Educators A-Z of Twitter

As we move into our last week, let’s start thinking about the mechanics of Twitter.

Here is a great infographic from #ukedchat that you can refer to as you need to.  Try to spend some time learning about Twitter norms. Thanks to Stacey Wallwin for sharing this on Twitter yesterday.

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Educators A-Z of Twitter | Piktochart Infographic Editor

Source: Educators A-Z of Twitter | Piktochart Infographic Editor

Using Twitter Anonymously: The Advanced Search

Yesterday we had the opportunity to look at how we can access Twitter anonymously and search for tweets that might interest us, using hashtags or simple searches.  This is very helpful, for example, if you want to follow the learning from a particular conference or learning event.

As you might suspect, the Twitter Search can be much more functional and complex.

By choosing “Advanced Search”, you can really tweak the kind of information you gather on Twitter.

This screencast demonstrates the advanced search for you.

Try a few searches of your own.

1) Do you have a favourite researcher or education leader? Can you find their Twitter handle (account) and search it for what they are tweeting? Some suggestions are Dr. Simon Breakspear, Dr. Andy Hargreaves, Dr. Michael Fullan, Dr. Alec Couros, Dean Shareski, Tanya Avrith, George Couros, Ira Socol, Dr. Tony Wagner, Bill Ferriter, etc.

2) Can you think of a favourite conference that you weren’t able to attend? Can you search for the learning that happened there?

3) What international event can you follow on Twitter based on the location or timing of the event?

Next week we will explore how creating a Twitter account allows you to follow people who are tweeting about things that are interesting to you, or valuable to your professional learning.

Please feel free to respond in the comments if you have questions about this learning.

Learning to Search Anonymously on Twitter

Twitter is like a huge public library of information.  Learning the skills to find the information you need, and to send out the information you want to share to the right audience, are important digital skills.

Today we are learning the very simplest way to access information on Twitter – an anonymous search.  Here is a demonstration of how it is done.

Learning Activities

  1. Try searching for things you are interested in.  Try the different types of searches like top and live.  What happens when you choose Accounts?  There are many interesting people sharing on Twitter.
  2. Some popular education hashtags include #notabookstudy, #mathleadersNEO, #fdk, #onted, #ontedleaders, #ossemooc, #cpchat.  What others can you find? What hashtag gives you information that is of interest to you?
  3. Start building community and collaborating with others in this course.  We have set up a google sheet here to collect your favourite hashtag.  Please visit the site and share an education hashtag you have found.  Several hashtags and lists of hashtags have been shared on this page.  Bookmark it as a resource for further learning.

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The Teacher’s Guide to Twitter


Tom Whitby: Whom Should I Follow on Twitter?

Melissa Roth: Why I Love Twitter in my Classroom

Twitter hashtags to follow (contributions from #ontedleaders)

Finding Twitter Chats

Twitter Chats are where so much of our education learning can be found on Twitter.  But how do we find a Twitter chat that interests us?

There are literally hundreds of Twitter chats online.  A group of generous educators has created a list of chats that is organized by time.  You can find it here.

A sample of the chats this evening looks like this.

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If you are new to Twitter chats, you might feel more comfortable just watching a chat and learning how the questions are posted (often in a Google Doc or image at the beginning of the chat, and in Tweets using Q1, Q2, etc.)

For example, here is Q5 from #onedchat:

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When answering a Twitter Chat Question, we use A1, A2, A3 – depending on the question number.  Here is an example of A5 from #onedchat.

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Activity for learning:

Find a chat related to your interests in education.  Make it a habit to follow the tweets.  When you feel comfortable, contribute to the chat by answering one of the questions.  Remember to use the proper Twitter chat conventions – the chat hashtag (e.g., #onedchat), and  “A” with the number of the question you are responding to.  This is a great way to build your PLN as you converse online about a topic that is of interest to you.


Peeking Inside a Twitter Chat

Best Chats for Teachers in 2015



Retweeting Value-Added to Your PLN

Today we are looking at how to use the “retweet” feature in Twitter to help share valuable resources and ideas with the people in your Professional Learning Network.

The ideas are explained in this screencast.


Activities for Learning

  1. Find a tweet in your Twitter stream that looks like it would be valuable to others.  Check out what it offers.  If you find it valuable, retweet it to your followers, adding your own appropriate hashtags and tagging others [only] if it will be of particular value to them.


The Anatomy of a Tweet

“The hardest thing about Twitter is getting started.” (David Truss, 2012)

Sometimes it’s hard to see the value of Twitter to your learning until you really learn the language and build the connections online.  This week we will head down that path and focus on the mechanics of the many Twitter tools that are available to users.

In 2012, David Truss created this image that clearly outlines some of the “language” of Twitter:

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Shared by David Truss, in Twitter EDU:

Today we will focus on the “@” symbol.

“@” is used to identify people by their twitter account.  When we use “@” in a tweet, the user we mention will have this tweet directed to their “notifications”.  Anything that happens on Twitter that involves your “@” account will appear in your notifications.  Here is a sample of the @ossemooc notifications for this morning.

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When we tweet, our 140 or less characters goes out with millions of other tweets.  Even though anyone can read it, the chances that someone actually will read it are very slim.  To help our sharing find its way to those we want to target, we “tag” our tweets with the users we want to read it, and then it filters into their notifications stream where it might actually be seen.

This also allows us to have conversations in real time on Twitter.

For example, if a tweet is posted, we can “reply” to it, which means that it will begin with @fryed or whatever account you are replying to.

Here is a demonstration.  On our Twitter page, we choose “Home” to see our Twitter feed.

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We then scan through the feed for interesting posts.

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We decide to look at the Leadership link suggested by Ontario Principal James Cowper.

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After reading the post, we decide to share it with our followers.  We do this by choosing the “retweet” option, in green below.  @Cowpernicus (James Cowper) will get a notification that we retweeted his post.  @Cowpernicus will be part of the retweet.

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We might also want to reply to James Cowper to tell him what we think of the article he curated for us.

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See how the replyScreen Shot 2015-10-13 at 7.42.52 AM automatically starts with @Cowpernicus?  Twitter adds this for you when you choose the reply option.  Now we can go back an view our own @OSSEMOOC Tweets.

When we choose “Tweets and Replies” we will see the Reply we sent to the @Copernicus account.

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This tweet will now appear in “Notifications” for James Cowper.  He is much more likely to see it* than if we just Tweeted without using his account.

Your Notifications are updated with an alert whenever your Twitter account is mentioned.

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*It’s important to note that this works because people have a notification feed that is not overwhelming (in contrast to their home feed).  It is not good practice to indiscriminately tag people in your posts and photographs because your are trying to self-promote your work.  Use the @ symbol sparingly to draw attention to items that are important to the work of others, not to “show off” your own work.  This is a fine line that you will learn to respect, in the same way that we all respect the culture of any community of practice.

Learning Activities:

  1. Find an interesting resource or article online.  Tweet the link to @fryed, and/or to a colleague on Twitter.
  2. Find a tweet that interests you.  Choose “reply” and tell the person who shared why you like the resource.  Thank them for taking the time to share.
  3. Find a useful resource or an item of interest on Twitter.  Retweet the tweet and then find the retweet in your Twitter stream.  Were you able to find it?  Do you need help with this?

Remember, you can get help by emailing 42krunner at gmail dot com, or by tweeting your question to @fryed.


David Truss: Twitter EDU

(on Twitter: @datruss)