Think of Twitter as a big public square where everyone is speaking at everyone else, saying things they think others might be interested in hearing. Each thing said is called a “tweet” and can’t be longer than 140 characters, so each tweet is just a sentence really. You can tune in to what someone is saying simply by visiting their Twitter page, but if you have your own Twitter account you can also “follow” them, so that all their tweets appear on your own “home page”. More from Twitter themselves here.
There are two things really useful about Twitter from a teachers’ perspective: 1) it’s blindingly easy to send general “for information” messages to your pupils (and their parents) and 2) tens of thousands of teachers use Twitter every day to share best practice, making it incredibly good informal INSET in lots of different ways.
If you’re going to use Twitter effectively as a teacher, you’re going to need two Twitter accounts, one for each of the purposes above. Mine are @FallibroomeBIL and @StuBillington. (The “@” denotes Twitter usernames.) Both are public, meaning that I don’t “tweet” anything that I might later regret, including anything that could identify particular students, etc.
If you’ve never used Twitter before, why not take a look at them now, so you’ve got an idea what I mean? Remember, you don’t need an account to read other people’s tweets, just go to their “feed”: www.twitter.com/FallibroomeBIL and www.twitter.com/StuBillington.