Education Trends

Twitter Support for Educators and Parents

May 20, 2014 Updated April 30, 2014
Photo credit: Veer

Still don't have a Twitter teacher in your school or district? If not, don't worry. Educators have two new supports when it comes to learning the ropes of Twitter:

  1. A new online support community called #Nt2T for new teacher Twitterers
  2. A five-part Twitter 101 eCourse aimed at getting the novice social media user up and connected

And no purchase orders are necessary. Both of these new offerings are absolutely free.

#Nt2T (New teachers 2 Twitter)

Late last year, Julie Szaj (@shyj), Ruta Danyte (@fishtree_edu), Marty Keltz (@martysnowpaw) and Stephan Hughes (@defstef98) were participating in #edchat. They discussed how nice it would be if each of them would bring just one teacher to the next chat -- someone who was hesitant about participating on Twitter to help them get connected. A flurry of tweets were sent back and forth as we discussed the option of creating a whole new chat geared for new teachers to Twitter. It would be a chat where "newbies" could come to be mentored by more experienced users. The hope was to support, encourage, share with and educate the new teachers, helping them build their PLN and confidence so they might feel empowered enough to share their voice in the educational realm to facilitate change. Now that #edchat-bred idea is a reality.

New Teachers to Twitter (#Nt2T) is now a busy little hashtag loaded with the core values, resources and people expressed above. The team has identified a day and time for the chat to take place (every Saturday from 9-10 AM EDT / 6-7 AM PDT). Traci Logue (@Fearless_Teach) has also joined the moderating #Nt2T team. For Twitter newbies, follow to take part in the conversation or experience the feed without signing in to Twitter. Follow Nt2T at @Nt2TGlobal for news on upcoming chats, resources, and other events for new teacher Twitterers.

But what if your teachers, parents, and school leaders don't tweet?

Twitter 101 eCourse for Educators and Parents

In creating online learning opportunities for my organization's end-of-year In-Service Days, I produced my first ever eCourse. The offering is aimed to provide the novice Twitter user a general overview of the social media tool, as well as "hand hold" participants through the basic steps of registration and initial connecting to the greater education world. The hashtag #Nt2T is embedded throughout the course with an aim to connect educators and parents to a growing community that's working to become better social media users, while modeling transparency, professional reflection, and lifelong-learning for kids.

You can take this free five-part series, Twitter 101: An eCourse for Educators and Parents, here. Below is an overview of what participants can expect to learn.

Part 1: The Basics
Part 2: The Language of Twitter
Part 3: Registration & Interface Overview
Part 4: Sending a Tweet
Part 5: Finding People & Resources, Taking Control of Your Own Development

Resources and Websites Referred to in the Course

Participants completing the eCourse will receive a website badge to display as a credential for acquiring this basic yet increasingly critical 21st century skill.

In the comments section below, please share how you encourage your school community's participation on Twitter.

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