You hear about it on the news. You read about it in the newspaper. If you work in a school district, your school's leadership may also be talking about it. What is "it"? Twitter, of course. While I would not say I am an avid Twitterer, basically because I don't have the time, I do see its power as a social networking and professional development tool and use it at least weekly.
For those of you wondering what Twitter is about, it is basically like building connections through a web page where you and your friends can share thoughts, ideas and resources. You can find people you want to "follow" and others can ask for "follow" you. This means they will see what you Tweet (or write) about in Twitter. Don't worry. If someone requests to follow you, a simple "Deny" will keep them from joining your network.
You might be asking, "So how does this help me as a teacher or other professional?" Here are some great resources to give you ideas on how to use it as well as how to get started. Please share your ideas and thoughts by posting a comment to this blog. If you want to "follow" me, my Twitter account is saellner. I look forward to see your request to follow. Let's share and learn together using this powerful easy tool!
Twitter for Teachers: Why You Should Start Tweeting Jason Renshaw lists ten reasons to start using Twitter. He also includes some guidelines to avoid the pitfalls of using Twitter.
Twenty-Seven Interesting Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom Tom Barrett created a slideshow to showcase a variety of creative classroom uses for Twitter, including geo-tagging, historical tweets, Twitter polls, and word morphs. (Note: this is a Google Docs presentation with a swear word so use with caution.)
Nine Great Reasons Why Teachers Should Use Twitter Laura Walker shares nine ways that Twitter can be used for on-demand, effective professional development.
A Beginner's Guide to Twitter Michael Wyatt posted a wonderful 20 minute guide to getting started on Twitter. The information is very detailed and easy to follow for anyone new to Twitter.
A Teacher's Guide to Twitter Kate Klingensmith provides many practical tips for teachers just getting started in Twitter including ways to find people to follow.
Twitter for Education Here is a wiki devoted to sharing educational uses of Twitter. Contains Twitter cartoons, lists of education leaders to follow on Twitter, and helpful Twitter "do's and don'ts".
Twitter For Teachers Wiki Find a Twitter-using educator in your subject area and sign up for a Twitter mentor. Add your name to the list!
Check some of the above links out and get Tweeting!