EdSurge Guide

Tweeting Down The Classroom Walls

Everything you need to know about how connected educators will lead the education revolution

Tweeting Down The Classroom Walls

For decades, teachers have been a lighthouse--we stand alone, surrounded by a sea of desks, making hundreds of decisions every day, isolated in our own classrooms. It can be a lonely profession.

Now there is an alternate, Twitter universe: we wake up early on a Saturday morning, reach for a cup of coffee and pour through dozens of tweets. Our Twitterati includes top educators, followed by tens of thousands of fans. We have our own award shows. Social media is power and educators across the world are using it to take control of their classrooms, their professional development and eventually the entire education industry.

Social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest (and yes, EduClipper) can be explosive, blowing apart the dusty education hierarchy and the isolation of the classroom. It gives us the power to challenge, inform, and transform our schools.

While mainstream media has often highlighted negative and controversial events in the education sector, depicting teachers as powerless against waves of reform, we have become our own media. If something great happens in our classrooms, we tweet about it. If we find time-saving tricks, we share them with our professional learning network online. If our students rock our classrooms, we blog about them. We no longer need mainstream media. We are the media.

We will not be silent about the noble profession we love and work hard to improve.

Happy connected educator month! October is the month that celebrates the masses of educators tapping into the power of social media. They are getting up, looking up, reading up, and connecting up like never before.

We celebrate this month because connected educators are the ones who lead and train connected students.

We celebrate this month because connected educators are the ones who will lift up the education industry together and demand change.

And we believe it’s time for the edtech industry and traditional education institutions to sit up, listen, and learn from these connected educators.

To jump start this campaign, we’ve turned to educators we admire and created a platform--a guide--that anyone can use. Want to add your voice? Drop us a note--or send us a tweet! @EdSurge--and share your perspective.

Together, the voices of these teachers, principals, superintendents and even edtech entrepreneurs are weaving a beautiful melody. Come and whistle a few bars; learn the themes and the tools and how to improvise in your own community. Join this new revolution in education. It certainly won’t be televised. But it will be tweeted.

Viva la connected educator!

by Vicki Davis (@coolcatteacher) & Christina Quattrocchi (@cquattrocchi). Vicki is a teacher, IT director and blogger at cool cat teacher. Christina is a teacher and EdPioneer working at EdSurge.

Twitter Chats

EdTech Chat (#edtechchat): EdTech Chat attracts all and touches all things edtech.
Monday 8-9 pm ET
@thomascmurray, @KatrinaStevens1, @iplante, @s_bearden, @ajpodchaski
EdChat (#edchat) The granddaddy of educational chats, educators come from near and far to talk shop.
Tuesday 12-1 pm and 7-8 pm ET
@tomwhitby, @web20classroom, @ShellTerrell
Project Based Learning Chat (#pblchat) Project Based Learning isn't as easy as it looks. Here's where pbl practitioners come to collaborate.
Tuesday 8-9 pm ET
@theresashafer, @TeachInDurham, @emergentmath
Instructional Coaching Chat (#educoach) For those charged with leading teacher development, in this chat coaches share the secrets to making teachers better.
Wednesday 10-11 pm ET
Parent-Teacher Chat (#ptchat) Bringing families and schools together, this chat gives educators and parents a place to come together.
Wednesday 9-10 pm ET
@Joe_Mazza, @ZakMal, @GPescatore25, @Sirotiak02, @SMConstantino
New Teachers Chat (#ntchat) When you're new, you need support more than ever. This is where new teachers find it.
Wednesday 8-9 pm ET
@yomsdunn, @MrDKeenan, @JaimeVandergrift, @dmantz7

Saturday EdChat (#satchat) School leaders from all around grab an cup of Joe each Saturday and sit down to tweet.
Saturday 7:30 am and 10:30 am ET
@bcurrie5, @scottrrocco

For a complete list of Weekly Twitter Chats checkout this list created by Thomas Murray, Chad Evans and Jerry Blumengarten.

Ed Bloggers Rethinking Education

Guide Contributors

Vicki Davis

Elementary teacher

Vicki is known for the enthusiasm and encouragement she shares throughout the twittersphere. She shares a daily edtech digests in which she spotlights tools and shares practical ways to put tech to work for kids. In her spare time she has published ‘Flattening the Classroom, Engaging Minds,’ on what happens when kids get connected.
Pam Moran

Pam is a leader we all wish we had in our own district. She is reflective, supports innovation and always questioning what is best for students.
Joan Young

Elementary teacher and academic coach

Joan is an elementary teacher and academic coach with a keen interest in mobilizing technology to leverage student interests and address learning challenges. In addition to teaching, she has been Teacher-in-Residence at Imagine K12, and served as a consultant to edtech startups.
Katrina Stevens

Educator, writer, presenter, consultant
Katrina co moderates #edtechchat and is able to view and report on the edtech scene from many important angles: from educator, entrepreneur and objective observer. She is a dynamo!
Tom Whitby

Retired adjunct professor and English teacher
Tom is a passionate advocate for connected educators. As one of the original founders of #edchat, Tom is highly influential and well known. His blog shares reflections on edtech and beyond.
Adam Bellow

Teacher turned entrepreneur
Adam is dedicated to making a difference in education by building products teachers want and need. He also believes in surrounding himself with others who will challenge him.
Rafranz Davis

Technology coach
Rafranz is an avid blogger who shares stories of her students and the connections that matter most in education. She is always learning and committed to sharing. She raises the bar for all in education.
Jessica Johnson

Active technology leader for her staff and #Educoach chat moderator, Jessica shares her reflections as a school leader.

Other Top Influencers

Jose Vilson

Jose is committed to ensuring equity for all students. He challenges the status quo, engages in thoughtful and thought-provoking reflections in his multiple blogs.
Joe Mazza

Founder/moderator of #Ptchat, where teachers and parents are brought together. Joe sees himself as a 'lead learner', though his official title is principal. He looks for ways to connect the family and school communities through the power of social media.
Jackie Gerstein

Professor in teacher education
Jackie writes very thorough, thought-provoking blog posts that are substantiated with research that challenges the status quo in education.
Erin Klein

Erin is a blogger who shares practical edtech tools and lessons to help other teachers integrate technology in a meaningful way. Erin is known for beta testing edtech with her students and sharing what she learns along the way.
Eric Sheninger

Once opposed to using social media, Eric now uses it to portray what's really going on inside his school. Eric leads the way for transforming a school utilizing technology to engage and empower learners.
Lucy Gray

Former teacher, consultant on global learning
Lucy is a leader in helping schools mobilize the power of tech and social media.
Patricia J. Brown

Technology coach
Patricia is constantly sharing edtech tools and sound advice on how to integrate those tools into the classroom.
John Spencer

John uses humor and candid reflection to raise the bar for all of us, challenging the status quo in education.

Twitter Tools

Tool Name
Optimized for
TweetDeck: With a sleek and simple look, this platform helps you schedule your tweets, create lists to separate the experts from your friends and follow the latest hashtaged conversation. TweetDeck also offers filters for each list, so you can focus on trends, all from the comfort of your own desktop app.
Hootsuite: Don't be intimidated by the owl. The twitter bird thrives with this tool. It allows you to schedule tweets, build lists, and all that fun stuff, with the added bonus of monitoring multiple social networks at once. Merge and manage your fb and linkedin accounts from here. Also, if you're interested in drilling down into the numbers it provide google and facebook analytics data at your fingertips.
Buffer: Want to schedule your tweets, fb and linkedin posts without a full service platform bogging you down with lists? This tool allows you to pre-set your sharing schedule - want to share more in the mornings, less on Friday? Dump the articles or messages you want to send to the app and it will automatically set them free at a time you specify or based on your regular tweeting schedule.
Bitly: Save characters by cutting those pesky links down to size with this popular link shortner. Not only will the tool shorten your links, but it also provides detailed data analysis on each link, with data on click rates, number of shares on your links, and how you're sharing is driving traffick to sites over time. It also allows you to customize the address of the url, for those special links you share.
Link Shortener
Goo.gl: For a sweet and simple link shortner, that lives within your google universe, this tool makes keeping it short easy. Simply enter your url, and presto - it's shortened. If you are signed into your gmail account, you can track each url you've shortned and the number of clicks you get on each.
Link Shortener
Tweriod: Getting your message across in 140 characters is hard, but making sense of the best tweeting times doesn't have to be. Tweriod will analyze your last 200 tweets, and tells you when you have the most exposure, when your followers are online, and makes recommendations on when you should be tweeting.
Vizify creates a customized website on you based on your social media data. It takes the data and creates a web page representing your likes, photos you share, and the locations you visit. It's an easy way to represent who you are without building a webpage.
Followerwonk: So now you've got followers, and you want to know more about who they are. Followerwonk helps you analyze who's in your tribe and let's you compare them - where they live, how much they tweet.

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