Archive for January, 2013
Did you miss The Blue Birds are Tweeting Part 1? Read it HERE!
In my last post, I introduced you to the idea of trying Twitter. I suggested using www.search.twitter.com to see what people were tweeting about and how many resources are being shared. I sincerely hope that after exploring Twitter, you are eager to create your Twitter handle and start tweeting!
The purpose of today’s post is to introduce you to the must-know lingo that any Twitter participant must know. Although Twitter has developed an entire Twitter Glossary, I’m going to give you just the basics…you’re welcome! 🙂
Twitter Handle: This is basically the same thing as your user name. Your handle is what people will use to tweet to you directly, and it will always be preceded by the @ symbol because you are either directing a tweet “at” someone, or someone is directing a tweet “at” you.
Follow: Unlike Facebook, Twitter allows for one-way “following”. On Facebook, in order for someone to be able to communicate with you and see your information they have to be your “friend” and you have to be theirs. On Twitter, you can “follow” someone, but they don’t have to “follow” you back. When you follow someone, that person’s tweets will show up on your Twitter timeline/homepage. Found someone you want to follow (like @BoucherLauren)? You can search for them in the search bar at the top right of your screen, or you can click on their Twitter handle in a post. Doing this will take you to their profile page where you can click the “Follow” button.
Tweet: A tweet is a cuter way of referring to a post or message. You are free to tweet about anything as long as you keep it to 140 characters or less. *If you’ve gone over your character limit, think about using abbreviations and symbols. You can also put words/phrases together by capitalizing the first letter in each word and removing the spaces between. An example would be “Im going 2 attend SimpleK12s webinar: GoogleAppsForEducators n ab 5 min”. That one would actually fit without the abbreviations, but you get my point.
Hashtag: By using the # (hashtag) symbol, you are categorizing, or including, your tweet in a particular topic or conversation. Hashtags are used to search for specific topics, and can be created by anyone. For example, I started #sgechat, which I use when I tweet information for teachers at my school, South Greenville Elementary. For more information on hashtags, click HERE.
Twitter Chats: Chats are ongoing conversations about a particular topic. They’re denoted by the # (hashtag) symbol. Some chats have specific days and times where followers of that topic will “meet” online. A moderator will pose a question or two to get the conversation started, and then everyone puts in their two cents on the topic. These can be extremely overwhelming for someone just getting started with Twitter because you can have literally hundreds of people posting at the same time. My advice would be to “connect” to one or two people and join their conversations. The chats start with a question, then branch out to more personal, in-depth conversations.
How do you join a Twitter chat? Simply search for the chat name (#edchat) in the search bar at the top of your screen. Click “Tweets” in the results box at the top and the conversation will update in your browser window as people begin “chatting”. When you find that mini conversation you want to be a part of, it may be easier then to search for their names and just follow their tweets.
@cybraryman1, Jerry Blumengarten, has put together an awesome website as a resource for teachers interested in joining conversations centered around educational topics. View his list of Twitter Chats and Hashtags, then connect with him on Twitter. Don’t forget to connect with me as well! @BoucherLauren
Want more information on Twitter? Read the final post in this series: The Blue Birds are Tweeting Part 3.
I often hear veteran teachers refer to their higher level students as the “Blue Birds”. I guess that’s a reference to reading group names or something like that. We all know that in addition to having those higher level learners in our classrooms, there are those higher level teachers in our schools and districts. These are the teachers that I always went to for advice or saw presenting at local conferences. I would often think, “I want to be her (or him) when I grow up.” 🙂 These teachers have so much to offer! My advice to beginning teachers is to find one of these “Blue Birds” and be a sponge.
The “Blue Bird” teachers of the world, are “Blue Birds” not only because of their knowledge and expertise, but because of their willingness and desire to share what they know. Social media has given us access to these teachers and their wisdom 24/7. The place I find myself going to more and more often is Twitter. Please don’t think of Twitter as “that place where people are updating their every movement and thought”. Honestly, that’s what kept me away from it for so long. It may have started that way, but like all things, teachers have taken it and made it work to their advantage. Educators from all over the world are constantly sharing ideas, links, and other resources on Twitter. If I have a question or need advice, I can post to Twitter and have an answer almost immediately! I can also choose to follow conversations on topics that I am most interested in. Still skeptical? Go to www.search.twitter.com and search for a topic that you are interested in. You might try “educational technology”, “common core”, or “technology integration”. See what people are saying about the subject and grade level you teach. I guarantee you, before long, you’ll be tweeting along with everyone else. I’ve listed the conversations I’m following below. Also, don’t forget to connect with me: @BoucherLauren, and come back for “The Blue Birds are Tweeting Parts 2 and 3“.
*Special Note: conversations are denoted by a Hashtag (#).
Conversations I’m following:
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Wordle found at Rockland Public Schools Instructional Technology Website.
So I’m making my way into the blogosphere and out of my comfort zone. Since becoming an elementary school teacher in 2006, I have discovered two passions: instructional technology and working with teachers. Before moving into my dream job of Instructional Technology Specialist, I taught 3rd grade for four years and AIG in elementary and middle school for two. I discovered my passion for instructional technology when I received a SMART Board in my classroom. I quickly became obsessed with creating lessons, finding cool websites to use, and sharing what I was learning with my colleagues. All of this led me to create my website, SMARTBoard Terminal, which I still maintain today.
After I moved to teaching AIG, I became very fascinated with the 1:1 classroom. I started researching devices and strategies, as well as campaigning to my district director for the chance to try 1:1 with my middle school AIG students. Imagine my surprise and complete joy, when I found out that our county was going to initiate a 1:1 pilot program with iPads. I quickly applied for, interviewed, and was offered the job as the newest Instructional Technology Specialist with Pitt County Schools. This blog will chronicle my journey as an ITS. I hope to share with you new technology resources, lesson plans, project ideas, and words of wisdom from my day to day experiences. Please provide feedback, as this is my first attempt at blogging, and my goal is to help you implement technology into your classroom. Also, check out the website I have created for my teachers: Going 1:1!