Manhattan Beach Unified School District

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How I Use Twitter

How I Use Twitter


I stopped getting paper copies of newspapers and magazines about one year ago.   I now pay $10 a month to receive the New York Times on my iPad.  I would pay that for the LA Times, but they don’t have a good iPad app yet.  I miss holding the paper in my hands, but I love every aspect of getting news on my iPad.


But there are other ways that I obtain news.  I want to let you know how I use Twitter as a major source for keeping up with key events in my field and in the world.


When people who don’t know about Twitter first discover it, they hear about Ashton Kutcher or Lance Armstrong, who have millions of followers and tweet about their meals, their marriages, their kids, errands they are running, and numerous other matters.  I mean no offense to anyone when I say that I have absolutely no interest in any of that information.  I loved watching Lance win the Tour de France seven times.  I admit that laughed out loud at the “Sweet, Dude” scene in Dude, Where's My Car.  But I don’t need such information to clutter up my day. 


What I do need, is information from sources that I trust.  That’s why Twitter is such a great resource.  I find people/companies that tweet valuable information, and I follow them.   I follow people who provide great insights into public education or into how to use technology in education.  I get every education article that the Los Angeles Times publishes by following them.  I follow Mira Costa Athletics, which tweets out scores and highlights.  I follow Peggy Noonan from the Wall Street Journal, because my Dad tells me that no one writes better than she does.  I follow my son’s Little League to make sure the fields are open.   I follow Stanford athletics because I am an optimist and I always want to know what I can brag about.   I follow others as well and I’m always looking for new information.


So every morning, I can open up my very own personal news source.  I can see the 140 character summary from each of the people I follow, and I can click on a link if I want more information.  In ten minutes, I am caught up with news from the people or agencies that matter most to me.  If you have an iPad, you can use an app like Flipboard that gives all tweets an elegant setting making them even more pleasurable to read.


For certain accounts, you can have a text message sent to your phone whenever a tweet comes out.  You don’t want to do this for too many, but if you want to know right away about a tweet from a particular source, it’s a great way to get that information instantaneously.  If you want to be the first to know about MBUSD district information, become a follower and on your cell phone, text “follow MBUSDnews” to 40404.


I have two twitter accounts – one is my personal Twitter account (@drmdmatthews) that I use to read tweets every day.  The other is my district account (@mbusdnews) that I use to send updates about the District.  I have nearly 400 followers, and I would love to have more.  It’s a great way for parents and community members to get the information they need to be even more proud of the public schools of Manhattan Beach. 


So I encourage you to try Twitter, and I hope that I have inspired you to make @mbusdnews one of the first accounts you follow.