Monday, February 16, 2009

Advice for Teachers New To Twitter

Each day several new people start following me on Twitter. As I click through each profile, I make a decision whether or not to follow these people back. I generally follow all teachers back and will sometimes follow others depending upon what they do and the kinds of things they share on Twitter. As I was going through new followers on Saturday night, it occurred to me to Tweet some basic suggestions for teachers new to Twitter.  The first 3 are really essential to building your network of followers.
  1. Go to settings and fill out your Bio! This is essential to getting followers.
  2. Tweet a few things - share a link, an idea, a resource, a blog post, anything.
  3. Don't protect your updates. People often hesitate to follow back if they can't see your tweets.
  4. Use your real name and your real picture. You will eventually have to say "Hi I'm "xx" on Twitter."
  5. Look for people who will follow you back - that is what makes a conversation.
  6. Check out this spreadsheet of educators on Twitter add yourself: http://bit.ly/xfUn
  7. If you Tweet a question and no one answers, Tweet it again later. It is OK to ask more than once.
I also asked others to share their suggestions. Check them out below.
  • nycrican2: More advice for new teachers on Twitter, become familiar with the vocabulary on this site: http://twictionary.pbwiki.com/
  • JPerino: A friend who set me up on Twitter suggested using http://search.twitter.com/ to find others by topic...like EduCon 2.1
  • prodev: My best advice and I wish I'd discovered it sooner is http://TweetTree.com!
  • nycrican2:  How about the advice that new teachers on Twitter should click on their replies and direct messages links frequently.
  • adewitt2: Use it as a prof. development tool. Use it for getting info. from others.It's like the mgc 8 ball.
  • raventech:  I try to DM once it gets to be more personal/give & take. I @reply for general convo and definitely for thanks for RT's
  • ScottElias When u ask for advice & someone obliges, common courtesy dictates that u thank them. How that looks (@ or D) is up to u.
  • mwacker: join the twitter freaks group on diigo..there's some tremendous resources there
  • cfanch: My advice for connecting with students is NO to Twitter, Facebook, Myspace. Just my two cents on that.
  • ScottElias: Stick with it a while. There is a learning curve until you reach that "critical mass" where your feed starts to get interesting.
  • MagistraM: Ask questions, give answers, share challenges AND successes. Don't just lurk, but join in.
Do you have advice for teachers new to Twitter? Do you have questions? Please share them here.

Image Credit:  Alan Levine, SPLJ 2.0http://cogdogblog.com/2007/04/26/splj-20/
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