As the social media manager for the Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement (VISTA), I spend a lot of time on Twitter. It can be an invaluable tool for marketing and is just as valuable for networking and research. I love giving #twittertips and I tweet primarily on teaching and STEM. If you haven't already, find me @VISTAscience.
So why Twitter?
Twitter gives you access to people and organizations you might otherwise never be able to interact with. When I went to the Maker Faire (part of a series of events that led up to the recent White House Maker Faire) I sent a tweet to them about their event and got an immediate response. That’s so much better than trying to track down a website, find an email address or phone number, contact them (it was after hours), and wait for a response.
I have found that many principals and superintendents are on Twitter, which can be particularly helpful for educators. And they are often very responsive to tweeted questions. Also, there are a *lot* of teachers who tweet. Twitter can be a great way to connect with a peer who lives in another state, or right down the street! If you are just getting started, you can follow our list of educators who tweet.
Another great thing about Twitter is that it is the great equalizer. I have had personalized interactions with educators, scientists and large corporations, all of whom I had never met, yet all willing to connect and share. These connections may have been difficult to make via phone, email or through a website - but not through Twitter.
Additionally, Twitter can be an excellent tool for research. Twitter is a treasure trove of relevant, timely information, often right from the source. Many tweets offer a 140-character synopsis of an article or blog and then link directly to it.
In sum, Twitter is a great resource for teachers and educators. If you are new to Twitter and a VISTA participant, contact me directly and I will be happy to provide you with some one-on-one tutoring.