One of the main assests of twitter is it;s ability to let you share content instantly with large, or small numbers of people. It’s easy to tweet a link, many pages have buttons that tweet the page for you when you click them.

Why it could be a good idea/

Sharing content with your students is an excellent way to get them to value twitter as a tool. It’s a good way to get them using your hashtag, and it also models they type of twitter usage that will result in enhanced engagement, results and digital literacy skills. If you want them to engage meaningfully on twitter, you’ll probable have to show them the way. Unstructured use of social media in class may actually undermine learning. So, structuring twitter usage helps your students to get the best out of social media, and their learning experience.

Sharing meaningful, targetted and high quality links with your students is a way of showing them how they should use it themselves, and is part of the bogger conversation about why they should use it. The more useful the links are, the more you can show how useful twitter can be.

Here’s how to do it.

1. Build up a list of people you follow on twitter. Try to ensure those people are giving you the type of tweets, links and resources that are useful to you, and good quality. People who tweet good quality links are doing a lot of your research dfor you. The more you can trust the network of people you follow to give good links, the less research., sifting and discarding you will need to do. You’ll still need to read what you tweet to your students, but, with good decisions on who you follow, the quality to rubbish ratio gets better and better, and you’ll have a steady stream of links in your subject area to share.

If your students really embrace the technology and experience, you may find you are getting more from their links and shared resources, eventually, than they are getting from yours.

2. Consider using an rss service. rss is a facility that lets webpages, blogs, sites, magazines and journals, amongst others, notify people when they have updated. An rss reader lets you decide which sites you want to be notified about when they update. When you subscribe to a site’s rss feed, your rss reader automatically notifies you when it updates, and gives you a summary of what’s been updated.

The benefit here is you can track all the blogs, magazines et’c you are interested in from a single website, or window. The reader grabd all the updates and automatically feeds them in to your screen, saving time and effort, and making your reader a one stop shop for everything you are interested in. Their is setup work involved. You’ll have to build up a list of the sites you are interested in, but adding a site takes seconds. An afternoons research and work can set you up with a good feed.

This will also give you grist for your own network building mill. The more good quality resoruces you have to share generally on twitter, the more people will follow you.

Rss readers are typically easy to use, personalise, and add to, and many will have suggestions for other content for you to follow.

3. Social Bookmarking.

Of the three, this is probably the biggest investment in terms of time. Social Bookmarking involves sharing your bookmarks with other people, and getting access to theirs. Like twitter, it;s network based. You build a network of people who share with you, or who you share with. The bookmarks will often be categorised by subject, so people will be bookmarking in maths, or science education, or Star Wars miniature collection. People add bookmarks – sometimes annotating them with comments or ideas, and these are shared.

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