Want to know the basics of Twitter?  Check out this post by Tim Wilhelmus.  He can help you get started.

You have a Twitter account.  Now what?

Did you know?

There are over 300 Twitter Chats for teachers every week?  It’s true!  Check out the schedule here.  Have you ever wondered how other teachers begin that challenging unit on measurement?  There’s a chat for that!  How do colleagues make the Civil War come to life for middle school students?  There’s a chat for that! We are hearing a lot about “flipped learning,” but what does it look like?  There’s a chat for that, too!  Twitter chats are powerful sources of professional learning.

Getting Started…

This is a great video by Cool Cat Teacher, Vicki Davis.

When you see her screen, you are actually seeing a tool she uses called Hootsuite.  This tool provides the user with a more “organized” view of Twitter, shown by the columns.  Another popular tool among tweeting teachers is Tweetdeck; it offers several of the same features as Hootsuite.

Twitter Chats

This is a glimpse at a Twitter chat.  You can see that Kim Hendrick – (Website is no longer available), Coordinator of Connected Learning for Center Grove Schools in Greenwood, Indiana, is facilitating the discussion.  It’s important to note that the teachers are using #INeLearn at the end of their tweets.

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Hashtags help our tweets stay organized.  If your Twitter account is public, then anyone can see your message.  For example, first grade teachers use #1stchat to connect with other teachers of first grade students.  When you click the word or phrase with the hashtag, then you can see all the tweets with that hashtag.  Indiana educators use #INeLearn to connect with other teachers around the state.  The #INeLearn chat takes place on Thursday evenings.  For more information about #INeLearn, visit the site with the chat schedule.

You can use more than one hashtag in your tweets if you want to reach out to more groups.  You may be interested in reaching out to all teachers; #edchat is recommended for such use.  You can use hashtagged words and phrases at any time while tweeting.  Hashtags are not limited to chats.


Miss a chat?  No problem.  They are archived for later viewing.  One such example is the archive of the #flipclass chat below.  The facilitators of this chat keep their archived chats in a Google Doc.  Another popular tool used for archives is Storify.

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Suggested Uses

Jump in!  Look around!  The brilliance of Twitter is that the user can determine his/her level of participation.  You can watch, follow, or jump right in and participate.  Many teachers all agree that Twitter is the best professional development tool they have ever used.  Teachers find great ideas, solve problems,  and find inspiration in the Twitterverse every single day.

Why it Matters (Teaching Rubric)

Having a space that enables effective collaboration with colleagues (Competency 4.1) and an online tool that opens up multiple opportunities for ongoing professional development (Competency 4.2), helps educators grow their Personal Learning Networks.

Additional Resources

Twitter is only one of many social media resources that provide personal and professional growth opportunities and support collaboration. Many teachers use Google+, Facebook, Pinterest, and other tools to connect with others and learn online.

Your Challenge

Today’s challenge is to examine how a Twitter chat of educators could expand your professional knowledge.
How could you use this resource to connect with and learn from other educators?
How could other educators learn from you?  Share those reflections in the comments below.
If you have another great tool for collaboration and professional learning, please feel free to add it to your comments as well.
Do you participate in any educational chats?  What have you learned from those chats?
Is there a specific topic in education that interests you?  Please share below and we will find a chat for that!

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DeLyn Beard
DeLyn serves as an eLearning Coach in the Central Attendance District, after 17 years of teaching students in grades K through 8 in both general and special education settings. She is also a Fablevision Ambassador for Fablevision Learning. DeLyn’s passion is fueled by empowering students to lead others in the digital age. In 2011, DeLyn started an after-school tech club, Oak Hill eLeaders. This team of 4th and 5th grade students travel to educational conferences around the country to teach teachers how to implement technology into their classrooms. In April, 2014, DeLyn and her Oak Hill eLeaders were recognized by the Evansville community when they received the Leaders in Technology Award sponsored by Leadership Evansville. For more information on Oak Hill eLeaders, visit www.oakhilleleaders.weebly.com DeLyn holds a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership and a Masters of Science in Special Education, both from Indiana State University.


  1. I follow a lot of other educators that are interested in technology in education. I get a lot of great ideas just from seeing their tweets. I have not actually participated in a twitter chat, but I have saved certain hastags, like #inelearn, that I pull info from. When I find useful info, I retweet it. I have really been looking for other Business Law teachers. I would love to find a twitter chat for that. I am the only business law teacher in my school. I also subscribe to Edmodo communities. I like this because I can pose questions to the community and receive lots of valuable feedback & advice. I know Google plus has similar communities, but I have not used them as much. I just saved the #hour of code hashtag since that is going on this week.

  2. First off, I do not twitter. Second, I see good in using it. Third, I have ‘watched’ a IN e Learn chat during the summer. Twitter is one of those things on my to do list at some point because that’s what high school kids do but as soon as I learn it, I am afraid something new will be their go to source. I have used a paper version of twitter in a geometry class though- in 140 characters or less “write a conditional statement about triangles” or something similar.

  3. Twitter chats are fairly newly to me; I’ve heard about them many times but haven’t actively participated. Being able to # to find relevant chats was pretty fun. Some had great ideas with links to more ideas about being creative in one’s space and being relevant to the community you serve. I hope to eventually find one with other high school librarians working toward helping teacher understand librarians are far more than people who check out books to students.

    Others were just plain fun like #replaceawordwithlibrarian. A fave was “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my librarian. Prepare to die”

  4. This again sounds like another great place to find out information for math lessons. I think that you would have to be careful of what you follow on Twitter though. For instance, some proffesional development conference that teachers attend are very well planned out and very useful. I have been to some that are a waste of time. I would hope that people who are tweeting are viable candidates to follow. I am sure once I start I will be able to sort the good from the bad.

  5. The enthusiasm for Twitter and ed chats is evident in the posts I’ve read. Having this means of exchanging ideas and communicating with other teachers allows for many possibilities. However, it’s just not for me. I find other means to be more my style.

  6. Every year I am pumped up after eRev and use my Twitter account to watch, read, and recharge. However, as the year goes on I find I am pulled other directions and neglect Twitter, so this news of ed chats is exciting! I had no idea! This is definitely something I can find time to use. It is always refreshing to hear new ways of teaching in our ever changing world.

  7. I have participated a few times in the #INeLearn and enjoy the ideas that are shared. I did not realize there were so many other Twitter educational chats. I will check into them and follow more of them. While I am more of a “stalker” than a “talker” on the Twitter feeds, due to time constraints and other obligations, I like that you can go back to the archive and view past chats. When I am on chats I enjoy sharing my ideas and gaining new ones especially since I am the only one in my building that teaches my subject.

  8. I am an avid Twitter user and love what Twitter has to offer. I have never done a Twitter Chat before, but at the ISRA this year, all of the authors said it was a good way to connect with them about new books they are writing. They also said many of them hadn’t used Twitter until recently and had discovered a world of friendly educators to collaborate with. The list of Twitter Chats that specifically are for education is awesome! I specifically liked the iPads in Education Chat that was today from 1-2 pm. Hashtags are such a great tool, but it was really nice to see an organized method of using hashtags to communicate. I was impressed to see that the chat was not spammed. I figured that there are probably some chats sponsored by companies that try to direct you to their websites/products. Everything that I saw in the iPad chat seemed to be on topic and come directly from an educational source. Twitter Chats are such an easy way to find new and innovative things to do in my classroom.

  9. I am so excited about the idea of ed chats on Twitter. This might finally get me using Twitter in a productive way. I love having ways to collaborate with other educators whenever I get a few minutes of my own time. This makes it easy. My district uses #digi14 for our portion of the Summer of e-learning tour. It was a great way to keep up with all the goings on during the summer. I sometimes get very confusing with the hashtags and other “handles” that Twitter uses, but this post has helped, so I hope to dive into some ed chats right away!

  10. I have not used Twitter that much, I have a few followers and a few people that I follow. Ed chat seems like a wonderful idea! I love learning new ideas from other educators, and sharing my ideas with other people. I will definitely look into signing up for this!

  11. Being able to communicate and share ideas, concerns, and techniques with other educators is key to growing as a professional educator. Most of us do this at a building level but with social media there are no longer walls to our ideas. With that being said we are all swamped and busy with our school lives and that life we try to maintain for a few hours a day outside of school. Twitter is the perfect answer to growing yourself while making good use of your available time. As Peter said with Twitter limiting the number of characters a person can write per post you are spared reading long winded dissertations about this or that. People are are savvy learn to say more with less during Twitter chats. The list of chats above is an excellent place to start.

    Even thought today’s challenge isn’t solely about Twitter we use Twitter in our classroom (shameless plug here) @shepardacademy to allow our stakeholders and people interested in our program a way to follow along with what are class is up to. We have 100+ followers and we were once “retweeted” by Senator Cory Booker who passed on one of our Tweets to his 1.5 million followers. It was great exposure for our program.

  12. I have participated in some Twitter chats, but I often forget about when they are. I have learned from the chats I have participated in and it really has helped my own thinking. I really do like Twitter for the ability to connect with others within your grade level and subject level to ask questions and get ideas. It is nice to find others with similar interests as well. Twitter is great tool for following conferences, both those you are at and those you couldn’t attend. It is nice to see some of the great thoughts and resources from these conferences around the country by following their #hashtag. I followed the ISTE conference for the last few years in this manner – hopefully I will get to go this year!

    I do enjoy the #INeLearn and #edtech tags, I have pulled many great ideas and tools.

  13. The ed chats are awesome idea generators and support. I also use #symchat, #edweek, coolcat teacher, edtech, techSmith education, and gaggle to name a few to garner ideas and support from their expertise. I have shared ways to utilize Symbaloo and other curation tools with my peers. It is awesome to feel the connectedness across the country. This helps validate and support educational endeavors!

  14. Tweet Chats are a quick and fun way to connect with educators all around the state, country, and potentially the world if you continue to use the same hashtag together. Last year, my district did some tweet chats using the hashtag #zcsforward but also have followed the #INeLearn and #spedchat before too. It’s a great way to connect and follow other teachers who might participate in other tweet chats which sometimes it’s nice to follow a chat to see what questions and answers are out there if you’re hesitant to participate initially. Most tweet chats last 20-30 minutes but people will continue to answer or reply well after that set time frame. I do find it easier to be part of them when on a computer instead of being on a phone or tablet having a full keyboard and able to link outside sources easier too but the mobile method is certainly possible.

    I hashtag sketchnotes I draw and classroom information with #Klass8ZW which I have embedded a twitter news feed to my student learning management system to automatically show all tweets using that hashtag. Using it in that way is great to organize tweets for others to see or reference. There are so many great teachers out there who are experiencing or having the same questions you may have too.

  15. I love the #INeLearn chats! I meet so many new, passionate educator friends and I learn so much from our discussion times together! Join us this week on Thursday, December 4 from 8 PM CST (9 EST) for an #INeLearn chat focus around the Hour of Code! Michelle Green and I will be co-moderating! This is a great opportunity to share ideas with other educators and get connected via Twitter chats! Hope to see you all there!

  16. The #INeLearn chats would be an excellent starting point to learn from other teachers. I didn’t know about these chats, but I’m interested in taking part in them. I would definitely benefit from the December 11 chat about preparing students for online learning. I have a few thoughts on the subject, but mostly I’d like to hear from other teachers.

    Twitter chats, in my limited experience, are both a blessing and a curse. Because the site limits comments to 140 characters, some tweets are unclear or require additional tweets. On the other hand, long-winded tweeters are forced to condense their thoughts.

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