Educators are trending on Twitter. Trending means that more and more of them sign up every day. With access to resources and research, tips and tools, chat sessions and a virtual professional/personal learning network that could compare to the ones we may have in our own school, there are numerous reasons why educators are joining Twitter.
Tweeting is even becoming common language. Presenters, facilitators, tech directors and conference organizers begin their sessions or conferences by providing a Twitter hashtag so they can Storify everything that people Tweet. It sounds exciting and engaging...right?
Well, not for everyone...
There seem to be 4 groups of educators when it comes to Twitter. Those groups are:
Tweeters- Those Twitter users who connect with their PLN every day and create authentic relationships. They Tweet. They re-Tweet AND they engage!
Lurkers - They get on Twitter and read what others are Tweeting. They don’t usually re-Tweet because then someone may find them out! However, one a daily basis they are dipping their toes in the water. They just need a little persuading to dive in head first.
Eggheads/Twitter Wannabe- No, seriously. I’m not being mean. These users have an account but they haven’t added a picture yet so it’s a picture of an egg. A wannabe is someone who has added a picture but they haven’t Tweeted, don’t lurk, and when people ask them if they are on Twitter they say yes...and then add...”But I really don’t know how to use it.” They need an intervention!!! If you Tweet regularly be that person who will help them!
Twitterphobes - These are the people who say they don’t need Twitter but have never given it a try so they don’t know what they don’t know. Or they don’t like social media so they refuse to use Twitter because they think it’s a fad that is going away.
I do not want any of those categories to sound harsh. I truly believe that most educators would love to activate a Twitter account or use their account more, but they need a helping hand. Maybe a Twitter 101 course!
So in an effort to help move the conversation along, I have included a few blogs from the past that may help get people going. They are:
- Why Educators Should Join Twitter
- How Twitter is Changing Professional Development
- Why #Satchat is a Mind Blowing Experience
- Why Your Whole Staff Should Be on Twitter
- 3 Reasons Why You Need Twitter More Than It Needs You!
- Professional Development With the Experts Through Twitter
- 12 Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom (Education Week Commentary)
In the End
Finding a balance is very important. We need to take Stephen Covey’s advice and learn to sharpen the saw. Getting on Twitter takes an effort and consistency so educators can get used to the format, but we should always make sure that we use it because we want to and not because we think we have to.
There are great educators on Twitter and I’m not just talking about the ones who write books or have big names. Teachers, leaders, parents and students who make an impact on their school environment are on the social networking giant just looking to engage with you.
Give it a try.
Connect with Peter on Twitter
The opinions expressed in Peter DeWitt’s Finding Common Ground are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.