In the field of education it is necessary for teachers to continue their education, learn about new innovative instructional strategies and find resources to implement in the classroom. But where does one get this going to conferences, seminars and taking counting education class? While all of these are great tools they are not accessible on a regular basis, there is however one aid that is and its free. This resource not only puts instructors in contact with other teachers and educational researchers but also gives them exposure to experts in their content areas, and the tool that does that is twitter. Twitter is often just thought of as a social network teenagers use to tell their friends where they are at or what they are doing, but when used in a professional way it can open a gate to instant information that can be useful for educators to use to improve their teaching, classrooms, and schools.
While twitter can put one in contact with professionals around the world it can also give access to the learning and content area communities. It does this through the #hashtag. When writing a tweet one can add the hashtag and your tweet is instantly sent to a chat on the subject you have hash-tagged and by searching you are able to view what others are saying about the same subject. A list of topics created by for education can be found here. Some of the most useful tags I have found are a general education chat #edchat and #ntchat for new teachers. I also like for social studies looking specifically at #sschat and #twittersorians to learn more about happenings in my content area. These forums can be more effectively viewed by installing applications like TweetDeck. This app is free and can be used by installing google chrome or for macs by going to the App Store and downloading TweetDeck (it is also free). Below is a few images of using TweetDeck.
"The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do."