Twitter is a very useful tool for keeping up with news and what people are sharing, but you will also want to start sending out your own tweets and sharing resources. Here is a brief guide to sending a new tweet and mastering hashtags. (Click on any pictures in this page to enlarge).
Your Twitter homepage includes a stream of tweets from people you are following. On the left of the page you will see a box that allows you to type in a new tweet. You can also click the blue icon with the quill to begin sending a tweet.
Type your message into the box. You can also click on the camera icon to include a picture which will appear as a link in your tweet. You have 140 characters so make every character count. You can also paste links into your tweet, and Twitter will automatically shorten the link so it doesn’t take up as many characters.
Twitter allows for users to categorise their tweet using hashtags. The hashtag is a phrase that begins with the # symbol and allows you to tweet about a particular topic or to a group of people who follow that hashtag. For example, the ABC show Q&A uses the #qanda hashtag to allow people to tweet about the show. We make use of the #vicpln hashtag, which is a group of Victorian (and further afield) educators who are sharing resources using this common hashtag. If you have an interesting educational link, include the #vicpln hashtag in your tweet. Hashtags do not contain spaces or punctuation- only letters and numbers.
You can see all of the tweets that include a particular hashtag by using the Twitter search box. Or if you see an interesting hashtag in a tweet, you can also click on the hashtag directly to see all of the tweets with that hashtag. There are also some great Twitter apps like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite that allow you to set up a column that automatically updates with tweets including a particular hashtag. Below is an example of a search for #vicpln
You can also mention another user by referring to them using their twitter handle, which you can see in their profile (it always begins with the @ symbol and is the best way to tell people who you are on Twitter). Below, we are mentioning the SLV Learning account which has the handle of @slvlearn.
You can also send a private message on Twitter, using the direct message function. To do this, include the letter d, then a space and then the person’s handle (without the @ symbol). See below for an example. We would advise you to be very careful using this function, as it can be quite easy to mix up the characters and send a message that was supposed to be private to all of your followers.