You'll no doubt be used to hearing about Twitter and used to seeing hashtags (e.g. #bbcnews) on television programmes. Did you know that there's a thriving community of teachers tweeting too (often referred to as tweachers)?
If you're a little reluctant to start tweeting yourself then keep reading!
As well as following the obvious celebrities or keeping track of what your local MP is up to, you can also share, collaborate and be inspired by teachers from across the world. By following other teachers you will start to build your very own network, sometimes referred to as a PLN (professional learning network). One quick way to identify teachers who are of particular interest to you is to search for particular hastags.
One of the best hastags to search/follow is #ukedchat. Adding a hashtag to your tweet allows tweeters to search for tweets about a common theme, in this case education. Below is a snippet of some of the latest tweets with the ukedchat hashtag. At the very least, they'll provide you with a number of fantastic sites to visits or ideas to try in your classroom.
Every Thursday at 8pm, there's an online staff meeting. At this point you may have just rolled your eyes, thinking about why anybody who has been teaching all day would want to go home and follow an online discussion. While you really need to try a #ukedchat out to understand fully it, here's a brief explanation. Each week, a number of themes are voted on, before the most popular is shared. A 'moderator' then posts a number of prompts during the hour and keeps the discussion ticking along. Each theme attracts hundreds of tweets and while the hour speeds by, it's possible to collaborate with a range of colleagues who together have a vast wealth of experience and ideas.
What are you waiting for? Sign up at Twitter.com. If you follow @TMWirral and let us know you're new to Twitter, we'll do our best to introduce you to our followers and start to build your PLN.
One of TeachMeet Wirral's presenters, @ICT_MrP, has collated an vast array of reasons why twitter really is essential for teachers. Explore these here.