STEP THREE. Create a class Twitter account that you will use specifically for sharing Twitter content with your students.
I have two separate Twitter accounts: one that I use for my own professional activity @OnlineCrsLady, and one that I use to share content with my students @OnlineMythIndia.
So, take a few minutes to see how I am using Twitter for my students, and start thinking about what you might share with your students via Twitter. For an overview of how I use my class Twitter account, I have some notes here: Twitter for Class Content: My Top 5 Strategies.
Tip for handling multiple accounts: I use a different browser for each Twitter account. In Chrome, I am logged in to my @OnlineCrsLady account, and in Firefox, I am logged into my @OnlineMythIndia account. That way, I don't get confused. There are also apps like TweetDeck designed to help manage multiple accounts.
Here are the steps for creating a new Twitter account; the steps are the same whether you are creating your first Twitter account or whether you are creating an additional Twitter account to use specifically for your class(es):
1. Create a new Twitter account. To create a Twitter account, all you need is an email address. Go to Twitter.com and "sign up," following the instructions step by step. Just skip all the prompts to follow accounts, along with any prompts to find your friends at Twitter. You can decide who/what to follow later.
2. Verify your email. Twitter will send a confirmation email to verify your account email address and/or a text message to confirm your mobile phone number if you used that to secure your account.
3. Update your profile. Make sure you add some kind of image and tagline to your profile page. You can always make changes later.
4. Follow! Now the fun part begins: follow some accounts that you think would be relevant to your classes. Those might be professional organizations, news sources, museums, etc. So, start by following some Twitter accounts that will provide useful class-related content.
5. Following OU. Another great way to use a class Twitter is to publicize OU announcements and events. You can find lots of OU Twitter accounts at my OU Faculty-Staff list or at my OU Programs list. Not all of those accounts are active, but you can follow them anyway; sometimes they spring into life after long periods of dormancy. To find active accounts, check out the latest tweets from OU Faculty-Staff or the latest OU Program tweets.
6. Tweet something! Click the "tweet" button and send out a tweet. To show that the tweet is part of the Twitter4Canvas workshop, you have two options:
- hashtag # sign: include #Twitter4Canvas and your tweet will be part of the the hashtag stream
- account @ sign: include @OnlineCrsLady and I'll get a notification; then I'll tweet you back so you will see how notifications work
8. Reply to a tweet. You can also reply to a tweet. When you reply, the account(s) you are replying to will get a notification, but the tweet will not show up on your main profile page, but you can people's replies by clicking "tweets and replies" on their profile page. To see how that works, go to your Profile page, and then click "Tweets and replies" (notice how this just means Twitter adds "with_replies" to your profile URL in the browser address bar).
That's a quick crash course in Twitter. You can find lots of tips and suggestions for using Twitter. Here's a chart from Debbie McHorney you might find helpful: