Wednesday, March 6, 2013

#6 of 31 Chat Me Up

I've been on Twitter for several years now.

2009: 13 Tweets
2010: 88 Tweets
2011: Jan-July 74 Tweets
        Aug-Dec 431 Tweets

2012: (avg) 150 Tweets per month

2013: Jan 334
          Feb 373

I was a lurker when I started. Just logged on, read a few Tweets (and only a few since I didn't follow very many people) and logged off. I didn't really see the point of the whole thing. Didn't feel a connection to anyone. But I kept at it. I started Tweeting a few things, responded to a few people. But hashtags? What were those? Never used them.

If you check 2011, you'll see that my Tweets rose dramatically in August. You want to know why? My PLN. The people I was close to in school were Tweeting more, so I Tweeted more.

And I got a new principal.

And he followed me.

And he engaged me in conversations.

It was a good thing.

I began extending my PLN. I was careful who I followed and who followed me, but I branched out. And you know what? The more I branched out, the more I learned.

And then, we hired a new superintendent. He followed me before he was even hired. He had a HUGE online presence. I liked that.

I began expanding even more. Our superintendent is a great one for sending a Tweet that says, "You should connect with...."

So I do.

And I keep learning.

I accessed my archive of Tweets (did you know you can do that???? Go to  the very bottom of your settings. See that button that says "Archives"? Click it!).  I found a great quote that I Tweeted and forgot about (before I knew about Favorites). The quote was from Kelly Gallagher:

I want to be the teacher who has taught 20 years....

I've branched out again. This year, I've been participating in chats on Twitter. Not all of them (I wouldn't be able to do anything else in the world if I tried to take part in all of them), but a select few. My favorite is the #iaedchat. Iowa educators trying to make sense of things. There are thought provoking discussions every Sunday night.

I guess the point of this post is that you should get on Twitter if you aren't already. If you are on, then engage other educators. If you are engaging other educators, then try a chat. You can just lurk through a chat and see what it's all about. No one will know you are there. It's safe, and you will still learn.

But if you are brave and want to try something new, get involved in a chat. Follow the people you connect with.

You won't regret it.

If you do want to participate in a chat, try  You enter the hashtag of the chat you want and the chat comes up. You can Tweet, reply, and retweet throughout the chat. And, it includes the hashtag for you!  You can adjust the speed of the tweets showing up, and you can pause them to read.


  1. I agree with you. I love, love, love the learning network I have built there. I'm not super consistent with Twitter, but weeks that I do use it, I learn so much. And how cool that your superintendent tweets and connects with all of you in that way! Love the Kelly Gallagher tweet. So true!

  2. Ok. Guess I'd better start getting my feet wetter. I've been on Twitter for years now, but just couldn't get going. I'll try again!
    BTW: I've sent Kathryn your way from Writing in the Middle, Reminded me of you getting kids involved in books, so I told her to check out your blog.

  3. This are some new ways of using twitter that I had not thought about. I've just seen it used for following celebrities and chatty teens. I will have to check it out some more!

  4. I guess I still have questions and need the Tweeting for Dummies book. Do they come to your email or is it through texting? I tend to see some tweets through Flipboard on the ipad, but most of the time I don't understand the tweets. I need a Twitter tutor.

    1. Elsie...I'll get you some info!

    2. Elsie, that would be a tweetor...or is it a twutor?

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  6. I never thought of using Twitter this way! Thanks for the idea :)

  7. Thanks Deb. Maybe as things settle down & I have less to do for all the house, etc. I'll get going. I am excited for you that some of your colleagues are tweeting with you. That sounds wonderful. I think I'm the only one in my building that even has an account. I've got to get going. I love reading the Sunday title talk, but haven't participated yet. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. I like Elsie's idea of a twitter tutor - I am clueless...I don't know how to write them and link them and so on. I'm jealous of this rich Twitter life you have, Deb!

  9. Deb,
    Like you it took me a bit to warm up to Twitter. It takes a while to really get into the conversations, get to know the people, and understand how it works. Now I love it. For me it has changed the way I view my profession --- and the way I use technology with my students. It has opened our classroom doors and kept us from being confined to space. Twitter has helped me to connect with many educators, groups, and conversations. Even this #slice2013 is enhanced by Twitter; the perfect tool for collaboration.


  10. Oh, and thanks for the archive tip! I had no idea!

  11. Aw dang...I was going to try to hide the fact that I had read this post from Cathy, but there she is right above me. Shoot! I love the sound of it, but my word of the year is balance...someone tell me how I can do this and not fall of the other end of the teeter totter? Sounds fantastic...but...still scared!
    Awesome post...great food for thought! This is my 20th year and I'm proud to say I never really thought about it, but I don't think I've ever taught the same year twice, let alone 20 times!

  12. What fun to look back at your Twitter growth, Deb! I would love to do more chats, but it's so hard to do them during the school year. So many of them are right during dinner time or at bedtime (I go to bed early!), or I just end up feeling like I don't want to do schoolwork the entire night. I have loved the ones I've participated in, and I hope to be more active in them this summer! Twitter is an amazing source of learning and thought-provoking discussion.

  13. I'm on twitter and we're tweeps :)....but I'm not on very much. I do like to lurk around tweetchats from several different organizations. I didn't know about the archive either; thanks for the hint!

  14. I am so glad I jumped in at Ruth's urging and started Tweeting. I am far behind you in my Twitter experience, but the best way to learn is to jump in. I am jealous that your local admin./professional community use Twitter. I think I might have to suggest this.

  15. Twitter has been very useful for me too. I hope your post encourages a few of our non-twitter slicers to sign up! The wider our community is, the better.

    See you around the twitter-verse, Justice League of English warrior! :)

  16. Ah, the Tweet. I am feeling left behind. I need to get that IPhone. Missing the text now, but can't stand to be left behind in technology. We'll see. Thanks for a heads up.

  17. I had no idea you could get this information! Great to know! Thanks for sharing this Deb! You Rock!

  18. I didn't know about this. Thanks for the fantastic info, Deb.

    BTW: I like Kelly's quote A LOT!