March 26, 2019
This happens all the time. Whether with teachers in the district, colleagues at a conference, or friends at a social function, conversations are enhanced by technology. It doesn’t mean that you have your phone out all the time or that you disrespect each other in face-to-face interactions. But often, searching for specific information or quickly locating an artifact on-the-spot can move a conversation forward.
Social media has its place in the world, and educators can use these tools for the good. Twitter can be a game changer. Even the most basic search options are among Twitter’s most underrated features. Of the many reasons for tweeting as a lifelong learner myself, here are just three ways to appreciate twitter as an archive.
But first–A few basic Twitter-searching tips:
After search results appear (on a laptop or desktop):
- The most popular results will appear first, as Top.
- Press Latest to see all results in chronological order. (I usually stop after this step).
- Then, press Search Filters: Show to specify people, places, language, or quality.
- Then, press Advanced Search to specify words, people, places, and dates.
Search options and settings may vary on smartphones or other mobile devices.
These basic Twitter-searching strategies (there are many more) are from actual conversations at conferences and school in the last three weeks:
1–Recall a Memory
“Remember that session or place we went to visit at the conference last year? What was that again? I want to show that to my team, so we can go there next time.”
Potential Search: “@yourhandle #conferencehashtag”
- Results: Tweets featuring your handle and the conference hashtag
- Example Search: @KyleHamstra #Empower19
Potential Search: “@yourhandle @friendshandle”
- Results: Tweets featuring you and your friend’s handles
- Example Search: @KyleHamstra @drneilgupta
Potential Search: “@yourhandle @friendshandle #conferencehashtag”
- Results: Tweets featuring you and your friend’s handles and the conference hashtag
- Example Search: @KyleHamstra @curriculumblog #ASCDILC
Potential Search: “#conferencehashtag keyword keyword”
- Results: Tweets featuring the conference hashtag and any keyword(s) you add
- Example Search: #iste18 student standards
2–Research and Explore
“I’m looking for resources on _____. I remember talking about it in a twitter chat recently, I think, but I can’t remember which one. I’ll start by searching in my favorite chats first.”
Potential Search: “#twitterchat keyword”
- Results: Tweets featuring that keyword used in that chat
- Example Search: #leadupchat differentiation
Potential Search: “@twitterchatmoderator Q1”
- Results: Tweets featuring the moderator’s first question in all chats
- Example Search: @mssackstein Q1
Potential Search: “@twitterchatmoderator #twitterchathashtag keyword”
- Results: Tweets featuring when the moderator used the keyword in that chat
- Example Search: @wkrakower #satchat technology
Potential Search: “@Educator keyword”
- Results: Tweets featuring that educator using that keyword
- Example Search: @kerryhawk02 screen
Potential Search: “keyword(s)”
- Results: Tweets featuring keyword(s)
- Example Search: elementary science standards
Potential Search: “#hashtag”
- Results: Tweets featuring that hashtag
- Example Search: #BecomeBetterDaily
3–Personalize Your Archive
We saved the best for last. Here’s where it gets really fun. I mean, who cares about twitter, tweeting, or any archive unless it’s yours!
- YOU get to decide what to post–the content.
- YOU get to decide how to sort it–your hashtagging system.
- YOU get to design, create, build, access, and apply your archive.
That’s powerful! Here’s my personal journey:
The only reason I joined twitter in August, 2013, was to have a free, digital space to store (archive) resources for teaching fifth grade science in North Carolina. I chose to label each tweet with a standards-based hashtag, kind of like the Dewey Decimal System. For so many reasons, I’m super passionate about educators using twitter to connect, share, celebrate, publicize, and tell their story about exactly what’s being taught and learned through universal, district, state, or national hashtagging systems.
The stakes have never been higher. Education is a passion so sacred, yet it’s not getting any easier to do the job meaningfully. As educators, we simply can’t afford to go it alone anymore.
If two schools are just ten miles apart, and their educators and students are teaching and learning the exact same standards–yet have never collaborated–that’s NOT OKAY in 2019.
The technologies are free. It’s time to leverage them to be more efficient and effective. If your district or state does not have a hashtagging system in place, I’m volunteering to help you create it. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s how I create and access my archive as a former fifth grade math and science teacher, and now as an elementary STEM Specialist:
“Weather is so abstract. I can’t believe that fifth graders are expected to know this stuff! I’m not sure if our [current resources] are enough to work with. What do we do? Google? Teachers Pay Teachers?”
Potential Search: “#sciencestandard keyword(s)”
- Results: Tweets featuring keyword(s) for that standards
- Example Search: #sci5E11 air pressure
Potential Search: “@educator sciencestandard”
- Results: Tweets featuring that educator and that science standard
- Example Search: @KyleHamstra #sci5P31
Potential Search: “#sciencestandard #sciencestandard”
- Results: Tweets featuring two science standards (vertical alignment)
- Example Search: #sci5E11 #sci2E12
Potential Search: “@educator @educator #hashtag180”
- Results: Tweets featuring collaborating science educators in #hashtag180
- Example Search: @KyleHamstra @plugusin #hashtag180
Teaching's hard. Let's help each other! Sharing resources efficiently can make learning experiences better and maximize time to personalize. #Hashtag180 #GridSciNC #FlipgridFever #nced #NCDLCN #wonderwake #ncties19 #iste19 #ncdpi #HamstraHighlights: https://t.co/FCbC2I89fs pic.twitter.com/ebDoVG7Uy8
— Kyle Hamstra (@KyleHamstra) September 15, 2018