Tweet while you teach

At the start of a conference presentation this weekend, a presenter exScreen Shot 2013-10-08 at 2.08.57 PMplained that she would be actively tweeting during the presentation and that she would share all of the resources she referenced through her Twitter account. As the presentation continued, I monitored her Twitter account and saw her posts appear at different times to send attendees to all of the sites and documents she discussed. It was really cool to watch. As she started talking about a website, her Twitter feed The process provided attendees with an additional level of participation and interaction since they were able to directly engage with the materials the presenter discussed. It was really powerful and engaging.

As I watched the presenter, however, I never really saw her stop the presentation to compose a Tweet on her smartphone. I wondered how she managed tweeting and presenting so seamlessly and effortlessly. At the end of the presentation, I stopped by and asked her how she performed her Twitter magic.  The presenter explained that with an iPad app called BackDraft she can compose Twitter posts before the start of a presentation and then click on the tweets as she comes to specific topics.  After hearing about the app, I had to check it out.

The BackDraft app is free in the App Store and is remarkably easy to use.  The interface is almost too simple to use.  After connecting your Twitter account to the app, you click on a + sign to compose a new post.  You can add links, hashtags, and images and organize the tweets by hashtags and color.  As you’re teaching or presenting, you can tap on a pre-composed Tweet and it’s shared with your Twitter followers or with the people searching a specific hashtag.  You can even create a unique hashtag for your class so students can easily find your posts without following your feed.

I know there are other apps that can accomplish similar Twitter activities.  For instance, I’ve tried using HootSuite which will allow you to pre-compose tweets and schedule when they are published.  This works great but the publishing timing does not always perfectly align with my presentations.  With BackDraft, my tweets can flow organically with the pace of my presentation or lesson.


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