Cool Tools for Schools, Thing 4: Twitter, Facebook & Personal Learning Networks

I feel like almost every year I’ve done Cool Tools, I’ve also done a Twitter related option. You’d think I’d either a) have run out of things to explore by now or b) finally have gotten “good” at this Twitter thing but alas, neither of those things seem to have happened so here I am: another year, another go at tackling Twitter via Cool Tools suggestions!

What I currently do: I have gotten better at checking in on Twitter more regularly but still sometimes go too long without opening the app and looking at it. A fact I almost always instantly regret when I finally check back in because I instantly find like, 3 new ideas and a few fascinating articles to look at! Moving my Twitter app to my main screen, right next to the Instagram app has helped me remember to check in more often. For awhile, I had instituted a rule that I couldn’t look at Instagram until I checked Twitter and I might have to renew that proclamation to get back into a more regular habit again…

What I looked at: Something I’ve wanted to do more often is participate in Twitter chats. So, I Googled around and found some articles on recommended Twitter chats for educators. I found ISTE’s round up the most useful and pulled several chats from it to explore further. Then, I dusted off my old friend TweetDeck and spent a few minutes working through those hashtags to see what there was to see. In the end, I was left with the following hashtags/Twitter Chats that I thought would be most useful for me to checkout.

  • #edchat (Thursdays, 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET)

One of the first education chats, this popular chat has nine moderators and covers a broad range of topics. Find upcoming topics and read archived chats at edchat.pbworks.com.

  • #digcit (Wednesdays, 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET)

Focuses on digital citizenship. Read the chat archives on the #digcit website.

For those interested in the flipped classroom model.

  • #Read4fun (Every other Sunday, 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET)

Connects passionate educators with books, and with each other.

I also found this website that catalogs all sorts of education related Twitter Chats and tells you when they happen. I think that will be fun when I’m looking for chats and/or hashtags related to specific issues or topics.

What I’d like to do with them: Well, to begin with, I’d like to set a goal of participating in a Twitter Chat at least once a month. As you can see, I could participate in a few each week but that seems a little nuts…especially for someone who can’t seem to make it to one well, ever. I’d like to work up to regularly participating in one a week but for now, once a month seems like an attainable goal. To help facilitate that goal, I’ve gone into my phone calendar and added each of these Twitter Chats into both my iPhone’s calendar and my school Google Calendar. I’ve also set recurring reminders for each of these chats as well. Hopefully, this will help me make it into at least one of them a month…

Additionally, I noticed when I was looking at the website that catalogs the educational Twitter Chats that there wasn’t any listed for librarians in New York State. I’d love to someday get to the point in my Twitter chatting experience where I felt comfortable helping facilitate one for the school librarians of, if not the entire state of NY, than at least the ones in Central New York. Maybe by this time next year?

I’m not sure I’ll ever feel like I’ve “mastered” Twitter but I certainly love trying! I’m excited to spend some of my break trying out a chat or two and doing some Spring cleaning of my Twitter accounts. Since I was recently granted permission to create a Twitter account for my school library as well (@FPSLibratorium if you’re interested), I’m looking forward to not only applying this year’s goals to my personal Twitter account, I’m also looking forward to using some of the tips and tricks I learned in past years (lists, Tweet scheduling etc) to get my professional account in tip top shape as well. In the meantime, hopefully, you’ll be seeing a lot more of me out there on Twitter and happy Tweeting!

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2 thoughts on “Cool Tools for Schools, Thing 4: Twitter, Facebook & Personal Learning Networks

  1. I should try that strategy, no instagram till I check twitter! Or for me, no Facebook till I read cool tools workshop posts. 😀 I wish we had a NYS librarians twitter chat too. I sense that a lot of people join in the Texas libchat, so maybe that serves the purpose?

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