Do Something... Twitter 101

I sit here contemplating my upcoming week that includes coaching two basketball games, running a student council meeting, attending a building leadership meeting, running three team meetings, preparing my biweekly news show broadcast, a post observation meeting with my principal, reading new blog posts, participating in #edchat, presenting Twitter to my team, and TEACH my Social Science and Language Arts classes. It is a busy week but this is pretty much par for the course I play.

With all those things on my plate I was thinking about a recent blog post by Jeff Delp at He challenges us to stop talking and “do” something. I could not agree with him more. Over this past Thanksgiving I was talking to my brother in law about Twitter and he initially scoffed at the idea that it was worth his time. It didn’t take long but I finally got him on board and he is just starting the educational journey that is the Twitter stream. After reading Jeff’s post I wanted to take it a step further than simply one convert…

I am a team leader within in my building and often struggle to find agenda items that are worth my colleague’s time given the time constraints we are all under. I am not a fan of meeting for the sake of meeting. So, tomorrow I am going to preview Twitter and try to get a few more contributing members to my PLN and hopefully yours as well. Here is my rough outline for how it worked for me and how I will present it to my team.

Twitter 101

Step One: Head to and sign up for a free account.

Step Two: Download and install TweetDeck at

Step Three: Follow a few key folks in the educational realm. I will be suggesting: @justintarte, @tomwhitby, @brokenairplane, @web20classroom, @L_Hilt, @thenerdyteacher, @kylepace and of course I will suggest myself @stumpteacher

Step Four: Add columns to keep tabs on some key discussions. The ones I will suggest are #edchat, #midleved, #sschat, #scichat, and #ntchat. Head to for a complete listing of the different conversations out there in Twitter thanks to @cybraryman!

Step Five: Read, Read, Read and Think. Spend at least a few days or weeks just reading what is out there and soaking up all the resources shared and conversations happening. To start it is very overwhelming to try to keep up. Your first experience with a Tuesday #edchat will blow your mind if you try to keep up on live stream via TweetDeck.

Step Six: Retweet what you read and agree with or think is worth sharing. This gets your name out in the stream and people appreciate their work be retweeted and shared out.

Step Seven: Share your thoughts and ideas with the groups you are following. Be a contributor and engage in conversations with people all over the world. If you want your Tweets to show up in those specific conversations remember to use the hashtags.


Lyn Hilt said...

It's great you're getting your team on board! This will be the hardest part, so hang in there... I don't know how much time you have for your mtg., but if they could create an account before you meet together, and even download Tweetdeck beforehand, that will give you more time to focus on the learning rather than the technical aspects of the whole thing. Having just done this two weeks ago with several of my teachers, the hardest part to helping them stick with it is that they don't follow many people, so they're not really finding any useful information being put out there. Look for lists of teachers that your team can follow with one easy click. Some lists are found down the page here: and others are pretty easily found with a Google search.
Have fun!

Justin Tarte said...

Josh - thanks so much for the great compliment. Good luck sharing the power of the Tweet! Emphasize that Twitter is used for whatever you want it to be used for...if you need an inspirational boost...if you need help planning a lesson...if you want to learn how to start a is all there. Twitter is like a buffet of sorts - everything is available, but you only take what you want and need. Good luck!!