This is another is a series of weekly tech tips I'm sending out to the teachers I work with in our Teaching American History Project.
Name a free resource teachers can use to find out both the latest in education as well as a place to get tons of resources. The answer, of course, is Twitter. This social networking service is SO much more than meaningless updates of the lives of washed-up celebrities or random musings of angst-ridden teens (in fact, more adults are using Twitter than teens, but that's another story). Twitter is famous for its 140 character updates and the fact that Lady Gaga now has 10 million followers (or some such ridiculous number), but educators can use the service to get relevant information for the classroom. GOOD magazine posted a short article about why Twitter is a useful tool for teachers. Tom Barrett, a primary teacher in the UK, has also listed 5 Things to Get Your Twitter Network Off The Ground. The published Google Presentation 33 Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom (this document is crowd-sourced, so educators from all over the world have contributed to it as they have new ideas for incorporating Twitter into the classroom) offers specific ideas for using Twitter to collect and disseminate relevant educational information. A few minutes of Twitter a day can connect you to a world of resources you didn't even know were out there (and the opportunity to collaborate with other classrooms). Yes, you do have to use Twitter at home or in the local coffee shop, but it's totally worth it. Get started by following me (I'm mswojo on Twitter) then check out the people I follow and select some who seem interesting to follow and so on. You'll be glad you did.