Twitter and Professional Learning

Twitter Teachers Newbies!

When you hear Twitter what do you think? People telling the world when they are going to the store, extremely hot weather, or the ridiculously high gas prices (I do agree with this by the way.) While many people do use Twitter for these purposes, did you know that Twitter is an excellent professional learning resource. Getting started with Twitter can be a confusing and daunting task for newbies, including myself. I have had a Twitter account for over  a year now. It wasn’t until about 4 months ago that I really began to utilize Twitter for my professional learning. However, I had to search and investigate how to use Twitter effectively. So here is a basic Twitter tutorial and links to helpful resources in the blogroll that I have used along to enhance my PL on Twitter.

1. Usernames: You create your own username when signing up for a Twitter account. When viewing a tweet you see username @ username (i.e. mollymiller76 @mollymiller76).

2. Hashtags: Hashtags are This is was probably the toughest thing for me to tackle since there are so many hashtags. The way I overcame this obstacle was searching a certain hashtag. The hashtag I started with is #edtech. Edudemic ( has a the 2012 A-Z List of Educational Twitter Hashtags. I have actually saved this as a screen.

3. Following: Find people to follow once you have searched by hashtag. I usually browse through a person’s tweets to see if they have posted anything that will interest me. Sean Junkins recently tweeted a link to 130 Perfect Twitter Accounts for Educators.  I am following many of these people. A lot of the information  I am posting about in this blog has come from tweets from these professionals. Start following others with similar interests. I started this by searching by hashtags.

4. Followers: These are people who follow your tweets. Do not feel obligated to follow others even if they are following you.

5. Personal and Professional Social Networking:  Separating your professional and personal life when using social networking. While, I do like to use social networking to stay in contact with family and friends, I don’t have to sort through personal tweets to find professional related tweets. To make my life a little easier, I use Twitter solely for professional reasons and Facebook for personal reasons. There are not right or wrong answers. Find what works for you.

6. Tweeting : Tweets can only be 140 characters which includes letter, numbers, characters, and spaces. Website links and hashtags are not included in 140 character limit. You can respond  to other people you are following tweets. You can also retweet other’s tweets. If you see RT at the beginning of tweet, that indicates a retweet. 

So, start using Twitter to enhance your professional learning. Don’t worry about how many people are following you. Use the links in my blogroll to help you get started! Follow me on Twitter if you are interested in educational technology (#edtech).


Tweet Away! 



About dps61techcoach

I am the mother of two boys and happily married for 15 years. Currently, I am a school improvement specialist for Decatur Public Schools. Next year I will be an instructional technology coach. I am super excited about this new role.
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