My Twitter Story
It was just over two years ago when my brother convinced me to get a Facebook page. Now, I love him to pieces, but he’s no social butterfly. So when he began to tell me about all the good things on Facebook, I thought, “Wow..if he, of all people, is telling me about Facebook, it must be the best thing since sliced bread.” So, low and behold, I joined Facebook and found that friends and family had been connecting with each other on this strange website. I soon fell in love with Facebook shortly after signing up – I found my best friends from high school, family members that live out of the country, and neighbors that I grew to love as a child. So, fast-forward a few months and there’s all this chatter about Twitter. Facebook was great, so Twitter must be better, right? I signed up. Hated it. And deleted the account. All within a week. I didn’t understand its purpose. I hated the 140 character limit (I’m a writer after all, I have things to SAY). I despised the fast stream of disconnected messages that seemed do nothing except confuse me.
And that would have been the end of that.
Until I decided to write a blog.
I had this growing desire to share this knowledge I had with someone. But I needed readers. Where to find them? Well, I started with my family and friends by emailing them my blog posts. Well, they were nice enough to read them, but if they weren’t teachers or parents of young children, the content was irrelevant. I can’t remember how it began, but I remembered that I ended up back on Twitter – signing up again. And the rest, they say is history.
I finally got it. I understood that the 140 character limit was enough space to say what was important. I learned to browse the stream of messages and comment on the ones that were important to me. I learned that RT meant "retweet" and not "real twitter" or some other crazy phrase. And most importantly, I learned how to gain followers and how to choose people to follow! I quickly learned the way of the land and now I’m a resident of my own little twitter-universe (or twitter-verse).
Top Ten Reasons I Love Twitter
- I get to meet early childhood educators from all over the world…for FREE. No traveling, no packing, no conferences!
- I can follow trends and topics easily with the use of those wonderful hashtags! My favorites are #ece, #earlyed, #literacy, #preschool, and #kidlit
- People are here because they want to be here. At work, we sometimes drag in because we have to. In the Twitter-verse people are happy because they choose to be in that place, at that time, sharing that information.
- Twitter is like a nice, polite, collaborative community. There is order and aside from a few rogue tweeps, everybody follows the rules – people give you credit for your work (by retweeting), they say please and thank you, and no one is talking over the other person. People actually listen to each other.
- It’s a place to learn. There are workshops, how-to articles, videos, live chats, and many other learning tools available on twitter.
To Follow or Not to Follow: Six Savvy Questions I Ask Before Following a Tweep
- When was your last update? If they haven’t tweeted anything since 2009 then I can assume that the person is not going to provide me with new and fresh information!
- What’s your name? I know you can’t judge a book by its cover, but sometimes you can. If your name is Teach_Preschool, then I’m probably going to consider following you because I know what you are going to be tweeting about!
- Does your profile have a picture? If a person can’t take the time to upload a picture, logo, or avatar, then I can’t take the time to click “follow.” I might make an exception if the Tweep is obviously new to Twitter (which is easy to tell by looking at the number of posts, followers, and followings.)
- Are you tweeting about something that will be of interest to me? I’m not really interested in reading about Lindsey Lohann or Jersey Shore. I also don’t want to get rich, have my teeth whitened, or get rich in thirty days. So, if those are the topics that person is tweeting about, I’m certainly not clicking “follow.”
- Are the status updates full of links or is there evidence of conversation or communication? Some people use Twitter to promote a website or product, which is great! But if that’s the only thing the person is interested in doing, then I’m probably not going to follow them. I prefer to follow Tweeps who are interested in networking and communicating.
- Is the person following anyone? When I see a Tweep who is not following anyone at all, it makes me think that that person is only interested in making announcements rather than having communication about a relevant topic.
Why I HEART these Tweeps
- AmyHodgePodge is a multiracial children’s book character by Kim Wayans; she tweets about literacy and diversity.
- CentersNCircles gives great activities for preschool teachers.
- ChildCareLounge hosts live chats related to early childhood topics.
- ChildrenRFirst provides information that parents and teachers will find relevant such as workshops.
- ChildrensForum gives regular informative tweets about a variety of early childhood topics.
- Child Honoring is a children-first approach to healing communities and restoring ecosystems (founded by Raffi).
- EarlyAchieve has great posts about early childhood education from a teacher/mommy perspective.
- ECNews is where you go to find useful information and news articles if you are a parent or teacher of young children.
- EmilysSmileBoxes creates boxes of fun for children and their siblings who have spend time in the hospital.
- EyetoEyeTeacher provides great teacher-tips and thought-provoking posts.
- FirstBook posts about books and literacy while their goal is to give away books to needy children.
- FSSimon has informative tweets about all things early childhood!
- GoExploreNature connects kids (and adults!) with nature.
- JensBookPage has lots of tweets and posts about children’s books and literacy
- JenDobson27 is a mom and teacher who provides lots of learning activities for children.
- KarenNemethEdM is an early childhood author, trainer, and writer.
- KidsAreHeroes has inspirational posts about how real kids are solving real problems in our world.
- LinkstoLiteracy tweets and blogs about teaching with picture books.
- LiteracyCounts (HEY! That's ME!) tweets about early literacy and early learning activities for teachers and parents.
- NAEYC is the largest professional organization for early childhood professionals.
- NoFlashCards tweets about hands on activities for young children (plus funny tweets about being a mom)
- PBSTeachers provides professional development resources for teachers.
- PlayActivities includes endless activities for moms and teachers of young children.
- Playfullearning tweets about fun learning activities for young children.
- PlayThisWay is a mom and pediatrician who has lots of advice and great information.
- PreKNow is national advocacy group tweeting about early childhood issues across the US.
- Pre-KPages tweets about pre-k related activities.
- PreschoolPlay is an early childhood teacher who provides lots of useful classroom-related information and teaching ideas.
- Preschool Today tweets about nationwide and worldwide early childhood issues.
- Preschoolers is the twitter account for Education.com and the posts are filled with crafts, projects, and tons of other activities.
- Raffi_RC. It's Raffi. No explanation needed!
- RascofromRIF is Carol Rasco from Reading is Fundamental who tweets about, what else….children’s books!
- ReachOutandRead is a national organization with local programs across the United States that promote early literacy.
- Teach_Preschool is full of classroom ideas for early childhood teachers. Plus there are great lists to follow!
- TeachMama has abundance of useful information for parents and teachers; you can also find TeachMama on her WeTeach Group on Ning.
- WendyZZZZZZZZZZ has hands-on learning tips for teachers and parents.