A few weeks ago I wrote a post for students about using Twitter.  I urge you to read it, and then continue on with this new post.

“Quick catch up, or background info: Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables users to send and read short 140-character text messages, called “tweets”. Registered users can read and post tweets, but unregistered users can only read them.” Wikipedia

About Ted Nelson, whose quote is illustrated in the poster at the left: “Theodor Holm Nelson is an American pioneer of information technology, philosopher and sociologist. He coined the terms “hypertext” and “hypermedia” in 1963 and published them in 1965.” Wikipedia


Nothing on the web is static, especially in the realms of social media.  Since the post for students about using Twitter linked above, Twitter has re-designed their users’ profile page.

Lance Ulanoff wrote about the changes on Mashable, Twitter’s New Profiles: Everything You Need to Know: “…I look at other users’ profile pages fairly often. It’s where I learn about who they are through their profile picture and their brief description of themselves, which may include details like job, location and a link for more information. In other words, profile pages are important, especially for brands, celebrities and new users.” and, I would add, teachers.  Ulanoff describes how to create a new Profile Page that represents you, but does not give too much away.

While the Twitter blog  gives a simple explanation of the new look, and how to use it, on Wired, Kyle Vanhemert writes an in-depth article about the changes, and why you should pay attention to them: “…The new profile design, though, is a slightly different play. It does make Twitter easier for newcomers to understand, offering a shinier, more product-like public face to people who arrive directly at a user page.

“But it also positions the Twitter profile as a destination unto itself, apart from the newsfeed entirely. It’s a concession to an entirely different use case than the one Twitter was built upon. “For some people, it’s all about that real-time newsfeed,” Bellona says. “For some, it’s just like, ‘I want to see what a celebrity is up to.’ Both should be really great…”

If you’re a habitué of Twitter, go now to update your profile page.  If you’re a new user, or have been thinking of investigating Twitter, read on.

Read Twitter EDU, by David Truss, about getting started with Twitter – it’s an excellent “why”, and “how to guide”.

Read what Mark Anderson, at the ICT Evangelist, has posted about #MyTop5Tips for creating a Twitter PLN:  He begins, “There doesn’t really seem to be a clear common consensus as to whether a Twitter PLN should be a professional or a personal learning network. Certainly I think it should probably be a bit of both. Also, as when dealing with all social media, you should be mindful of your school’s social media policy. You should also be mindful of protecting your own professional identity when posting online.”

Mike Reading, at Education Technology Solutions, writes about “How to use Twitter in the classroom without compromising your professional relationship with your students“. He ends his post “Twitter is a fantastic tool for building your professional learning network and finding resources and teaching ideas.”

Are you wondering how you might use Twitter in your teaching?  Read this extreme case from the University of Windsor, Using Twitter in the Classroom for Student Engagement and Exchange. “Professor Ryan Snelgrove teaches Ethics in Sport, a required first-year course, to 225 students in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Windsor. Reflecting the University’s emphasis on student experience, Dr. Snelgrove wanted to foster classroom engagement, but realized the limitations of time for verbal engagement. However, with almost all students arriving in class with a smart phone, tablet, or laptop, he decided to take advantage of these tools, using Twitter as a tool for contributing opinions and comments.”

Have a look at 10 Amazing Ways For Teachers & Tutors To Use Twitter In Education by Saikat Basu on MakeUseOf. First,  Basu outlines reasons why Twitter is a good study tool:

  • Teachers can connect to their students on a wider level as well as on a personal level.
  • Interactions can be taken beyond the classroom as Twitter is omnipresent in our smartphones and laptops.
  • Twitter allows for customization of learning depending on the student i.e. differentiating learning for different students.
  • Twitter can be used to quickly connect to multimedia resources (e.g. YouTube or Vine) and turn education into edutainment.
  • Twitter gives new opportunities to connect to other learning communities and new educational content.
  • The very nature of Twitter – brief and to-the-point makes for rapid broadcast of learning.

He then outlines and illustrates 10  methods of learning with Twitter:

  • Hashtags
  • Quickfire recaps and quizzes
  • Language Learning
  • Twitter as a Bulletin Board
  • or as a Wall
  • Role Play on Twitter
  • Create Class Newspapers with Twitter Streams
  • Seek Mentors with the Help of Twitter
  • Parent Teacher Meet with a Tweet
  • Take a Break

I leave you with a video, Using Twitter in the Classroom, by Alice Kassens. “A tutorial showing how to use Twitter in the classroom based on my experiences in my Principles of Macroeconomics courses at Roanoke College.”

I have to go update my Twitter profile page…

[youtuber youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKCMk65dKKs’]