Twitter as a Search Tool

Can you Tweet? Do you have Tweeps? Perhaps you are a twirt.

If you think this sounds like something out of a cartoon then think again. Twitter is a microblogging site that allows individuals to post short, 140 character updates (“tweets”) of their current status. This could be the fact that they are having coffee, heading to school, or wishing they had stayed home last night. But it is also a way for people to quickly pass on information to a network of “tweeps” or friends who subscribe to their updates.

If it sounds like something for the middle school set, you may be surprised. According to Bill Tancer in an article in Time Magazine,   “…the site’s largest age demographic is 35-to-44-year-olds, who make up 25.9% of its users.” This could be you! Maybe it already is. 

Sample Twitter page

Sample Twitter page

Perhaps the thought of broadcasting your every moment isn’t appealing, but how about this? Did you know that Twitter makes an interesting search tool? I’d love to claim this as my own idea but it came from a friend at a barbecue. Out of curiosity, she used the search box on the right of the Twitter page to see what others had posted about a topic of interest. So I tried it- typed in “phones for learning” in an attempt to find some new resources about integrating cell phones into the classroom. Within a minute I had several great resources with ideas of how to use cell phones in the classroom, including this one from Thinking Machine  called Think Mobile Phones for Learning.

Another benefit is that you will find people who consistently post useful info. You can “follow” them so that their posts show up as soon as you log in, giving you a readymade list of resources. This is not to say that occasionally you will not find out that their brother-in-law is a pain! It’s social, after all 🙂

If you need help signing up for Twitter, “Tech For Luddites” is a great resource. It has several pages of instructions from how to sign up to more advanced ways to use Twitter.

And as for a “twirt” – I’ll leave that to you to figure out.

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3 responses to “Twitter as a Search Tool

  1. Pingback: Next 5 Steps for New Integrators « Teacher Tech

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