Getting teachers on Twitter

This fall one of the goals of my buildings tech plan that I helped create had the goal of getting teachers to start to use social media for professional development.  The most success so far has been in getting our staff on Twitter.  Here is who is now on Twitter:

In the above list there are teachers who have:

Made the account, haven’t tweeted but rather have “lurked.”  And that’s OK:

Others who have joined a grade level chat:

Some are tweeting student learning during the hour of code:

While others are participating in collaborative math projects with other classrooms:

Here is what helped get so many staff on Twitter:

  1.  1 on 1 training.  What staff knew about Twitter was too varied for an after school training.  Some were tweeting before me, others did not know what Twitter really was.  What helped was to make it fun–in October I had a “Twix or Tweet” campaign.  Signing up for Twitter with me 1:1 got you a Twix.


2.  As you sit with the teacher, make sure they are running the device.  It takes a bit longer but watching someone set something up for you isn’t helpful after you leave.

3.  Set up the teacher with a “seed” PLN (personal learning network)

I help the staff member connect first with other staff on Twitter in our building and our district and then with at least three people in their area using: and for grade level teachers

4.  I then showed staff the basics of navigating Twitter:

How to add/remove those you follow

How to follow a hashtag

When a chat, e.g. a grade level chat, happens.  Also what “Q1” (Question 1), “A3” (Answer 3) means in an overlapping Twitter Chat.

5.  Some recurring questions from staff have been:

Why bother?

The main reason I tell them about the value to educators of Twitter–or other social media–is the PLN–your Personal Learning Network.

One example would be the #4thchat group.  It’s great to connect to other 4th grade teachers to share ideas, challenges, and connections.  Many of the mystery skypes I have done were connected through the PLN.

Over winter break, a weekly #4thchat turned into a Google Hangout with ideas about how to share student publishing.  One of the members created a internet Google doc on which our students are working to share their book reviews.

The main purpose of Twitter is rather than going to Google, you go to Twitter where you often find things you didn’t even know you were going to search/Google.

There are many ways to connect, but it has been fun to help get people started.





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