Following an ICT session run over the last two days by our ICT tutor (@orunner) there has been a crop of my fellow PGCE students trying out twitter for the first time, or refreshing old accounts. It has been lovely to chat to them online but I know it isn’t easy to get started so I put together a few links to help people find their way through the twitterverse.
- Who to follow? Try my suggestions (includes University of Leicester Primary PGCE students)
Twitter allows you to create lists, which are personal to your account, but are a way of keeping track of particular groups of people. You can just look at the tweets from that list if you want to filter out the other noise on your account (perhaps sorting the educational people from the celebrities or non-teaching friends you follow). Another useful feature is that other people can see who is on my list, and once signed into their own twitter account, pick people from the list to follow. Pick them all, or pick a few. It is up to you. Try some, if they are too noisy, annoying or boring, unfollow them (they won’t mind, and if they do, then definitely unfollow them !).
2. Making the most of your twitter account
Tom Barrett (@tombarrett) has some great advice on how to kick start your account. Tom was teaching in Nottinghamshire until Easter 2011 and is now working freelance. He instigated the first Google Certified Teacher Academy in the UK, began the crowdsourced Interesting Ways series of presentations, among many other projects, which you can check out on his blog.
3. Join the wider community – follow a hashtag
Tom suggests using hashtags as a way to find people to follow and get a flavour of the community available to you on twitter. One way to do this is to join in #ukedchat which takes palce each week on a Thursday night. There is a wiki that supports (and is edited by) the community that tells you what it is all about and how to join in. You don’t have to join in the live sessions, you can just ‘listen in ‘ by searching for tweets using the hashtag #ukedchat and see what people are talking about.
As we all depart the safety of the University for our first teaching placements, I hope that twitter will be a supportive place to chat, where we can help each other and just be there to say hello at the end of a long day. Hopefully, the wonderful teaching community will also support us and remind us of some the great advice in Tim Handley’s (@tomhenzley) excellent PGCE Survival Guide (which was made by contributions from the twitter community).