On my one-year anniversary of using Twitter for educational purposes I began blogging about what I had learned so far. I’ve had quite a bit of positive feedback on the first installment of this list of Twitter tips, so if you are starting here you may wish to double back and check out Part 1. School started up again and I didn’t really know what my next five items would be, so I blogged about other things instead for a few days. It was a nod to David Letterman’s Top Ten Lists in the first place, so here is the final installment of what I learned in my first year as an educator on Twitter.
An Additional Top 5 Things I’ve Learned As A Teacher on Twitter
Education Chats Abound on Twitter: Eventually I had time to breathe after the first week back and I found myself providing Twitter advice on #Nt2t (stands for New Teacher 2 Twitter) during it’s regular time on Saturday morning. If you are new to Twitter, it can be hard to find what you are looking for via the search field, though it is possible. Click on the horizontal tabs to change between Top, Live, Accounts, Photos, and Videos. I usually choose Live and scan for hashtags that contain “ed” or “edu” in combination with “chat.” You can search specifically for a chat hashtag after you peruse this evolving list. A search for a known chat + Q# can provide you with a question that was recently asked such that you can find out when a chat is likely to be live again and get a feel for the topics discussed during the chat (see image, below). Most education chats are held weekly.
Lists Seem Obscure, But Are Not: If you have yet to create a list on Twitter they are very mysterious. Most of the recent #Nt2t questions revolved around lists, but if you’ve never created one yourself, a list feature isn’t obvious on your Twitter page (see images below, top). However, you can find it in your drop down menu at the top righthand corner of the screen (see images below, bottom left). Once you create at least one list it will show up on your Twitter page beside Likes (see images below, bottom right).
Lists Are Easy To Make: If you want to make a list of educators, leaders, administrators, or instructional coaches, etc. because organization is helpful, you can do it, here’s how!
- Find the page of a person you wish to list (might I suggest Eric Davis) and click on the gear icon to choose Add or remove from lists… (see images below, top left).
- Choose Create a list (see images below, bottom left).
- Fill in your list details and Save list (see images below, top right).
- Include the person in your new list by choosing the name given to your list and click Create a list (see images below, bottom right).
You Will Be Listed: I have been working on a chat called Lifelong Learning Chat. It has only been active since December 22, 2015 and the account itself was created in June 2015. Imagine my surprise in finding that the @LLLchat account is already listed by many (below images, left). Your being listed is beyond your control, but it does increase your exposure to the followers of those who list you. If a person adds you to their list you become Member of. You are automatically Subscribed to any lists you create (below images, right). If you find someone else’s list to be of interest you can be Subscribed to them, just click Subscribe on their list page.
Lists Are Useful: When a Twitter account approaches its follow limit, a person has little recourse but to wait for more people to follow them in order to be permitted to follow more themselves. There is a formula that is highly guarded, widely discussed, and apparently evolving (I see 5,000 in the hits at this link, but I’ve always heard it was 2,000). Lists are immediately useful to anyone at their follow limit because listed accounts do not count against the follow limit. A further list utility is borne out of wanting to keep track of accounts only periodically. I have listed my senior students on Twitter, that way I can see their tweets when we do a class activity using the platform, but I can be otherwise tuned out of their daily tweet activities.
Note: Many educators on Twitter have similar blogs with similar helpful tips. If you have found me to be confusing, don’t give up! Go to Google search and enter teacher blog how to twitter or any other combination of terms and see what you can find. Together, we’re better!