George Lucas Educational Foundation
Education Trends

Twitter Support for Educators and Parents

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.

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    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 twubs.com/Nt2T 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

    1. Twitter.com
    2. Twitter 101 Quick Reference Document
    3. [VIDEO] Oak Lawn-Hometown SD’s Use of Twitter
    4. [VIDEO] Using Twitter as a Teacher by @BillSelak
    5. #Nt2T (New Teachers To Twitter) Global Twubs Page
    6. Beginner’s Twitter Page via @cybraryman1
    7. Who to Follow (Develop Your PLN) via @cybraryman1
    8. The Official Weekly Twitter Chat Schedule via @cybraryman1, @thomascmurray & @cevans5095
    9. The Official State Hashtag Chat Google Map
    10. [VIDEO] Importance of Being a Connected Educator/Leader by US. Dept of Ed’s Office of EdTech
    11. "One Stop Shop" Educators Guide to Twitter by @datruss

    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.