I’m no Twitter guru! In fact, when it comes to Twitter, I’m as green as a kinder baby stepping off for the bus for their first day of school. But if you’re like me and have been wanting to venture out into that great big twitter chat world, I have an amazing opportunity for you to do it in a safe, non-threatening environment designed especially for teachers new to Twitter.
And on top of learning how to chat via Twitter, you’ll get to bounce ideas off from other like minded teachers from all around the country AND have a chance to win some neat prizes.
Teacher education chats have really started to become an amazing source of professional development and you can’t even imagine all the ‘great stuff’ that being shared during these sessions. If you want to find out more about education chats, click HERE to see an article that includes and extensive list of educational weekly Twitter chats and their times, including #teacherfriends! There’s really something for everyone and it’s an amazing way to expand your professional network.
#teacherfriends (all chats are associated with a hashtag so you can follow specific subjects and groups of people) is this great teacher chat community designed especially for new teacher tweeters interested in chatting it up with other teachers, but who don’t know where to start and want to practice in a safe, nonthreatening environment. They chat every Tuesday evening at 9pm EST and this coming week, they asked me to be the guest speaker as their topic will be Differentiated Instruction.
I’m going to tell you straight out, I was very reluctant to have anything to do anything with Twitter chatting. It is SO far outside of my comfort zone. I mean, I tried it once and was so completely overwhelmed that I never went back. True Story! But #teacherfriends chat group made it so easy for me to learn and practice twitter chat, and there were so many great conversations taking place and ideas exchanged that when they wanted to go ‘Differentiated Instruction’ for their next subject, I accepted the challenge to get my Twitter chat on.
And now, of course, I want you to join me. I would LOVE for you to come with me as I take the plunge into the Twitter chat water and get my feet wet, because, let’s face it, I’m a big chicken about being a guest when I’m so new to twitter chat. But also, I just really want my friends there right with me AND twitter chat is so much more interactive between the participants. It’s instant conversations and engaging, even more so than facebookor blogging. I feel like we could really ‘chat’ yaknow? And I did mention there would be prizes, right?
So I’m going to walk you through how you can get yourself set up to join me Tuesday. I will do my best to help you step by step (because I needed those same instructions myself), but if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me, and I’ll promptly get the answer from someone who knows better than me.
First thing you need to do is to make sure that you are signed up with Twitter. Go to www.twitter.com to get it done. It’s an easy, painless process that takes all of about 5 minutes to do. Make sure you follow me when you do! I’m @DifferKinder!
Once you have your Twitter i.d., you will want to sign up for Tweet Deck. Tweet Deck is the site that is going to keep you sane as tweets go by. It will allow you to see and organize your reading of chat sessions taking place as it’s happening.
Once you sign up for TweetDeck, you can go and sign in. It should take you to a screen that looks something like this. Use the search bar to search for #teacherfriends.
Once your search results for our #teacherfriends comes up, click this ‘add a column’ button at the bottom.
This will allow you to see any Tweets coming through as they are coming through within #teacherfriends’ community. They will all be right in that column for you to see and scroll through.
You’ll see people posting questions, answers and ideas. Now if you’d like to answer a question or share a thought, all you have to do is make sure that when your are typing, that you include the hashtag #teacherfriends so that anyone following in that chat room can see your post. Without the #teachefriends tag, they won’t be able to see it.
As other people are chatting it up, you can either favorite something they post . . .
retweet it (which means it will come up on your feed for all your followers regardless of whether they are part of the hour of chatting or not)
or reply to the person who posted.
I promise you. It will be easy. If I can do it, so can you and, hey, we’re in this together. You know I won’t leave you standing in the corner by yourself. You come sit right next to me, and we’ll chat it up together. And no, you can’t use the excuse that you didn’t know how to translate Eastern to Mountain time or Pacific time. I’ve included a cheat sheet for you. (Remember you can come a little early to ‘practice’ at 8:30 if you want before the official chat starts at 9pm.)
Ok, so here’s another important part. You can actually sign in as early as 8:30pm EST on Tuesday evening and there will be “moderators” there to help you with any technical questions you might have (They’re really just a bunch of my really nice teacher/blogger/twitter chat friends that want to help all us newbies.) and help you get started before the real ‘Differentiated Instruction’ Chat starts at 9. I highly suggest you stop in a few minutes early to just get comfortable and say ‘hi.’
Ok, so promise me you’ll try to stop by. 9pm on Tuesday! I really hope you can come. Even if you have to come a little late or leave a little early, I’m dying to have you join in this fun group with me and see if we can beg, borrow and steal some differentiated instruction tips and resources from each other.
There’s no need to RSVP. Just get there when you can. Did I mention there would be prizes?!
I can’t wait to chat it up with ya.