Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What Works for Me on Twitter: Mentions

Before I decided to write my Twitter series I authored a post that explains how important mentions on Twitter can potentially be.  Please check it out here if you haven't read it yet.

What I've learned over time is that mentions can serve a small handful of different purposes.  One, mentions give credit where credit is due.  A mention in your tweet points people in the right direction whether it be a user or a company.  Two, and as I shared before, mentions have the potential to connect you with people you may not have encountered anyway.  Those few mentions have led to a relationship between our team and the company that wouldn't have been able to happen without each others presence and interaction on Twitter.  There's nothing to not like about that as everyone is better for it.

So don't forget that "@" sign when you have a chance to use it purposefully.  You never know where it may take you.  It has definitely been a dynamic ride for me so far.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

What Works for Me on Twitter: Lists

Does your Twitter timeline tend to overwhelm you from time to time?  Is someone posting random tweets that keep you from accessing the useful information you joined Twitter for?  Do you have a group of people that post tweets regarding a similar topic most of the time?  If any, some, or all of the above situations apply to you it's time to begin setting up some Twitter lists.

Many users aren't aware of this, but you are a mere few clicks away from way more control over what you see and when on Twitter.  Simply click on your settings wheel in the upper right hand corner of your Twitter home page and you're on your way to a less complicated and more valuable experience with Twitter.

The main Twitter list "pane" looks like this.

Click on the "Create list" button to get started.  Here are the options to choose from:

Give the list a name.  Add a description if it will help you or your audience know what information and/or who is included in the list.  Also be aware that the list you create can be private only to you or be shared with others.  Pro Tip: Explore the public lists of the people you enjoy following most to find other Twitter members you may like to follow as well.

If you ever want to go back to a list, rename it, edit the description, or make a private list public or vice versa, simply go to the list and click on the "Edit" button here:

Also, clicking the "Member of" button here,

will allow you to see which public lists other Twitter users have placed you on.  See who may be stalking you because you're awesome!

As seen in the images, I have two lists associated with the Twitter account I use professionally.  One list, titled "IT Team" is there to make sure that I don't miss any tweets the colleagues on my team posts.  I follow them in the traditional way, but if I'm not on my timeline at the right time I could miss an important tweet of theirs and I don't want that to happen.  The other list I created is simply titled "List."  I have reserved this list for a few people that I really want to follow, but they just post too much during the day.  This way I can still see their tweets, but now I see their tweets when I want to see them instead of when they post them.

There are many reasons to create a list on Twitter.  I was speaking from experience in my examples earlier.  Your reasons may be different than mine, but one thing we can agree on is that having a little more control over when you see particular tweets from particular people is a positive thing.

So this should hopefully get you started with lists.  Enjoy the new control you have over your timeline and let your more personal Twitter experience work better for you.

(For further information about the creation and use of lists on Twitter the great people at Edudemic have you covered.  Click here for a post about how to create Twitter lists and click here for some perspective on how to manage information from your PLN via Twitter lists.)

Monday, October 14, 2013

What Works/Worked for Me on Twitter: Getting Started

I'm pretty confident that I could write an extensive post on how to get started on Twitter, but why do that when many talented and smart people have already done it?

Below you'll find links to a small handful of posts that will give you the basics on how to get signed up and tweeting like a pro in no time.

A Visual Guide to Twitter for Beginners via Edudemic.

A shared Google doc with step-by-step directions on how to get started on Twitter via Alice Keeler on Twitter (@alicekeeler).

Re-Imagine Your Professional Development Experience...With Twitter via Victoria Olson.

How to Use Twitter for Teaching and Learning via Edudemic.

What I Wish I Knew Before I Started Twitter via Steven W. Anderson.

Twitter for Teachers (video below) via Erin Klein.


Twitter (social media) Pro Tip: Go to any resource that you sign up for with as much purpose as you can apply.  We can talk for days about how to use Twitter (the tool), but without a specific purpose about how you'd like to use it excitement and motivation will fade very, very quickly  There is no better place for self-paced/asynchronous professional development for me.  Every time I log in I find resources to bookmark and/or share.  

Twitter works really well for me and I hope it can work just as well, if not better, for you. 

More posts to come in the "What Works for Me on Twitter" coming at you soon!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Professional Learning, Anytime and Anywhere

Early to an appointment at a school?  Potential for professional learning.

Waiting to get my haircut?  Potential for professional learning.

Waiting in line at the grocery store?  Potential for professional learning.

Anytime I have access to my phone, iPad, and the Internet in general I have almost direct access to professional learning sources.  How is that?

I am putting this out there because I truly believe it (and I'll even type it in bold font to show that I'm totally serious): There is no better place for asynchronous/self-paced professional learning than Twitter and Twitter helps me be more effective at what I do.  Period.

October is Connected Educators Month and I wanted share the tool that continues to shape my passion for what I do while, at the same time, allowing me the potential to connect, talk, and share with people across our school district, our state, the United States, and potentially the world.

It's a fact that Twitter itself has useless things on it.  There isn't much on the Internet, especially social media, today that doesn't.  Twitter though, along with many other places, allows users to filter the "noise" by providing the chance to follow and highlight who you want.  Also, with Twitter lists, users can control when they see tweets from other Twitter users while potentially making sure that tweets about like subjects can be found all in one place.  Weekly Twitter hashtag chats allow users to tweet about like topics during particular days and times with people who have similar interests and passions from around the world.  Twitter can very easily be leveraged as a one-way tool as well.  Users don't need to or have to post personal tweets.  Just follow users that share information that's useful to you and that can be it.  These are just a few of the many benefits of using Twitter professionally in some way, shape, or form.

Quite frankly, and in my humble opinion, the excuses for educators/educational leadership for not being a participant on Twitter for professional learning are beginning to dwindle.

I am planning a post series entitled "What Works for Me on Twitter" in the near future that will help you get started and going on Twitter.  I simply wanted to set the stage as a whole with this post.

Stay tuned...