As you know, I am a Twitter addict. I love it, it helps me grow each and every day and I have made connections with some of the best people in Education and Business in the world. Twitter has helped me in my career and as a result, I love to give back. This blog is one example of how I like to give back and share what I do.
One of the things I get asked most is “How do you organize your Twitter stream?”.
It is a good question. The more people you connect with the more ‘stuff’ you get in your stream. That is why I am careful about who I follow. I am not one of those people who doesn’t connect with people and only follow 70 people. In all honesty, I just don’t see the point in being connected if you don’t mutually gain benefit.
Let’s get to the point. I organize my twitter stream in two ways:
- I use my phone iOs Twitter app to stay connected when I am on the move. I do a lot of tweeting, reading, and learning to and from school on the bus or relaxing in my own time. The stream is busy but I look for my favorite and most respected names popping up and I look for the same tweet being repeated as I quickly scroll through which tells me it was RT’ed by several people so it must be good. The other way I use my phone is for scrolling through my notifications.
- I use Tweetdeck (which this blog is going to explore soon). Tweetdeck allows me to segregate my PLN into groups, hashtags and more. Let’s get into it in a little more detail…
Using TweetDeck to make the most of Twitter!
Firstly, if you are not using TweetDeck, I can promise you that you will never use Twitter the same again.
What is Tweetdeck?
TweetDeck is a personalized browser for viewing Twitter in a web-based form. It offers a more efficient and convenient experience by giving you multiple timelines at once (which you can customize), such as home feed, personalized lists (via hashtags or other), notifications, messages, and more.
How do I begin using TweetDeck?
Simply go to www.tweetdeck.com and log in to your Twitter account!
Why should I use TweetDeck?
TweetDeck allows you to personalize the information on your Twitter account to better support your professional development needs. You can connect and engage in better and more efficient ways using TweetDeck.
How does this benefit my students and me as an educator?
- When you look at TweetDeck, it does appear to be overwhelming and confusing. However, once you begin using it, you will see that it makes things simple and is an efficient way to sort through information.
- Teachers and students can quickly view information based on their personal or professional preferences. You are less likely to get lost and overwhelmed by all of the information being shared. Instead, you can personalize your TweetDeck to view only the information that you want to see by having your own ‘threads’
How do I personalize it and create my own ‘threads’?
- The columns on TweetDeck can be personalized to include specific lists and/or hashtags. Lists are one of my favorite things about Twitter! Basically, lists are a group of Twitter accounts based upon a specific topic. Once you create these lists, you can create columns for them. When you view this column, you will only see the users from your list.
- I typically use the ‘search’ tab in TweetDeck to follow hashtags and Twitter Chats that I love, like #whatisschool and my school’s tweets at #SAISrocks so they are organised and available at the touch of a button without having to scroll through tweets I don’t want to see.
- Whatever your interests or needs are, create a list for it! You will NEVER look back – it simplifies EVERYTHING about Twitter.
Twitter chats are a great way to collaborate with teachers from all over the world, you have read my articles on these before and I won’t go into chats now in detail, except to say you will never look back after you use TweetDeck to participate in a Twitter Chat. You can go at your own pace without being overwhelmed.
In Twitter chats, educators are given a series of questions to respond. These responses tend to spark conversation among the other educators in the chat, too. It’s a great way to think about what we are doing in our classrooms and get new ideas! By creating a column with the hashtag and notifications side by side, you will be less likely to miss any important conversations.
TweetDeck also allows users to schedule their tweets for a specific time and day. It is pretty simple to do – give it a try, you can always go back and delete it if you get it wrong. Scheduling tweets are very helpful for those hosting their own Twitter chats. I use this for #whatisschool all the time to post the questions, it is one less thing I have to think about. It allows me to schedule tweets and still participate in the chat.
Give it a go – you won’t look back!