There's a new teacher web. Using blogs, Twitter, Facebook and more, we're connecting and sharing lesson plans, resources, and ideas. You can do it! Here's a checklist to get you started with how you connect to this web of teachers. Check back and send in your suggestions or questions for me. Let me help you!
These work for most blogs so you can learn here and then I hope you'll start adding others to your Personal Learning Network (PLN).
If you don't have time, you can do what I do. I set aside 15 minutes twice a week during my morning break to read and learn. Make an appointment and keep it.
On this page, I'll teach you how to connect and get updates from this blog, from Twitter, or on Facebook. It is designed for beginners who know nothing but want to get started. There are other ways to connect, but these three are great for most beginners.
Here's how to begin:
To get updates from this blog:
Method #1 – Subscribe over email (EASY)
On the right hand side of this page, there is a box you may use to type in your name and email. I will send you an email up to once a day (except Sundays) any day I update the blog. I also use this every month or so to send out special announcements. You can always unsubscribe and I never share your address with anyone.
Method #2 – Use RSS (EASY but takes more time)
There are two simple ways you can get updates from almost any blog. The first way is to subscribe using RSS. When you see the RSS Chiclet, you can click on it. Right now, I use Feedly. You'll need to go to the site and set it up. Then, you can click the RSS button on the top right or just click here and it will add my blog to your RSS “feed reader.”
If you want to read on your ipad, I recommend using Mr. Reader and linking it to Feedly.
Tools & Resources:
- Feedly [on the web] [on iTunes] [on the Google Play Store]
- Mr. Reader [on the ipad]
- Get started with Feedly in 2 minutes [Youtube video tutorial]
- Hashtags for Writing Teachers [from the website for my new book]
Connect on Twitter
Twitter is how many educators connect. First, you'll want to make sure you have an account (see my simple guide to get you started.)
Method #1: Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter
When you see a person give you their Twitter handle (mine is @coolcatteacher) what you do is type it after Twitter's web address like this:
Just click on either link and if you're already logged into Twitter, you just click “follow.”
Remember to make sure you have a bio and a photo so people you follow know you're real and read the tips on how to Follow and Be Followed on Twitter. (When you follow someone, they usually get a message.)
How to “talk” with someone on Twitter
If you follow someone, that person can dm or “direct message” you. If the person follows you back, you can dm them back in return. I typically follow real people who are active on Twitter (they tweet at least once every 2 weeks) and are involved in education. I like to follow people who message or talk to me.
If you send me an “@” message (called an “at message”) by typing @coolcatteacher at the front of your message, I'll usually answer in the evenings. If you see me tweet during the day, it is usually scheduled ahead of time using Buffer app, a tool that lets me spread things out so I can reach and encourage more people. I do read every reply or @ message although I can't always respond to every one of them.
Method #2: Add to a list on Twitter
In the graphic to the left, you can see how I'm adding my friend Dave Burgess to a list. Lists let you keep track of people. I have a private list of VIP Educators I want to follow. Lists can also be public which allows people to quickly add a list of people.
If you don't want to follow a lot of people, making a list is another way to keep up with cool people on Twitter. You can also follow the lists of others by looking on their profile.
Tools & Resources to help you on Twitter
- An easy guide to gaining followers and being followed on Twitter
- Hootsuite – an easy way to read Tweets and manage your account (also has scheduling features)
- Buffer app – a method to let you schedule your tweets ahead of time
Connect on Facebook
I have a fanpage on Facebook where I talk to other educators. You can find it:
If you read my post about Facebook Friending 101 for Schools you'll understand why I do it this way. Just click the link, sign into Facebook and click “like” and then you can communicate with me and other teachers there.
This is only the beginning
Search and explore to find teachers to follow and start talking, sharing, and getting ideas. It is ok when you get started to “lurk” (just read the post of others.) But I hope that soon you'll realize that you have to much to share. Take a look at the website for my new book Reinventing Writing to learn more about how you can write and connect online.
If you're really ready to connect, I suggest you get started with the connection guidebook that I coauthored Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds. It has simple challenges to get you started in Chapter 3: connection.
Never miss an episode
Get the 10-minute Teacher Show delivered to your inbox.