I love Twitter! I use it all the time. People have an odd concept of twitter – that it’s akin to Facebook status updates but more mundane and useless. Sure, there’s a lot of garbage on twitter (but it’s easy to ignore). However, twitter can transfer some good information quickly. As an educator and a historian, I have used twitter to develop my PLN (personal learning network), facilitate relationships with colleagues, and maybe to gain a little more insight into my favorite celebrities. I’ve gotten news faster and more thorough on twitter than any news source – twitter is how I found out that proposition 8 had been repealed and that President Obama would be announcing the death of Osama bin Laden (an hour before that announcement was made). So buckle up and join the twitter train – trust me, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. So, here’s a bit of a twitter primer.
First, here are a couple of videos on “Twitter in Plain English” and “How to Use Twitter.” One thing to keep in mind, these are bare bones basics – twitter has radically evolved since their creation. These are both very brief (only a few minutes each), but does a great job introducing you to the basics of “tweeting.”
So, hopefully you have now made a twitter account. Now it’s time to come up with a list of followers. I follow about 800 people. I don’t read all of their tweets all of the time. I tend to go online and browse what’s been posted in the last twenty minutes or so (unless I have a topic that I want to research a bit). I follow an array of people – organizations, government figures, celebrities, historians, graduate students, teachers, and former students and family members. Your twitter list is about what works for you. No one gets notified if you stop following them, so feel free to ‘add’ and then ‘forget’ if you don’t like someone’s tweets. Here’s a list of twitter users to get you started – just click on their names and click the ‘follow’ button.
Jennifer Carey – Yep, it’s me. I am a rather broad tweeter. I post history and archaeology articles, links to my blog, pose questions, and the occasional update about where I’m eating dinner. I like to interact with my followers.
Rob Griffith – Rob is a Social Science teacher & a user of educational technology. He posts a lot about education, lesson plans, and classroom ideas.
Mr. Potter – Mr. Potter (not of the Harry kind) is a Social Science Educator with a propensity for “Ed Tech.”
Professor Snarky – Cuz we all need a little ‘snark’ 😉
Howi DiBlasi – an educational consultant with a specialty in 21st century tools. He posts a lot of resources like webinars, professional development seminars, and other tools.
Will Richardson – Parent, author, speaker, blogger about social Web tools and their effects on schools, education and learning.
Thomas Riddle – Also not of Mr. Potter fame 😉 K-12 social studies coordinator promoting interdisciplinary teaching, learning and collaboration.
Rogue Classicist – posts about history, classics, and archaeology.
History Channel – the official twitter feed for the History Channel.
Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) – the official twitter feed of the AIA.
Biblical Archaeological Review (BAR) – the official twitter feed of BAR.
Smithsonian Magazine – the official twitter feed of the Smithsonian.
Guy Kawasaki – Co-founder of Alltop. Former chief evangelist of Apple. Author of Enchantment. He always seems to find some really interesting topics.
Tweet Smarter – Whether you need tips and tools, the latest Twitter news or tech support, they’re goal isto help anyone and everyone get the most out of Twitter.
Al Jazeera English – Al Jazeera English, the 24-hour English-language news and current affairs channel, is headquartered in Doha, Qatar.
Open Culture – The best FREE cultural & educational media on the web; primary sources for many topics. They post a lot of great and apropos lesson plan ideas and resources.
Whedonesque – Twitter account for Whedonesque.com, a blog devoted to the works of Joss Whedon. They are NOT Joss Whedon on Twitter (boo!).
George Takei – actor & activist George Takei. Some celebrities read & post their own tweets. George Takei is one of them. Follow him for humor and important political topics.
Amazon Deals – a lot of retailers use twitter to post on the spot deals and flash sales. Follow your favorites to keep abreast of great deals (airlines especially). Amazon is also a solid follower for deals.
Victoria White – Follow my cousin. She’s living in England right now.
Jane Roe Cooper – Jane is an amazing colleague and educator. She has become a Twitter Queen this last year when we worked on our PLP project together. She’s awesome – follow her!
Sarah Carey – My sister. She’s an actress, makeup artist, and manager. Follow her!
Explore some of these people and be sure to post your own additions. As always, follow me on twitter @JenniferLockett – send me a note, I write back.