Want free PD with No Reliever Costs, Answer=TWITTER!

The are a number of ways you can use twitter in education. My focus for this blog is specifically designed to help teachers use twitter to get the most amazing professional development at their fingertips, anytime, anywhere and for free!

I must confess before I signed up with twitter, I really didn’t get it. Why would I want to follow celebrities writing about what their doing all day. And why would I want to tweet about what I am doing? However after an inspiring pd course given by Billy Merchant (HOD PE at Pakuranga College) I thought I’ give it a go. Basically all I did was sign up and follow Billy! I had no idea how to use it, but figured I wasn’t loosing anything by having a go! Wow, my perspective on this has changed 360°. I have had more PD in the past 6 months from twitter, and the best thing about it is you can pick and choose what you read about. No sitting in a courseall day and then figuring out it really doesn’t have anything new to offer you! I now find myself sitting on a Saturday morning with a cuppa in hand, scrolling through to see what amazing things other teachers are doing, not only in NZ but all around the world. Once signed up, you can access your twitter account from the internet, a tablet/ipad, or a smart phone. So I have put together a few notes on how you can do exactly what I have done.

Here is where you sign up to get a twitter account and here are the step by step instructions on how to set it up. Do consider what email address you want to use with this. I personally use gmail so that I don’t clog up my school email. I do this for all the elearning links or blogs etc that I follow.

Secondly, think about what your user name is going to be. If you are using it for PD purposes in many ways you want it to reflect who you are in the professional world, as this is how people online will remember you. And obviously great networking can be done with them in the future so you don’t want it to be too obscure. If you decide you want to use twitter with classes in the future you can create multiple accounts with different user names.

It is important to put some info in your profile so that people can identify you if they are searching to follow you. It also helps differentiate real people from spam profiles.

Here are some things below to help you start using twitter.

Basically the way twitter works is you choose people you want to follow. Then anything they tweet will come up on your Home tab. So to see what people are saying you just scroll through this.  To follow someone you know or have heard about, click on the @ tab along the top. It will allow you to enter their name and then search for them. It will bring up a list, you will need to click on the one you think it is and have a look at their profile description to see if it is the person you are wanting to follow, if it is click follow (usually a blue button). If not keep looking on the list.  To widen the number of people you are following you can choose to follow everyone that person is following. This way you get a wider range of info to read. You can delete anyone off this list at any time.

If you are wanting to find info on a certain topic, you will need to use a hashtag. For example #edchat. Most people when tweeting will put a hashtag on the end that describes what the topic of the tweet is. So to then search you click on the #discover tab along the top. Type in the hashtag and then you can read the tweets that come up and if you choose to you can follow the authors of good comments. Below is a list of common education hastags. But before you read on, good luck, learn lots and of course have fun. 🙂

General Education



Specific to PE

Subject Specific This list comes from Edudemic website

Extra Curriular Topics ( may be useful in curriculum classes ( also from edudemic)















#mathchat – mathematics#scichat – science

#engchat – English

#artsed – the arts in education

#musedchat – music

#eltchat – english language teacher

#STEM – widely used for posts and resources in STEM education

#SSChat – social studies    chat

#RETeacher – Religious Education

#HistoryTeacher – History

#GeographyTeacher – Geography

#ASEChat – Association of science and education weekly chat Monday 8-9pm GMT

#PhysicsEd – Physics


#pgce – this is a widely used hashtag and is a great way to share ideas and support#gtchat – for tweets related to gifted and talented education

#esl – English as a second language, this seemed to have more relevant tweets than


#Bullying – especially good for finding bullying resources or help and support if bullying is an issue though it is not confined to school bullying

#cpchat – connected principals discussion

#ntchat – new teachers, (#nqtchat seems to have lapsed)

#spedchat – special educational needs. Live chat every Tuesday night at 8:30 EST for special education related topics

#homeschool – everything related to home schooling, seems to be far more widely used than #hsc

#playoutdoors – outdoor play and learning ideas

#TLChat – is the hashtag for Teacher Librarians’ discussions/resources

#ESDGC – Education for sustainability and global citizenship

Edudemics website also has a full list of 400 educational hashtags!!!!


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