Why Use Twitter

In the last twelve months, OK I know I’m behind the eight ball, Twitter is probably the most useful tool I personally have come across.  Twitter and the 200 or so people I follow on it have become my personal learning network.  When I have a spare two minutes I browse through the latest news feed and more often than not come away with a resource, thought-provoking idea, or a smile.  Quite often all three together.  I share the information I find on Twitter on my Facebook page or simple add the site to my delicious account for later use.  I mean these are only my personal views but I love it and would recommend any educationist to get involved.

What Is Twitter

Twitter is one of the many platforms that fall under the ubiquitous heading of Web 2.0.  It is a social networking platform that allows you to post microblogs.  These microbloogs consist of short messages (140 Characters) than can be about anything.  You can add links to other online resources in these ‘tweets’ or you can add a hashtag to increase the number of people who might read your post.


Ok hashtags, at least my understanding of them, are a vehicle for allowing people to make a comment that goes out to a number of like minded thinkers.  For example the hastg #pencilchat sees a number of people giving a tongue in check account about the problems with pencils in school.  Worth a look if you like dry humour.  Here are a few others the educationalist out there might find interesting #edtech ; #elearning ; #edutalk ; #classblogs ; #comments4kids .  This list could go on and on so I won’t bore you.  Half the fun is in finding your own anyway.  Remember though there is a little bit of social protocol: don’t include to many hashtags on one tweet, anyone can make up their own hashtag.

Following People

So this is where the fun begins. If you have a friend on twitter the easiest way to find them is through a search for their username for example mine is @adam_marcant which is fairly easy as its my name but a lot of people use alias’ or nicknames which makes it a little harder to find them.  By double clicking on their name will give you a short bio which should help determine if you’ve found who you were after.  To actually find people click on the who to follow tab at the top and then you are given three options choose which ones appropriate and off you go.

Plugins, Widgets and Apps

There are 101 articles about the many many apps available for twitter.  Rather than try to explain them all it’s much more fun for you to set your own up.  Some of the articles below explain them in better detail.

Use Full Links

Is your head in the cloud or in the sand?

A Wiki On Twitter


100 Tips For Teachers on Twitter


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