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September 4, 2015 Twitter for Teachers: A Beginner's Guide to Getting Started By Meghan Everette
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

    Twitter has been around since 2006 and the company says it currently has 316 million “monthly active users”. Over 500 million tweets are sent everyday, and in 2014 a Twitter executive said 4.2 million of those are related to education. What are they doing? Sharing resources, supporting colleagues, and changing education policy around the globe. But you know this. That’s why you’re here: you’re ready to get started, but just aren’t sure what to do.

     

    Vocabulary

    Twitter lingo can sound like a crazy foreign language if you aren’t a frequent user. It’s important to note that you can use whatever capitalization you like, but Twitter isn’t case-specific. For example, I could use @BamaMeghan or @bamameghan — it's all the same to Twitter. Here are a few terms you'll need to get started:

    Handle

    twitter handle @

    This is your Twitter name. You want this to be both memorable and easy to remember. Sure, you can use your first and last name, but there are a lot of Jane Smith’s out there. If your name is taken, use something that identifies you. Mine, for example, is @bamameghan. Some of my friends include @TheLearningLoop and @TechGirlJenny. Short, spelled correctly, and identifiable is key.

    Tweet

    A 140-character public message.

    News Feed

    twitter home

    The home button gets you to your news feed. This is a constantly updated list of everyone you choose to follow. Occasionally you might see promoted tweets too (meaning someone paid Twitter to get seen).

    Hashtag

    twitter #hashtag

    The pound sign before text means that the text can be searched. This is really useful. If you want to find everyone talking about books you throw the hashtag on the front, and you can find any tweet that someone put #books in. They can also be used for humor. #MeghanRocks #TwitterIsCool

    DM (Direct Message)

    twitter dm

    All tweets are public and can be seen by anyone at any time unless you use a direct message. A DM means that the conversation is only between you and the other person (or people) in your message.

    RT (Retweet)

    twitter retweet

    Anyone can repost your tweet, which is similar to quoting you. Your name is still attached, but everyone who follows the re-poster can now see your tweet too. This is usually done as a form of agreement or flattery.

    Favorite

    twitter favorite

    Hit the star when you want to say you like a tweet, or agree with it.

    Quote

    twitter quote

    Quote was formerly a MT, or Mention. You can attach an original tweet to yours and add your own commentary.

    Notifications

    twitter notifications

    When someone mentions your handle, or retweets what you wrote, you will get a notification. You can choose if you get text alerts, emails, or phone notifications in your settings.

     

    Now let’s get rolling!

    1. Go to twitter.com and create an account. It’s free.

    Sign up on Twitter

    2. Download the app for your phone. Eighty percent of Twitter users use their phones to read and post tweets, according to the company.

    3. Edit your profile. Make sure your photo is actually of you, so people can find and identify you. Keep it professional. Be sure to include the handle of any organizations you associate with, or the hashtag for any important causes. For example, I feel strongly about the STEAM education movement, so #STEAM is in my profile.

    twitter profile changes     follow on twitter

    4. Now it’s time to follow people. Look for people you respect and trust. Don’t feel that you have to follow everyone out there. Every time you follow someone, their information will show up in your news feed unless you specify otherwise.

    Looking for some great follows? Start with @ScholasticTeach and @Scholastic. Follow our bloggers too! Be sure to find your local school system, school, and state education agencies. When you start doing Twitter Chats, you’ll find even more people you want to follow.

    #TopTeaching Blogger Twitter handles

    5. Explore. Until you follow people, your news feed will be fairly slow. That’s not always a bad thing! Use the search feature and hashtags to explore what others are saying. For a huge list of education hashtags, see @cybraryman1 and his extensive website. Search for a hashtag that interests you and scroll to see people and organizations you might be interested in following.

    6. Tweet! You’ll quickly see how people share their ideas, link to resources, and tweet about their day on Twitter.

     

    WARNING: BE CAREFUL

    ALL tweets are public if your account is public. That little block button? It is powerless against a Google search. If you post a tweet, it can be found. For example, if I wrote "I hate blogging" and then blocked you from seeing my account, you could just go to google and search for me and my twitter feed would pop up. Blocking individual users can't keep a public tweet from being found. Keep your tweets professional, and don’t post anything you wouldn’t say to your boss’s or your momma’s face!

    child writing tweets

     

    Be sure to sign on to Twitter and follow #TopTeaching each second Tuesday at 9:00 pm ET. Fellow #TopTeaching bloggers and I will be around for an hour to chat about classroom ideas and issues with teachers all around the world! Our first chat featured classroom design and upcoming topics will include classroom management, holiday celebration ideas, virtual field trips, and more! Join in! Our next chat will be Tuesday, September 8 at 9:00 pm ET and we’ll be talking back-to-school tips featuring great organization and management ideas.

    Get comfortable sharing some ideas, telling the world what you taught today, and come back! Next time we’ll talk Twitter Chats, Periscope, and all the other cool tools you can use to make Twitter an important part of your professional life.

     

    Questions? Need help? There are no silly questions here!

    Twitter has been around since 2006 and the company says it currently has 316 million “monthly active users”. Over 500 million tweets are sent everyday, and in 2014 a Twitter executive said 4.2 million of those are related to education. What are they doing? Sharing resources, supporting colleagues, and changing education policy around the globe. But you know this. That’s why you’re here: you’re ready to get started, but just aren’t sure what to do.

     

    Vocabulary

    Twitter lingo can sound like a crazy foreign language if you aren’t a frequent user. It’s important to note that you can use whatever capitalization you like, but Twitter isn’t case-specific. For example, I could use @BamaMeghan or @bamameghan — it's all the same to Twitter. Here are a few terms you'll need to get started:

    Handle

    twitter handle @

    This is your Twitter name. You want this to be both memorable and easy to remember. Sure, you can use your first and last name, but there are a lot of Jane Smith’s out there. If your name is taken, use something that identifies you. Mine, for example, is @bamameghan. Some of my friends include @TheLearningLoop and @TechGirlJenny. Short, spelled correctly, and identifiable is key.

    Tweet

    A 140-character public message.

    News Feed

    twitter home

    The home button gets you to your news feed. This is a constantly updated list of everyone you choose to follow. Occasionally you might see promoted tweets too (meaning someone paid Twitter to get seen).

    Hashtag

    twitter #hashtag

    The pound sign before text means that the text can be searched. This is really useful. If you want to find everyone talking about books you throw the hashtag on the front, and you can find any tweet that someone put #books in. They can also be used for humor. #MeghanRocks #TwitterIsCool

    DM (Direct Message)

    twitter dm

    All tweets are public and can be seen by anyone at any time unless you use a direct message. A DM means that the conversation is only between you and the other person (or people) in your message.

    RT (Retweet)

    twitter retweet

    Anyone can repost your tweet, which is similar to quoting you. Your name is still attached, but everyone who follows the re-poster can now see your tweet too. This is usually done as a form of agreement or flattery.

    Favorite

    twitter favorite

    Hit the star when you want to say you like a tweet, or agree with it.

    Quote

    twitter quote

    Quote was formerly a MT, or Mention. You can attach an original tweet to yours and add your own commentary.

    Notifications

    twitter notifications

    When someone mentions your handle, or retweets what you wrote, you will get a notification. You can choose if you get text alerts, emails, or phone notifications in your settings.

     

    Now let’s get rolling!

    1. Go to twitter.com and create an account. It’s free.

    Sign up on Twitter

    2. Download the app for your phone. Eighty percent of Twitter users use their phones to read and post tweets, according to the company.

    3. Edit your profile. Make sure your photo is actually of you, so people can find and identify you. Keep it professional. Be sure to include the handle of any organizations you associate with, or the hashtag for any important causes. For example, I feel strongly about the STEAM education movement, so #STEAM is in my profile.

    twitter profile changes     follow on twitter

    4. Now it’s time to follow people. Look for people you respect and trust. Don’t feel that you have to follow everyone out there. Every time you follow someone, their information will show up in your news feed unless you specify otherwise.

    Looking for some great follows? Start with @ScholasticTeach and @Scholastic. Follow our bloggers too! Be sure to find your local school system, school, and state education agencies. When you start doing Twitter Chats, you’ll find even more people you want to follow.

    #TopTeaching Blogger Twitter handles

    5. Explore. Until you follow people, your news feed will be fairly slow. That’s not always a bad thing! Use the search feature and hashtags to explore what others are saying. For a huge list of education hashtags, see @cybraryman1 and his extensive website. Search for a hashtag that interests you and scroll to see people and organizations you might be interested in following.

    6. Tweet! You’ll quickly see how people share their ideas, link to resources, and tweet about their day on Twitter.

     

    WARNING: BE CAREFUL

    ALL tweets are public if your account is public. That little block button? It is powerless against a Google search. If you post a tweet, it can be found. For example, if I wrote "I hate blogging" and then blocked you from seeing my account, you could just go to google and search for me and my twitter feed would pop up. Blocking individual users can't keep a public tweet from being found. Keep your tweets professional, and don’t post anything you wouldn’t say to your boss’s or your momma’s face!

    child writing tweets

     

    Be sure to sign on to Twitter and follow #TopTeaching each second Tuesday at 9:00 pm ET. Fellow #TopTeaching bloggers and I will be around for an hour to chat about classroom ideas and issues with teachers all around the world! Our first chat featured classroom design and upcoming topics will include classroom management, holiday celebration ideas, virtual field trips, and more! Join in! Our next chat will be Tuesday, September 8 at 9:00 pm ET and we’ll be talking back-to-school tips featuring great organization and management ideas.

    Get comfortable sharing some ideas, telling the world what you taught today, and come back! Next time we’ll talk Twitter Chats, Periscope, and all the other cool tools you can use to make Twitter an important part of your professional life.

     

    Questions? Need help? There are no silly questions here!

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