2009. I am troubled by the idea that there may be others out there whose lives could be similarly changed for the good, but they just don’t know about it.
So I thought about how I might explain what it is all about and how I might persuade educators that there is something about it they might find useful professionally. virtual blackjack machines for sale
Here is the presentation I put together. It wouldn’t do for you to use in its entirety. It is personal to me and my experience of Twitter (you probably haven’t danced around the room after a Twitter exchange with Darren Huckerby, or got the lowdown on government policy with the (then) Secretary of State for Education). However, it might help provide you with a useful structure that you might use as a framework for your own presentation for colleagues. real casinos online slots
There are no rules. This is just the way I do it and it works for me.
Here’s my thinking.
Slide 1 – Title slide
Slide 2 – Although Twitter was invented with ‘What are you doing?’ in mind, educators have harnessed it as a powerful networking and sharing medium. You really need an account to use Twitter. This is best done by having an avatar and a brief biography as a minimum. Twitter accounts can be public or protected. I discussed the pros and cons of both. There are also some Twitter rules and things you can do. It is about sharing, collaborating and participating (for me).
Slide 3 – A useful analogy for Twitter is that it is like a lively bar, staffroom or office. You can share something interesting with everyone, you can have conversations with one or more other people and you can have private conversations.
Slide 4 – Some ‘banal’ tweets. NB Sometimes the banal leads to something serendipitous.
Slide 5 – Some ‘useful’ tweets.
Slide 6 – My Twitter page. I pointed out the timeline and my ‘stats’.
Slide 7 – My Twitter profile.
Slide 8 – Tweets that mention me. I *should* get to see absolutely every tweet that addresses me directly or that mentions me.
Slide 9 – The Language of Twitter. As with any ‘gang’, community or society, conventions arise. Some for ‘cliquey’ reasons, others for utility reasons such as economy of space.
Slide 10 – Conversations. Addressing someone else on Twitter requires you to start your tweet with their @name. This particular conversation starts with a ‘banal’ tweet by me but soon develops into something useful.
Slide 11 – Retweeting. Retweets are a bit like forwarding useful emails to the rest of the team. There are different ways for it to be done and different ways to spot it. Twitter RT, RT with edit etc.
Slide 12 – Some examples of retweets
Slide 13 – Hashtags. These have various functions. Mostly they arise because many people need a ‘magic word’ to identify tweets that are all discussing or referencing the same topic. Particularly useful for TV shows, conferences, crowd-sourcing, Twitter ‘chats’ etc.
Slide 14 – Some hashtagged tweets.
Slide 15 – Emoticons. These have arisen because it is not easy to transmit a facial expression, body-language or eye-contact via text alone. I am a naturally smiley person 🙂
Slide 16 – Shortening your links so they fit into a tweet. Many Twitter services automatically shorten links anyway. Useful to know about http://bitly.com and others for other purposes though.
Slide 17 – Some schools that tweet. Schools might have a Twitter account in addition to other ways that they face outwards (text messages, website, email etc). Schools may tweet significant dates, weekly menus, closures, updates etc.
Slide 18 – Some classes tweet. It is important to note that Twitter has a 13 year old age limit. These classes have protected Twitter accounts and adults may do the actual tweeting. Twitter provides a global audience for pupils, a real reason for writing and is a powerful medium.
Slide 19 – Twitter is like a river. This is a powerful analogy. You need to know and learn to accept that you cannot realistically read everything on Twitter. This becomes less and less realistic the more people you follow. The river that is Twitter is constantly flowing by. You can choose to sit on the bank and watch it. You can choose to get in and swim around. You can choose to walk away from it altogether. You might glimpse something float by that interests you and get involved.
Slide 20 – Coping with the information. At this point, I introduced Tweetdeck as a way to manage the flow of information. I showed the ‘river’ flowing along in my ‘All friends’ column. I showed my mentions column. I showed how to use a column to follow a hashtag. I also showed how I had made a special column for a list of valued individuals whose tweets I generally don’t want to miss. I have made a list for these 100 or so people and have a column in Tweetdeck for their tweets.
Slide 21 – Who to follow and what to do with new followers? Twitter takes some tending. I check my new followers every day. I seek out new people to follow.
Slide 22 – Twitter becomes particularly powerful when it is ‘mobile’. Particularly sharing photos from smartphones.
Slide 23 – Golden rules. What you tweet is visible. Potentially forever. As a professional, you need to be conscious about what you are saying. I visualise my followers inhabiting a section of a football stand. I visualise their faces. They include my line manager, my wife, my colleagues etc. Am I happy to stand on the pitch and megaphone my tweet to all those people? If yes, then hit ‘Send’.
Slide 24 – Some things simply wouldn’t have been possible without Twitter. This is a very personal slide including: The British Embassy in Washington DC, Ed Balls MP, Darren Huckerby and Councillor Mehboob Kahn. Furthermore, I knew about the earthquake/tsunami, Michael Jackson’s death and other breaking news on Twitter hours before it broke in conventional media.
Slide 25 – Twitter starts like a delicate seedling that needs care and attention. You need to ‘grow’ your Twitter followers if you are to end up with a sturdy tree from which you can
endlessly harvest delicious fruits.
Slide 26 – Do follow up on these links:
CPD provided by Twits by Ian Addison
Twitter for teachers: building your network by @creativeedu
Ten life lessons we can learn on Twitter
13 Ways Twitter Improves Education
And, if you’re in education, follow these people for starters (this is not a definitive list!).