36 Weeks of Tech: Twitter

About Lori H Rice

Lori Rice is a fourth-grade teacher at West Elementary in Wamego, Kansas, who has taught K-2 reading as well as kindergarten, first grade and fourth grade for the past 19 years. Her students read books that are held together by tape, and because of budget cuts her school does not have a full-time librarian, art teacher, technology teacher or music teacher. As a result, she says, “our schedules are limited and cannot be arranged for what is best for students.”

In this series, #36weeksoftech, I will review tech tools in my classroom.  I will give you my honest opinion and some pros and cons as seen through the eyes of my experience as a teacher.  This is my 21st year of teaching and I teach all subject areas in my fourth-grade classroom.  Using technology is a wonderful way to connect, network and grow yourself as an educator.

This weekend I took two days away from my family and attended Edcamp Summit.  While family comes first in my life, part of that is to take care of yourself.  This weekend gave me time to network and connect and strengthen my passion as an educator.  This can also be done with a simple app as well.  One tech tool that can help you network, share ideas, answer questions and engage with educators is twitter.  It is an online (with app available) resource that is a powerful tool in teaching.

Using technology is a wonderful way to connect, network and grow yourself as an educator. Click To Tweet

Set Up:  Go to twitter.com and sign up.  You enter your name, address or phone, and a password.  If you use your email and are then prompted for a phone, you can click the small blue “skip” at the bottom if you would prefer not to share that information.  Choose a username.  There will be suggestions under the bar.  Think of yourself as an educator and what sets you apart when you add your name.  Or go with what your kids call you.  Mine is simply MsLRice but many other teachers are more creative.  Next, you will select interest topics.  You can search for and include “education” “#edchat” and many other things.  The next steps allow you to connect and personalize your timeline.  You have an option to import your contacts as well as follow some accounts.  I personally recommend our magazine as tweeted by our Editor in Chief, Franchesca Warren @EducatorsRoom.

Use:  Learning some twitter lingo and how to read twitter can be a different experience for some.  To send a tweet you simply click on the quill and paper (tweet) and type in your thoughts.  You are limited with your characters, there are hashtags and @ symbols.  You and share a GIF (animated picture), ask a question in poll format, share your location, add a photo, video or go live. You may find many friends use alter names so finding them can be a challenge.  But you can search by name and it will usually bring up their twitter handle.  As with anything, the more you use it the more proficient you will be.  For some beginning, Twitter users  Q&A check out this help resource.

Twitter Chats: Twitter chats for education happen every day of the week.  Experts lead “discussions” about all things education.  By clicking on the magnifying (search) tool at the top right you can add in a specific hashtag or #edchat and follow the feed.  “Q” will indicate a question asked and then participants use “A” to respond.  If you miss the start time you can jump in later, or even after the event and look through the feed. In your answer be sure to include the hashtag for your feed.  This links you into the group so your questions and responses can be followed as a whole.  Want to branch out and try starting your own #edchat?  @NathanDingman is a great contact.  Check out this site for a calendar of edchats to find one that fits your niche. 

Networking:  Many teachers have a twitter handle.  This lets you find them, follow them, and talk with them.  We all have strengths and struggles in the classroom and using your twitter network allows you to share your awesome and reach out to others.  I have a tribe I follow and get inspiration, ideas, resources, and encouragement from them.  We are not alone in this journey and networking lets you give and get from the profession.

Pros: 

  • Networking
  • Learn from twitter chats
  • Share through twitter chats
  • Grow your tribe
  • Fast
  • Concise

Cons:

  • Twitter language can be confusing
  • Limited privacy
  • Limited characters in messages

Twitter is an amazing way to open up your professional world.  Many schools use twitter to showcase students work and achievement as well as share news with parents.  You can use a laptop with the web version or a device with the app.  This quick, concise communication method will allow you to reach beyond your classroom walls and connect with the world.  How you use that (professional learning, networking, chatting, student bragging and sharing) is up to you.  Give me a shout out @MsLRice and let me know how you use twitter. #36weeksoftech #teachersrock

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By | 2016-11-01T13:43:45+00:00 October 11th, 2016|#36WeeksOfTech|0 Comments

About the Author:

Lori Rice is a fourth-grade teacher at West Elementary in Wamego, Kansas, who has taught K-2 reading as well as kindergarten, first grade and fourth grade for the past 19 years. Her students read books that are held together by tape, and because of budget cuts her school does not have a full-time librarian, art teacher, technology teacher or music teacher. As a result, she says, “our schedules are limited and cannot be arranged for what is best for students.”

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