Written by Sequoia Abbott-Saulteaux
Twitter is something that I quite honestly never imagined myself downloading. Not that I had anything against Twitter per say, although I have heard of certain negative aspects that no social media site is really innocent from. Most of the reason why I never downloaded Twitter though was because I always considered myself “bad” at social media. I didn’t update my statuses often enough on Facebook, I always forgot what I was talking about on Snapchat, and I was only on Instagram a couple of times a week. I always thought of Twitter as another social media platform that focuses on narrative engagement and I questioned whether I had enough to say day to day to even use Twitter.
Then my #edtc300 course came along, and one of the requirements of the course was to download Twitter. Complete honesty, I was more than a little intimidated. Thankfully, I had a Professor that was thorough in direction and instructions, and a surplus of supportive classmates. Now I’ve had Twitter for a few weeks, and I’m surprisingly a lot more comfortable with the platform and often tweet a couple of times a day.
The biggest thing that surprised me about Twitter is that it was a lot more than people just writing down their everyday thoughts for everyone to see. It is actually an amazing resource to connect with other people with similar interests. That is, if you know what you’re looking for. One of the best resources that I was given from my class for this, was a website full of educational hashtags called Cybrary Man’s Educational Web Sites. This was a perfect start into exploring Twitter and making connections with educators. Popular hashtags such as #edchat, #edtech, #edtechchat, and #newteacher I use almost every other Tweet, but I do attempt to have some other varieties in there.
One of my favourite hashtags so far comes from @saskedchat and that is #saskedchat. My first introduction to #saskedchat was on Feb 3rd 2021, when my #edtc300 class was invited to a special version for new teachers! Every week @saskedchat will hold a Twitter night where they will ask questions towards educators with the hashtag #saskedchat. When my class joined, the hashtag #saskedchat actually got into the #4 spot in Canada’s trending page! I was amazed by how many people in education took the time to connect, share ideas, and offer advice to beginning teachers, and I remember hoping to feel that same support when I do finally enter the schoolforce! @saskedchat started off the night with questions such as “How has the demand for Teachers changed over the years?” and “What/Who are Key Supports to New Teachers?”. The part that I most appreciated was hearing the advice from veteran teachers, principles, and other educators who clearly care about what they do.
One of the biggest things that have helped me to keep up with the fast paced nature of Twitter (especially during #saskedchat night’s was TweetDeck. I was introduced to the concept during my #edtc300 class and I am glad that I was because unlike Twitter, I had never heard of this platform before. TweetDeck works in tandem with Twitter to organize and highlight areas in your platform. I like the fact that you can follow users, hashtags, notifications, and lists all at the same time! This makes those Twitter hashtags nights a lot easier to navigate and connect with more people!
I quickly realised that the more that I used Twitter, the more I saw the educational value that was in this social media site. I plan on keeping up my account, strictly for professional purposes so hopefully I will be able to gain enough self control not to follow too many cute animal pages. Cheers to social media and its opportunities to connect with others and share resources!