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Using Twitter with Teachers in Back to School Training

Using Twitter with Teachers in Back to School Training

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Hello Educators! Can you recommend a few engaging activities you have used in to get teachers more comfortable with using social media as an instructional tool.

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Gaetan Pappalardo's picture
Gaetan Pappalardo
Teacher, Author, Guitar––Word.


First off, the participants need to be comfortable with the platform they are using. I've run workshops in my district for teachers and parents on the basic use of Twitter and Tumblr. I use Tumblr for all of my websites and blogs.

If you use Twitter for a back to school training do you know...

1. Do all of the teachers have the app?
2. Can they use it on a basic level?

I've done basic workshops on Twitter with parents just tweeting stuff and letting them use the functions of Twitter --retweet, favorite, reply. Then you can get into private messaging and hashtags. I also have them practice writing messages staying within the 140 characters. I've written longer messages and then have your students/teachers revise them to say the same thing with 140 characters.

Hope this helps,


Kevin Jarrett's picture
Kevin Jarrett
Maker Educator, Google Certified Innovator & Trainer, Dreamer, Doer. Learning experience designer, workshop leader/speaker, author. Stanford #Fablearn Fellow. #GoogleEI #GoogleET

Hi Dora!

I've often wondered about this too, as social media adoption is very low in my district, people just don't seem interested in using it professionally.

Now, Pinterest is RED HOT - if it is in your district too, you might want to think about building some activities around that. You could start with something fun and personal, not necessarily school related - and then transition to a more professional topic. I think that would show the value quickly - people would instantly 'get' that services like Pinterest are just as good for personal as well as professional connections.

The larger issue, and the one most likely to trip you up, is getting people INTERESTED in sharing professionally. For many, especially those set in their ways, it's just such a foreign concept. Do you have a sense of where the staff stands relative to the use of social media, personally or professionally? If I were planning PD, I'd start there...

Hope this helps,


Gwen Pescatore's picture
Gwen Pescatore
President Home & School Assoc, #ParentCamp Organizer, Co-Moderator #PTchat

I agree with both Kevin & Gaetan...first you need to understand what and how your staff (and families) use social media currently for both personal and professional. From there I think you are better armed with knowing where you need to offer training...and which sites are best for your group.

As with any of us...why do we use the sites we use? Why do we choose to subscribe to one magazine or newspaper over another? Because they've sparked an interest. They share information/news relevant to our lives. They inspire us to explore.

If you want to get your staff to join in on using and sharing on social media, you need to share with them the why. Why should they spend their precious few minutes using it? You need to share the how. How do they use the tool most effectively and efficiently? And relevance. What is there that they can connect with, use in their personal and/or professional life, make them a better person tomorrow?

Share your why's. Why did you start? Why do you continue to use? Share the good stuff you are finding and getting from social media in a place they already use (be it another site such as Facebook - or email). If they see value in the site, they will be more apt to use.

Kevin Jarrett's picture
Kevin Jarrett
Maker Educator, Google Certified Innovator & Trainer, Dreamer, Doer. Learning experience designer, workshop leader/speaker, author. Stanford #Fablearn Fellow. #GoogleEI #GoogleET

Just to jump in here again - great advice in this thread - it is also something I have puzzled over for a very long time - to wit - why is it that some people seem 'hardwired' either FOR social media or NOT? Put another way, why is it that some people (like US!) really enjoy connecting on social media professionally and pursue it with such abandon?

The answer? Dopamine. Check this out:

So people with a high 'openness' trait will take to social media like ducks to water. Others? Yeah, 'pushback' will hardly cover it. Those folks will kick and scream (or worse, disengage) when the topic comes up.

So, knowing your audience becomes key...

Hope this helps...


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