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08/28/2013 3:58 PM | Elizabeth Ramos (Administrator)

Many people think of Twitter as something the Hollywood types use. Twitter is actually a powerful tool for educators. Teachers across the US and other countries are leveraging Twitter to collaborate and provide the best PD for free! There are Twitter chats for every topic imaginable. Looking for some useful information, just follow a hash tag (#). is a website full of educational resources. Among this pot of gold are multiple pages dedicated to Twitter. Check out the Twitter page for beginners, learn educational hashtags, find a chat to participate in, and then participate in a chat.

You may be leary like me. However, Twitter has become such a powerful tool in my teaching arsenal. It is not just about having a PLC anymore. As educators, we are talking about the Common Core and 21st Century skills. These include collaboration and integration of technology. It is important that we model for our students and be life long learners. Today it is about developing you PLN- Professional Learning Network. Educators on Twitter are collaborators looking to learn, share, and build up each other. Initally, I was what is referred to as a "lurker." I followed people and would watch the stream on my computer for chats. Then I was brave one day and participated. Seriously, I look back and what was I thinking. Don't be afraid to just jump in. The people on Twitter are very supportive and embrace newbies. Even better, find someone on Twitter and meet up to watch how they participate in a chat. Don't worry if the chat goes too fast. You can always go back through the archives of the chat.

There are a few things you will want to know as you begin. Change the egghead profile picture and write a profile. Some people are leary to follow people without an image, it does not have to be you, or some biographical information on their profile. When you find people you like, check out who they follow as possible people to build your PLN. Fridays have become Follow Friday's (#FF). People will recommend people to follow using #FF, use these to build your PLN too. Branch out outside of your subject matter. I have learned immensely by following other teachers outside of Social Studies. When you tweet about a topic, include the hash tag for that topic. For example, include #sschat for Social Studies, #wrldchat for World History, #edtech for educational technology, #ccss for Common Core, and #HSGovChat for Government Tweets. Find a chat or two to get started. Some particular helpful ones for history are #HSGovChat Sundays at 6pm, #sschat Mondays at 4pm, and #wrldchat Tuesdays at 5pm. Other chats of interest may be #ccsschat Sundays at 6pm, #tlap Mondays at 5pm,  #flipclass Mondays at 5pm, and #caedchat Sundays at 8pm. Lastly, utilizing a Twitter client such as Tweet Deck will make following hash tags and chats MUCH easier.

That's a brief overview. Still not convinced? Google Twitter for professional development. Over 200 MILLION results come up. Read an article or blog post and come on board!
California Council For the Social Studies
Serving Social Educators in California
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