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What’s Your Twitter Story?

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Twitter story
via twitter.com

So, you’re on Twitter? You Tweet! You might even use Twitter as an instructional tool in your classroom. Most avid users have a Twitter story.

If you have more than a casual relationship with Twitter, you undoubtedly have a Twitter story. I have many Twitter stories–terrific anecdotes about relationships I’ve forged and lessons I’ve learned on Twitter. I even teach an online Twitter course for educators, called Plugged-In, so Twitter is obviously important to me.

When I recently posted my 30,000th tweet, I pondered my use of Twitter. I’ve been an active Twitter user for about four years, so I tweet more than 600 times per month; that’s nearly 20 daily tweets. Certainly more than a casual relationship. Why do I do this?

My Twitter Story

It would be disingenuous to suggest that I use Twitter purely for social engagement. Twitter is, in fact, a branding tool for me. It helps me interact with educators; I am an education author, publisher and consultant, so this engagement helps build awareness of my work.

Still, I use Twitter to participate in wonderful, thought-provoking chats, too. These chats are inspirational, entertaining, and sometimes humorous.

I’ve made many new friends on Twitter and forged professional bonds that have led to collaboration and even to paying jobs.

For me, Twitter is about people. Although I may use the social network as a branding tool, I’ve met people on Twitter who have changed my life. These stories are plentiful, but here is one of my favorites.

About three years ago, I connected with Kristen Swanson on Twitter. We tweeted helpful professional information back and forth and participated in a few chats together. A year later, I met Kristen and a few other Twitter stars at the ASCD Conference, and we chatted briefly. A couple of months later, Kristen and I had lunch and shared ideas on how to improve education. Last year, we collaborated on some research in digital learning, and now we are both Corwin Connected Educators Series authors. Last March, Kristen invited me to present connected education with her and other Twitter friends at the ASCD Conference.

This is the power of Twitter. When you share valuable information, you meet people, and sometimes these “cyberpals” turn into real friends. And this is a beautiful thing.

So, what’s your Twitter story? Please share an anecdote in our comment section below.

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Mark Barnes is the Founder and CEO of Times 10 Publications, which produces the popular Hack Learning Series -- books that provide right-now solutions for teachers and learners. Mark is the author or publisher of dozens of books, including Bestseller Hacking Education: 10 Quick Fixes for Every School. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and Hack Learning. Join more than 115,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.
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