How To Use Social Media to Automatically Find Adult Education Resources
Posted by Dee Cater on June 30, 2016 in categoryMember Tips

How to Use Social Media to Automatically Find Adult Education Resources

Looking for news, content, and resources to use in your adult education programs? Here’s an easy way to automatically source content from Twitter. All you need is a Twitter account. 

Step 1: Sign up for Pocket

Pocket is a service that allows you to save articles, videos, and more from around the internet to view or read later. You can save content directly from your web browser or other apps and then view the content later on your browser, phone, or tablet. 

Step 2: Sign up for IFTTT

IFTTT stands for “if this then that” and is a service that allows you to connect your web and mobile applications using “recipes.” Recipes allow you to create powerful triggers and actions between your applications. A trigger is the “this” part, and the action is the “then” part of “if this then that.” We’re going to use IFTTT to create a trigger that results in an action. This will make more sense as we go. 

Step 3: Connect your Twitter and Pocket accounts to IFTTT

Sign in to your IFTTT account and go to the link that says “Channels” in the top navigation. You will then see a search box that says “Search Channels.” Type “twitter” in the search box then click on the Twitter icon that appears. You will then be taken to a page that says “Twitter Channel.” Click the “Connect” button and authorize IFTTT to access your Twitter account. Now, go back to “Channels” and search “pocket.” Follow the same steps you used to connect your Twitter account to connect your Pocket account. 

Step 4: Create a Recipe

Now that Twitter and Pocket are connected, we will create a recipe to tell IFTTT to search Twitter for new links related to a specific search term and add those links to your Pocket account. 

  1. Click the “My Recipes” link in the top navigation. 
  2. Click the “Create a Recipe” button. 
  3. Click the word “this” in “if this then that” and then search the term “twitter” in the “Search Channels” box. Click on the Twitter icon. 
  4. In the “Choose a Trigger” section, select “New tweet from search.” 
  5. For this example, I’m going to search for links tweeted using the hashtag #AdultEDU. So I will type “#AdultEDU filter:links” into the “Search for” box. And then click the “Create Trigger” button. You can use whatever search term or hashtag you want, but I would recommend keeping “filter:link” as part of your search so that Twitter will return links instead of every tweet with your chosen search term. For an idea of search terms or hashtags to use, check out this helpful guide to educational hashtags
  6. Now, you should see “if [twitter icon] then that.” Click the “that” link and search the term “pocket” in the “Search Channels” box. Click on the Pocket icon. 
  7. In the “Choose an Action” section, select “Save for later.” 
  8. In the “Complete Action Fields” section, you’ll want to keep the “URL” field as “FirstLinkURL.” The “Tags” field is helpful because Pocket organizes content using tags. The tags will allow you to keep your content organized, otherwise it can get messy and overwhelming in your pocket account. For this example, I’m going to leave “IFTTT” as a tag so that I know the links added were from IFTTT and will add “AdultEDU” as a tag so that I know the link was added as a result of that search term. When you’re done, click the “Create Action” button. 
  9. The “Create and connect” step is the last step to creating the recipe. This is where you review your recipe and title it. For this example, I will leave the title as is. Click the “Create Recipe” button. 
  10. That’s it! Now when new tweets containing links are tweeted with the hashtag #AdultEDU, they will be added to my Pocket. I can sign into my Pocket at any time and review the links that were tweeted. You can then decide to delete them or how to use your newly acquired resources. You can also repeat these steps for different search terms to add even more content to your Pocket. 

I hope this tutorial is useful and will allow you to find news, content, and other resources that will be helpful to you or your adult education students. 

Let us know in the comments below if you tried this tutorial and what search terms you used. Also let us know if you’d like more content like this.


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