Twitter from a Newbie’s Perspective!

According to the website, I joined Twitter on 9 March 2009. It wasn’t until early 2010, however that I started really using Twitter. I had tried many times previously to get into this social networking phenomenon but, like all things technological, I needed to see how Twitter could enrich my life in order to commit to really using it.

I started thinking more and more that Twitter might be of benefit to me when it became apparent that most of the writers of my favourite “ed tech” blogs are Twitter enthusiasts … I realised there must be something in it!

Sue Waters gave me the great advice that when you start using Twitter you should give it a go (ie try to do something on it each day) for a month. After that time you can make an informed decision about whether or not Twitter is for you. Well, I did this and decided that Twitter is in fact something that can enhance my professional knowledge, skills and connections.

I use Twitter solely to following teachers and people involved in technology and education (as well as a few news outlets). For me, it is more of a professional outlet, whereas I use Facebook to keep up to date with friends.

I use the TweetDeck desktop client to run Twitter and would recommend it. Generally, I have TweetDeck running all the time but I just check in when I have a chance. The beauty of Twitter is that you don’t have to keep on top of everything. Every time you check it you are sure to find out something new from one of your friends.

I use Twitter to give and to take. I like to share websites, videos, advice, articles, games etc with my followers and like to take the same in return. I also love how helpful Twitter can be. Numerous times I have put a call out on Twitter when I wanted advice on a tool or if I have a question about technology. I am always sure to find an answer and strengthen my connections with my PLN (personal learning network) along the way.

Recently, I have also discovered how worthwhile Twitter can be when looking for news. Tweets seem to reach the Internet  so much faster than traditional online news sources. An example of this was when my Internet wasn’t working the other day. I went to Twitter Search, typed in the name of my ISP (Internet Service Provider) and lo and behold, there were already many tweets from people reporting that their connections with this ISP were also down (in case you’re confused, I have two ISPs which is why I was able to access the net when the net was down!).

In my opinion, regular interactions with Twitter is one of the best professional development activities a teacher could embark on.

Click on the image below to follow me!


If you are new to Twitter, Sue Waters has an excellent wiki that has lots of information about getting started with Twitter

Do you use Twitter? How has it changed your life?

Not on Twitter? What do you think is holding you back?

13 Replies to “Twitter from a Newbie’s Perspective!”

  1. Investing my time in Twitter has been the best investment in my professional development i’ve ever made. I have learned more, shared more, collaborated more and grown more as a teacher in the past six months than I had in the previous six years.

  2. @ Henrietta, couldn’t have said it better myself!! I’m trying to spread the word to sceptics like my former-self!

  3. This is almost a mirror image of my Twitter journey as well. People think I’m crazy when I say it’s my primary means of PD right now! Thanks so much for sharing the document. I’m doing a Twitter in-service later this summer and that will come in very handy.

  4. @ Tamra, isn’t that funny! So true though. Good luck with your in-service. I think Bernadette’s document is really useful.

  5. I was very reluctant to join Twitter. In fact, I said I’d never join. I thought I was already spending too much time on the web and thought it wouldn’t be that valuable. I was wrong. Watching you jump in and find so much value in it helped me begin to flutter. (Sorry…I’m on vacation mentality.) 🙂

    Like you, I use it to following teachers and people involved in technology and education, and I have already learned so much! I, too, joined Tweetdeck and find it quite useful.

    Recently, I got an iPad and there is a great application called Twitterrific that I like.

    Thanks for a great post!

  6. @ Linda, I’m so glad you did join Twitter! I love the fact that it’s something you don’t have to keep on top of each day. You can just go in and out as you please! I’d love to use the iPad app….one day!

  7. I can see why a lot of my non-webby friends don’t get it. “Why do I need to know when my acquaintances are flossing?” they’ll say, but I tell them you have to know how to get the most from it.

    I started using it as a way to share the resources I came across on my web-ventures, but then I slowly learned that following the right educators meant it’d be a reciprocal thing!!

    Oh, man…the treasures that have been thrown my way…

    1. You’re right about the cynics … I’ve heard the line many times “I don’t want to know what people have for breakfast” … but in my Twitter experience, the people I follow have never tweeted about such irrelevant things. You really do need to follow the right people and it can really enrich your life!

  8. I’ve had the same experience. I’m also subscribed to numerous ed briefs / magazines but feel I get the most from what other teachers are tweeting. I have fallen in love with twitter! In a lonely vocation it has been a godsend! I have felt out of touch & as if I were regressing as a teacher, but no longer. I am re-energized!

  9. Oh…I also currently use twitter in my classroom as a daily newsletter to parents. but through my own recent journeys on twitter have thoughts about how to expand that for my 3rd graders to create their own hashtags & convos!

    1. Hi Tracy, I’m really interested in your idea of sending tweets out as a class newsletter. I don’t think any of my parents would be into Twitter (could be wrong). How many of your parents are on and how did you educate them about Twitter?

  10. I didn’t originally see “the point” of twitter and very nearly gave up very early in the piece. How glad I am that I didn’t. I’ve made many connections and learned far more than I have in many of the more formal professional development sessions I’ve attended. I’ve discovered resources and ideas that I would probably not have come across otherwise. The generous, sharing nature of the people on twitter never ceases to amaze me.

    I also use a class twitter account as a feed on our class blog for reminders etc., although I haven’t been too flash at updating it lately!

    1. @ Pam, it seems to be a common theme that people often nearly give up on Twitter before they really get into it! It’s probably important that us converts spread the word to non-tweeting teachers.
      The class Twitter account is something I’m interested it, do you have parents on Twitter?

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