Right another ulearn spent back-channelling. Not that I’m bitter having been at Google Apps conference, the twitter dinner, digital citizenship launch and Teachers Council social media launch it was almost like I was at conference.
Oh who am I kidding.
I spent my days crying into my coffee that I wasn’t having fun with all the cool kids at ulearn.
One of the things I’ve noticed at these big conferences is a whole bunch of people sign up to twitter/blogs with intentions of staying connected. Then they go back to school and all those fabulous connections start to disappear as ‘real life’ gets in the way.
So to help keep the MAGIC of ulearn alive here are some tips for twitter newbies about how to keep those connections going.
1. You’re an egg
Still haven’t gotten around to putting a pic in your profile? Hop to it. Getting followers on twitter is a bit like selling stuff on Trade Me. If you don’t have a pic, you don’t get as many bidders. The same goes for twitter followers. Followers are people who will respond to your questions, retweet your words of wisdom. In short they are your professional house elves.
Your picture doesn’t necessarily need to be of you just something a distinctive pic so others know who you are.
2. You have no bio
Another really easy way to get followers is to fill in your profile bio. Tell me something about you in 160 characters. It doesn’t need to be flashy. Teacher, gym addict, from Christchurch will get you a follow from me. As a general rule I will follow any New Zealand teacher I come across provided they aren’t an egg (see 1.).
3. Say hello!
It seems obvious but social media is all about socializing. If you don’t say anything, nobody is going to talk to you which isn’t really the point. My nztweeps list is full of awesome teachers who love to chatter away on social media so say hello to one of them. After a while you’ve got a bunch of friends up and down the country which equals free places to crash.
4. Keep tweeting
Ok you don’t necessarily have to reach the point of sad sacks like me who check their twitter feeds before they get out of bed. But seriously a tweet a day makes twitter a lot more of an interesting (some would say addictive) medium. Ask a question, post an interesting link, say hello to someone (see no.3).
Hashtags are great ways to connect with people around a shared interest. Conferences use hashtags as a way to bring like-minded individuals together (if you are reading this post, chances are you’ve been following the #ulearn12 hashtag).
There’s a whole bunch of education-related hashtags out there which are great ways to meet other educators from around the globe. #globalclassroom and #elemchat are my favourites. Use those hashtags in your posts, retweet interesting things from the those hashtags, say hello to the tweeters all of sudden you have 24 hour source of inspiration, guidance, collaboration partners and free places to crash.
Bonus for twitter addicts
Right twitterarti (you know who you are) I have a challenge. For every person you sign up, you need to tweet that newbie once a week just to say hi. Lack of interaction I’m guessing is one the big reasons that newbies give up on twitter so lets all adopt some newbies to keep the MAGIC going.