Jun 212012

I have said to many teachers that the best professional development I have engaged in is on Twitter. (I am @gwaddellnvhs by the way.)  One of the difficulties I have had using twitter, however is the storing of great ideas, great tweets, great links, and threads of conversations that I have had.

For instance, the bookclub I engage in regularly (current hashtag is #lit4math, focused on the book “Literacy strategies for improving mathematics instruction”) we have great discussions and sharing of ideas. And they are gone in the twitter stream almost instantly! ARG. That is the problem I have had other teachers tell me they run into, and therefore they don’t use twitter.

Or, I am at school, and see a great post that has a link from a person I generally want to follow up on, but although twitter is unblocked at school, the link shortener t.co is blocked. Or I am on my phone, and want to quickly save a tweet, so I favorite it, and then have to go through and find the favorite tweets under my account, which is a hassle.

The Solution

Well, all these problems go away with a very easy to use service called If This, Then That or ifttt.com. This service does exactly what the name sounds like (well, if you have taken a computer programming class you understand what it does.) It monitors your account, and when it sees a pre-programmed trigger, the “IF”, “THEN” it does “THAT”.

How I use it, IF it sees that I favorite a tweet in twitter, it then appends the tweet into my Evernote account.  It takes a minute or two to show up, but it has not failed yet.

I also have it searching twitter for the hashtag #lit4math, and it appends all tweets with that hashtag into a note in Evernote.  Sweet! I don’t have to try to copy manually the conversations any more. The only drawback to this method is twitter will not allow locked users tweets to show up in a search stream. Therefore, users who are part of the conversation who are locked won’t show up. That is unfortunate, but true of all methods of archiving tweets I have used.

I also have a recipe (what ifttt.com calls their programs) running that appends any tweet made to me into an Evernote note. It makes sure I don’t miss something that was sent directly to me.

I am very pleased with this set up. It has truly streamlined and made my use of Twitter easier and more efficient. Check out ifttt.com. It is free, and very worth your time.