Thursday, November 19, 2015

Twitter 101: The Who, How, What, When, Where & Why from #NT2T Chat

There are many, many, many education focused chats on Twitter but if you are taking the next step in becoming a connected educator and have recently joined twitter then participating in #NT2T (New Teachers to Twitter) chat is the best way to begin. #NT2T is a warm, welcoming chat moderated by Stephan Hughes (@Stephwurking), Julie Szaj (@Shyj) and Marty Keltz (@Martysnowpaw). Each week has a different theme but it always focuses on the tips, tricks, resources and ideas that will help new teachers navigate through the Twittersphere. If you haven't had the opportunity to participate in this fantastic chat then you are missing out! You can catch #NT2T chat every Saturday morning at 9AM EST. 

On November, 14th I had the incredible honor to guest moderate this fantastic chat. Our theme was Twitter 101 and new along with veteran Twitter users shared their expertise on how to get the most out of this online social network. So many fabulous resources and ideas were exchanged in the chat that it warranted a blog post to share all of this awesome! You can see the full chat storified by Stephan Hughes here

Love this quote by Dave Mulder. It really captures the power of Twitter!

Why should we encourage others to join Twitter?

Twitter is an incredible resource for us as connected educators. As Elizabeth (@StJMagistra) points out, it is a constant stream of personal learning. With such fabulous personalized professional development available to us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week it is hard not to want to share the amazing world of Twitter with all of our colleagues. We can encourage others to join Twitter through professional development presentations like this one shared with us by Elizabeth. Alice Keeler (@AliceKeeler) also has a great blog post all about facilitating signing teachers onto Twitter. Also check out The Beginners Guide to Twitter Part 1 from for a simple easy to digest guide for those new to Twitter.

What do terms like MT & RT mean?

With only 140 characters there are a lot of shortened terms and abbreviations thrown around. So what do terms like RT and MT mean and how do we use these effectively to get the most out of our tweets? As Max (@now_teach_this) shared RT= Retweet is used to reshare the information you found interesting or informative. MT= Modified Tweet is for resharing and editing something that someone tweeted. With the new "quoting" feature it's easy to add your own comments on someone's tweet, plus their original tweet shows as well so others know where the tweet came from. This Twitter Cheat Sheet has list of all of these key terms and much more! 

Where can you find resources for connecting with others?

There are tons of resources on and off of Twitter that help us get and stay connected with other educators. Steve Peterson (@Principal_P) recommends checking out Jerry Blumengarten's (@cybraryman1) Twitter page which is a great resource if you are ready to sift through all things Twitter. Edudemic's (@edudemicTeacher's Guide to Twitter contains a guide to educational hashtags, 101 ways to use Twitter, a cheat sheet and more. 

When are your favorite Twitter chats?

So many Twitter chats, so little time! Participating in Twitter chats and engaging in discussions with others is the ultimate way to grow your PLN (professional learning network). There are more chats available to you than you could possibly participate in but we can certainly try! Julie Jones (@JuliePJones) recommends searching the official Educational Twitter Chat Calendar to find chats to meet your needs. If you want a more narrowed down list check out Craig Kemp's (@MrKempnz) Top 8 Twitter Chats for Educators. #NT2T gave a shout out to their favorite Twitter chats as well which are listed by day below. If you see any errors in times or links below please let me know so that I can update the post =)

#IAedchat Sundays at 8PM CT (shared by Dave Mulder @d_mulder)
#1stchat Sundays at 8ET (shared by Terry Stoufer @firstatbat)

#PrimaryRocks Mondays 8PM UK Time (shared by Maryse @AllThingsMaths)
#leadwithgiants Mondays at 5pm MT (shared by Lesley Dahlkemper @LDahlkemper)
#TLAP (Teach Like A Pirate) Mondays at 9PM ET (shared by Erin @butterfli820)
#TOSAChat Mondays at 8PT (shared by me =)

#EdChat Tuesdays at 7PM ET (shared by Jonathan Eagan @coacheagan)
#TotallyRossome Tuesdays at 9ET (shared by Brian @btcostello05)
#K12PRchat every other Tuesday at 5PM MT (shared by Lesley Dahlkemper @LDahlkemper)

#Mathschat Wednesdays 8pm UK Time (shared by Maryse @AllThingsMaths)
#sblchat (Standards Based Learning) Wednesdays at 9PM ET (shared by Dave Mulder @d_mulder)
#Edbeat Wednesdays at 6PM MT (shared by Lesley Dahlkemper @LDahlkemper)
#PTchat Wednesdays 9ET (shared by Jeremy Bond @JeremyDBond)
#weirded Wednesdays at 8PT (shared by Brian @btcostello05)

#k12artchat Thursdays 8:30PM CT (shared by Nazia Sikander @NaziaSikander)
#WhatIsSchool Thursdays at 6ET (shared by Terry Stoufer @firstatbat and the moderator himself Craig Kemp @mrkempnz)
#SOBTC (Send Our Boys to College) Every other Thursday at 7:30 ET (shared by David Billikopf @DavidBillikopf
#ElemMathChat Thursdays 9 ET (shared by Terry Stoufer @firstatbat)
#Ditchbook Thursdays at 7PST (shared by me =)

#Inzpired Fridays at 9:30 ET (shared by Terry Stoufer @firstatbat)

#Satchat at 6:30 CT (shared by Elizabeth @StJMagistra, echoed by Lisa Rosenfeld @lisarosenfield)
#NT2T Saturday at 9AM ET (shared by Elizabeth @StJMagistra echoed by Natalie Slick @Natalie_Slick96, Erin @butterfli820, Lilo Stephans @lilostep)

#BFC530 (Daily) (shared by Erin @butterfli820)

Who do you recommend other educators follow on Twitter?

The best way to grow your PLN is to participate in a Twitter chat and find people who inspire, encourage and challenge you. However, it is sometimes nice to have a list of those others have followed and recommend as powerful additions to our PLN. Craig Kemp provided us with his 10 Steps to Creating the Perfect Twitter Account which has a list of his top follows. Below are the educators the #NT2T participants gave their seal of "follow" approval to in no particular order. 


How can we get the most out of a Twitter chat?

Most Twitter chats are Q&A style chats, like #NT2T, which post a question using Q1, Q2 etc, then participants answer using the A1, A2 format. Once you have a few chats under your belt, and feel comfortable, you can move beyond the Q&A to engage with others and get the most out of a chat. Jonathan Eagan (@coacheagan) suggests responding to comments and quoting tweets from others who have answered. It can spark powerful side conversations where you can take the topic discussion further. Kory Graham (@korytellers) challenges us to find those tweets that really get us thinking and let that dig us into a conversation. You can continue the conversation after the chat has officially ended either on Twitter, direct message, email, Voxer etc. Like Jonathan and Kory said, be brave and contribute, don't be shy! 


Be sure to catch #NT2T chat every Saturday at 9AM ET and follow the marvelous moderators Stephan Hughes (@Stephwurking), Julie Szaj (@Shyj) and Marty Keltz (@Martysnowpaw) for details about upcoming chat topics. You can also join the #NT2T G+ Community and check out #NT2TEU, a chat for New Teachers to Twitter in the UK happening every Tuesday at 9PM BST! So mark your calendars and invite a friend to #NT2T. See you there! 

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