Social Networks for Teachers: Being a Connected Educator

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social networks for teachers images

1. Twitter is where most educators are professionally and where the most discussion is. Facebook has some great groups/pages. Instagram and SnapChat are on the rise.

Out of the 1/2 billion tweets that post every day, 4.2 million are related to education, according to Brett Baker, an account executive at To put this in perspective, while you read this past sentence, over 3,000 edu-related tweets have flown across the Twitterverse. (via EdSurge)

2. Twitter is only as good as the people you follow. Find like indeed people — and people who push you to be better. Unfollow those that make your experience worse.


The basics of Twitter for Teachers:

3. If you don’t think you have time for Twitter or connecting socially, maybe you do. Using Twitter can take as little or as much time as you want it to.

  • Use it in the “in-between time” (during your downtime, 5 minutes at a time or less)
  • Set aside 10-30 minutes every day
  • Once a week for an hour (Twitter chat)
  • Whenever you get to it!

4. Hashtags are where you find stuff that’s perfect for you. If you’re new to Twitter, this is an easy place to find resources and people to follow.

— A document filled with lots of hashtags that educators use.
— A list of “Twitter chats” (more on that later) where educators share information. You can add the hashtags for these Twitter chats to your tweets to reach that audience. — The Educational Hashtag and Twitter Chat Database by Shake Up Learning. Use this searchable, sortable database to find what you’re looking for. If the hashtag you love isn’t there, add it! — A long list of hashtags that educators use (FYI: just a list … no explanation of what they mean) — The Ditch That Textbook hashtag, where we share ideas and resources any time and chat on Thursdays (10pm EST / 9pm CST / 8pm MST / 7pm PST)

Still unclear about what a hashtag is and what it does? Learn in two minutes in this video:

5. Social media has the word “social” in it for a reason. Don’t be afraid to participate! Reply to someone’s tweet. Tweet at someone and ask a question. Put an idea out there and see what people have to say about it. If someone is doing something you love — or something like what you’re doing — get in a dialogue to help both of you learn.

6. The social media community in education is — by and large — very, very accepting, encouraging and helpful.

7. Using Twitter in education is a lot like shopping at Big Lots. You never know what you’ll find when you get there, so don’t go looking for something specific. But you’ll find things that you never knew that you needed — and can’t live without!

8. Knowing what the different parts of Twitter do can help. Here are some of the main ones:

  • The Home button: Shows your feed (what the people you follow are tweeting about)
  • The Notifications button: Shows how people are interacting with you on Twitter
  • The Direct Message button: Shows the private messages between you and others (including group DMs)
  • The Profile button: It’s your picture. Click it to see what others see about you on Twitter.
  • The Moments button: View what’s trending and hot on Twitter. These are collections of tweets. You can collect tweets in Moments too.

9. Tools can make your Twitter experience better and easier. It can be

  • TweetDeck ( — Watch several streams of Twitter content on one screen.
  • Participate Learning ( — The ULTIMATE Twitter chat tool. Tweet to a hashtag, see who’s participating, see resources shared on that hashtag, and save a transcript of a chat.
  • Buffer ( — Schedule social media posts to go out later. Very easy!

10. Try a Twitter chat, or try new ones about something you want to improve on. Educators gather together via Twitter at a pre-apppointed time weekly (or biweekly or monthly) to have discussions relating to education. By including a pre-determined hashtag for the chat in their tweets, they ask each other questions, respond and share ideas related to the topic of the night. Often, a moderator asks the main questions to start the discussion and keep it moving.

FYI: You don’t have to be knowledgeable at all about a topic to join a Twitter chat. We’re all in it to learn together.

What chats are available? Here’s a very comprehensive list (). It is sorted by day of the week and time. It also includes a brief explanation of what the chat is about (i.e. which state, content area, grade, topic, etc.).

twitter chat screen shot



10 things that happen at a Twitter chat (Ditch That Textbook)

You doubt social media in the classroom? Let’s talk … (Ditch That Textbook)

 The REAL time commitment for being a connected educator (Ditch That Textbook)

YOU are your own best professional development (Ditch That Textbook)

7 ways to transform your teaching (Ditch That Textbook)

Ditch the “lone wolf” mentality, run with the pack (Ditch That Textbook)

Building a PLN (i.e. What educators to follow on Twitter) (

All about Twitter for teachers (

10 steps for educators new to Twitter (Justin Tarte)

Twitter for Teachers: A Professional Development Tool (Bernadette Rego)

George Couros: Why and how to incorporate social media in your school culture