Twitter seems to be here to stay. As one of the most popular ways for teachers, students, and the general public to communicate, it’s becoming a must-have tool in almost every teacher’s toolbox. However, numerous recent studies have shown that education in general has been slow to adopt social media.
In an effort to speed up this adoption process, below you’ll find a boatload of resources on the past, present, and future of Twitter in education as well as some helpful guides to using the tool in the classroom.
We have to start somewhere and these tips will help ensure that your first foray in Twitter is a great experience:-
- Organize your Twitter. Twitter has made it simple to keep things organized and makes looking through tweets a breeze. How? With the lists feature that lets you organize those you’re following into different groups.
- Flesh out your bio. You’ll get more mileage out of your Twitter account if you actually create a profile that says something about you, offering potential followers information about your interests, professional or otherwise.
- Educate yourself on the basics. Learn the basic terminology for Twitter and the major functions it can perform by doing a little reading on helpful social media blogs beforehand. You’ll thank yourself later.
- Link to your blog. If you’re the type of academic that loves blogging (and who doesn’t these days?) then make sure your posts are getting the exposure they deserve by sharing them through Twitter. Include a link to your blog in your bio, too.
- Avoid rookie mistakes. It’s OK to make mistakes on Twitter, but there’s no sense in making dumb ones that you could easily have learned to avoid with a little reading and research. Check out this list of common newbie errors to help you.
- Create separate accounts. If you plan to use Twitter for your classes, yourself, or just for fun, you’ll probably need separate accounts to keep everything straight and to ensure that each is focused on just one topic.
- Learn how to use hashtags. It’s pretty much impossible to have not seen the hashtags that have been plastered on, well, everything in the past few years. But do you really know how to use them? A quick lesson can help you learn the ropes.
- Choose a recognizable Twitter handle. You want people to be able to find you on Twitter, right? So choose a handle that they’d associate with you, usually something close to your name, your blog, or your profession will work best. Get some pointers on choosing a username from this guide.
- Develop a tweeting style. Before you send out your first tweet, decide what kind of tweeter you want to be. The London School of Economics and Political Science offers up three major styles here so you can learn more about the subject.
- Stick to a core topic. Ideally, you want to keep your Twitter account pretty focused on a single topic, whether it’s your class, your professional work, or even just stupid things you find on the Internet. The more focused it is, the more useful it will be to both you and your followers.
- Learn from others. One of the best ways to learn how to use Twitter is to spend some time seeing how others have set up and been using their accounts. Luckily, there are tons of other academics on Twitter to learn from.
- Learn WHY Twitter is such a valuable tool. So you’ve got a Twitter account set up, so what? Take the time to learn why Twitter can be such a useful tool for education and for academics. You might be surprised.