social media

Twitter 101 for Librarians and Teachers

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Why do we as librarians and teachers need to come to terms with Twitter?  View the Prezi above created by myself and Diana Colby, library media specialist at Keller ISD’s Early Learning Center, for a peek at our own Twitter journey and steps to take that Twitter plunge.  

In the beginning, it was helpful for me to think of Twitter in terms of library lingo.  For example, what is this “@” business?  In Twitter, users select a “handle” or ID preceded by the ampersand.  If we think of Twitter as a massive OPAC (online catalogue), then each user has a main entry…that main entry is their “handle.”  For example, Twitter users can search for me with the 100 tag @audreyw222.  Furthermore, the Twitter “catalogue” can also be accessed through hashtags (#thisfunnystringofwordsembeddedintweets).  Hashtags allow searching for a specific topic or subject accessible for users.  The hashtag in the Twittersphere is the subject heading in library land’s OPAC.

Making anymore sense?

Needing more convincing?  Check out this month’s issue of Library Media Connection for the article, “Twitter Tips and Tricks for Your Library and Classroom” by media specialist Melissa Purcell.  In this two-page spread, Purcell dissects, describes, and defines the microblogging social media tool and decodes the mystery behind that little blue bird for classroom teachers and librarians.  The article contains a glossary of twitter terminology, top ten reasons to incorporate Twitter, suggested Twitter handles for libraries and classrooms to follow, popular hashtags, and links to access blogs and documents that explore ways Twitter is coming home to roost in libraries and schools.  

We are in the middle of a communication revolution as people now share intimate details of their lives as fast as they can type.  In this mobile world, everyone can have their voice heard in an instant with few technical skills.  Twitter is used by millions of people every day to discuss their lives and the news of the day.  The dated one-way flow of information from book or website to patron just does not work for patrons anymore; they need to interact with their information, and Twitter provides a platform for that interaction.  Now is the time to embrace the free technology tools that our students are already using and incorporate those tools into our lesson plans for a true educational experience (Purcell, 2012).