Tools for Teachers on Twitter

Twitter Links

This is the second of my expansions on the theme of why teachers need to be on Social Media.

In the first post I talked about creating a professional learning network (PLN), your own personal staffroom table to chat around. One of the ways you can use your PLN is to find good resources. The Internet has millions of pages, today’s problem has changed from finding information to evaluating it.

In the past, for something to make it into a book required several layers of editing and review. That winnowed out a lot of the information or products that didn’t have something substantial behind them. The Internet has opened publishing and marketing to anyone. This is good when useful tools that wouldn’t have been commercially viable in the past now have a platform, but the sheer amount of choice can make it hard to decide.

This is where your PLN and social media network come in. Teachers are collaborative little souls, when we find something that works we like to share it. We love comparing – solids, liquids and gases? I like to teach it this way, how about you? Digital cameras? I got the kids to do that.

The good tools, that teachers have used and modified and found more uses for than the inventors contemplated, are being passed around using blogs and twitter. Blogs, because everyone loves a good list. It’s easy to write, easy to read, and an irresistible title to draw the audience in. Who isn’t going to open 100 Uses for Digital Cameras?

And Twitter because it is the perfect medium for spreading links around. Because it is short people are skimming it, and with your own followers and re-tweets (list posts are especially well re-tweeted) your link can quickly get in front of thousands of people. So as an interested reader, following on Twitter means you get to see what other teachers are writing, and what they think is good enough to pass on to their own followers.

That equals a brilliant peer review system that finds, tests and collates all sorts of useful teaching tools. And here are just a few examples:

And that’s just a selection of the links that have come through my Twitter stream lately. It’s also where I found most of the links to the right ->, which are the blogs I think are worth reading.  And I’m adding to the conversation, whenever I publish something here it goes to my Twitter, including my (many!) suggestions and reviews.

Are there some tools in there you could use? Shouldn’t you be on Twitter?

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