Using Twitter to Stay Informed

Social media is how most of us keep in touch with each other and the world around us. With this thought in mind, we wanted to provide a quick refresher on one of the most popular—and surprisingly impactful—social media platforms out there today: Twitter.
 
Launched in 2006, Twitter is one of the most ubiquitous social media platforms today. It boasts millions of users from around the world, who are sending millions of messages—known as “tweets”—every day.

Users are tweeting their personal thoughts, jokes, news, commentary, and photos, and communicating with other users, including celebrities and politicians. Tweeting has become such an influential pastime that the president’s tweets regularly make breaking news.
 
Twitter allows its users to follow breaking news as it happens. In fact, Twitter is where many people get their news these days. During the 2016 presidential election, more people got their election news on Twitter than anywhere else.
 
Users can track hashtags (#)—many of which have become rallying cries for significant movements for social and political change—to see which topics other Twitter users are discussing. Everything from pop culture to scientific discovery to politics—if you search, you’ll find something that interests you.
 
So, Twitter is a great way to connect with other people who share your interests. It’s a quick and easy way to share your thoughts and opinions. That’s great. It’s interesting, sure, but, well, you’re also busy. Why should you, an educator who maybe already has a Facebook account and are much too busy to tweet…care? Why bother?
 
For ATPE members, it’s a great place to quickly get all of ATPE’s content by following @OfficialATPE and @TeachtheVote. Members can also follow ATPE lobbyists for in-depth analyses of Texas educational policy, which the lobbyists share almost daily. 

And, if you care at all about public education policy, it’s where you can quickly connect with your elected officials. Every current Texas elected official has a Twitter account these days. Search out yours!

Twitter can be accessed online via twitter.com or via the Apple or GooglePlay stores on your smart devices. To register, visit https://twitter.com/signup and follow the steps. Once you’re signed up, start following #txed to quickly get in touch with other folks talking about public education in Texas.
 
Finally, here are a few accounts you may want to start following.

Official ATPE Accounts:
@OfficialATPE
@TeachtheVote

ATPE Lobbyists:
@ATPE_JenniferM
@ATPE_MontyE
@MarkWigginsTX
@ATPE_KateK

Misc.:
@TRSofTexas
@TEAInfo
@TxEDVote
 

This article was originally published in July 2018 and has since been updated.

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