“How many of you have a Twitter account?” I asked a recent workshop audience. Only a few hands went up. That made me sad. I find Twitter a powerful tool for daily professional development. Twitter-ize your learning with this question in mind, “What are you learning now?”

Get Started with Twitter

Watch this short 15 minute video that walks you through the steps in creating your own free Twitter account. Yes, it’s just that easy!

Use Twitter Lists

A Twitter list is a subset of the people you follow on Twitter. Set up different lists for organizations you may be a part of. When you view Twitter lists, you ONLY see what those people are tweeting. This can help you focus. Here’s a video that demonstrates.

Take Advantage of Hashtags

Hashtags are words embedded in a tweet that allow others to track what you are tweeting about. If I want to quickly find out what others are saying about education in general, I can do so by doing a Twitter search on the hashtag #edchat or by taking advantage of one of the free services that searches for me, such as Twubs.

Manage Your Twitter account?

While you can use the Twitter website, as well as one of the various mobile apps for Twitter, consider taking a look at Tweetdeck or Hootsuite.  These free tools let you manage multiple twitter accounts and schedule tweets in advance. For example, using Twitter, your tweets are shared as they happen. With Tweetdeck or Hootsuite, though, you can schedule your Tweets in advance. Use it to schedule tweets to celebrate an event, make announcements during a presentation, or coincide with a specific event. And using a tool such as one of these will also make it easier for you to participate and keep up with Twitter chats on topics you’re interested in.

Consider Twitter’s Dashboard, a relatively new service that works as an iOS app and is accessible via your web browser (no Android version as of this writing).

How do I track what I like via Twitter?

As you are working your way through Twitter, there are several ways to keep track of what you are seeing. Here are a few ways to keep track of your Twitter favorites for use later on:

  • Favorite/”Heart” It – The quickest and easiest way is to tap on the star (on mobile apps, press and hold on a tweet you want to favorite, then press on the star. Other options include retweeting). You can then access your Twitter favorites by replacing “mguhlin” in this link with your own Twitter handle. You can later embed your favorites in a web page, blog, or wiki for digital curation of resources and ideas.
  • Send It to Pocket (ReadItLater) – Pocket allows you to share the full text of an article, image, etc. to other sites like Onenote via IFTTT.com.
  • Retweet It – When you retweet, quote the tweet and add your username (e.g. @mguhlin) to ensure you can find it later. Just check your notifications area.
  • Hashtag It – When you retweet something, add a hashtag to it. Drop the # symbol when searching on a hashtag.

Twitter-ize your learning network to discover more about what interests you, as well as share with others what drives your learning! The rewards are infinite.