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What Are You Doing? The What and Why of Twitter. Suddenly, it seems as though all the world's a-twitter. -Newsweek. How many people have heard of… How many people have used…. Twitter?. Dewey.

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what are you doing the what and why of twitter

What Are You Doing?The What and Why of Twitter

Suddenly, it seems as though all the world's a-twitter.


Rose Tirotta

Hofstra University

Faculty Computing Services

How many people have heard of…

How many people have used…

  • In The Child and the Curriculum, Dewey (1902) talks about the notes and a map created by an explorer: “The map is not a substitute for a personal experience” (pg. 26).
  • Dewey (1938) states that “every experience is a moving force” and educators must make sure this force is moving in the right direction (pg. 38).
  • “A blog is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.”
  • “Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries.”


what is microblogging
What is Microblogging?
  • “A form of multimedia blogging that allows users to send brief text updates or micromedia such as photos or audio clips and publish them, either to be viewed by anyone or by a restricted group.”
  • “These messages can be submitted by a variety of means, including text messaging, instant messaging, email, digital audio or the web.”


what is twitter
What is Twitter?
  • It is “a social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to post their latest updates. An update is limited by 140 characters and can be posted through three methods: web form, text message, or instant message.”
  • Founded by Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams in March 2006 (launched publicly in July 2006)



“Twitter can be a much faster way to get help from colleagues than sending an e-mail message to a list or posting a question on a blog.” With twitter you can get an answer is a few minutes, a blog post would take hours (Young, 1993, p. 2).


“They pose questions. They send links to interesting stuff they’ve found online. They pass along breaking news (Barack Obama announced his running mate on Twitter).”

“…it’s also a brilliant channel for breaking news, asking questions, and attaining one step of separation from public figures you admire. No other communications channel can match its capacity for real-time, person-to-person broadcasting.”

(Pogue, 2009)

third party applications for computers mobile phones smart phones
Third-Party Applications for Computers, Mobile Phones, Smart Phones
  • No cell numbers necessary for all third-party applications






interesting facts
Interesting Facts
  • In October of 2007, KPBS, San Diego's public television station, used Twitter to update its audience about the California wildfires after its website went down (Glaser, 2007).
  • On April 10, 2008, a student used Twitter to get himself out of an Egyptian jail (Simon, 2008).
  • During the 2008 Presidential Elections, both Presidential Candidates, Barack Obama (http://twitter.com/BarackObama) and John McCain (http://twitter.com/johnmccain) used Twitter in their campaigns.
interesting facts17
Interesting Facts
  • “Twitter had planned to go down for 90 minutes Monday for maintenance, but rescheduled it citing "the role Twitter is currently playing as an important communication tool in Iran," according to a notice posted on its Web site. The maintenance will instead happen a day later, when it is 1:30 a.m. in Iran.” (CBS News, 2009)

Post updates



the basics
The Basics
  • Tweets – message posted in Twitter
  • Follow – subscribe to a user’s posts
  • Unfollow – unsubscribe to a user’s posts
hash tag
Hash Tag
  • Add # to add metadata to your post
retweet rt
Retweet (RT)
  • Copy and paste message and include RT and person you got it from - message can spread widely and quickly
direct message @
Direct Message (@)
  • Can send one person a direct message
  • “Cite” a RT
  • The technical acronym for RSS is “Really Simple Syndication”, an XML format that was created to syndicate news, and be a means to share content on the web.
  • To make RSS much easier to understand, in Oprah speak, RSS stands for: I’m “Ready for Some Stories”. It is a way online for you to get a quick list of the latest story headlines from all your favorite websites and blogs all in one place. How cool is that?




why twitter
Why Twitter?
  • Free
  • Easy
  • Connect with others quickly
  • Get out a message to a number of people quickly
  • Do not have to share cell phone number
why twitter37
Why Twitter?
  • Ideas
  • Connections and social bonds
  • Viral marketing
  • Weak Ties
  • Ask and answer questions
  • Share resources
  • Share tips and announcements
  • Follow the news
ideas professional
Ideas: Professional
  • Research using Twitter – instead of Googling the question, Twitter it
  • Search for a phrase/word
  • Use during conferences
  • Questions/Answers
  • Follow!
  • Network/Add to your network
  • Connect with experts in the field
who can i follow professionally
Who Can I Follow? Professionally
  • Teacher Survival
    • http://twitter.com/TeacherSurvival
  • US DOE
    • http://twitter.com/usedgov
  • ASCD
    • http://twitter.com/ascd
  • School Library Journal
    • http://twitter.com/sljournal
ideas in the classroom
Ideas: In the Classroom
  • Follow!
  • Research using Twitter – instead of Googling the question, Twitter it
  • Search for a phrase/word
  • Twitter events, homework, updates
  • Virtual study groups
  • Connect with experts in the field
  • Live tweet during class
  • Discussions throughout the week using a # tag
  • Librarians, other groups can use to answer reference questions, post events, new books, etc
  • Questions/Answers – students, other teachers
  • Interactive reading response journal
who can i follow educationally
Who Can I Follow?Educationally
  • Red Cross
    • http://twitter.com/RedCross
  • NASA
    • http://twitter.com/NASA
  • KidderLit
    • http://www.kidderlit.com
    • http://twitter.com/KidderLit
  • Twitterlit
    • http://www.twitterlit.com
    • http://twitter.com/TwitterLit
  • Twrivia
    • http://twitter.com/Twrivia
  • Twitter Poetry
    • http://twitter.com/TwitterPoetry
  • Tweet Congress
    • http://tweetcongress.org/
  • Authors
    • http://mashable.com/2009/05/08/twitter-authors/
    • http://twitter.com/susanwrites
  • BarackObama
    • http://twitter.com/BarackObama
tweeting a little differently
Tweeting A Little Differently
  • Historical Tweets
    • http://historicaltweets.com/
    • http://twitter.com/historicaltweet
    • http://twitter.com/FoundingFather
  • Literary Tweets
    • http://twitter.com/halfPintIngalls
    • http://twitter.com/thecatcher
  • Writing Stories
    • http://twittories.wikispaces.com/
    • http://manyvoices.wikispaces.com/
    • http://twitter.com/manyvoices
searching twitter
Searching Twitter


searching tweets
Searching Tweets


twitter resources
Twitter Resources
  • Twitpic
    • http://twitpic.com/
  • URL Shorteners
    • http://bit.ly
    • http://tinyurl.com
  • Group Tweet
    • http://www.grouptweet.com/
  • Edmodo
    • http://www.edmodo.com/
  • Create polls using Twitter
    • http://twtpoll.com/
other places to look
Other Places to Look
  • Twitterholic
    • http://twitterholic.com/
  • We Follow
    • http://wefollow.com/
  • Tweetmeme
    • http://tweetmeme.com/
  • What the Trend
    • http://whatthetrend.com/
  • Twitter Passion
    • http://twitterpassion.com/
  • 100 Twitter Feeds To Make You a Better Teacher
    • http://www.onlinecourses.org/2009/10/01/100-twitter-feeds-to-make-you-a-better-teacher/

“But the point is not Twitter, because something else will come along to challenge and replace it. It’s the various forms of communication students need to master and the knowledge of which one, when, why, and how to use it effectively” (Miners, 2009).

any questions
Any Questions?

Rose Tirotta, Instructional Designer

Hofstra University

Faculty Computing Services



  • CBS News (2009, June 15). Twitter tells tale of Iran election. CBS News. Retrieved from: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/06/15/tech/main5090788.shtml
  • Dewey, J. (1902). The Child and the Curriculum. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  • Dewey, J. (1910/2005). How we Think. New York: Barnes and Noble.
  • Glaser, M. (2007 October 25). California Wildfire Coverage by Local Media, Blogs, Twitter, Maps and More. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2007/10/california-wildfire- coverage-by-local-media-blogs-twitter-maps-and-more298.html
  • Huberman, B. A., Romero, D. M., & Wu, F. (2009). Social networks that matter: Twitter under the microscope. First Monday, 14, 1-5.
  • Kroski, E. (2008). All a Twitter. School Library Journal, 57 (7), pp. 31-35.
  • Miners, Z. (2009, June 15). Tweeting your way to better grades. US News and World Report. Retrieved from http://www.usnews.com/articles/education/2009/06/15/tweeting-your-way- to-better-grades.html
  • Pogue, D. (2009, January 15). Twittering Tips for Beginners. New York Times. Retrieved from http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/15/twittering-tips-for-beginners/
  • Simon, M. (2008 April 25). Student 'Twitters' his way out of Egyptian jail. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/04/25/twitter.buck/index.html
  • Thompson, C. (2008, September 7). Brave New World of Digital Intimacy. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/07/magazine/07awareness-t.html
  • Young, M.F. (1993). Instructional design for situated learning. Educational Technology Research and Development, 41(1), pp. 43-58.