Tag Archives: social media

Work

How to drive traffic to your company website

So you’ve got a shiny new website. That’s great. But building your site is just the beginning: you also need traffic – to encourage as many people as possible to come and look at it. If you sell goods or services off that website, then getting people to see your particular part of the internet is likely to be what drives your business.

You’ll need to start with ‘search engine optimisation’ – the techniques that help your website appear high up in the list of results when someone uses Google or another search engine to look for something relevant to your business.

SEO specialists make a good living from advising businesses on the tricks of the trade, but there is plenty that SMEs with no budget for such help can do for themselves. Partly, this is a technical task – you need to set up your website in the right way for search engines to find it. But it’s also a creative exercise – Google’s famous algorithms are top secret but the company says they favour sites with interesting and original content that is regularly updated.

In fact, the best source of advice on SEO are the search engines themselves. They all publish free guides packed full of information on how to improve a website’s search engine ranking. See Google’s Webmasters pages for a start.

See also: Six ways to improve your website’s SEO

Another option is to pay for advertising on the search engines through services such as Google Adwords and Bing Ads. These guarantee your business will appear prominently in search results in certain circumstances and you can target precisely – with adverts placed in response to particular search times, in particular locations and at particular times of the day, for example. You’ll need to spend money, but you can set a daily budget.

Social media, meanwhile, presents another opportunity to drive traffic to your website and to raise your business’s profile. Which social media platform provides the best fit for your business will depend on the nature of your trade, so do your research before deciding where to focus your efforts. Equally, don’t be half-hearted about your social media– aim for engaging content rather than an outright sales pitch and keep working at it, posting as regularly as you can.

Don’t overlook the way traditional marketing methods can be adapted to digital technologies. For example, email marketing campaigns can be a highly effective way to reach out to new customers.

That doesn’t mean bombarding random groups of people with spam emails. Plenty of companies sell bespoke data lists, which should enable your business to purchase the contact details of key groups of potential customers who will be susceptible to your message. Make sure your campaign is as relevant as possible to the target group to give yourself the best chance of good conversion rates.

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Education

Why it's time to regulate social media in schools

It is spring time, and once again I am planning a new network security plan for a school. The same issues as always, and the same questions, many involving social media.
All questions usually have answers with a price tag attached. Value in such planning is very subjective. After all, we spend money every year managing free apps on iPads, how does that make financial sense?
One question cannot be answered. Regardless of my due diligence and the school’s willingness to fund a comprehensive plan, students will still have phones. Those phones will have data plans. Those data plans circumvent all the work we do. Parents do not seem to care, because they are worried about having that device for logistics and emergencies.
These devices are addictive, and the applications are purely for entertainment and dopamine-driven feedback loops.
Yes, the network can manage the problem when students are on Wifi; but not when the students are on their own network.
Jamming signals is not legal in most countries, and localized jamming seems to cover very large spaces. Even if it was legal, it would impact other services.
I believe all problems can be solved, and I believe I have a solution for this one. Generically, I like to call it Social Media for Education.
Social Media for Education Explained
The core concept is simple. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., would offer an educational package. I firmly believe this should be a paid service for schools that can afford it, and free for schools that can demonstrate hardship. If you consider the cost of properly  blocking Apps on Wifi ($10-50 USD per student per year), this service would be viable if priced appropriately.
The social media companies would follow a Google Apps or O365 model for schools to join. They would require any person under the age of 18 to register as a student connected to a school.
For example, schools who sign-up would be given a school code, and could provide a student ID based roster for cross-referencing. Any person under 18 would be required to connect their profile to a school or education program of some sort(some students are home schooled or have other types of educational plans).
Unless they are connected to some type of educational plan, they simply cannot use social media until they are 18 years of age.
Schools who join would receive these benefits:

  1. Social media profiles are deactivated from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm everyday, in the timezone set by the school. This prevents VPN access from spoofing the clock.
  2. Schools could centralized a two steps homework system. Teachers would use Social media to circulate messages related to the school, and unless students confirmed all messages have been received (read), their profiles would not be activated. Although confirming a message has been seen does not equal work completed, it does mean the student acknowledged receiving the message. Blocking all other activities until all messages are cleared would prioritize the school’s notifications.
  3. Since all students can be identified and connected to a school or program, cyber-bullying would be easier to manage. Schools would need to make a request for data, but that data would connect to a student ID (most likely), and a verified location.

I have thought of more options, but, I would consider the above a tier one solution.
See also: The DOs and DON’Ts of social media for teachers
It Cannot Work Unless There is Regulation
It is clear from current practices, such as not enforcing the age restrictions for users, that social media companies will not offer services to schools that help disconnect students during their academic day.
In places like France, the government is physically banning phones from campuses. Other schools follow strict device confiscation policies. These measures only create a black market for phones, theft among students, and a burden on families who are victims of theft.
Trying to regulate property, and potentially facing liability issues related to property, is not the path to follow to solve this problem.
Governments need to simply require social media companies, or any company making a communications product, to provide the an identity and connection management system for those under the age of 18.
Those over 18 already have to use multiple methods to verify themselves when making new accounts. However, students seem to be able to join social media using devices and phone numbers that are not even legally in their own name. Think about that? I give my child a phone and number, they use it to join Facebook? How is that legal or even verified?
Not Enrolled in School = No Social Media
Compulsory Education around the world varies. Very few countries report having no compulsory education requirements.

No Requirement Based on Previous Data
Oman 0 2007
Solomon Islands 0 2002
Cambodia 0 2008
Holy See (Vatican City) 0 2007
Tokelau 0 2007
Bhutan 0 2008

The world-wide impact of adopting social media regulation of this caliber would equate to those under 18 not being allowed on social media, if they could not demonstrate they were enrolled in some type of educational program.
Likely, many countries would not participate in such regulation at all. However, it really only has to be country by country. As international as these platforms seem to be, connections students have are usually very local. Most students have their primary social network within the school they attend. That means their social media time is literally just interacting with people they could easily look at and speak with.
If Facebook in India were not participating, that would not impact a school in Korea. If students were to move from country to country (or school to school), they would have to re-register. The meta data from that behavior alone would help confirm drop-out rates, possible issues within school districts, etc. I believe the unknown benefits of the data would be substantial. Observer effect issues and data manipulation by school administration would be reduced.
I have been working with teenagers since 2005. I have worked with students from over 100 countries. I have been a technology disruptor, more times than I have supported the status quo. I believe in BYOD programs, and any students I have worked with will confirm I empower them to lead and make decisions. I know when I see a problem in the plan and the patterns. I know when students are not engaged, and when they are not learning. Mobile devices with addictive applications are a real problem. The design is an addictive design, and the effects are powerful. I hate regulation, but unfortunately, I think we are there.
More from Tony DePrato here. 
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Work

How to permanently delete your Facebook account

Recent revelations about the way Facebook data has been used in the past, might make you think again about your happy, innocent use of the social media giant. The increasing understanding that we don’t quite get everything that happens to our personal data means that many are feeling increasingly uneasy about it.

At the very least: Don’t do quizzes on Facebook.

But if you want to get off Facebook, what do you do? Because it’s not exactly intuitive…

How to deactivate your Facebook account:

Doing it this way, means you can return to Facebook when you want, if you can’t cure your addiction to it.

So take the following steps:

  1. Click the downward arrow at the top right of any Facebook page
  2. Select “Settings”
  3. Click “Security” in the left column
  4. Choose “Deactivate your account”, then follow the steps to confirm

If you deactivate your account your profile won’t be visible to other people on Facebook and you’ll be hidden from Facebook search, but some information, such as messages you sent to friends, may still be visible to others.

You can reactivate your account at any time by logging in with your email and password. Your profile will be restored in its entirety.

How to permanently delete your account

If you really want to go, you can request to have your account permanently deleted. But once this has happened, it won’t be possible to reactivate your account or retrieve anything you’ve shared on your profile.

So before you take this step, you may want to download a copy of your information from Facebook:

  1. Click the downward arrow at the top right of any Facebook page
  2. Select “Settings”
  3. Click on the link at the bottom of the main menu that says “Download a copy of your Facebook data”.

Then you need to go to https://www.facebook.com/help/delete_account, click on “Delete my account”, then follow the steps to confirm.

It can take up to 90 days for Facebook to delete all of the things you’ve posted, like your photos, status updates or other data stored in backup systems, but while this is happening, it is inaccessible to other people using the social network.

And remember that some of the things you do on Facebook aren’t stored in your personal account. A message to a friend, for example, will remain even after you delete your account, so you will need to contact the recipients of you want that removed too.

 

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Education

3 Ways to Expand Your PLN This Summer

Summer is fast approaching; this is the time of year when teachers are preparing students for exams and trying to keep their classes from descending into the Lord of the Flies. When it finally arrives, summer is an important time for busy educators and allows them to relax, recharge, and often work on honing their craft in both formal and informal professional development. With the more flexible work schedule of the summer, it is also a great time to build up your Professional Learning Network (PLN) — especially one that expands beyond the walls of the classroom, of course you should take time to relax as well, I suggest checking these soft cooler picks right here for this summer hotness, or installing air conditioner with the Morehart company.
Here are a few resources to help you do just that:

Build your PLN on Twitter

Twitter has become the online PLN for teachers. If you haven’t yet explored Twitter as a professional development tool, then summer is a perfect time to do that. Check out this article to help you get started. Once you dive in, here are some great organizations and people to follow (in addition to this author of course):

Educators

  • @JohnKingatED – The Secretary of Education is an important individual to follow on Twitter. He will post updates on Public Education Policy and highlight various trends in education.
  • @TheJLV – Jose Vilson, Founder of #EduColor, Social Justice advocate, author, public speaker.
  • @globalearner – Alan November, a prominent educator, speaker, and education trainer.
  • @DrTonyWager – Expert in Residence at Harvard Innovation Lab, prominent author, and keynote speaker.
  • @Saradateachur – Sarah Thomas, Technology integrationist, social justice advocate, researcher, and prominent speaker.
  • @HeidiHayesJacob – Founder of Curriculum 21.
  • @web20classroom – Steven W. Anderson, educator, author, and evangelist.
  • @AudreyWatters – Educator and writer of @HackEducation
  • @AngelaMaiers – Educator, keynote speaker, author, and educational advocate.
  • @TomWhitbey – Educator, Tech Evangelist, and founder of #edchat.
  • @cybraryman1 – Former Librarian and Educator, Jerry Blumengarten, has resources on just about every topic imaginable including a massive list of PLN Stars.

Organizations

  • @DailyGenius – Learn something new every day!
  • @EdTechTeacher21 – The official twitter handle for EdTechTeacher; learn tips and tricks, pedagogical methodology, and more.
  • @Microsoft_EDU – The official twitter handle for Microsoft.
  • @GoogleForEdu – The official twitter account for Google Apps for Education
  • @NPR_ed – NPR’s education team
  • @Edutopia – Learn about the latest posts and articles from innovative educators.

Follow a Blog

With summer comes a little extra time to do some reading. Here are a few blogs you should sign up for (in addition to this one). If you need help organizing your Blogs, or would prefer not to sign up for blog updates via email, try using an RSS reader. My favorite is feedly.

  • EDUWells – Richard Wells is an international leader in the world of education. Read about his experiments in the classroom as both a teacher and an administrator.
  • Jonathan Wylie – Every time I read Jonathan’s blog, I learn something new! Use his blog to learn new tips and tricks, explore existing tools, and for deeper discussions on effective pedagogy.
  • Cool Cat Teacher – I love Vicki’s blog. She explores everything from the emotional taxation of teaching to effective practice in the classroom.
  • The Principal of Change – Eric Sheninger is an educational leader that advocates the role of reflection in educational practice.
  • MindShift/KQED – MindShift explores everything from devices in the classroom to the need for recess. You will always learn something relevant to your classroom on this site.
  • Cult of Pedagogy – A digital magazine for educators.
  • Hybrid Pedagogy – A peer reviewed, online journal that explores the role of technology in education.
  • EdTechTeacher – Their instructors post a few times each week and cover topics from technology, to teaching, to the latest in research.
  • CMRubinWorld – Writer, Cathy Rubin, regularly interviews some of the most prominent educators in the world. Her monthly global blogger series also features great work from a range of educators.

Subscribe to a new Podcast

Podcasts are great ways to learn new things. Many of them are free, and you can find them in various places (iTunes Store, SoundCloud, Google Play, and more). Here are a few of my favorites:

Expanding Twitter, checking out new some blogs, and subscribing to podcasts are three easy, flexible, and free ways for educators to expand their PLN this summer (and even into the school year). Check out these examples and leave some of your own in the comments!

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Education

5 Ways for Teachers to get Started on Twitter

Social Media and education have a complicated relationship. Most educators come into contact with it for the first time through a negative experience – a disciplinary action involving students or even peers. As such, many administrators have actively cautioned teachers against the use of Social Media, and many educators themselves have condemned Social Media as a mere distraction to education. However, much like other tools out there, the reality lies somewhere in between.
Let’s take Twitter as an example. If you’re unfamiliar with Twitter, it’s a microblogging platform. This means that users can share thoughts, links, and other information in short bursts of information (140 characters, plus links and/or media). In the last few years, Twitter has emerged as a powerful platform for educators. In fact, teachers make up a significant amount of the traffic volume on Twitter, and roughly 25% of educators are users of the platform. This makes Twitter an excellent platform for educators to connect with others, share, and learn. Here’s a quick guide to get you started.

Get on Twitter

This is the most obvious step – time to get an account! To start, go to twitter.com and sign up for an account. Create an avataraccount with your real name and set it to public; that’s right, limited privacy settings. Many of us have been taught to fear being ourselves online for everything from “stranger danger” to reprisal from employers. Your name is already available in the broad universe of the internet on a variety of media (try Googling it), so Twitter is really not a risky venture. Next, consider this your professional account. This means you will be representing yourself as your best professional self, the way you would in a meeting at school or in the classroom. If you want to, set some personal boundaries to keep it professional (for example, no talking about politics or religion). Next, personalize your Twitter page – set a background photo and a profile photo. The default “egg” is a deterrent for many people to engage with you online. If you’re uncomfortable with it being a photo of yourself, consider an online caricature. For example, you can post an avatar of yourself (both Funko Pop and Simpsons characters are popular) or select a photo of a beloved pet or a vacation photo. Finally, download the free iOS or Android App for your phone and/or tablet to access Twitter on the go.

Explore the Interface

The interface is intentionally clean to make it easier to navigate. At the top, you will see the subjects: Home, Moments, Notifications, and Messages.
twitter interface
Your  “Home” screen will include Tweets posted chronologically (the newest at the top). In this feed, you will only see what the people who you follow publicly post. “Moments” highlights what is trending throughout all users as well as topics divided by subject. “Notifications” includes material directed at you – responses to your tweets, retweet notifications, follower notifications, and tweets directed directly to you. “Messages” are private messages between users – think of this like Instant Message. You will also see your number of tweets, people you follow, and your list of followers. On the left, there is a list of trending topics and hashtags (it will label those that are “promoted,” meaning someone has paid for them to be on this list).

Follow Users

Who should I follow? Is a common question. Start with people you know and admire – an educational leader (like the secretary of education John King, Ph.D.), authors, academics, publications, thought leaders, and more. Next, you can go to lists like Mashable’s 10 Rockstar Teachers on Twitter to help you get started and expand your list. Don’t worry about following a lot of people. Be selective (at least initially). Lurk, read, and observe what these individuals are doing. I also like to go and see who my idols are following on Twitter and find a few new gems for my Twitter Professional Learning Network (PLN). The more you observe on Twitter, the more your following will grow organically.

Hashtags

hashtagsNothing seems to cause more angst for newbies to Twitter than the concept of “hashtags.” Think of a hashtag as a way to categorize content on Twitter. For example, if I’m going to share something about a new feature in Google Docs, I will add the hashtag #GAFE (GAFE = Google Apps for Education) to my tweet. This will allow anyone searching for news on #GAFE to find my tweet. Within Twitter, hashtags are hyperlinked – if you click on one with a tweet, it will pull up all tweets with that hashtag (divided into “Top Tweets” and “All Tweets”). This can be a great way to keep up with a particular topic trending on Twitter. If you would like a list of educational hashtags, check out this post that catalogues hashtags by subject and content.

Share

The biggest hurdle for new Twitter users to overcome is actually sharing content! However, it’s vital for engaging with Retweetyour Professional Learning Network (PLN). You can share by “retweeting” a post. Do this by clicking the “retweet” button on a Twitter post to share and ensure that the original poster gets credit. Better yet, create and share your own content! Most newspapers and blogs now have a “share via…” button on their posts. This will allow you to share via a website itself which often automatically includes information such as a link and a title. You can then add your own text and hashtags (e.g. #edtech or #edchat) and then click share.
To create a post from scratch, click on the “post” button on your Home screen. The button looks like a quill on a square, in the top right corner of your screen. You can then add text, links, photos, video, and more in the tweet window. Though you are limited to 140 characters (excluding links), share away!
Once you get the hang of Twitter, you will see your PLN grow as you engage with others online, and you will probably find additional features on Twitter; check out more advanced lessons from Justin Reich in his article Teaching Teachers to Tweet. If you do, be sure to share your new tips and tricks with your PLN (on Twitter)!

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Education

4 Reasons I Use Twitter in My Classroom

twitterUsing Twitter in my classroom has certainly elevated my tech savvy status with parents as well as my instagramming 5th graders who have never known a world without digital devices. We live in a very social world, so why not use social media in the classroom? Social media is a part of daily life for millions of people on our planet and it’s not going away any time soon. Using it in my classroom allows me to model appropriate use and teaches my students necessary skills they will need for their lives beyond our classroom.
While there may be many extraneous reasons to use social media in my classroom (it makes my life easier because it’s organized as well as time and space efficient), it really comes down to four main reasons:

Twitter connects me with parents

Using social media in a classroom gives parents a window into their child’s day. The learning becomes transparent as I tweet all content area charts (see below) made in class so they are available to all students at home, to be used as teaching tools/support for their homework and review. Homework assignments are also Tweeted after reviewing them in the classroom. We all benefit when there is ample time to discuss the assignments and less time spent copying the assignment.
twitter
twitter
twitter
 
Tweeting charts lets the parents know what their children are doing in school and in addition, students often use them as reference tool for future assignments and homework as they are archived in our class Twitter account.

Twitter expands the walls of my classroom

Our class Twitter handle is @5Boyer and while I start the year orchestrating our tweets, my savvy students quickly start to ask, “Do we have to copy that or will you tweet it?” or “Can you take a picture and tweet it, I want everyone to see what we’ve done?” My students have many questions and it would ultimately be a shame if I was the only voice that answered them. We tweet to others to ask questions, why not go straight to the experts? Once my class Tweeted to the International Space Station asking, “How many sunsets do you see in a day?” AND The ISS Tweeted back! Imagine how exciting that was for 23 fifth graders (not to mention their teacher). Tweeting student work now becomes an instant celebration as it is shared with a much wider audience. As a teacher, I retweet relevant information and LOVE how that sparks a conversation in the classroom. Note in the tweet below, I was at home reaching out to my class as the spacewalk was starting before school hours. I added others to the tweet by inserting their twitter handles, check out their response.
twitterIn most of my tweets I add the hashtag #heathcotepride as our amazing tech guru has created a living bulletin board for all school related tweets and to his credit almost all of our staff is tweeting!

Twitter connects me with others who share the same passions

Professionally, I have built a network of teachers, learners, and experts whom I can learn from every day. There are incredible things happening in the world of education and I have a front row seat with an international view. Only social media can deliver that. I can connect with others who will be attending the same conference, see what’s going on in classrooms around the world or simply be inspired by other amazing teachers. Additionally, Twitter chats make it possible for me to participate in professional conversations in my pajamas. Twitter chats are when a group of twitter users come together at a predetermined time to discuss a certain topic using a specific hashtag with each tweet. Chats serve as a networking opportunity in addition to an awesome learning environment!
#edtechchat is one favorite and @iChrisLehman hosts many thought provoking chats focused on reading and writing.

Twitter helps me conduct research

Twitter offers direct access to the experts and the information is current. Many museums are on social media and post highlights on museum exhibits, special events and relevant articles. Scientists, journalists, athletes, engineers, bankers…millions of professionals are on social media. When my students are given a choice within their research projects, they often choose topics/people that are trendy and not easily researchable in books, (and if there is a book, it’s not in language a fifth grader can easily understand). Recent research topics have included: How Has Social Media Impacted Our Daily Lives? What are Football Combines?, When Will Time Travel Be Possible? and Astronaut Scott Kelly and Life in Space. Students learn how to use social media as a primary source when making connections with the experts in the field that they are studying. Available literature may not be accessible, but people rarely deny a student the opportunity to conduct an interview once the initial contact has been made.
In the process of writing this post I became curious as to what my students might say so I asked them, “What do you all think of social media in the classroom?”, here’s what they said;

  • “My grandma lives in Florida and Twitter helps her see what I’m doing in school, she likes that”
  • “Twitter can help others learn from what we’re doing”
  • “It saves on paper – we have all the charts without making 24 copies of it”
  • “It helps us to document our work”
  • “Tweets of pictures, charts and homework help us to review our work from home easily”
  • “We can share work with our parents”
  • “It takes too long to get to School Wires, Twitter is really fast and easy”
  • “If I’m sick or on vacation early, I can keep up on the work on Twitter, so I can go to sportsmens lodge costa rica without any worries”
  • “Twitter is a good thing – when my mom asks what I did in school, I usually say I don’t know, but now we can check on Twitter”
  • “Twitter is a good way to communicate with people who we can’t interact with directly. Like astronaut Scott Kelly who tweeted to us”
  • “I use Twitter to see what’s going on in school. I use Instagram to follow friends who have moved and see what’s going on.”
  • “Vine and Twitter are good for following my interests, like a sports team, a car company. I can see how they’re doing.”

Time is precious and twitter lets me complete a multitude of tasks in a short amount of time. It’s a tool that I have come to depend on for communicating daily with parents, colleagues, and astronauts. Wall Street and CNN have their tickers that deliver up-to-the-minute relevant information – that is what twitter has become for me and my students.
 

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twitter
 
Featured Image via Flickr

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Education

Periscope to autoplay within Twitter

One of the significant issues with Periscope, the visibility of its livestreams, may now be close to being solved as Twitter users will now be able to watch Periscope live streams straight from their feeds.

For teachers, as we’ve said before, it’s one of the simplest and useful ways to have a live broadcast all your own, allowing you to teach from home during a snowday, or for students to present their work while on a field trip. Pupils can even do live broadcasts that are watched by other classrooms around the world. It’s all free, to boot.

And now, it’s findable. Starting today, video cards will auto-play within Twitter’s iOS app for iPhone and iPad. If you tap on the card will allow users to see the stream full screen, including the comments and hearts from others — although hearting or commenting on the stream will still have to be done within the Periscope app. Which is clumsy, but probably solvable

In a Medium post, Periscope describe the new feature as adding “a whole new dimension to Twitter”.

Reassuringly, they also add that Android versions will be launched ‘as soon as they are ready’.

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Work

The journey of a connected educator

Becoming a connected educator is tough. Figuring out how to properly integrate education technology, innovative learning strategies, and how to develop your personal learning network is a daunting task. I’ve met many teachers who know about technology, have a smartphone, but have absolutely no time to invest in trying out new products and solutions.

So I thought it might be fun to put together a fun, albeit basic, journey of a connected educator. It’s meant to be a solid jumping-off point for teachers of all types. Whether you’ve never set up a social media account or already integrated a 1:1 Google Chromebook solution, there’s something here for you.

The journey of a connected educator is long (but fun!)

Getting to the end of this journey is actually impossible. As you can see in the below graphic, the important part of this adventure is to remember that it’s an ongoing process. I recommend you check out this fantastic set of resources from our pals at Edutopia on Connected Educator Month. Long story short, you need to always be learning and teaching yourself so you can share your newfound knowledge with others.

How can you share your knowledge, you ask? You can do so on social media, your blog (see step #10) or by speaking to your PLN. There’s a lot to do and a lot to research so I’ll get you on your way. Enjoy the graphic!

Want to zoom in? Just click the big graphic to explore each step.

connected educator journey

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Education

26 quick tips for teachers using Twitter

Whether you’re new to the Twitter game or a seasoned pro, there’s always something to learn. Teachers know that better than anyone. Learning is a lifelong process and figuring out social media is no different. I was pretty excited to come across this handy chart of quick tips for teachers using Twitter because it showcases the A-to-Z tips which will help you get off to a good start. Literally. It’s an A-to-Z walkthrough. Pretty good.
In this graphic from Fedena (a school management software maker), you’ll likely spot more than a few tips you already know. However, you should be able to discover a couple new ones that will help you up your Twitter game. For example, I really like the second tip on how to properly use Twitter. There’s certainly a level of etiquette you should follow. Don’t be spammy. Don’t over-tweet or overshare, and don’t take credit for someone else’s work. That’s a super handy tip to always keep int he back of your mind whether you’re talking about social media or just life in general!

See Also: A printable 1-page Twitter guide for all skill levels

The graphic is slightly outdated so I took the liberty of rewriting some of the tips in text form. The graphic references things that Twitter (the company) has since changed. For example, you don’t need to worry about using quotations instead of writing ‘RT’ or ‘retweet’ because the Twitter platform makes it much easier to retweet and add a quote. Stuff like that.
In any case, enjoy the tips and hopefully they help you improve your social media game but also take your professional learning to the next level.

1. Account

Your account, also known as your username or handle, is what defines you on Twitter. Many teachers use Twitter for professional networking and engaging with others on topics being discussed around the world.

2. Big No-Nos

Twitter isn‘t about you. Don’t spam. Seriously. Don’t take credit for the intellectual property of someone else or any property that is not yours. If you aren’t getting followers, improve the content you share, don‘t buy your followers. Pretty simple rule. Just be a high-quality user and good things will happen. That’s my personally-proven and time-tested tip 🙂

3. Collaborate

Twitter is all about collaboration. Connect with others and co-run a hashtag chat (scroll down to the letter ‘H’ for more on hashtags) to get more engaged and collaborating.

4. Direct Messages

Direct messages are a great way to, you guessed it, directly connect with others. It’s like privately emailing someone else on Twitter. The other bonus is that the character limit is much higher so you don’t need to subscribe to the 140 character limit normally found in tweets.

5. #EdChat

One of the first educational chats and one of the most used. #edchat is held on Tuesdays from 12 to 1 and 7 to 8 pm EST, #edtechchat takes place on Mondays from 8 to 9 pm EST. What are you waiting for, Join the conversation!

6. Favorite / Liking

Favoriting or liking (they recently made this a heart rather than a star icon) a tweet helps you archive tweets which share information or links you might be interested in or you might just simply like what they say.

7. Grammarly

Twitter allows you to share your magic with only 140 characters and while adhering to that rule, your grammar might really get tested. Try installing the Grammarly Plugin on your web browser to help keep your language on point. Great learning opportunity for students and teachers alike!

8. Hashtags

Themes, common words, trending topics are often covered in just a few or single words. Some of the most used HashTags among Teachers are #EdChat, #EdTech, #Elearning, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). These should help you get in on the conversation.

9. Images

Add flavor to your stories and conversations by adding vibrant, informative images to engage your followers at a visual level.

10. Journal

Use Twitter as your personal micro-journal, for your classroom adventures, experiments. Use your account to share stories. I’d recommend keeping these accounts as private so they remain a private journal rather than a Twitter account that isn’t engaging with others.

11. Knowledge

Knowledge is power. Practice it by sharing it with the world. Learn from other teachers & educators, develop a PLN – Personal Learning Network.

12. Lists

One of the most underused tools of Twitter and yet one of the most useful ones. Use lists to group and sort people/handles based on your customized filters.

13. Muted Accounts

Helpful when you want to avoid handles and users who are a nuisance to conversations and learning. Just head over to your settings, enter the username and enjoy Twitter without ever hearing from them again.

14. Notifications

The notifications tab is a good way to keep track of how well you are doing with your followers and influencers. It lets you know who followed you, favorite-ed your tweet, retweeted you. Keep an eye out maybe someone famous follows you!

15. One Hundred and Forty

Twitter only allows you to type in 140 characters. Be smart, concise and creative.

16. Protected Accounts/ Private Accounts

These are accounts of people who would like to approve who can see their content. These accounts are privacy protected and you will have to ask for permission to follow them.

17. Quotes

Sometimes users like to quote other tweets rather than retweeting them directly. This is mostly done to comment along with the tweet, try quoting to see how it helps you engage in a conversation or maybe even start one!

18. Retweet

Retweeting is as essential as tweeting on Twitter. It shows the kind of articles people you follow like to read. Retweets also help in giving authorship to intellectual properties which don’t belong to you.

19. Story

Craft an interesting story for your followers. Use Storify to craft a creative story using a series of tweets and keep your followers engaged!

20. Tweet

A tweet helps you interact with your PLN, your followers, your influencers and with the web in general. So keep tweeting as much as you can.

21. Unlearn

As an educator and teacher, you have embarked on a journey of learning and teaching. But sometimes, to learn something new, you have to unlearn what you know to get the best out of what’s new!

22. Verified Accounts

The identities of these accounts have been verified by Twitter. Mostly companies and celebrities get it done, so take caution while engaging with verified accounts.

23. Wikispaces

Missed out on one of the EdChat or EdtechChat, no worries, edtechchat.wikispaces.com archives all the chats and even has a podcast which discusses all the topics from the week.

24. Xavier!

Sometimes it helps to make pop culture references to your conversations to connect with people, like we just did here, X- Men fan anyone?

25. Yes

Start by saying yes to all the ideas and conversation which make you feel uncomfortable, decide only after you have practiced or taken part in an in-depth discussion with the user(s).

26. Zest

Tweet with all the zest you can, talk to other teachers and pump up your PLN with all the zest you can muster. It’s important that your influencers and followers know how dedicated you are to teaching!
top twitter tips

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Education Work

Why you shouldn’t do those Facebook quizzes – and how to disconnect from them

If you’ve been on Facebook recently, you may have see the online quiz that creates a ‘word cloud’ from all the words you use most regularly on the platform. It has gone viral – and its a classic example of why you shouldn’t hop on those ‘harmless’ quizzes that your friends seem to have so much time to do.

Time To Ask Yourself A Simple Question

So whether you’re asked ‘what is your signature pop song’, ‘what historical figure you are’ or ‘what literary figure you most resemble’, just ask yourself why the quiz-makers have bothered.

After all, it’s not up to them to decide how you pass your time. Those tacky adverts down the side aren’t going to pay their bills.

The UK-based VPN comparison site (yes, there are such things) Comparitech looked into the information the word cloud quiz ‘needed and discovered it asks for your name, birthdate, hometown, education details, all your Likes, photos, browser, language, your IP address and even your friends list if you link it with Facebook.

That’s quite a lot to ask when creating something from your public utterances.

Many quizzes and games ask for similar amounts of seemingly superfluous information. They may also ask you to authorize the connection to the social network, to make sure you share your results in the hope that the quiz goes viral. If you don’t allow the sharing, the chances are that the quiz doesn’t function.

It’s About Control

The big issue with all this is that once you’ve handed your data over, you can’t control what is done with it, even if you never use the quiz again.

These games are simply data harvesters and, buried deep in the privacy policy you ‘sign’ when you connect, is often the permission to continue to use your data even after you disconnect from whatever tempted you in the first place. And that often means sharing your data with third parties – clicking that permission button has already allowed that.

The only safe way to deal with such things is to never use them in the first place, but you can alter what the quiz/game app can access.

How To Get Rid Of Facebook Apps

To get rid of older apps you already authorized, simply click the lock icon on the top right corner of your Facebook page and go to “See More Settings.” You can see the “Logged in with Facebook” list under the Apps section — click “x” to remove any application that you don’t trust or recognize.

There’s an element of watching a sprinting horse as you close the stable door about that approach. Abstention is your best policy – because even if you don’t worry too much about your own privacy, by sharing the app and your data, you could be making your friends more vulnerable too.

Want to stay connected to the author? Follow Jimmy on Twitter

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