Sound advice, new developments and a few laughs are what I want from twitter. I like to keep up with recent news and twitter is also excellent for this. However, this short post is really a postscript to some great blogs I have read over the last few days.
@WatsEd has written a brace of posts for new tweachers (not sure I like this portmateau but it seems to have stuck!) which can be found here,and here. These provide great advice for teachers new to twitter and also chronicle his ups and downs of social media.
@Mroberts90Matt has also written a good post along the same lines which can be found here and his journey as an NQT with one of the craziest years of his life is slightly different but also offers great advice.
I just wanted to add one thing that I thought was missing to these fine blogs. I would recommend using a twitter client (like TweetDeck or HootSuite) to follow twitter. The twitter website is fine if you are following a few people, but to get the best out of twitter for professional purposes you want to follow some themes through the popular hashtags such as #ukedchat, #edchat or #nqtchat. These hastags allow people to share their ideas with a wider audience than their own followers and it is a great way to share your own ideas with a people who don’t follow you…yet!
The problem is that, without a bit of fiddling, you have to manually update twitter and also you would have to have several tabs open for the different hashtags you are following. The beauty of twitter clients like TweetDeck or HootSuite is that you can have several tabs open on screen and view them all at once as well as having the client auto-update the different feeds you are following. This comes in really handy when you participate in a discussion on twitter as you can open a new feed to show just the tweets about the theme you are following. This acts like a filter and only shows you the tweets that are relevant to the topic.
Below are a couple of examples of twitter clients:
The TweetDeck screen grab (of 2 screens) also shows that, as well as having multiple feeds open in your browser, you can have different twitter accounts showing as well.
The twitter clients just make things easier to follow and make life in twitter a little bit simpler… well, for e at least!
I personally prefer TweetDeck but I would recommend you have a look for yourself and see which suit you best.
Oh… and say hello!