Training company CPD for Teachers have released a beta version of their ‘Bring a Teacher to Twitter’, which makes it quick and easy for UK teachers to find good people to follow for their subject specialism and get straight into conversations about UK education.
You may or may not know, that @mrwaldram and @mrlockyer started a quest back in January 2013, to bring more teachers to Twitter. There are now 6 likewise projects in other countries in Ireland; America; the Czech Republic; Australia; Belgium and in Romania. The UK Twitter forum can be found at @BATTTUK (Bring A Teacher To Twitter UK). There is also a nice little map made by @ICTMagic.
The CPD for Teachers website is in an early phase of development, but will make it much easier for teachers to find other teachers by location and subject. Not everyone is listed and you can add yourself to their database and other teachers you follow. I have previously blogged about the power of Twitter for teachers and schools, here:
- Ignore the #DfE: Teachers are doing it for themselves! by @TeacherToolkit
- The social-media epoch is out-dating Ofsted and The Department for Education by @TeacherToolkit
- How do senior leaders ‘find’ work? by @TeacherToolkit
- Educational Leadership and Management: @BELMASOffice – from Twitter-troll to the @HouseOfCommons
- The impact of
#SLTchat across the UK by @EducationGovUK
CPD for Teachers offers a smart idea, that takes away the cumbersome approach currently on offer via a Twitter search. For example, when I search for ‘maths teachers’, this is what appears on my Twitter page.
A reasonable search solution? But not if I want to locate teachers by their location. Using the beta-version of ‘Bring a Teacher To Twitter’, it makes it much easier to search and find teachers by location and subject. For example, if I search for ‘English teachers’, then this beta-website offers the following solutions (with the location listed) on the right-hand side (see below). This is of course, if the individual Twitter account identifies their location in their biography … The CPD Teachers website also allows you to search by location, rather than by subject. You can even type in a name; such as a person or a school! It’s simple API; but quite clever for the end-user.
Find teachers to follow on Twitter:
The app uses the Twitter API to produce a dynamic list of teachers who are active on Twitter and lets users search and order by subject, location, number of tweets and followers. Anyone can easily submit Twitter accounts to the list, which will then be approved before appearing.
“Twitter is an incredibly powerful tool for teachers and some of the best CPD can be delivered in 140 characters or fewer,” said Matt Thurling, the Managing Director of CPD for Teachers. Anything that helps uninitiated teachers to see the value of Twitter has got to be a good thing and the best way to do that is for them to see their peers using it effectively.
“I found that many of the lists of influential teachers on Twitter were out of date and/or had a strong US bias and creating new lists manually was time-consuming so I started working with Ben to make something as useful as possible for UK teachers.”
According to Matt, the current version is just the beginning and the next stage is to incorporate trending UK educational hashtags. He’s asking those teachers who are already benefiting professionally from Twitter to help build momentum.
“If you know of helpful teacher accounts, please add them to the app if they’re not already there. The more teachers use the app, the more useful it will become and the more resources we’ll put into further development”.
Matt Thurling created the application with the help of Ben Elgar, a Computer Science undergraduate at the University of Bristol.
Why not give it a try?
Mark Anderson (@ICTEvangelist) posted a lovely blog: #MyTop5 People you should follow on Twitter but probably aren’t… which shows the importance of following others who do NOT always feature highly on the bloggers/tweeters radar. It’s worth a read.
So, what are you waiting for? Bring a Teacher To Twitter right now and start following @BATTTUK.