1: You need to start a Twitter Account:
When starting an account you will have to decide what you want your Twitter username to be. This is what people will call you on Twitter so choose wisely. I would stay with a short name and one that is near and dear to your heart... You'll never guess that mine is @MiniMatisse
In addition to your username, you have to come up with a short description of yourself. This you can always add to. You can keep it as simple or as descriptive as you would like. I have kept it simple on mine, sharing my blog, and explaining that I'm an Art Educator from Minnesota. I would suggest having some description on your profile to allow people to know if they want to follow you or not. It lets people know how you are using Twitter. I keep Twitter very professional myself, my primary reason for using it is to talk to other educators and educational leaders.
2: Find a Hashtag that you want to follow:
A hashtag means a subject. So the one that I'm inviting you to join is #K12ArtEdChat. This is a a group that 'meets' on Twitter every Thurs. at 8:30 CST. A hashtag can do many things...
#'s can organize your post: For example, I have been labeling #ProcessPigs for all the pigs the posts that are part of the Process Pigs found here on MiniMatisse.
#'s can help you find something of interest: For example, if you want to see all the cool artworks that were created in Tim Needles and Arlene Shelton, Art Challenge you could type in #K12ArtChallenge or #TERPart in the search bar on Twitter. This will bring you to the greatness of this very social Art Challenge.
#'s can help you participate in a Twitter Chat: So let's say you go online at 8:30 CST. You would type in #k12ArtChat and it will show you the feed for what everyone is writing for the discussion. Actually, what it first will give you is the TOP Tweets of the hashtag.
What you want is the LIVE Tweets, simply click where it says live. This will allow you to watch the chat happen.
3: Join in on a chat!
So here is how a chat goes, the host will formulate some questions that you will answer. Others will answer as well... All voices are heard in a Twitter chat (it's why I think it would be fun to do one in class). Most of the time the host of the chat will post the questions ahead of time. Here are the questions for this Thurs. #k12ArtChat that I am 'guest-hosting'
Most of the time a host will ask for an introduction such as, Please introduce yourself and let us know your favorite Musical Artist.
You would write something like.
Nic Hahn, I'm from MN teaching K-5 Art. I love to listen to @Maroon5 #K12ArtChat
See how I did that, I kept it short because Twitter must be 140 characters long. I put @ before Maroon 5 so that Adam will see I'm talking about him again ;), and I was sure to include the hashtag (#K12ArtChat).
Now the host will post the first question, for example:
Q1a: Have you ever made an Artist Trading Card before? #K12ArtChat
Now, the Q is short for Question, the 1 means first question, the a means there is going to be a second part to the first question. Here is an example of how you might answer it.
A1a: I have not done ATC's before, but I would like to #K12ArtChat
The discussion would continue with another question being asked every 3 to 5 minutes. There is one more question that you might see that could be confusing. If you see something that says BQ that means Bonus Question.
4: Make it as easy as you can.
I really enjoy using a website called Tweetdeck. I talk about it a little in the video below. It helps you organize and see more at a time. If you like Twitter chats, Tweetdeck will help you manage the conversation.
So now here is a challenge for you. I invite you to join me for a Twitter chat this Thursday, July 30th at 8:30 Central time. We will be talking about Artist Trading Cards. ATC's are a good solution for many classes, ages, and subjects. Join my valuable #PLN.
Below is a few other events happening this week. I would like to mention a couple of other Twitter Chats that you might want to check out. #EdBeat, #Satchat, #Sstlap, #PISDMusic... Do you have other educational chats that should be added to this list?