Saturday, October 19, 2013

Twitter Directory for Kindergarten Tweeps

Twitter Directory and LinkUP for Kindergarten Tweeps via RainbowsWithinReach

Twitter Directory for Kindergarten Twitter-Tweeps! 
I am making progress on the social-media networking front. I am thrilled with my continued, steady growth at Pinterest. According to their stats, I now have 136,179 followers in pin-it-ville! As a result I've had increased readership here and actual Author-Illustrator school visit invitations have unfolded from Pin-followers plus my picture books have LITERALLY headed to international destinations! ALL as a result of increasing visibility in Pin-feeds. What's next? 

Twitter Home Page for Debbie Clement @Kweezlequeen

So now I'm giving some time, attention and effort to grasping and using Twitter. I am just barely beyond the 'beginner' status there and have a L-O-N-G way to go, but I can already see the benefits of exploring in this new language. Twitter has opened a whole new level of continuous professional development for me. YEAH! 

By far, the biggest hint I have to offer is to LEARN your way around the hashtag. 
[The hashtag is the navigational device that is known elsewhere as a pound sign: #.] 
The first hashtag that I learned to 'surf' is the one that is ALL THINGS KINDERGARTEN, which is to say: #Kinderchat. There is a thriving community of kinder-tweeps gathered and communicating throughout the day on that 'channel.' 

#KnowYourHashtags Twitter LinkUP for Kindergarten Twitter Users via RainbowsWithinReach

The second hashtag that I have devoted some energy to grasp and cultivate, is the very simple and unassuming: #ff. That stands for #FridayFollow. It is a very simple way of sending out a message where you gather up several 'like-minded' tweeps into one tweet. YOUR followers who are of that same ilk are therefore encouraged by your affirmation to follow those you have given such a kind SO (shout-out) and they are then likely to gain new followers. BTW. You engage in the #ff on Friday. 

By far, the most amazing story for me that starts with my infant efforts on Twitter, requires a flashback to Las Vegas last summer. As a result of my having previously attempted to navigate the Monday night '#Kinderchat' that takes place weekly, beginning in real time at 9:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, I had already increased my PLN {Personal Learning Network.} I knew some K-tweeters by their "@" signature. By the way. On Twitter? My current handle, address, sign, signature is @Kweezlequeen. That's where you find me! 

PLN: Personal Learning Network LinkUP for Twitter at RainbowsWithinReach

It was a very innocent and uninformed Vegas TWEET that landed me the participation of these two {RARE} male kindergarten teachers in the closing number of my KEYNOTE for SDE at "I Teach Kindergarten." Had I not previously attempted to interact on Monday night tweet-chats, I never would have had @JonFines upstage me as the most capable dancing 5th little piggy to date! Little did I know that #JonCanDance! See. Ya never know when you're gonna need to reach out to the whole world to lasso yourself a dancin' pig! Reason enough to ferret out new skills. 

Just this past Wednesday I entered even deeper into the Twitter-Kinderchat professional development conversation by joining my first Kinderchat Campfire Chat. That's a whole 'nother level of technology, but one that I was able to navigate on my own, even from my cave-person status. It requires uploading a software format for the video event, but if I can do it -- so can you! Just follow the link. 

RAFFI to Lead the Kinderchat Campfire Conversation on Lightweb/Darkweb

This coming Wednesday, Oct. 23rd will be the opportunity for the world to chat/listen/chat/listen with RAFFI. Yes. THE RAFFI! Mark your calendar now! He will be leading the campfire conversation on "Lightweb/Darkweb" and the Reasons that reformation of Social Media need Re-Forming. I don't know if there will be any singing? 

Last week's campfire chat was led by Lisa Murphy, the Ooey Gooey Lady. Again. Very WELL worth your efforts to get connected. She led the discussion on 'large play' that could look to the uninformed to be similar to rough-housing. Seeing her in a 'wig' with her usual level of animation was well worth the navigating of the new-to-me format.

Twitter #Kinderchat Co-Founders: Monday night 7:30 PM

Using the hashtag "#Kinderchat" at any time of the week is likely to get you a quick and informed response to any question you might have.... from Common Core concerns to Reggio implementation, portfolio documentation, parent interaction, technology frustrations or discoveries -- you name it, there's a peer with an answer and just like that your network expands. We owe much to the co-founders @hechternacht and @happycampergirl for growing such a thriving network, full of support and encouragement. They personally still offer hand-holding. I can attest to that and continue to benefit weekly from their kindness. 

Twitter Themed Bulletin Board via RainbowsWithinReach

One of the best things I did here on my blog, for my P-peeps, was to create 'directories' of like-minded pinsters. It just dawned on me that I need to find like-minded Tweeps, in order to have a stronger, more interesting, valuable, applicable and deeper twitter-stream. To expand that PLN further. Professional development. Connectedness. Techno-learning. I also realized that I could bring my Pinterest-muscle to bear and gather up fellow tweeters by pinning the directory invitation.

Behold. Let's do a parallel resource. Let's create a Twitter directory! Let's start with those that have a vested interest in all things kindergarten. I would imagine that will include a whole host of K-teachers, but also welcome any 'consultants' like myself who regularly rub elbows, or dance, with the kinder-crowd.

***DETAILS: Let me be VERY specific. I do NOT want your blog address NOR your Pinterest link and NO email addresses publicly listed in the linky either. I will delete any of those that are mistakenly added. I want your DIRECT Twitter URL. That way it will be easy for others to follow each other. DIRECTLY TO TWITTER! Any other links will be deleted. I repeat. Other links to blogs, stores, or other networks will be deleted.

If getting added to the directory seems to put you into a flumox, right off the bat, I am MORE than HAPPY to add you myself. JUST SEND ME A TWEET and I will make sure you're included. 

Once you get signed into the directory, be certain to check back 'later' to follow the newest additions. It would be a HUGE help if you would share this directory link with your network of friends. Tweet it. Pin it. It will only be as strong as the participants added. THANKS. The more the merrier. I have made this directory a 'blog hop' so that you can transport the entire list to YOUR blog.... which will help it grow and we all will be grateful for the growth and development of a stronger network. 

I am a visual learner and Pinterest has been very simple for me to grasp. Twitter? Not so much. I have relied on Tutorials to help along the way. Below are several that have given me insight. 

10 Great Video Tutorials on Twitter in Education 
Twitter Tips & Resources for Teachers at Kleinspiration
The Ultimate Twitter Guidebook for Teachers
Twitter: Cure what Ails You (exhaustive resources)
Teacher Cheat Sheet for Twitter 
Cybrary Man's Official Twitter Chat Schedule + Hashtags
Teachers on Twitter Infographic
Why Teachers Should Try Twitter
Can Tweeting Help your Teaching? NEA
The Ultimate Twitter Guidebook for Teachers Edudemic
Twitter for Educators Beginner's Guide
The Beginners Guide to Twitter
16 Twitter Tips for Bloggers

#Kinderchat Participants in VEGAS via RainbowsWithinReach

I am the first to admit that Twitter has been an acquired taste. The more I tweet and follow meaningful hashtags, the more I 'get it.' As a brand new beginner, its easiest to 'surf' a hashtag to see the width and depth of conversation taking place. Take your time. Get familiar with the shortened links and the other abbreviations. {For example: I had to ask what Ss meant (students) and therefore Ts = teachers.} 

Interacting (or even lurking in a twitter-chat) is certain to open your eyes. If you haven't participated in a live chat before, just follow a couple of 'threads' of the numerous conversations that all unfold simultaneously. Interact. Ask questions. RT (retweet) comments that are meaningful. Or just RT the questions being asked by the moderators. You owe it to yourself to attend several chats, so that you begin to catch on to the pace and interactions. Like anything else that is new: it takes time. Be patient. 

The other reality is that there are many of the chatters who have developed genuine friendships and relationships over the past couple years. Some have met in person. Others have led joint projects and other tech adventures -- their relationships are established. If you're new, be a little bold and continue to wave hello. Before you know it.... you'll be one of the regulars welcoming a brave newbie and offering encouragement! I attend in the role of cheerleader to those swimming in the deep end for the first time. 

In the future these are the next Twitter Directories added: 

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!
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