What is it?

Twitter is a known as a microblog service. Participants publish "tweets" to a global audience. Other users can follow a profile of a friend, family member, repsected expert, or anyone else who uses the service. Because tweets are small, only 140 characters, the conversations are quick. This limitation makes it important to express ideas with an economy of thought. It also makes it easy to use mobile devices, like phones and tablets, creating a quick way to publish from anywhere. This is why twitter has become a favorite tool at conferences and amongst protestors in the recent uprisings in the middle east. News on Twitter travels very fast, making it a useful tool.

How can it be used in the program?

In Twitter, a word becomes a hashtag when you add a pound sign before the first letter. Twitter uses hashtags to organize trends and concepts that are being discussed in the global conversation. A useful hashtag to search for, or to use when participating on Twitter is #MyResearch. A popular Twitter chat for Doctoral Students is PHDChat; Twitter chats are explained below. As you use twitter, and find a network of researchers with like interests, you will find terms and hashtags that are useful. For example, Reseachers interested in Social Network Analysis use the hashtag #SNA, whereas academics studying Activity Theory use #ActivityTheory.

Hashtags at Events

  • Twitter became popular after people discovered how useful the tool was to connect people during events. Every conference will have a special hashtag that people contribute to and follow. This is a perfect way to discover cool things that are going on, what things to avoid, and where to get free food! Try going to the event website to learn the hashtag - otherwise, ask around at the event!

Participate in Twitter Chats


  • Participating in Twitter chats is a unique way to meet like minded professionals and have engaging, inspiring conversation.
  • You can always add a chat hashtag to a tweet, but there are scheduled times when the chats take place. Use this list to find an interesting chat.
  • Use the Twitter search box to find the chat - type the whole hashtag, including the pound sign, into the search box.
  • The chat for PHD candidates is on Wednesday at 2:30 PM.

Twitter Chat Hashtags

Getting Started

Before you create a Twitter account......consider what you want to do with the account. You may decide to have more than one account - one for use with your class where you follow a restricted list of other Twitter accounts, if any at all, and one for your own professional or personal use. The purpose of your Twitter account will inform the username you choose. Here are a list of things to consider when you choose a name:
  • Think twice about using your room number or grade level - what if these change in the future?
  • Keep it easy to remember
  • Don't make your name too long, especially if you are using this account for personal or professinal development purposes. You only have 140 characters to write a tweet with and in the future you may engage in conversations with other professionals. A long name will limit what people can say to you when they send you a message.
  • Then, go to


Use your school email if you intend to use the account with your class and your personal email if you intend to use twitter for personal learning. This email is where Twitter will notify you when new people follow you account (useful to find out when parents follow the class) and how you will be notified if people send you messages (should you choose to use it in this way.)

Classroom Integration

Use Twitter for Real Time Home-School Connection
Create a Twitter Newsletter

Apps and Downloads

Here are several options for installing twitter on your iOS or Android devices. Though Twitter is the main client several other companies offer clients that may add-to or surpass the mobile and tablet experience for Twitter users.
iOS / Android
AppleAppStore/ AndroidMarketplace
iOS / Android
AppleAppStore/ AndroidMarketplace

Useful Links for further information