How I Use Twitter Professionally

I’ve noticed several posts lately about how to use Twitter as a teacher for professional development; I thought I’d weigh in.

My tweets are public.

I’m trying to encourage conversation and collaboration, so my tweets are globally accessible.

I don’t follow a lot of people.

I currently follow 70 people, of whom about 40 are actively tweeting (let’s say at least weekly). Some of these aren’t related to education; for example, I follow The LEGO Group (@LEGO_Group).

I can keep up with this: I read every tweet, unless it’s an especially busy day in my face-to-face life.

I accept anyone as a follower, pretty much.

Except for a few obvious accounts, I let anyone follow me. Since my tweets are public, anyone can read them (even without a Twitter account), so letting people follow me doesn’t reveal anything extra. Plus, it’s easier when you don’t have to approve people.

I don’t accept Direct Messages (DMs) from people I don’t follow.

This cuts down on the spam. Now it’s just mentions, and there aren’t too many of those. This is a good idea for anyone, so I thought I’d list it here.

I follow hashtags for a while.

Recently I followed #SeLNO for the Thunder Bay Region’s event; you can still see stuff by searching for that tag. I don’t follow the very busy tags, although I sometimes apply them to my posts (#D2L, #onted, #blendedlearning).

I try to follow the people in Northern Ontario.

We face many of the same issues, and perhaps we have solutions to help each other. I like that idea.

I let Twitter post my tweets to Facebook.

I don’t really use Facebook professionally, but sometimes my tweets catch the eye of some of my Facebook friends who aren’t on Twitter. Some of them are reading this post (you know who you are). It’s one more way to expand the conversation. (I imagine some of my friends are tired of all the education-related stuff.)

I use Tweetdeck; it rocks.

Chrome has TweetDeck as an app; I like that I can have columns for a variety of things I want to look at. Currently I have my Twitter timeline, my Twitter Interactions, my Twitter Messages (DMs), a Twitter #NeLChat search, my Facebook Timeline and my Facebook Notifications. It’s great.

I say things for myself, and I say things for others.

I tweet things that I want to remember or revisit (great for “note-taking” at a session/workshop/conference). I also tweet things to inform others or start conversations.

If you want to follow me…

I’m @bgrasley. No pressure, of course. Use Twitter however it works best for you!

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