Sometimes you can feel all alone in the wilderness and be asking yourself if you are the only one who thinks that xyz would be a good idea. In this era of online-social-media finding someone of like mind is fairly easy but it still helps to be pointed the right direction.
Twitter – You do not have to have a twitter account in order to find good information. What you can’t do is go to twitter’s main page because there is no search area there. Instead go to somebody else’s twitter page, for example go to ours. You can find a link to our twitter page in the sidebar along with our latest tweets or in the twitter link (a blue “t”) up at the top right of every page on our web site.
Now you can go clicking on people, look at their tweets, or click on who they are following and look at those people’s tweets but without a Twitter account yourself or even with one, maybe you don’t want to follow all these people around and try to figure out who was tweeting who and what did so and so say to make this person say this in reply. Twitter used that way is more like a bowl of spaghetti than a ball of yarn.
So what do you do? You use the search button and hashtags which begs the question, “What are hashtags?” Hashtags are character strings proceeded by a # sign. Some to search for include #idedu, #idedchat, #stem, #edtech, #hourofcode, and even just “Idaho education” without a # sign. (I’ve made these searches clickable so they will take you right to the most recent tweets)
For more national chats here is a great list of 11 educator chats and times including #scichat, #stemchat, #mathchat http://www.eschoolnews.com/2013/12/17/twitter-educator-chats-180/2/ and if that is not enough diversity for you look at all the chats you can find here http://bit.ly/18mkQkw .
Another thing to do once you’ve entered the search and it’s brought back tweets is to tell it to show All tweets. It always defaults to just showing the Top tweets which means it doesn’t show you much of anything. So click All so that everything shows up. You’ll note that all the tweets found have the hashtag typed in as part of the message. (I’ve include a image below to show you the button)
Teachers have been some of the early adopters of the #hashtag movement as it allows you to follow just the conversations that have that hashtag. If you get yourself a twitter account, or already have one, you can join the conversation simply by typing the appropriate #hashtag as part of your message.