Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Finding books and more by (yes) tweeting

I should resolve to never say never and avoid any future dining upon my own verbiage. Anyway, I joined Twitter in September on a vague impulse. It soon turned out to be a fun way to find all sorts of links to interesting things and interact with people that might be difficult to find otherwise. As a newbie there’s a great deal I don‘t know, but already Twitter is  proving to be an excellent way to find the “headines” and online resources in my interest areas. Tweets may be queries, requests, announcements, observations, mini-rants, or whatever else people want to say in 140 characters or less. 

A few examples (from early October...had to write this post in advance):

Saskateach I am hunting 4 fiction, non fiction books about math. If u have any great books to share I wld appreciate it #mathchat #edchat #elemchat

readingrockets My People: Our video interview with poet, writer & photographer Charles R. Smith, Jr. #kidlit

RBLib The Cybils, a literary award given by kidlit bloggers, is accepting nominations until October 15:

thompseg The #elemchat Daily is out - read this Twitter newspaper on (30 contributions today)

ChildWillRead Vote for the 2010 Educators Tool of the Year (all tech of course!) #edtech #elemchat #edchat #parenting #lrnchat

The abbreviations and hashtags (such as #edchat) can be off-putting at first, but they serve a purpose, especially the latter. Though you can follow people (receive their tweets on your home page), you have the ability to find anyone talking about particular topics by searching on terms and/or hashtags. For example, a search on alligators brought up this intriguing tweet:

NatGeoSociety What's transforming Florida alligators into mindless #zombies? #weird #video

Hashtags are abbreviations for a topic area that allow users to find tweets in an instant about, say, education. You can search on multiple tags to narrow down the results. A few of the books and education hashtags I’ve seen so far include:
#ece               early childhood education
#edchat          education chat
#edtech          education technology
#edubk           books about teaching
#elearning      electronic learning
#elemchat      elementary education chat
elementary education
#kedu             kindergarten education
#kidlit             children’s
#pblit              picture book literature
#PLN             personal learning network
#STEM          science, technology, engineering, math          
#titletalk         about books
#yalit              young adult literature 

Chats such as #edchat are a scheduled event during which bunches of Twitter people chime in on a particular topic. Recently I participated in a #mathchat on the topic “Does ‘mathphobia exist - how do we deal with it?” that garnered quite a few participants. I get the impression that some people use the “chat” hashtags all the time, whether a chat is actually going on or not.

If you haven’t already taken the plunge, try Twitter and see how it may fit into your online experience. And please feel free to follow me @LoreenLeedy.


Jim Murphy said...

Loreen -- Thanks for all of the good information. Sometime in the very near future I am going to take the plunge, too, and your guide will help ease the way. Jim

Vicki Cobb said...

I joined Twitter a while ago and didn't get the hang of it until Melissa told me about TweetDeck. I now have two monitors and keep TweetDeck up at all times on the second one, following the hashtag groups that interest me most. Everytime someone says something I find interesting I retweet. The minute I interact with Twitter,either a retweet or a tweet I generate, I get a bunch more followers. By living with Twitter, I find that it doesn't require a lot of attention. There is a lot of repetition of the important stuff. Try it. It's the future. And I never feel lonely any more. Thanks for a great post, Loreen.

Katie Davis said...

This is GREAT, Loreen! Thank you - there are some hashtags I didn't know about. There is so much out there it's so hard to feel like I know anything sometimes! Thanks for the post! See you in Twitterville! @katiedavisburps

Cheryl Harness said...

What a fine & useful, spiffy post! Thanks, Ms. Loreen.