Twitter is an incredible resource for teachers, but the shorthand of it can be confusing to new users. Below is a list of a few common symbols used in twitter that may be helpful to new users.
“@martinmoran21”: Twitter uses the @ symbol to indicate a username. martinmoran21 is my username, so if someone wanted to share something with me on twitter, they would simply put the @ symbol before my username, and that tweet would pop up in my feed. If you want to share someone with someone or simply want to recognize someone within a tweet, you simply put the @ symbol followed by their username.
“RT”: This is what is known as a “retweet.” This is someone else’s tweet that you have chosen to re-share to your own followers. When you see this in someone’s twitter post, it means “Here is something someone else posted, but I think it’s good, too, so I’m going to share it as well.”
“MT”: This means almost the same thing as “RT.” “MT” just means “modified tweet.” When you see someone with this, it means “here is something someone else shared, but I’m going to make an edit or two and share it as well.” People typically use “MT” because the original tweet is long and they can’t “RT” it without it going over the 140 character limit.
“#edchat”: The “#” sign before a term is what is known as a “hashtag.” Hashtags are added to the tweet to give the tweet a specific category aligning with other tweets that cover the same topic. #edchat is a category indicating “education chat.” When you see tweets with that hashtag, it either means people are engaging in a specific chat around an education topic, or they simply want to share some material with the people who tend to check #edchat often (people who tend to be teachers).
For those looking for a little bit more of an intro, below is a screencast that might help you get started.
With a little knowledge of those symbols and a little bit of time, twitter can become the educator’s best friend. Enjoy.