Tag Archives: EdChat

The Most Common Twitter Terms Explained

There are lots of acronyms and shorthand terms thrown around in the Twittersphere. That is why I published this summary of the Most Common Terms used on Twitter; plus a mixed bag Connected Educators will find handy. Have you participated in a Twitter Chat before? Are you a Teacher new to Twitter? Then you will find these terms on the stream (feed) or when directly messaged (DM) by another user (Tweep).

There are lots of acronyms and shorthand terms thrown around in the Twittersphere. That is why I published this summary of the Most Common Terms used on Twitter; plus a mixed bag Connected Educators will find handy. Have you participated in a Twitter Chat before? Are you a Teacher new to Twitter? Then you will find these terms on the stream (feed) or when directly messaged (DM) by another user (Tweep).

★ Common Terms ★

Tweet – A post made on Twitter by a user. 140 characters in length (however analytics reveals the sweet spot is between 71-100 characters)

Follow – If a user’s tweets appear in your stream, then you are following them.

Follower – Someone who is reading your tweets

Unfollow (De-Friend) – This happens when someone stops reading your tweets. If you need to unfollow a Twitter account, click unfollow in their profile, and you have unsubscribed to their account or tweets.

@ (Reply) – The @ symbol is used to reply to a Twitter user.

Example: @tomwhitby Thanks for writing thought provoking articles that elicit deep thinking.

Username – What you are called on Twitter. Your username will always be preceded by the @ symbol.

Example:  My username is @AnibalPachecoIT

# (Hashtag) – A hash symbol is used to comment on a particular topic in a tweet, so users searching Twitter can find what they are looking for. Searching for #edtech will give you the top tweets using this hashtag. As an alternative, you can search all tweets, or use a hashtag tracking service.  Moreover, there are services and applications to make tracking and sorting a lot easier. Some examples include @Twubs which allow you to scroll through a hashtag stream, pause it, resume and even subscribe to my favorite hashtags for free. Once you get the hang of tweeting and tracking you can move to more advanced applications such as @hootsuite, @Participate, and @TweetDeck.

Link – Including a URL in your tweet. Caution should be used here since you only have 140 characters for each message. Moreover, while this restriction has been removed, I would recommend still recommend the use a URL shortener service. Bitly is my favorite because it’s free, allows you to create URL collections, and it let you keep track of who, when and how many times your links are clicked on.

PLN – Professional (Personal) Learning Network, a group of individuals you can rely on to help you develop and grow professionally. They also provide a wealth of knowledge, inspiration, and support one another.

Tweeter (Twitterer) – An individual who uses Twitter

Tweeple – People who use Twitter

Tweep(s) – Twitter friends (users), your most frequently contacted friends. Think about ‘Peeps’

Twittersphere – The collective group of people (tweeps) who tweet.

Twitterati – A-list Twitter users; the Twitter élite. These usually have a large number of followers, are somewhat famous and considered thought leaders (change agents) inside the Education Twittersphere.

Some of my Favorites:

@adambellow • @cybraryman1 • @tomwhitby •

★ Action Terms ★

RT (Re-Tweet) – Reposting something that has already been posted on the Twitter stream. RT usually precedes the original post to give credit to the user who published it first.

Example: RT @plnaugle: Remember FAIL = First Attempt In Learning. Failure should be embraced as an authentic learning opportunity. #edcampusa #NT2T

*Although Twitter has an automatic RT button you can go “Old School” by using a browser extension like Classic Retweet for Chrome. A similar add-on is available for Firefox.

DM – This is a Direct Message sent to a Twitter user. However, you must follow that user before (DM) messaging them. DMs don’t appear in the Twitter public stream. They instead go directly to your Twitter inbox. DMs can be up to 10,000 characters *Think of them as a hybrid between e-mail, instant messaging or SMS.

• Favorite – When you favorite a Tweet it indicates that you like that specific post on your feed. You can find all of your favorite Tweets by clicking on the favorites link on your profile page. I use the favorite feature to bookmark tweets that I would like to reference later or to acknowledge a mention on my feed.

Via – This one is often used in place of RT, once again to give credit to the publisher. *Think of this as citing your sources on Twitter.

Example: Learning Technology is About Relationships – via @TeachThought #edcampusa #learnbetter

MT – The act of modifying another user’s tweet. It is considered bad etiquette to do this, unless the modification is needed to make a correction, or to add information to the original tweet.

HT (Heard Through / Hat Tip) – This one is used to add credit to the source from which you originally gathered the idea for your tweet.

★ Your Profile: Connecting The Dots ★

Your profile is the first thing people will see and a digital reflection of who you are as an individual. I recommend that your profile is public. The twittersphere wants to know what you are all about, your interests passions and if they are interested in hearing your voice. Therefore if you are trying to build a PLN and build the relationships, it can foster, What is the point of having a Private account only a selected few can see?

People will read your profile when deciding to follow you. Make sure that you crack the egg by posting a picture or avatar that represents you. Twitter assigns everyone an egg as their profile picture by default. If you do not change your picture, what does that say about your ability to contribute in a PLN? Your location is important, but I recommend keeping it to a general area. I try to give as much information as possible while attempting to retain some privacy.

★ Participation: Digital Footprint ★

Your participation is important and will determine how much or little professional development you get out of Twitter. I like to break this process down into phases to make it easier to digest.

• Phase One: The lurking (observation) phase consists of following other tweeps to get a feeling on how to tweet.

• Phase Two: Getting your feet wet, participate in Twitter chats and observe what others post and how the flow of the conversation moves along.

• Phase Three: Sharing content, adding context to the discussion. You may RT (retweet) or reply to tweets as you start to feel your way around the Twitter feed.

• Phase Four: You are now part of a larger community. You contribute content on Twitter and begin the conversation with other Twitter users.

This process is a cycle, and you will (of course) start to bring other people to Twitter. Have a great time and start building relationships through your PLN.

★ Connected Educator (Mixed Bag) ★ 

  • AFAIK – As far as I know
  • CC – Carbon Copy
  • CX – Correction
  • DigCit – Digital Citizenship
  • FF – Follow Friday
  • GAFE – Google Apps for Education
  • HW – Homework
  • HAGW – Have a Great Weekend
  • HAGD – Have a Great Day
  • ICYMI – In Case You Missed It
  • NSFW – Not Safe for Work
  • NT2t – New Teacher to Twitter
  • OH – Overheard
  • Ps – Parents
  • PBL – Project Based Learning
  • RLRT – Real Life Retweet
  • SMH – Shaking My Head
  • SBG – Standards Based Grading
  • Ss – Students
  • Ts – Teachers
  • TFTF – Thanks for The Follow
  • TIL – Today I Learned…
  • TL;DR – Too Long; I Didn’t Read
  • TMB – Tweet Me Back
  • TQRT – Thanks for The (RT) Retweet
  • TT – Translated Tweet
  • w/ – With
  • w/o – Without

If you know any terms, I might have missed, please let me know. Feel free to Tweet me @AnibalPachecoIT  I look forward to your thoughts and insights on this topic.

Back to School: The Best F/OSS Essentials

There is no shortage of commercial applications, apps and webapps to help us do our jobs. The problem here is that our budgets continue to shrink, and there are great alternatives to the high costs of commercial applications. That is the reason why I am always on the hunt for software alternatives. I will share with you some of the best Free and Open Source Software solutions connected educators can use today. This Bundlenut contains desktop applications and webapps you can install or run from your browser. I have also made a video with a quick look at the applications, type of license, operating system, Pro’s and Con’s of using them.

The Best way to manage your research for Free

I am currently attending school and the one thing I am not having fun with is doing all of the research that comes as part of being a student. I have searched all over the Internet for tools to help me manage the amount of data gathered during the research process and I believe to have found the answer to my problems in Mendeley.

A free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research. The thing that stands out about it is that contrary to other tools I have tried this one actually has a Desktop, iPhone and iPad applications that allow you to do your research anywhere you have access to the Internet and while on the go. So go ahead and do some research of your own. To find out more about Mendley and to create a free account please visit, http://www.mendeley.com/

What is Mendeley? from Mendeley on Vimeo.

The Future of K-12 Curriculum

A new cloud based service that allow teachers to build, organize, store and share lessons with other educators. The brainchild of Eric Simons, who you might have heard of from CNN after he got caught squatting at AOL’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California. Eric did this in order to keep the company going and has since got funding in support of this endeavor.

Technology and the Internet have changed the game. Now, for the first time ever, you can work collaboratively with teachers from around the world to build lessons. This gives you more time and energy to focus on what you do best — teaching and inspiring your students. I recently had a chance to sit with Eric for a one-on-one Google+ Hangout to learn more about ClassConnect, his vision, and the future of this great K-12 startup. ClassConnect is currently in a private BETA, but if you go to their website and enter your e-mail address you will get an early invite for the next release of the service. So go ahead and head over to http://www.classconnect.com to sign-up, and please do follow them on Twitter @ClassConnectInc to stay up to date on the latest features and news about it. You can watch my interview and a brief overview video below.

Interview with Eric Simons, CEO and Founder of ClassConnect

ClassConnect – Demo Overview

The new Kid with lots of muscle Outlook.com


Microsoft in an effort not to be outdone by Google has released a new webmail service called Outlook.com. There are many advantages to using it over Gmail because they are offering unlimited e-mail storage on all accounts and a generous 7GB of free space on SkyDrive which is Microsoft’s cloud storage solution. The interface is a lot cleaner than Gmail and Microsoft promises to display no adds offering a clean look that reminds me a lot of Facebook. They are also allowing you to convert your Hotmail, Live.com and MSN accounts to the Outlook.com service. Microsoft has promised to integrate Skype into the service which will be an additional bonus to using the service. There is also a preview of the Windows 8 app switcher which gives you some insight as to how this will work when Windows 8 is finally released. I recommend for now securing your name or switching your existing accounts to this service.

Here is a walk-through of the service enjoy it.

Gmail Hangouts Live!

Since the release of Google+ in the summer of 2011 I always wondered why Google did not enable video conferencing streaming from Gmail. They have supported video chat in Gmail since 2008 but only for peer-to-peer connections. I guess they must be feeling the heat from AnyMeeting, Join.Me, MeetingBurner and Skype among others, because today Google announced it will gradually start to roll out this new feature to Gmail users over the next few weeks giving you the ability to start Hangouts straight from the chat pane. Very Cool!

If you haven’t used Google+ Hangouts you should give it a try; for starters is Free. They allow you to connect with up to 10 people at a time and if you enable the On-Air feature your meeting is automatically recorded, and uploaded to your very own YouTube channel immediately after you end the meeting. This could easily be used as a low cost lecture capture solution, project based learning multimedia tool or any other class project that could use the introduction of video as an engagement tool. So go ahead an give it a try, all you need is a Gmail account, webcam and a set of headsets. For more information watch this video for a short demonstration on how it all works.

YouTube Digital Citizenship

Google in Education has put together a very nice online curriculum with 10 video lessons of material targeted at teens 13-17 years of age. Their idea is for students and educators to gain the necessary knowledge to use the Internet responsibly and to teach the Do’s and Don’t of online activity. It is also interesting to note that even though the program is mainly geared towards teens it could be used for professional development or best practices training for faculty.

The curriculum helps educate students on topics like:
– YouTube’s policies
– How to report content on YouTube
– How to protect their privacy online
– How to be responsible YouTube community members
– How to be responsible digital citizens

Head over here http://bit.ly/QfoNxQ to take a look at all the details and more information about this program.