I would strongly suggest that all teachers make use of Twitter at some stage. Over the past 16 months or so, I have found the best resources, ideas and CPD on Twitter and for free! It’s simple to use too.
I have been able to dip in and out of Twitter when I had time, which is ideal for me with balancing all of the spinning plates. Twitter has allowed me to keep up to date with all of the changes taking place and directed me to useful articles, thoughts and opinions of those educationalists that I follow. Hashtags, such as #edchat or #ictcurric, make it easy to find like minded tweeps and their good practise.
I have used Twitter within the classroom too. I have a separate Twitter account for this. I don’t follow students back and obviously you need to make students fully aware of how you would expect them to use the tool. As with any elearning tool, you should refer to your school guidance and policies. Students are using these technologies everyday and will adapt easily to using them in classroom activities. There are a 101 uses of Twitter in the classrrom, Interesting Ways, is a great starting point. Within my classroom, i have used it to brainstorm ideas, give opinions and to write lists. Creating your own hashtag allows students to search and comment on each others responses.
By no means am I an expert or experienced user yet. The benefits from Twitter are huge compared to what you put back in. However, by becoming a regular tweeter in yiur interested areas you will gain even more as others will follow you and your profile will grow. This is a post that I am looking forward to coming back to and updating as my skill level improves and so that I can share new strategies.