Welcome to the World of Twitter

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I joined twitter a year ago, lurked around, and abandoned the idea of yet another social media site to maintain. However, in the last few months I delved deeper to understanding what twitter was all about and the immense abilities to connect, learn from, and share ideas with educators all over the world. The capabilities of this site are endless, and although at times I am overwhelmed when I see the never-ending role of tweets that I have missed, I continue to believe that it is an excellent resource for professional development when used in a meaningful way.

Recently, I have surrounded myself with a plethora of educators who are new to twitter and I thought I could offer some personal advise for tips and tricks to navigate through the world of tweeting.

Your Profile Page:
1) Use your real name. There is no need to create a new one.
2) Nobody wants to see a picture of an egg, so please, put a picture of yourself. It does not have to be a glamour shot, but having a picture removes that sense of mystery and uncertainty about an individual.
3) In your bio, provide information about what you teach. Be specific as this will connect you to more educators like yourself. Also, share something personal; things you like to do, hobbies, etc…
4) Unless you have a strong reason to, keep your profile unlocked. Twitter is a public domain and allowing people to read and share your tweets is a great way to connect with individuals you could have otherwise missed.

Tips:
1) Dedicate at least thirty minutes a day to explore, tweet, and connect with others. The best way to gather a following is to tweet, tweet, tweet!
2) Follow individuals who interest you. Think about the things you are interested in, or the areas where you would like to develop more.
3) If you find a person who either follows a lot of people, or has a lot of followers, look at their profiles. I guarantee you that you will be able to find people to connect with.
4) Retweet all you would like, but also remember to create your own ideas. Remember that people want to learn from you as well, so share the great things that you are learning or doing in your classroom.
5) Be concise! You only have 140 characters so your tweets should be clear and to the point.
6) Use #hashtags! This will also help you to connect and put your ideas, comments, or questions out to the twitter world.
7) Remember whatever you tweet you should feel comfortable saying in front of a student. You are responsible for creating your digital footprint!

Here are some other resources to check out:
10 steps to becoming a twitter master video.
What should a networked educational leader tweet about?
60 dos and don’ts for Twitter newbies.
10 ways teachers can use twitter for professional development.
Essential dos and don’ts for twitter users.

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