Useful and Effective Twitter Tools

Here follows a list of Twitter tools that I use frequently because they make my online work easier to manage. I have decided to focus specifically on tools that can provide impact on the way I use Social Media and ideas for classroom practice instead of fun and cool tools as there are already plenty of posts which do that well : ) .

Twitter tools

Interviews on Twitter

This handy tool does what it says on the tin, you sign up, invite someone to get interviewed or receive an invitation yourself, then start the process. See this link for one that’s already been done. As it’s currently in BETA format you have to tweet the site on @tweeterviews to receive an invite code (oh yes, only special people get to play). Alternatively, if someone invites you for an interview then you can leave that bit blank. Once you get that code you’re ready to rock.

This tool really has great potential if it takes off properly. There are many different uses I can foresee with Tweeterview, for example running a live interview during conferences which people can follow on monitors in corridors, rooms and on mobiles and laptops. There’s also potential to use this in the classroom, particularly for group work and if they use a username already set up by you. Hopefully Tweeterview sets up some form of educational area on the website where students can sign up and ‘interview’ safely, although this is probably not going to happen until the site has established itself.

Screencasts for Twitter

Screencasts for Twitter

This is probably one of the most useful tools if you collaborate online as it provides a dead-simple way to demonstrate what you mean in a very easy manner. If you have a lot of contacts that you communicate with often particularly if you need to explain and describe issues such as web design, creating tools online or concepts etc, then Screenr is superb. It takes seconds to create a min screencast, add your tweet and send it to the world. Try it now, you won’t regret it. Here’s a 50 sec example of how quickly you can create screencasts using Screenr. By the way, you don’t have to tweet the screencast, you can keep it private if you wish : ) .

A great way of using Screenr in the classroom like during independent learning projects or for homework, is to get students to use a log-in created by you and then challenge them to demonstrate and explain a concept e.g. ‘revolution’ or ‘green house effect’ using a set of material which they have prepared before. Also, Screenr provides an effective way of presenting information coherently and succinctly to the audience. This is especially good for the students as they have to plan their work carefully e.g. writing scripts, but also consider ways in which they can physically show their understanding on the actual screen. This is very challenging task indeed.

Add sound and voice

Add sound and voice

Chir.ps is a real gem for teachers and students not only because of it’s simplicity but as we can upload recorded sounds in seconds without the need to understand any software. After registering just press record and you might be asked to allow Flash Player access to your microphones (allow it), then speak, sing or yoodle, press stop and you’re done. Type in a message in the box below and tweet it. Your ‘chirps’ are then stored on the website for later use. Simple and effective.

Classroom potential is immense as you can imagine and using Chir.ps can provide an engaging way into difficult or what might be considered dry subject matters to many students.

Store images for Social Networks

Store images for Social Networks

This website started in June 2009 so is very new online but has already made a stir in the community. The good thing about imjtweet is that you can upload images and use it with both Twitter as well as Facebook and other Social Media will be added according to the owner .

You don’t need to register as long as you have a Twitter or Facebook account (the site cannot access your details or use your account in anyway as it makes use of oAuth which is an authentication protocol that allows users to approve application to act on their behalf without sharing their password – brilliant.). imjtweet is simply fantastic as it’s simple to use and very fast so it will make your work on Twitter much easier and unlike TwitPic , which is also superb, you can share images across platforms.

Quick polls

Quick polls

TwtPoll must be one of the best mini apps available for Twitter and it’s free. As with many other good Twitter tools TwtPoll doesn’t require you to register as long as you already have an account with Twitter, just ‘allow’ it access.

Creating your polls couldn’t be easier, just click ‘Create Poll’, fill in the required details and you’re done. You can also embed the poll as well as results on your blog or website or simply add a link to the poll like this How Often Do You Use Twitter? What I particularly like about TwtPoll is that you can create ‘image polls’ where users e.g. your students have to answer a question about an image. You can also allow students to rate or rank images based on a set criteria which you provide them or add a description in the poll. TwTPoll is easy to use and brilliant for maintaining a fluid and exciting website or blog – why not add a poll to your department’s website now?

Organize discussions

Organize discussions

I hesitated to add  ChatterBox to the post as there are already some software that sort of deal with the same solutions e.g. Destroy Twitter but they don’t enable you to monitor Twitter conversations that you find interesting so for example you could set up a list of  keywords or specific user handles. This tool can organise the information into a common dashboard that individuals and groups can collaborate and respond to conversations. Unfortunately ChatterBox is not open for new users which probably mean they are about to go commercial although I can’t see them charging more than a few quid for this tool. I’ll certainly upgrade to commercial should this happen. I’ve tried other tools that are similar e.g. TweetBeep but found it rather temperamental as the key word ‘beeps’ were far in-between.

Have you come across other Twitter tools that have not been mentioned here which you feel deserve to be added then please drop me a comment : ) .

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