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5 Reasons Why You Need To Schedule Tweets

You maybe thinking, “Why in the world would I need to schedule tweets?” Someone told me, “Twitter wasn’t deep enough for all of that.” Maybe it isn’t, but once you jump into the wave of PLN’s (personal learning networks) and all of the conversations happening on the Internet, it becomes a World Wide Web discussion with different tweet patterns and time zones.

Social Media: PLN 7.3

Twitter operates on a community model. Think about it. Don’t you use social media around your availability and the stuff that happens throughout the day? Scheduling tweets allows me to make sure others see my content on their schedule rather than when it’s convenient for me to post information live. Scheduling creates flexibility to schedule the same or similar tweets more than once for increased visibility. Here are a few ideas for how to best use scheduled tweets:

Reason 1: Eliminate forgetting to tweet. If you you’re into #followfriday, #teachertuesday, or some other hash tag, schedule them when you think of it throughout the week. You’ll eliminate forgetting about it or missing the opportunity because something came up after you ran out in a hurry to do your Friday banking.

Reason 2: Tweet on “their” schedule. Have you logged on and realized that others mentioned you in tweets several hours earlier? Schedule your reply around the time of day they tweeted you. Of course you want to have real time conversations whenever possible. So, check their profile to see if they are tweeting live at the moment, if not online, schedule your reply comment. It’s not an exact science, but it works.

(Keep in mind others may also schedule their tweets or they’ve stepped away if they don’t respond within minutes of your reply.)

Reason 3: Free up time for live chatting. If joining Twitter hash tag conversations is your thing, the amount of incoming tweets can upload the search grid so fast that just following the thread takes up all your energy. A remedy is to schedule well thought out comments [including hash tags] so that you can focus on a few tweets while the continuity of your update thread remains fluid in the discussion.

Reason 4:
Make yourself visible in other time zone rush hours. Twitter users from the opposite end of the country or on the other side of the world may never see your live tweets if they only watch their home feeds to follow what you’re saying on Twitter. This is a good time to schedule content links, Re-Tweets, and Replies.

Reason 5: Spread out your non-reply links. The majority of my tweets were links to great blogs, web stories, and websites when I started K12Live: Teachers using Twitter. That kind of tweeting gives your profile the appearance you aren’t socializing with other people. And although you maybe producing fantastic content people like to connect with people for social reasons. Think of it as personal learning networks that interact on a human level. Although you maybe tweeting fantastic content – produce a profile image that actually looks like you’re having real conversations.

Stay focused. Stay confident and schedule in success.

Your Best Year Teaching: If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (top right column) to have future post delivered to your feed reader. Please send your friends to http://laroncarter.com to connect with me or @laroncarter on Twitter.

5 Steps Toward Hootsuite Twitter Search Mastery



Hootsuite is my social media client of choice. Our relationship was began the day my Apple Power Book G4 wouldn’t properly install the Adobe AIR needed to run Tweetdeck and I haven’t looked back since. Hootsuite is also getting a lot of buzz from iPhone users for being the current client application of choice for integrating multiple accounts with ease and flexibility.

Social Media: PLN 7.2

In my blog Social Media: PLN 7.0 and 7.1 I shared a few simple, but valuable tips for jumping into the wave of social media PLN’s (personal learning network). This blog post gets specific with identifying a few subgroups that have been making buzz in the K12 education online community and walking you through a less stressed entrance into their space. Once you have followed the Hootsuite video and read the blog for setting up your account, it’s time to turn up productivity.


Step 1: Create Public or Private Group Twitter List Column

Click the Add Column link off to the right side of the window and create a Twitter List (Conference Speakers, example) or choose one already existing in your account. Once you have done this click Create Column.


Step 2: Search for Usernames to Follow – New or Existing

Type the username right into the search box on the right of window (it’s next to the Add Column slide adjuster).


Step 3: Add People to the Column

Click, drag, and drop the avatar picture you want to follow into the new Twitter List column (Shelly Terrell @ShellTerrell, example). Creating a list column of 10 – 20 people to follow closely will take the hard work out of following. And you can repeat up to 10 new columns per tab.


Step 4: Create Hash Tag Searches of Topics or Terms

Start a search column of the hash tags and topics you’re interested in the same way you created the Twitter List by clicking the Add Column link and typing in whatever you want (Teacher Appreciation Day, example).


Step 5: Follow Someone New While Doing All That Creating

Click on some of those Tweets (Ricki James @RickiSiouxan, example) and Follow a new friend, Reply, Re-Tweet, or Add to List you’ve just created. It’ll be cool growing your PLN.

Stay focused. Stay confident and master those search skills.

Your Best Year Teaching: If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (top right column) to have future post delivered to your feed reader. Please send your friends to http://laroncarter.com to connect with me or @laroncarter on Twitter.

5 Steps for entering a social media PLN conversation

Social media communities like Twitter, Ning, and Elluminate have Personal Learning Network subgroup events that can be more of a challenge than opening up a Twitter account and trying to figure out what to do next. Finding your voice and jumping into an online conversation that’s loading upwards of 18,000 feeds per hour adds another few intense weeks onto your eight-month training period. These steps help out a little with finding a door to enter.

Social Media: PLN 7.2

In the previous blog (PLN 7.1) I shared some simple, but valuable tips for jumping into the wave of social media PLN’s. This blog post gets specific with identifying a few subgroups that have been making buzz in the K12 education online community and walking you through a less stressed entrance into their universe.

Step 1: Discover who’s who in the community
• Do a little checking around on those you are following. The first thing I do when doing an online background check begins with scrolling through 3 – 6 pages of their Twitter status updates to get a feel of how they’re using Twitter.

• Then I do a search for their username to find out more about whom they’re actually engaging in conversations.

• The next thing I do is follow their web linked to Twitter. If that proves uninteresting I may do a Google Search on their name matching the location and avatar found on Twitter to better match who’s who.

• If they are a blogger I usually enter the URL into my Google Reader to receive RSS feeds each time there is a new post.

Step 2: Closely follow those that have shared interest and personalities
As mentioned earlier following should actually mean following those you add to your PLN. Create client list and groups of those you’re most interested in following closely. And take time on the weekend to read their Twitter and blog post. There is no better way to connect with someone than to make comments on their blog. It is extremely exciting for a blogger to know that others appreciate their articles.

Step 3: Know which client and communities works best for you
Because there are literally thousands of applications known as clients used for social media communications I’ll narrow it down to a few for now and turn this post into a living document by posting updates when needed.

Tweetdeck: A highly favored free social media application offering a downloadable stand-alone program to install onto your computer. Tweetdeck is used by serious Twitter users for status updates for Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Ping, and other online social media communities from one window with flexibility of creating customized columns of search information, Tweet scheduling, status and a lot more.

Hootsuite: A fast growing social media client of choice because it offers everything Tweetdeck has, but there is no need to download a separate application. Hootsuite is a Twitter client service meaning all you need is a username and password and you can log onto any internet connected computer or smart phone and it’s on. Hootsuite is getting a lot of noise for being the outstanding Twitter client for Apple’s iPhone users.

Tweetgrid: Seems to be used in addition to Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, and regular web users because of a much quicker real time status update feed. Users claim it feels more authentic offering a pause button so you can catch your breath between Tweets.

Elluninate: This client is a downloaded application created by social learning consultant Steve Hargadon that offers cutting edge PLN flexibility for educators, support staff, and students in both public and private communities.

Ning: A pioneering social media community platform that was quickly embraced by educators in the earlier days PLN boom before it acquired the name.

Edutopia: Created by the George Lucas Foundation offers K-12 community platform for educators, magazine, blog, reports, and videos. Great for joining groups like New Teacher Connections.

Step 4: Stage a few general topic comments
Setting aside time to stage a few prepared comments and scheduling them in advance to be posted during your PLN online event allows you to do some pre-background investigating, have multiple feeds in the conversation, and remain focused on the status updates that interest you the most all at once.

Step 5: Check for comment mentions about you frequently
Once you are engaged into the conversation like #edchat (Tue. 12pm/7pm EDT) or #nchat (Wed. 4pm PDT/7pm EDT) it’s not hard to forget that people in your PLN are commenting to your status updates without seeing them in the live feed because it maybe zipping by at the speed of light. Take your time, do your homework, and you’ll do fine.

Stay focused. Stay confident and come on in.

Your Best Year Teaching: If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (top right column) to have future post delivered to your feed reader. Please send your friends to http://laroncarter.com to connect with me or @laroncarter on Twitter.

5 Tips for jumping into the wave of Twitter PLN’s


Personal learning network or as we educators have embraced PLN to be the newest and coolest way to connect, develop, and learn more about our craft and the people that share our profession. There isn’t an exact science for growing your PLN (group of people you go to for information) using social media platforms, but jumping into the wave can feel like putting your toes into a large body of water to test the temperature before slowly dipping in. So here are some tips to warm the water before the jump.

Social Media: PLN 7.0

No needs to stress out over trying to fit into social media personal learning networks if you are feeling like you are behind the learning curve. I tend to always miss participating with the newest and hottest thing on the market. Whether it’s the most popular car, latest shoes crave, or state of the art technology, I jump into the wave well after the ripples turn dribbles. Even creating my blog and later @K12Live were several years behind everyone else – I know how you feel.

Tip 1: Get a web link. If you don’t have a personal website, blog, or Linkedin to link to your Twitter account create a Google Profile and use that URL web address. Google profiles are a great tool because you can put as much or as little info as you want and instantly become part of Google’s community. Don’t leave the web address blank because you’re building a PLN and being transparent is very personal for allowing other to learn about you.

Tip 2: Google search for: eBooks on Twitters for teachers; Social media for teachers; Twitter communities for educators; Nings for PLN and educators and classroom. Look for these groups on Facebook and Linkedin as well. This type of research gets you more familiar with what’s out the without before jumping in to the water.

Tip 3: Pick a username for branding yourself. Make it as short as possible and easy to write down when your say, “You can find me on twitter @___________.” Make it as simple as possible for them to find you on twitter and follow the web link to more contact info like email, other profiles, blogs, and phone if you like. (Create a Twitter account here.)

Tip 4: Join an established Twitter community. There hundreds of ways to build your list of people to follow, but joining a group that shares your interest is going to reduce the stress of building your PLN. Here are a few that I belong to, tell them I sent you: PB works twitter4teacher, Classroom 2.0, Elluminate, The Educator’s PLN, Edutopia, K12Live Facebook, and I have assembled over 1000 teachers and support staff in the following folder of @K12Live. (also see pp 36 – 39 of Best Year Teaching for more)

Tip 5: Meet people. Follow greet and meet instructions learned from your grandmother and read this eBook from Steve Hargadon on Social Networking in Education. I’ll follow up with more detailed tips for jumping into specific online communities in my next blog post.

Best Year Teaching: If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (top right column) to have future post delivered to your feed reader. Please send your friends to http://laroncarter.com to connect with me or @laroncarter on Twitter.

LiLTweeks: Facebook Rave, Rut, or Roam Part 1

Do we really have the luxury of allowing social media connections [named friends] dictate how we express our core values?

The lesson I learned this week [LiLTweeks] was developed between two Facebook feeds. First, one of my celebrity friends posted a passionately well-written Note (Get excited with me about being able to leverage Facebook and Twitter for getting around office secretaries to make some amazing personal connections).

I wasn’t familiar with the incident he wrote about, but I did recognize his range of emotions expressed in the text and they were heated. This was one of those social media threads you follow from the bleachers because you’re either not part of the sub-community or you couldn’t speak intelligently on the subject without doing some background investigation at the expense of sounding like the dog ate your homework.

Both celebrity and content created a mini rave for his Note (more than 35 individual comments in minutes) and the discussion was bringing out the best and worst in participants. But, the problem I had didn’t occur until one or two of those emotionally driven comments triggered my man [and I say that sincerely] to anguish over how he might have offended someone or had been misunderstood to the point of posting a revised version of an already well-written op-ed.

Now, I’m hardly a savvy PR guy or a seasoned English major for that matter. I didn’t read above sixth grade level until nearly thirty years old. So I don’t claim to professionally understand how content, celebrity, and spin work together for creating a worldwide rave. But, you better believe I’ve been around the block enough to know when I see a bully and how to deal with them. Note, my actions taken seem to be under ongoing construction, however, the foundation of taking a stance to defend my core values do not have the luxury of allowing social media connections dictate how I express them, especially if I have labored over my content long and hard enough to have modeled an officer and gentleman’s temperance within my original publication, they’re too valuable.

Look at the time. We can still make it over to Vegas and crash another social media party before the Internet shuts down. (To be continued)

Stay focused. Stay confident, live a little, and love a lot,
Carter | @laroncarter

P.S. LiLTweeks is a weekly observation of some problems I’ve encountered and possible actions for resolve. If you have been inspired from this article please leave a comment and consider subscribing to the RSS (top right column) to have future post delivered to your feed reader [look for Weekend Post].

K12 Live | Spotlight on Success

The Facebook Group That Tweets Out On Friday's #K12Live

The Facebook Group That Tweets Out On Friday's #K12Live

“Faith is the courage to face reality with hope.” Dr. Robert H. Schuller

Tweet Out Friday #K12Live

The Launch of K12 Live on Facebook

K12 Live is a web community based movement that spotlights some of the brightest teacher’s you know, discovered, or read about the outstanding methods and systems they use to produce win-win results for the students they serve.

Here’s how it works:

► Join the group and let us know why you do what you do? Why did you choose to work in education? Why did you choose your specialized area? Why did you choose your students or did you? You get the idea.

► Then each Thursday or Friday come back and post a spotlight of outstanding K – 12 school employees or parents you work with, it could be someone you recently discovered or never forgot about how they impacted your life as a teacher.

► You can link us to a video (highly recommended) of your spotlight recognition. You can point us to a blog or podcast that tells a success story that might inspire others in education to grow beyond the day-to-day challenges that destroys careers and smashes a student’s passion to dream.

► Then give them a Tweet Out. Let the entire micro blogosphere know in 140 character spaces that person is a shinning planet in your universe. Encourage others to follow them if they’re on http://twitter.com using the hash tag #K12Live so everyone can read about them at http://search.twitter.com/search?q=k12live under search tag.

Ex. @kchichester rocks the chalkboard inspiring her students to dream big American dreams and never loose hope! http://twurl.nl/2kvitu #K12Live

Ex. @lnicewaner is blogging about the creative solutions of technology in the classroom, she gets it http://twurl.nl/4w5wqd. #K12Live

Ex. @deployedteacher wants you to check out @dogtagsforkids for sending kids dogtags from their parents overseas. Great pride at school #K12Live

► Finally pass this link around to your family and friends so that they can join in on the fun of being celebrated for the hard work they love to do. And courage them to connect with others from this group. Support may be one of the most valuable keys to managing life’s challenges. Post it and watch it go down at http://search.twitter.com/search?q=k12live under search tag.

P.S. If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (just below this article) to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Then encourage family and friends by sharing this blog address and invite others to subscribe so we get a chance to connect as well. Just send them to https://laroncarter.wordpress.com where they can bookmark or subscribe to the page. Feel free to direct message me on Twitter @laroncarter or connect on http://laroncarter.com

Copyright © 2009 | LaRon A. Carter “The Guest Teacher

Rethinking Care: How We Connect With People

 

Peace Not Apartheid.

U.S. President Jimmy Carter speaks with Russert about peace in the Middle East and his new book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. (Photo Credit Time.com)

Do you genuinely care about the people in your life?

If you are interested, concerned, or connected with the people in your life, even moderately care about them, there might be cause to look closer at the idea of who’s in your life.  Some of them may be getting over looked. 

I have several degrees, a diverse workforce background, traveled the world at least twice as a US Marine, and have no challenges feeling comfortable around highly influential people.  But, due to complicated circumstances not long ago I took a job as a janitor in a highly respected law school. 

Fortunately for me it was at a time in my life that I was extremely focused on my goals and possessed a healthy dose of self-esteem.  I went about changing trashcan plastic liners that flanked bustling hallways full of International law students waiting for their classes to begin. 

It became a game for me to see who would make eye contact as we passed by each other, momentarily, though briefly, entering in and out of each other’s life.  Will he recognize I’m standing here?  Will she acknowledge me cleaning up her spilled latte?  All done while making a diligent effort to connect eyes before I shared a caring hello, “How are you?” or one of my favorites, “What’s good with you today?”  I was on the other end this time. 

How many times had I missed an opportunity to bring someone unnoticed into my world?  How often had I over looked a chance to engage the forgotten in the course of my selfish journey?  Would I ever learn to ask a subordinate what he dreamed about at night or what gifts he was trying to share with the world? 

Now I can truly understand the caring spirit of political journalist Tim Russert and what the giant in this man meant to the people in his life.  Not just those who could influence his life.  Not just those he loved unconditionally.  Tim cared about the otherwise unnoticed people placed in his life. 

As I researched the many articles and podcast reporting the life he lived I learned that no one went untouched by his kind and encouraging character.  All of the people in our life can be affected by the life we live.  I think I get it. 

 

P.S. If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (just below this article) to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. 

Then encourage family and friends by sharing this blog address and invite others to subscribe so we get a chance to connect as well.  Just send them to www.laroncarter.wordpress.com where they can bookmark or subscribe to the page. And by the way I’m on www.twitter.com/laroncarter and  www.profile.to/laroncarter socially speaking.